Friday, January 24, 2014

Medora Matte Lipstick Collection


Medora lipsticks have been in my Mom's vanity drawer along with Swiss Miss and Revlon's. Nearly all of us would have come across these lipsticks at least once in Pakistan. While we see amazing results with lip products from MUA (GBP 1), e.l.f. (USD 1), and WnW ( USD 2), let's check how our local drugstore gem fares in terms of quality, pigmentation, lasting power, and shade range.
All of the shades I've personally used are matte finish. Mainly due to their accessibility. The places I've come across carry most of the matte shades (with testers) - other finishes, not so much. As for the color choice, two of my initial Medora lipsticks were a gift - Gold Opal and Real Red. Sadly, the Real Red was misplaced during my frequent shuttling between Lahore & Karachi last year. I owned True Red from the collection as well, but that was passed onto a dear friend of mine. All in all, I currently have the 5 shades:




Before I talk about their packaging and an overall review, I just have to address (ask) one thing - Till now, all the "matte" shades from every lipstick that I've seen do not contain glitter & a frosty finish. You might be able to see from these pictures that the first from the left and the second from the right visibly has some frosty thing going on. Is it "normal"? It's nothing significant, just something I found weird, so I thought I'd ask. It might just be the desi-ness going on. :-P

After a very weird side-tracking, let's come back to these. Each of these lipsticks come in a cardboard box packaging that has the no significant details written except "Medora of London", the lipstick shade name/number, and "Made in Swat". o.O No ingredients, tagline...nothing. It's not a marketing gimmick I'm asking for. But skipping the ingredient list might be the dealbreaker of some (as it rationally should be). My analysis is very objective on this, despite the fact that I have used this product repeatedly. Lack of ingredients list makes us encounter many risks. 1) The consumers are entitled to full disclosure of what's in their products. 2) The absence might also mean that there is little or no quality-check involved. 3) We don't have FDA, but the necessary approvals of safety might also be missing. So, if you're super sensitive to these issues and have allergies, I suggest that you use caution (swatch and check) while using these lipsticks. Along with disclaimer, I must say that I have been using these less frequently over 1-2 years and that didn't cause any problem in my case.

Coming to the packaging, the grey plastic tube with golden mettalic finish design is cheap-looking. Out of these 5, 3 have really shoddy caps that do not snap shut properly. Pressing doesn't help either. The ones I previously had didn't have reliable packaging either. I couldn't throw them inside my bag for travel except may be in really small pockets in less heat where they cannot open or create a melted mess. This is one of the things which good quality control could have avoided :-/ I've never seen any promotion of Medora ever, so no claims, no frills, no control. Since it runs on word-of-mouth and brand recognition, the brand seems complacent...and almost arrogant, I must say. Being a marketing buff, I should have hated these in principle - but I don't. 

Let's have a look at the swatches and review how the product performance:






Like I mentioned before, these are supposed to be matte, but the Gold Opal has champagne-gold fine glitter and the Purple Passion has pink shimmer. Once worn, the glitter doesn't irritate the lips. However, the residual glitter might remain on your face or migrate to the chin, if not removed properly. That's not a deal-breaker for me because it doesn't happen often.

I could write sonnets on the great pigmentation of Medora shades - these and all others that I have ever swatched. I bet you won't be disappointed - even with other seemingly negative things you might think about these. One swipe is enough to give opaque coverage for most shades. The ones with the glitter might not have the same level of opacity, but a couple more swipes will give you a great color payoff. In terms of how longlasting they are, I'd say it varies for every shade, but they definitely cross the 4-hour mark. Without meals and drinks, they would last even longer. They sure do transfer on the straw, cup, glass, spoon, etc., so watch out. Don't go pecking other people on cheeks, because this "daag" might not get the same appreciation as in a Surf Excel advertisement :-P An aunt of mine kissed my cheek while wearing on of Medora's lipsticks. It was a formal occassion and I was wearing foundation with no touchup stuff. The vigorous rubbing still leaves a rub-stain behind. Medora 1 - Bia 0. -_- Ugh.

