Tested on animals:Yes
Make Up For Ever's Artist Plexi-Gloss is nearly a superb gloss—perhaps 85% superb—that falls short of greatness due to an inconsistent performance among shades. Housed in a transparent, plastic tube, these promise "vivid color" with a non-sticky, high-shine finish that delivers "up to five hours of color impact." Available in three variations—opaque (with and without shimmer) and sheer—the best qualities of Artist Plexi-Gloss vary by the shade. Some, particularly the opaque options, we found stunningly vibrant while the sheer options tend to be disappointingly subtle.
Although there isn't anything wrong with sheer lip gloss in general, the sheer options Artist Plexi-Gloss provides failed to excite—we'll get to that in a moment. Let's talk about what we loved first!
The color selection is as exactly as you would expect if you're familiar with Make Up For Ever—incredible. From pale nudes, fiery reds, deep aubergines and blue-blacks, there is a potential shade and undertone among the 30+ options to suit any preference. Some provide rich, vibrant color with a single swipe of the wand, while others resemble a watercolor finish on lips. All layer well over lip liner or matte and semi-matte lipstick well.
There's a small amount of fragrance that dissipates shortly after application, but isn't offensive, and this gloss lacks any distinct flavor.
As mentioned, Artist Plexi-Gloss is available in opaque without shimmer, opaque with shimmer as well as sheer colors, but the tricky thing is the brand leaves you to divine this information, as it isn't labelled on their packaging. Sephora's website helpfully indicates the finish of each gloss by color/name—but can anyone ever get reception for their mobile phone inside a Sephora store?
Trickier still, not every opaque shade is truly opaque. Some, particularly the deeper shades, provide more transparent color than you would expect for a product described in this way. This may or may not be to your taste, but if you have a deeper skin tone and are hoping for rich color payoff among all of the opaque shades, you may find this a disappointing quality. (Either way, our feeling is a brand shouldn't describe a color as opaque if it isn't!)
The shades that are infused with shimmer (i.e. "pearlescent") are beautiful, and their degree of pearlescence is both sophisticated and appropriate for day or night.
The color of the opaque shades, whether pearlized or not, will last for a few hours so long as you aren't eating or drinking (at least, not drinking without a straw), tend to fade evenly and the more vibrant shades leave a soft stain behind. In line with their marketing, these options do give lips a high-shine appearance, and have a slightly moisturizing finish that leaves lips soft—even after their color has worn away.
The sheer shades were less exciting and didn't rise to meet the expectations we had for this formula—thankfully, they were not as sheer as the semi-opaque colors described above. However, the sheer options didn't distinguish themselves for us from a $6 gloss that one could easily find at the drugstore. The sheer options faded faster than the opaque colors, too; you can expect a couple of hours of wear time at most.
Last, we did want to mention the wand for Artist Plexi-Gloss, which is unique and enhances its overall quality. Rather than the traditional doe-foot applicator, it has a flat, spatula-style tip that flexes with your lips. It also has a split seam that manages to deposit and blend the gloss evenly—whether you have thin or larger lips, you'll find this applicator makes even application easy (even to the corners).
Overall, Make Up For Ever's Artist Plexi-Gloss has some excellent qualities, but it fell short of our highest rating as not all of the shades live up to their finish or marketing promises (and aren't labelled so that you can easily distinguish them). However, this is still a gloss worth checking out, as there are at least a dozen or so shades that are absolutely stunning.
- Some of the shades are vibrant and last longer than the average gloss.
- Stunning color range.
- Leaves lips slightly moisturized.
- Unique applicator that makes usage easy.
- Inconsistent color depth among the opaque shades.
- Sheer colors were not as unique or interesting as we had hoped.