Holy bananas batman! A waterproof lip color that is actually waterproof! Seriously. Like, literally!
Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge is a dual-ended lip product. On one end is a liquid lip color with a soft doe-foot applicator and the other end is a clear gloss topcoat with a brush applicator. While the lip color side is a clear tube where you can spot the color right away, the tube of the topcoat side has an opaque black-to-transparent gradient to it which I think is kinda cool. It adds a little bit of an edgy feel to the overall appearance of the tube. The lip color side has a strong scent that reminds me of baby powder! It is really strong but will dissipate quickly upon application. I picked up # 15 Pink to try out. It is an easy neutral pink that goes with basically everything.
It is described as a liquid lip color but to me it feels more like a lip cream. The texture of the color is definitely not watery but is rather thick and creamy making it extremely easy to apply. The formula is not over the top moisturizing but by no means is it drying either. The color payoff, though, is incredibly opaque and full coverage can easily be achieved with one pass. Like most lip stains, you'd assume it is best to apply on well-exfoliated and moisturized lips, which by all means is true to most case. However, from my experience, this Aqua Rouge is so creamy and moisturizing (enough) that when applied over slightly dry and scaly lips, it doesn't make application unevenly or patchy at all as long as you press your lips together to help distribute the color. It actually does take all the flakiness away, leaving my lips feeling less dry and more moisturized. It's not going to feel like a lip balm moisturized but for a lip stain I think it does a pretty decent job at not over-drying my lips.
The best application takes 2 easy steps. First, apply a thin layer of the lip color all over the lips. You will feel that it glides on really smoothly but as it's starting to set, your lips will start to feel a little “tight” and slightly tacky. Once it's completely set, your lips will turn completely matte and dry. At this point where you feel uncomfortable (which you will), immediately follow with a clear gloss topcoat. It will make a whole world difference. The gloss will add the moisturization back leaving your lips feeling nice and comfortable again. I'm not sure how some people can get away with just the lip color. It is definitely too drying for me. If you don't like the look of glossy finish, at least top with a moisturizing lip balm. The provided topcoat feels really nice. It is not sticky at all and applies really nicely. If you need to build the color intensity, it is best to wait for the first layer to dry first, then apply a second layer, otherwise the application can get uneven.
The great part is this. Once the color is dry, it doesn't budge! Literally! It stays put right where you apply it. The additional top coats ensures that the color is “sealed” on your lips and that you can go on drinking/eating/chatting without fear of fading, migrating, or smudging. Normally after I finish my lunch, I'd blot my lips with a tissue and with other lip products, I would see some small residues of the color coming off my lips. However, with this Aqua Rouge, there's nothing on the tissue! The color literally stays put! The only way to remove it is with a good oil-based makeup remover. So their claim of being waterproof – it is true and I totally agree. The gloss, unfortunately, does wear off, though. But the color stain will still be there so you can easily re-apply just the topcoat.
I can see this Aqua Rouge being a perfect companion for girls who don't like re-applying their makeup during the day or those who are struggling with feathering or bleeding. I, for one, don't normally touch up my makeup unless I'm doing something else afterwards. So on those days, I usually reach for this Aqua Rouge for the perfect, long-wearing pout that I know will not move no matter what. It comes in so many shades ranging from nudes, reds, to hot pinks, there's sure to be a color for everyone. I definitely recommend you check them out. :)