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This is only the second lip product I’ve ever tried from Givenchy and I must say yet again, I like it. If you are curious, the other formula I tried was the Givenchy Le Rose Perfecto Liquid Balm that I reviewed back in 2020. I purchased this from Givenchy’s Holiday 2021 release so my case is a limited edition version in black velvet casing with a gold tube. However, the lipstick shade is part of their permanent lineup and typically comes in red velvet casing with a silver tube.
37 Rouge Graine is described as a deep garnet red.
This glides on smoothly even when I don’t prep my lips with balm before application. It had full color with one swipe, so the color is true to what the bullet looks like. It has a very thin texture that is very lightweight and easy to forget I have on. The only problem with forgetting you are wearing a color like this is needing to check ever so often to catch any smudges that might have happened. It does feel tighter on the lips about an hour into wear and that feeling continues, but I don’t find it to be uncomfortable. I would say that this does accentuate some of my lip lines, but it isn’t too bad considering that it is a powder matte formula. The Givenchy Deep Velvet Lipstick does have a fragrance, but after application, I don’t notice it at all.
The brand claims that this lipstick will give a 12-hour wear time and have an exceptional glide. I can’t speak on a 12-hour wear time as I’ve never worn any lipstick for that long. And while this matte lipstick definitely has a decent wear time for me, I would say that at the most, it has a 6-hour wear time. If you’ve been here you already know this, but I drink water and tea all day and have a snack and lunch while wearing lip products. When I tell you that I don’t HAVE TO touch up this product through all that, I mean it. I typically touch up after about 4 hours for my personal preference, but with this lipstick, it doesn’t absolutely need it. It isn’t just that it doesn’t need to be touched up, it is also that it looks freshly applied. And as I mentioned, this formula does glide smoothly during application. I do tend to wear lip balm under matte lipsticks, but I also tested this without balm and I haven’t had issues.
The Givenchy Deep Velvet formula does transfer onto cups and utensils, so it is interesting to me how it manages to stay looking fresh and vibrant. I do want to point out that as the color wears down it becomes a brighter and pinker tone. However, I don’t notice the color change during wear, it is only once I touch up that I realize that the color changed a little. This formula does stain the lips, which certainly helps with wear time. After lunch, it does always wear down at the center of my lips, and that is the big reason that I prefer to touch up after about 4 hours. However, with that staining effect, it is hard to tell from a distance that I need a touch-up. The stain left behind is easy to remove with just good old vaseline.
Alternative: Givenchy 37 Rouge Graine** vs MAC Russian Red**
For color reference, MAC’s matte lipstick in Russian Red is the closest red that I have. Russian red is a more vibrant blue-based red, so it resembles Givenchy’s 37 Rouge Graine more once it starts to fade into the stain that I mentioned above.
The Givenchy shade has more depth (on initial application) and isn’t as bright as Russian Red. Other than the fact that these are both matte, the formulas are not the same. MAC’s matte formula isn’t as thin as Givenchy, but it does provide more opaque pigmentation. Russian Red stays true to color throughout wear, which is definitely a plus. The MAC formula is not as matte since it doesn’t have that velvet or powder finish. This does mean that the MAC formula is more forgiving to lip lines, which I do like. If Givenchy is out of your price range, this could be a good alternative as long as you aren’t looking for a powder matte finish. MAC’s matte lipstick finish comes in 36 shades and retails for $19.00.**
The only other cheaper alternative that I’ve personally tried would be the MAC retro matte formula.** I’ve only tried the shade Ruby Woo, but MAC is fairly consistent so I’m assuming the other 6 retro matte shades perform similarly. The MAC retro matte formula does have a similar powder finish but it has to be built up to get a similar color payoff (at least in the shade Ruby Woo).
The Givenchy Le Rouge Deep Velvet formula is very similar to the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme Lipstick that I reviewed in February 2021. Unfortunately for Chanel, Givenchy’s formula is better even if ever so slightly. The Chanel formula is drier and my lips have to be in excellent condition to even consider wearing it. On top of that, it is $4 cheaper.** Both formulas are thin but have great pigmentation and they have the powder/velvet matte finish. I don’t personally have any other matte lipsticks that feel as comfortable as these two formulas AND wear this well. For me personally, I do find that performance to be worth the price. However, I do want to remind you that the Givenchy lipstick does change color a little throughout wear which doesn’t happen with the Chanel formula (or the MAC). I can certainly understand that being a dealbreaker, especially at this price.
How do you feel about high-end lipsticks? Are they worth it to you?
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