Black Radiance Perfect Tone Lipsticks are one of the drugstore’s true hidden gems. Black Radiance is made by Markwins, the same company that makes Wet n Wild, and is priced similar to Wet n Wild – these lipsticks are $1.99 each, which is an absolute steal – if you dressed these lipsticks up in better packaging, you could easily sell them for $30 a piece.
And, let’s take a minute to talk about my least favorite part of the lipsticks – the packaging. It is pretty much what you’d expect for a two dollar drugstore lipstick, but it does leave much to be desired. The lipsticks don’t fully retract into the bullet, so it’s easy to nick them. The shade name is not on the bottom of the tube — it’s only on the shrinkwrap, and only the number is on the bottom of the tube. On the positive side, at least the lipsticks are shrinkwrapped, which I think is ideal for drugstore products; it’s not as wasteful as having cardboard packaging, but it lets you know if someone has opened the lipstick (nothing prevents determined people from opening drugstore products, so my main goal is just to be able to determine if something has been opened or not).
I only own three Black Radiance lipsticks so far, but I will definitely be buying more! The three shades I own are 5005 Sahara Red, 5010 Brandywine, and 5033 Midnight Glow. All three are very pigmented and creamy, with full coverage in a single swipe. The swatches below are one swipe only.
Sahara Red // Brandywine // Midnight Glow
And lip swatches:
Sahara Red is a brick red.
Brandywine is a gorgeous deep berry.
Midnight Glow is another deep berry; it’s slightly more purple than Brandywine.
My lips were in pretty bad shape when I took these photographs and the lipsticks smoothed out my lip lines significantly. My lips still don’t look perfect, but the lipsticks made them look better, rather than emphasizing the dry spots.
These lipsticks also work very well blotted down and worn as stain – I wear Brandywine like this frequently. They’re quite long lasting, either full strength or blotted down, and not drying at all – perhaps even slightly moisturizing. There’s really nothing I don’t love about the formula!
Do note that Black Radiance can be hard to find in some areas (in Los Angeles, some, but not all, Rite Aid and CVS stores carry it), but it is available online at Drugstore.com. The brand’s own website has a store locator, but do call ahead – the locator is not accurate for the stores in my area.
Overall, I love these lipsticks, and I think you should check them out. They’re comfortable to wear, longwearing, very pigmented, and come in a great range of colors. I’m planning to buy several more, and I’ll post swatches when I do!
(I did buy more – swatches are here!)