First impressions, pricing: Strokes Beauty Lab’s The Velvet Click Stick

For a segment of the population, there is something inexplicably comforting about good lip color. Does that make us shallow? Maybe, but my lips – whether they’re a faint warm nude or a vivid blue-red – do not care.

So I suppose it only makes sense for color cosmetics newcomer Strokes Beauty Lab to come out with a collection of lip colors after introducing a full line of brow products. (Smart, too, how the homegrown color cosmetics brand catered to two things Philippine beauty addicts care the most about – well-groomed brows and the perfect lip.)

The line, endorsed by actress Sarah Lahbati, boasts of 9 shades – 4 “nudes” (depending on your skin tone) with 5 more playful colors that range from mauvy pinks to a bright cherry red.

Contessa (a “universal nude”) is a sure crowd pleaser – it’s midway between cool and warm and is almost exactly the natural color of my lips (my skin is fair to medium, with neutral to yellow undertones). Cameo (a warm orange nude), Flamingo (a warm pink nude) and Teresa (a classic nude mauve) round up the collection of nude lippies.

Lady Lucky (a mid-tone pink mauve) is a dusty pink pop of color that when diffused and blotted off can pass as the perfect pink nude shade. Spice (a red taupe shade), Vittoria (a clay maroon shade), and Copperhead (a cocoa brown) are bold shades that can also be blotted down for a more subtle stain. Of course, what’s a lipstick line without a bold shade of red? Viper (a cherry red) is both bold and wearable, thanks in part to its formula.

The product itself is creamy and very easy to apply, with a powdery matte finish that doesn’t change over time. It’s not sticky or tacky, doesn’t dry the lips too fast (my lips are notoriously dry – only lipgloss and lip balms are non-drying).

Strokes says the lip products are “lightweight, blendable, and long-wearing” – I’d personally attest two and a half of those claims to be true. They’re a dream to wear on the lips and are easy to blend. On most days, I like mixing Contessa, Cameo, and Lady Luck.

I wouldn’t call them exactly long-wearing since compared to drier, more matte formulas, they rub off easier over time. But that’s something I’m willing to trade off for comfort and ease of application.

The best part of the click sticks might just be the packaging design. You’re meant to click on the colored tail-end of the component until enough of the stick is exposed. It takes quite a bit of effort to click the product out, which is a good thing especially if, like me, you tend to be overenthusiastic when opening and dispensing lip products. The only downside is if you click too much (which is difficult to do and requires extraordinary effort), there's no way to push the product back. Bonus, too, that the clickers show the color of the product itself – making it easier to pick out your lip of the day.

The lipstick bullet tip is small, flat, and angled, which makes it easier to cover the entire lip – cupid’s bow angles and creases included. Trust me, this’ll please even the lip liner-averse.

At P398, the velvet click sticks aren’t the cheapest option out there but if you’re talking about quality and value for money, it’s a steal. They’re designed in the US and made in China with “responsibly sourced ingredients” like Vitamin E, Squalene, and Sunflower Seed oil.

Strokes Beauty Lab products can be purchased via their official website or via Lazada and Shopee. While you're there, make sure to pick up a brow product or two. You won't regret it. – Rappler.com

Author’s note: The products were provided to the author by the brand for free but all opinions, thoughts, and ramblings are the author’s own.