Lady Gaga’s Haus Laboratories have set an admirable mission statement in creating makeup that’s about self-expression and self-love, a quality brand about acceptance and finding your identity for an affordable price. After holding off on the initial wave, I finally dipped into the brand with their new “festive” red lipstick, Burlesque.

As comical as it sounds, red lipstick is important to me. Growing up I was petrified of standing out. I was the shy kid at school, the one who avoided eye contact and hoped she could evaporate into smoke every time the teacher was looking around the room. This timid nature bled into the way I dressed and presented myself for years, well into adulthood. My outfits were boring. My makeup? Also boring. I wanted to blend in, be ignored, and hide from the world.

And then one day I was sick of being so afraid. I wanted to be me. Colourful. Loud. Proud. I was done hiding. The very first step I took in reinventing my appearance into a new colourful me was to pick up a tube of red lipstick. Since then red has been my go-to colour on those days when I really want to feel good about myself. It makes me feel bold, feminine, and powerful. I’ve had my favourite reds for years, so I was cautiously excited to see if Burlesque was going to match up to them and tap into that affinity I have for a classic red lip.

First Impressions

If nothing else, Burlesque makes a striking first impression. The tube design is perfect. It’s square but sleek, with Haus Laboratories neatly embossed on the side. Best of all it’s magnetic(!) meaning you get a satisfying little pop when sliding the lid back down. If you wanted, you could keep flipping it up and down and laughing to yourself as it keeps closing itself and tugging free of your fingers. At least that’s what I did. Thanks to the magnet it’s got a nice weight to it, when coupled with the metal material and the soft black to grey gradient, it feels like a luxurious little product.

The first thing I thought when I popped off the lid and saw the actual colour is that it is indeed a classic, gorgeous red. Also it’s striped. Which was unexpected. Along the surface is thick lines of soft solid red interspaced with lines of a deep glittery crimson. It’s a funky effect that makes it look very pretty. Unfortunately, the other thing I realised is that she’s a little on the short side. I’m a girl who likes to go for brands that give me bang for my buck, something that’s going to sit in my handbag for months rather than weeks, but I felt a little deceived when I saw how stumpy Haus Laboratories had made Burlesque. It leaves a lot of empty space in the lid, deceptively making it look longer from the outside than it actually is. Naughty. I guess the magnet wanted the extra room?

Application

As for how the lipstick goes on, pretty wonderfully. Creamy and smooth, my clumsy digits had absolutely no problem sliding it on. This is a done-in-one colour too, after trying it for a few days a single swipe was all I ever needed due to it being so highly pigmented.

It’s got a soft and shiny feel to it without feeling too tacky or goopy. Some shiny lipsticks (I won’t name names) often feel like you’re already wearing gloss, they go on so sticky. This certainly isn’t as dry as a matte would be, but the formula feels pleasingly silky for how sleek it looks. Once applied the two stripes of red blend beautifully into a bold and seamless red that really pops against my skin.

The glitter effect is beautiful but more golden than I expected. The preview photos show it looking very silver, but it seems what type of lights you’re stood under have the bigger effect on the end result, for better or worse. It’s quite noticeable, but still subtle, you’re not going to look like you’ve just made out with a handful of glitter but also people will know you’re not wearing a flat shade. The best part about the glitter is that you can’t feel it, at all. Glittery lipsticks often sacrifice their texture but here you could forget you’re not wearing a solid colour because the texture is buttery smooth.

With the sparkle effect, it’s most suited for an evening look, but depending on where you work (or if your day to day wear is pretty ostentatious like mine) you could get away with it for a fancy daytime look too. I wore it to work, to the shops, and out in the evening, never did I feel it was out of sync with the rest of my outfit, but it also never got forgotten or eclipsed by something else I was wearing.

Lastability

Let’s talk about lastability. My tube arrived during a period of classic British winter weather: fine drizzly rain and wind that seems to be blowing in every direction at once. So I decided to put it through a field test. If it could survive this, it’d survive all year.

How did it handle the disappointing bleakness of a British December? Pretty well! A few days of wear and the only time I’ve topped it up is after eating something. But even then I’ve been amazed how resilient it is. After devouring a panini dripping with cheese I figured the poor shade would have been decimated, but not so! If I wanted, I could have kept on going untouched, if I sat and smiled at you it’d have looked like nothing had changed. Only the inner curve of my lips needed to be refreshed.

However, after a few hours I have noticed that the glitter seems to separate a little. It’s not noticeable unless you’re stood pretty intimately close, but while the colour stays consistent the glitter tends to slide away towards the outer edges of the lips. My main worry was that this would mean it’d eventually smudge and separate at the edges, but I’m happy to say that it never did. My cupid’s bow always looked as sharp as ever no matter how long it had been since I applied it. I never paired it with a lip liner but it’s a testament to how easy it is to apply (and how well it holds) that I never felt the need to either.

Conclusion

Evidently there’s a lot to love about Haus Laboratories Burlesque, but the price isn’t really one of those things. £19 is a little steep when you consider how it’s a short stick. But that said, for the price the quality easily holds up. I do already want another tube of it, and I’m choosing it over alternatives day after day. That speaks louder than anything else I could say. I just wish it was a touch closer to the original United States price, which comes out at almost exactly £15 at the time of writing.

Ultimately, with everything taken into account, I have to recommend it. Anyone looking for a new shade of dependable red that brings an extra pop and sparkle, will find it here with Burlesque. It sets a high bar for Haus Laboratories’ lipstick line, leaving me pretty excited to see what’s next. I just hope next time there’s a little more in the tube, even if we lose that lovely magnet.

 

Liked:

Vegan and cruelty free

Classic red

Magnetic cap = hours of fun

Sparkly

Lovely texture

Survives a grilled cheese

Disliked:

 

On the stumpy side

Kinda pricey for the UK

The glitter likes to run away just a little

 

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