Available in 17 shades, Maybelline’s SuperStay Ink Crayon is a twist-up matte lipstick in slim packaging with hefty claims, including “Lasting Ink technology” that applies with “effortless control” for up to 8-hour wear. It won an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2019 and I picked up a shade to try many months ago, in a pre-COVID world. So how do I feel about it, and lipstick in general, six months into a pandemic that has us wearing masks whenever we’re out in public?
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Tested August-September 2020
I recently read the most disturbing headline on one of my news apps. It was something like, “Is Lipstick Dead?”, followed by a discussion of the impact COVID-19 has had on the cosmetics industry, particularly what Leonard Lauder (of the Estée Lauder Lauder’s) coined the “lipstick index”. Basically, Lauder suggested that in times of economic downturn or uncertainty, lipstick sales actually increase because it’s a relatively inexpensive way for women to get a little pick me up with a simple swipe of lip color. I think there is something to this theory, and it reminds me of the United States in World War II, when so many items were rationed for the war effort but wearing lipstick was seen as patriotic and a way to boost morale. Elizabeth Arden’s famous Victory Red lipstick was even developed to complement the tones of the American Marine Corps Women’s Reserve uniform, as if it were part of the required uniform itself.
I can personally say that lipstick has helped me get through a few tough times, providing some external confidence when I struggled with the internal version. It was sort of the gateway product that led me to get more interested in makeup as a whole, and I won’t even tell you how many lipsticks I own. Really, I won’t, because although you might say you won’t judge me, you couldn’t help it…because it’s, well, a lot.
But back to it, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that COVID has impacted how we use makeup. I, a true makeup lover, have cut my daily routine down to brows, a little powder on the forehead, and some eye makeup. Why? Well, because of the masks, of course. Not just because no one sees my face now, but primarily because face sweat in Los Angeles during the hottest month of the year is so, so real in a mask. No product will hold up under those conditions, so I’ve chosen to skip the stained mask and smeary mess that would ultimately result. And this means…no lipstick.
I found it challenging to even find enough opportunities to test out the Maybelline SuperStay Ink Crayon in the shade Seek Adventure.
I wore it during a Zoom date with friends, and on a few days when I worked from home and didn’t need to go out. I love the easy application of this lip crayon (I line around the lips first and then fill them in) and the product doesn’t drag on the lips and builds up well. The shade, a poppy kind of everyday pink, is lovely and something I would put on for any occasion, and the finish is a creamy matte.
The product twists up and has a little sharpener that pulls out from the end for people who actually sharpen their lip crayons (I am not one of those people).
Once it’s applied, the formula is not totally smudge-proof. Here’s a quick video to show you what happened when I lightly rubbed my finger over a swatch of the lipstick.
Although you can see that it doesn’t stay in place, there is still color left behind even after the top layer has smudged. This is also true when applied to the lips. I got at least 3-4 hours of solid wear without eating or drinking. When I did disturb the product by drinking, for example, there may have been a light lip mark on my glass, but there was still pink color on my lips. All in all, I wasn’t floored by its staying power (sorry Maybelline, 8 hours is a stretch), but I did like that it lasted quite a while and faded off in a subtle way.
I am sort of struggling with how to wrap up this review. Before the Great Mask Era (aka 2020), I would probably have given this a full thumbs up because it’s a quality lipstick for under $10. The color selection is a lot of fun, and the product is easy to wear. Seek Adventure is a great shade to brighten up the face when it can actually be seen during video meetings, etc. The reality for me, however, is that I’m just not wearing lipstick anymore and you probably aren’t either. So maybe put this on your “To Try Post-Coronavirus” list along with a million other things. I won’t say lipstick is dead. That would be soul crushing. It’s hibernating through the season and will (fingers crossed) be back soon.