If I weren't a beauty blogger and if I didn't follow a number of other (mainly American) beauty blogs I wouldn't be able to figure out the name of the product I'm going to review today.
I located L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Aqua Lip Lacquer (these names get too long these days) in Douglas drugstore unnamed, unboxed, unmarked. The only inscription on the product is the L'Oreal logo on the side and the word caresse, followed by a number and then the name Juliet on the bottom, which turns out to be the top, actually.
I really don't understand why would anyone go for so much trouble to rename each lipstick for the European market. I also don't know why only 6 or 8 out of at least 12 shades are available in Poland. The same thing happens all the time, brands which are widely represented in Poland (eg. Revlon, Maybelline, L'Oreal) introduce just a couple of shades as if to mark a product's presence on the shelf and wet the apetite.
Nonetheless, I must admit these lip laquers hit our market immediately after their release (Clinique Chubby Sticks made their well-advertised entry approximately 2 years after their launch in the West).
I found the colour range rather disappointing. A couple of bubblegum sheer pinks, one mauve or shightly berry shade and a kind of orangey caramel. I picked the reddest one available, it's called Juliet and it bears no.300, but I have no idea under which name it figures in the US.
So what is this L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Aqua Lip Lacquer? It's a liquid lipstick with shine of a gloss and staying power of a tint. The wider part of the tube, which you'd intuitively believe to be the bottom, turns out to be the cap bearing a leaf-shaped fluffy applicator, slightly bent at an angle.
The applicator picks the right amount of product, the colour goes on sheer at first, but then I just go over my lips again (without getting any more product) just to even out the shade and it becomes much more opaque. So just give your lips a couple of swipes of what is left on the applicator and it'll work really nicely.
I won't deny that I bought Juliet mainly to see if it's a cheaper alternative for my beloved YSL Pur Couture Vernis a Levres and to my surprise these two turned out to be perfect dupes. I did not intend to buy a shade so close to the one I'd already had but it looks like I'm always drawn towards similar shades.
So what are the similarities?
Everything is almost identical except the packaging. YSL is a black, block-shaped container with a gold cap and a see-through side, while L'Oreal is more conical and is all gold, except for a plastic stripe which is meant to reflect the shade. Different, but both very classy and posh.
Apart from this, these two are for me almost complete dupes.
There's a small and negligible difference in the shape of the applicator. The YSL one is a bit fluffier and more angular, the L'Oreal one is rounder.
Both lipsticks (I shall call them lipsticks for it's what they mostly are) look kind of fushia/magents on the applicator but on my lips they look very definitely red. It's half way between a proper red and a blue-toned one. Suits my complexion prefectly fine.
Both of them have a glossy finish and feel non-sticky on the lips.
Both last for hours and hours, showing only minor traces of fading. They aren't drying and the glossy look remains for most of the products' wear time.
Both stain my lips very nicely, though the shade is much more fushia than at the moment of application.
And finally, both have this characteristic sweet, somewhat rosy smell of a tint.
I must say I'm impressed.
L'Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Aqua Lip Lacquer is a perfect dupe for such a high-end product like the one by YSL, which in itself is a wonderful lip product, one of my favourites ever! It's not particularly cheap, but for sure it's much more affordable than YSL. I only wish there were more shades to choose from. I might like to try out the berry one and one of the milky pinks because I have nothing in these shades. On the other hand they don't really speak my name so why bother?
Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.