Today I have two of the new Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipsticks to show you. I don’t usually use Almay, and I am pretty sure that these are the first Almay Lip products that I have tried, but I love lip butters so I had to try them out. The Butter Kiss Lipsticks launched for Spring 2015. There are twelve shades in the line designed to coordinate with your skin tone. What Almay means by this is that they have considered three different skin tones: Light, Light-Medium, and Medium (I guess anyone darker than Medium is SOL as far as Almay is concerned) and created corresponding Butter Kiss Lipsticks in four shade categories: Pink, Red, Nude, and Berry. What they ended up with are twelve shades with names like Pink Light, Red Light-Medium, Berry Medium, and so on. The system is pretty gimmicky in my opinion, and I doubt that people are actually sticking only to the shades recommended for their skin tones. So, let’s ignore the “Smart Shade” aspect for now, and let’s focus on the product itself.
One thing that I love about the Butter Kiss Lipsticks is that they swivel all the way down into the tube so that there is no threat of nicking the lipstick with the cap. (Don’t you HATE that?) The packaging is pretty much identical in size and shape to the Revlon Lip Butters. The only difference to the Revlon version is that the cap is clear and smooth on the Almay Butter Kiss Lipsticks and the tube color corresponds to the shade. They have a sweet bakery kind of smell like vanilla or cookies. It is wholly unnecessary, but not unpleasant. I do not detect any sort of taste with the Butter Kiss Lipsticks.
As far as formula is concerned, I find the Almay Butter Kiss Lipsticks very similar to the Revlon Lip Butters. They are just a tad bit more creamy than the Revlon Lip Butters, but not as creamy as the Maybelline Color Whispers, if that helps. The Butter Kiss Lipsticks are a buttery, balmy type of lipstick. They start out feeling pretty thick on your lips, but as they melt with your body heat, they thin out a bit and feel creamy and moisturizing. They retain a certain amount of stickiness which helps the color last a little bit longer than similar products, but may not be the most pleasant experience for those who are sensitive to such things. They are definitely not long-lasting, so be sure to keep the Butter Kiss Lipstick handy when you are out. I can go about three hours before I need to re-apply, less if I am eating or drinking.
The Butter Kiss Lipsticks have varying pigmentation with some shades landing more on the sheer side and others that are almost opaque. I chose two of the darkest shades, Nude Medium and Berry Medium, because I don’t like the way I look in light lip colors. Neither are actually dark. Nude Medium has decent opacity, though your natural lip will show through a little bit. It is a medium warm-toned nude shade that suits me very well. I am a huge fan of shades like this, and I think that they flatter a wide variety of skin tones. Berry Medium is more sheer. It is a pink-toned berry color that looks very similar to my natural lip color, only brighter. Again, it is a universal type shade that will flatter almost anyone, no matter what their skin tone may be. Here is a swatch of the two shades, Nude Medium is on the left and Berry Medium is on the right.
While not exactly groundbreaking, the Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipsticks are very nice lip products, and I think most of you would really enjoy them. I do want to take a moment, though, to talk about the limited shade selection. I am frustrated and really bothered by Almay’s exclusive selection of “skin tones” for their Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipstick line. It’s offensive that they didn’t include a Dark skin category. And of course I know that women with dark skin can use the Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipsticks and may really enjoy some of the shades, but that’s not really the point, is it? It is hard enough for African American women to find makeup that works for them without dealing with such deliberate exclusivity from a mainstream brand. It is far past the time for all major brands to carry a variety of shades that work for all skin tones, from the fairest to the darkest. It’s not like there isn’t a market for it. Come on, Almay, wake up and welcome to 2015.
Anyway, the Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss Lipsticks have a nice formula, though a bit sticky for my taste. They are definitely worth a try, especially since Almay is still 40% off at Ulta through tomorrow. My preference is still the Maybelline Color Whispers (also 40% off), but the Butter Kiss Lipsticks are a decent option. They leave your lips soft and supple and are a good addition to the butter lipstick trend.