Interestingly, these lippies are not the uncomfortable and tugging matte kinds. After first two hours, they do cling to the fine lines on the lips if you're laughing and talking a lot. That, too, isn't very obvious or even bothersome since the formula is creamy(ish).

You can see I have two not-so-normal colors. I've not worn them out yet. The best thing about these lippies are that you can have these bold shades for certain looks, themes, or even shade-mixing. For instance, the Dark Maroon applies very dark brown on lips, but you can blot it a little and add lip gloss. The lasting power will definitely be affected, but it will give a very Maroon-ish undertone with a clear gloss. Similarly, a single swipe of Purple Passion is not alien-looking. On pink or pigmented lips, the sheer look is very wearable. My lips turned light-mauvey-berry toned with a single swipe. Chiffon Blush is a daily routine shade that you can wear to university or work. Gold Opal would look more flattering on fuller lips (I believe). It reminds me of Nars Orgasm collection for some reason. Haha, I realize mentioning Medora and Nars in the same sentence is a cardinal sin - let alone, comparing them :-P I think you can make the Gold Opal with a pinkish lipstick or gloss topping to be very much like the Orgasm collection lipgloss. I'm only saying. Doesn't hurt to try. If any of you attempt, please share the pictures ^_^

They also do get good marks for accessibility. Not everyone is a makeup buff to know better brands or afford the ones with more hefty price tag. These lipsticks are widely available across Pakistan at the price tag ranging from PKR 80 - 110. In metropolitan cities, you might have to do a bit of effort to find shops that carry most of their collection.

Let's sum it up - I'd give these full marks for longevity and pigmentation (my top reasons to love something), but the lack of proper disclosures is a bummer. Here's the verdict after a reminder of my collection :-P



Let me know which is your favorite Medora lipstick - if you've used these already! I simply love your feedback. Like a fuel to my passion.

Cheers,

Bia

54 comments:

  1. Yayy I have fuchsia, gold opal and chiffon blush <3 Love em!
    Lovely review honey as usuall <3 Lots of huggs

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    1. Aren't they amazing!!? <3 :-) What other Medora shades do you have?
      Thank you so much, deary! xoxo

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  2. Them. being manufactured in SWAT surprised me as well...
    is it just me or some of medora lipsticks name are inspired by Mac lipsticks.... noticed that on mums recent medora. purchase

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    1. Are you talking about the Medora Viva Glam? :P I'm sure they must be... If not, THEN I'd be more surprised :D
      Swat thing is an eyebrow raiser :D

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  3. I have been watching Medora in my mothers' collection since like my birth really! Actually tried few of them and they are great value for your bucks! Great write-up bia! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Zubia! And yes, Moms were not too particular brands or even colors. These sure do have great value for everyone.

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  4. I never knew Medora lipsticks could look that gorgeous.. :) Love the shades and your swatches... I havn't tried the mate range actually, but am loving full fuchsia and chiffon blush....

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    1. The title of lipstickholic will formally be yours after you own atleast few of these :D
      These are gorgeous in real too!

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  5. *Tip toes from behind*
    *taps Bia's shoulder in a spooky manner*
    BOOOOOOOO!! Guess who finally decided to step out of lurker mode...

    So I finally decided I should comment on the blog itself.... Aur medora ki hi kismat may tha mera pehla comment... And this too was somehow connected to your mommy dearest (: ... Mera aur aunty ka pakka kuch connection hai lol...

    So coming back to the review lol... As always sooo much fun to read!! Packed with awesome detailing and a generous dose of humour!(the daag tou achey reference was hilarious lol) Loved the pictures and that little customized banner thingies you have for each review... Super cute!!.. Also love the heart background you use for the products.. cute!!

    And I had guessed all the shades right except for dark maroon... lol Purple passion I did swatch but did not get it yet... and all the other ones I do have ... wait I think I do not have dark maroon I have true maroon... errm lol I forgot...

    And yes my mother also used to have and well still has a few medora lipsticks she really loves... Infact I do think the first lipstick I ever wore was probably a medora ...a dark brown-ish type shade probably lol those were really in at that time lol... Khair those were ancient times or as you would say age of darkness... and recently only I rediscovered these.. and omg yes they have unbelievable pigmentation and lasting power.. but somehow you just cannot beat the price point... and for me lol the fact that they have pretty appropriate and awesome names is a plus too...

