This strange product is a thin-textured liquid lip color with a standard lip gloss in one dual-sided package. The liquid color portion is labeled Lipstick and goes on opaque with a minimal cream finish. The gloss is labeled Lip Plumper and contains the irritating menthol derivative menthone glycerin acetal. It also contains plant extracts (including a form of pepper) that swell lips (slightly) by virtue of further irritation. Although the tingling, warming sensation doesn’t last long, using this type of product daily will lead to chronic irritation that can result in lips that look older than they really are. That’s because the irritation causes collagen breakdown and can lead to dry, chapped lips—not a pretty sight.
This relatively small but comprehensive makeup line is sold exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, and is one of their star performers among a backdrop of other name-brand drugstore product lines. The impetus behind this simple but elegantly packaged line was the need to bring makeup artist–quality cosmetics into a mainstream drugstore. As heroic a claim as that may be, the truth is that there have always been superior makeup formulations at the drugstore—in fact, some of those products have set the standards that the rest of the industry tries to keep up with.
Despite their unconvincing excuse for launching yet another cosmetics line, many of Quo's products have velvety, smooth textures, even application, and a pleasing mix of classic and contemporary shades, including neutral-toned foundations. As was the case when we reviewed this line a few years ago, the standout products are the powder eyeshadows and the makeup brushes; however, the lipsticks and lip liners are also worth your attention. A significant improvement from my last visit is that now the Quo displays feature testers for every product, and the staff at Shoppers Drug Mart encourages you to use them! We wish more drugstore cosmetic lines would incorporate this feature, but for now, this is another area where Quo really stands out, and it deserves serious consideration by Canadian residents and visitors alike.
Of course, not everything Quo offers is remarkable and, if anything, their expanded roster of products seems more gimmicky than innovative, although some of the newer items are outstanding and, given the new testers, now you can try before you buy. The concealer category is the weakest, followed by the powders, which, with one exception, aren't keeping pace with advances in this area, especially compared with the preferred options from L'Oreal and Revlon (often sold right next to Quo).
For more information about Quo Cosmetics, visit www.shoppersdrugmart.ca.
Note: All prices for Quo Cosmetics products are in Canadian dollars.