When I first became vegan almost 10 years ago, one of the first things that crossed my mind was how I was going to get the same quality make up products I was used to, but still at a reasonable price. I was unaware of the vast range available to me. I had become slightly obsessed with the Max Factor Lipfinity range, I probably owned around 90% of the colours they released. Of course since becoming vegan they, along with the majority of my cosmetics, had to be replaced by animal friendly brands.
I searched for what seemed like an age to find a decent replacement for those wonderful long lasting lip lacquers but nothing really lived up to the original. However, on a recent shopping trip to Marks and Spencer I stumbled upon the Autograph Ultimate Wear Lip Lacquer and my eyes almost fell out of my head, I was so excited!
They look almost identical to my previous love, and after a quick internet search I found that these were vegan, happy days! I bought the shade Bright Coral and set on my merry way with a big grin on my face.
The lip lacquer is in a duel ended tube, one end contains the liquid lipstick and the other a gloss that you apply once the lipstick has dried. The first thing I noticed was the smell, it's kind of an artificial vanilla, not unpleasant but not particularly nice either. Personally I would prefer it if companies would stop adding synthetic fragrances, but that's just my opinion.
The colour is beautiful, it's a very orange-toned red with a subtle golden shimmer, a very on-trend colour for this summer and one that I think a lot of different skin tones could pull off really well. I am very fair with cool undertones and I think it looks really pretty against my skin, however, it does make my teeth look slightly more yellow than they actually are.
As with most lip lacquers of this variety, it is advertised as long lasting, and they're not kidding with that claim! I have tried this out for 4 days now, and I get a good full day (around 9 hours) out of it with minimal touch ups required after eating a meal. Drinking is no bother at all, I have used a straw and drank from the glass and it doesn't budge. I don't drink any hot drinks so I can't comment on how it would react to that, but I don't see it being a problem if I can eat a bean burger and chips without it moving. Removing it at the end of the day is probably the biggest issue you'll face with this. I find the best way is to use an oil based make up remover, I tend to use either argan oil or olive oil on some cotton wool before continuing with my normal make up remover.
The only thing I dislike about this lip lacquer is that once you have applied the colour and let it dry (which doesn't take longer than a minute), it is incredibly sticky if you put your lips together. You have to keep them apart until you have applied the gloss otherwise it's not so easy to separate them, and you run the risk of ruining your careful application.
I have to say that even if I didn't go vegan and have to search for a Max Factor alternative, I would still choose this over any other; it lasts way better than anything else I have tried, is cruelty-free, relatively inexpensive at only £10, comes in 13 beautiful shades and is opaque in one swipe. Another bonus is that if you run out of the gloss before you have finished the colour (which always happens with me) you can buy a gloss refill separately for £7.50. These are available in-store and online here.
Marks and Spencer is really stepping up their game when it comes to cosmetics, I look forward to seeing what they come out with next.