    And what is my favourite medora lipstick.. aah I have quite a few favourites actually .. from the top of my head... Pink truffle, Electric Pink, Coffee, Full fuchsia, Berry, Raspberry and probably a couple more I can not think of right now..

    OMG *high five* even I thought of the whole metallic frost and matte thing...It feels good someone else also notices such random things lol.. And also on the orgasm bit I thought of it too and gold opal one is good for layering I tried with some peachier type lipstick... lol and oh ya I got another Gold one which I surprisingly reallyyyy lovee it is called Gold dust.. it is so Cleopatra-ish lol I use that with a peachy type lipstick too!!

    SEEEE this happens when I comment!! This is probably is the longest comment EVERR!! That is how it is with me... either I do not comment and if I do tou.. hehe

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    1. Zainab, I tell people how their one comment makes my day... This one is enough to make my whole week! <3 Thank you for coming out of the stalker mode to actually comment the lights out of this post :-) :-P

      Haha, of all the stuff, this won you over enough to comment - humbled I am, deary! :D And yes, the connection with my Mom does sound fishy. Now I'm beginning to think if she can't come online, has she planted you as a private detective to take note of my shenanigans? o.O LOL!

      You are right, I knew these were good, but then I kinda drifted apart from these....then buckets of brands later I am amazed how the formula is comparable with few best ones - other flaws apart. I did swatch Coffee multiple times and my Mom has that shade but it suits her because she is very fair, on me it looks like I am caught with my mouth inside Nutella :-/

      See, how another thing in sync! :) And that Cleopatra thingy, these babies are so good for costumes... I cannot emphasize that enough!

      Haha, your long comments, sonnets, and ANY sort of feedback is more than welcome. It is an honor for me that someone would take time out and do such a detailed comment on my writing. Feels blessed! <3 *hugs*

      Delete
  6. I have one. It's a nude called Viva Glam. It's toooo thick. :( Felt like I had a coat of creamy goo on my lips or maybe that's because I'm not very used to lipsticks (I'm more of a lip stain and lip gloss person) and I'm a little confused about matte now ^_^ I love that vampy dark maroon though! I'll go throw my mom's lipsticks and see if she has it. :D A good read as always :)

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    1. Since there is not much quality control, there is a high chance of the piece being faulty or old. Lip stains and glosses are my favorites too. Any lip product is, for that matter ^_^
      Thank you, love!

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  7. love this post , m sooo gonna buy some :)

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    1. Yay! Thanks! Please do and share your feedback! :)

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  8. I neeed to try these lipsticks. These look so good, so intensely pigmented and such stunning shades. x

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    1. They are lovely in terms of pigmentation! Do check these out! xoxo

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  9. Amazing review!
    I have 4 shades too n love them all! They r esp good if u wanna try a new shade on urself before spending hundreds on a high end brand!

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    1. Thank you, Rida! These buys were exactly for this very reason! <3

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  10. These are our Desi queens, manufactured in Swat, the land of MALALA! lolz (political satire*)
    I know the background is all shabby and shady but still for the beginners, they are a treat, I know many makeup artists use this as they get a wide range of shades in a very less cost. I used to own many, but now my favourite drugstore, locally available in PK is Golden rose, classics and may be sweet touch lippies too but sweet touch lipsticks also have some hardness and weight like medora. Nice swatches as ever. I loved there shade in Glamour and I remember how our gang hide in college ground and puckered our lips with it as if its the last day of our lives... I bought it again last year but due to exposure of GOOD quality in my life now I agve it away. One thing which irked me about these lipsticks was that after a little while a white cast appears on the inner side of the lip forming a border of the lipstick, made me look sick, so had to rub that off and apply it again. Geny, swiss miss and medora, are part of the life of our young girls :) the desi one's :p

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    1. I've yet to try Golden Rose and Classics. Would do that soon and share my feedback! <3 These truly are desi queens and I'd always regard these high <3 And oh, that white cast issue is usually with glosses on my lips, the sticky ones, no lipstick has caused that on me so far,,,

