Sorry it took me a couple of days to get back to you on these berry shades. I'm still having trouble getting clear close-ups with my camera, but it looks like we are stuck with this for awhile :( While not ideal, I'm hoping that these posts will still be helpful as the product/ hand swatches are pretty clear, and you'll be able to get an idea of how the product interacts with skintone and the sort of finish it gives.
So, I'm kicking off this series of sheer berry tones with shade Night Out, a Painted Lady lipstick by Hard Candy. You may remember Hard Candy as a fancy-pants brand available at Sephora in the late nineties and early 2000's. They disappeared from store shelves for awhile, and have fairly recently become available solely thru Walmart with new packaging, formulations- and prices! Now, I'm not a fan of Walmart's questionable ethics, but it is the only retailer thru which Hard Candy is available, and the makeup brand itself is impressive for its price. The packaging feels a bit cheap, but it's cute, and the products themselves I would compare to L'Oreal or Revlon quality, even though the pricing is closer to something like Rimmel or CoverGirl. I haven't tried all of the line, but what I have tried seems to be consistently good so far. Their Painted Lady lipstick retails for $6, according to the Walmart website.
The package is a clear and white plastic cap with a printed design on it, and the bottom is conical with a ribbon coming out of it. I think this is dumb; you can't stand the lipstick up by itself with the cap off, which would be handy if you need to set it down while applying it.
|Lipstick and Cap|
Here is a swatch with the flash; here you can see that this is a berry that tends right in the middle of warm and cool. It's not a sheer blue red, but it certainly isn't all the way "purple", either.
|Hand Swatch with Flash|
And here it is without flash, showing you how dark it can lean in low lighting.
|Swatch Without Flash|
And here is a blurry (as promised- grr!!!) shot of it on my lips, with flash
|On lips, with flash|
|No Flash, Night Out|
This is what the color looks like on my entire face, without flash. It's deep, but because it is sheer, it isn't overwhelming.
|Night Out on my lips- no flash|
And here we have a shot with the flash.
|Night Out, with flash.|
Overall, this is a comfortable product. I wouldn't say it's stand-out, though. I dislike the fact that the tube feels so cheap (It's flimsy plastic, and when I rotate the base to get the product up, it swivels unevenly and reluctantly until a certain point, making me afraid that this will eventually break and I'll be stuck with my lipstick screwed up too far to put the cap back on), that you can't set the tube on it's end with the cap off, and that it settles into my lip lines. However, the formula goes on really easily, I don't have trouble with it getting patchy as it wears, and it's not drying- I might even go so far as to say it's minimally moisturizing (though not as much as a balm). And for $6, it's not dirt cheap, but it's a pretty good formula and inexpensive enough that if you want to try out something in this color family, it's a great option. One other down-side to the formula is that it's not exactly buildable; the color you get out of one swipe is pretty much it, since the formula is creamy enough that you get a lot of product in the first swipe, and more product just starts to move around and do strange things on the lip. This also means you may have to fuss with getting a sharp lip-line out of it, since the formulation is pretty soft.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Although I find it hard to quantify a product's overall value and worth, since so much of that is personal and ineffable (I've had great products that I've used infrequently, and really hard to use, tricky products that I've loved and used all the time), I'm going to try to start offering ratings for these type of comparisons, so based on how often I use this product and how much I like it compared to others, I'm going to give this a 6/10. (one being throw it out immediately, don't even offer it to an enemy; five being serviceable but be on the lookout for something better; ten being a Holy Grail, wouldn't want to be without it and will repurchase when it runs out product.)