      Would love to see your collection of local drugstore lipsticks! ^_^

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  11. Great review girl! I enjoyed reading :D I like the pinks from medora but I'm not much of a lipstick wearer myself. Remember my older cousins collecting these when I was younger. Btw as for the no ingredients mentioned thingie, I recently read somewhere that these lipsticks have a high lead content. :o

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    1. Lead content in any lipstick is dangerous. We can't be sure whether or not these have that,,, So, I strongly believe that full disclosures should be a compulsion on even local brands.
      And thanks a lot for the praise! xo

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  12. Full Fuchsia matte looks amazing!!!

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    1. Garima, it is definitely one of my favorites. It complements Indian/Pakistani skin tones really well.

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  13. wow this is one awesome review.I love chiffon blush sooo much.I think when it comes to bold shades medora beats most brands in the market.Its my mum's fav and i totally love it.
    The swatch in your post is so delicious and the comparison with NARS was totally right :)

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    1. Haha! Thank you for all these lovely words. Nars fans would burn me for saying that, but they do look close ^_^ And the bold shades are truly why we should go for Medora!

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  14. i didnt know these were still available...i thought they are a vintage item now! haha
    great post...loved the detailed review! and i also find it interesting that these matte lipsticks are having glitter specks! :)

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    1. So did I... until I stumbled upon them. They're vintage alright :-P
      Thank you so much, Sadia ^_^ I appreciate you took time out to read :-)

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  15. So tempted to try these shades.....simply wow.....xoxoxoxo....:)

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    1. If you decide to try these, do let me know your feedback! ^_^

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  16. These are may be the best gems from local drug store,amazed at price tog though....i was listening to one makeup prog that these lippes can dark your lips but trust me i am using them since 10 years now,they are permanent part of my collection and never ever had a single complain about these....thumbs up for the good work...cheers
    the girlz gallery

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    1. As the darkening goes, I think since we don't know the ingredients, there are certain risks involved. Glad to know that it works for you! <3

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  17. Lovely medora collection you have here. I think purple passion and gold opal would not suit me. I can never carry them off. Wish i could see the swatches of all these on your lips how the colors really look. Great review <3

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    1. Aww.. Thanks :-) Purple passion looks mauvey pinkish on lips with one swipe. Gold Opal can be worn with gloss and stuff to have a good peachy glittery color ^_^ I am sure you can work it!
      I'll try doing lip swatches for next reviews :-)

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  18. Purple passion looks like an awesome shade, though I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to wear it out. :P
    The pigmentation of these seem amazing, chiffon blush would definitely be my pick!

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    1. Chiffon Blush is the safest for everyone! :-D I use it as my everyday shade. Purple passion is...interesting. I have yet to rock it on a day out ^_^ Thanks for dropping by, Stacey :-)

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  19. Whoa Great swatching. I absolutely hear you, I dunno anyone who hasnt fallen in love with Medora, head over heels. I know ppl who wont leave Medora for the bestest lip products out there. True devotion I tell you.
    Great post. Amazing blog.
    Following you now.

    http://wemakeupblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you so much, babe! I feel the same. This brand has true local loyalty. I know my relatives living abroad who come to Pakistan after a year or two and stock up on these :-)

      Thanks for dropping by <3

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  20. Great post<3


    Maybe we can follow each other on GFC if you want? Let me know :)
    Best, Julita http://crimson-moon2000.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, dear! Just visited your lovely blog and followed you via GFC <3

      Delete
  21. Hello, i have nominated you for the versatile blogger award =)
    http://journalbyana.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-versatile-blogger-award.html

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    1. Thank you, Ana <3 <3 <3 Sorry I am replying really late ;)

      Delete
  22. Replies
    1. Thank you Ana :-) I am glad that you liked it <3

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  23. I loved chiffon blush. I hope I can find it on my visit to pak.

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  24. love the shocking pink http://shizasblog.blogspot.com following you dear hope you will responce back

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  25. loved da review! i must try the full fuchsia! <3

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  26. A friend gave me a medora lipstick matte 203.I so love it and wanted to have more.

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