I am a sucker for sample kits. I can't tell you how many I've purchased over the years, only to be disappointed with 99% of them. Initially I was prepared to be disappointed by the Sephora Give Me Some Lip set too, particularly since I could easily see from the promotional photo that it contained one lipstick I knew I'd never use and one gloss from a company I'd sworn off buying glosses from a long time ago.
So what made me bite the bullet and shell out $25 (actually $20 because I used a Friends and Family code) for this one? Two words: Tarte Moody. I freaking love this color, and the prospect of having a purse-sized tube plus getting at least one or two other products I'd keep using was enough to convince me that Give Me Some Lip was worth purchasing.
So how did it stack up? Surprisingly well. First, swatches!
Left to right: Tarte LipSurgance in Moody, Smashbox gloss in Fame, Kat Von D Painted Lipstick in Celebutard, Buxom Lip Polish in Leslie, Benefit Benetint in Rose, and Lancome Juicy Tube in Raspberry Ice.
First, the bad. I hate, hate, hate the Kat Von D shade. It's a nude, but not a my-lips-but-better nude. It's far pastier than my natural lip color (which isn't dark) and wasn't flattering at all. This was the one shade I knew wouldn't be a hit from the minute I saw the photo online, though, so it wasn't as if I was disappointed when I tried it on and realized it was a no-go.
I also didn't care for the Smashbox gloss in Fame. I go back and forth about Smashbox glosses, because while they're really long-lasting, they're so incredibly sticky that I never wear them, even when I do like the color. Fame didn't do anything for me as a shade, so it went into the reject pile too.
Now when I bought this set I made a deal with myself. As long as I liked at least half of the box I could keep it. With two shades down, I needed at least three hits (not including the Tarte stain that I already loved) or I'd have to send it back. Thankfully, the rest of the colors and formulas proved themselves to be worthy of the "keep" pile.
The Buxom lip polish was, on first glance, a reject. I tried it on over the Kat Von D (mistake number one) and didn't pay much attention to how much gloss was on the applicator before I put it on my lips (mistake number two). When I looked in the mirror I actually burst out laughing because it looked like I'd gone back to 1989 and put on some of that candy makeup they used to sell. Remember that? It was gloopy and stringy and tended to stick stubbornly to the purse of the lip so you had to use your teeth to get it off. Ick. Not a look I would care to sport at 10, much less 30. So it's no surprise that I was ready to lump Buxom in with Smashbox and Kat Von D. Then, this morning, I decided to give it another try. This time I wore it over a shade (to be revealed momentarily) that I really liked, and I made sure not to apply much at all. Eureka! What had initially looked like a gloppy mess turned out to be a very lovely champagne-sparkle shade that worked beautifully when lightly applied. It does have a strong minty effect on my lips, and I could definitely do without the extended tingly sensation it provokes, but overall the color and lifespan of the shade (I'm going on five hours of wear time as I type, and it's even lasted through a meal) make it a keeper.
The real prize of the set, and the color I'm wearing Buxom over today, is the Benefit Rose shade. Applying this one is really, really unnerving and I'm going to go on record here as saying that I dislike the whole application process. Benetint is packaged in what really looks like a nail polish jar, and applies with a brush like a watercolor. If you look at the photo above you'll see that it's a true stain, and dries in seconds once on the skin, but before that (and because the jar is full of this dark red liquid) I get very anxious that I'm going to either drop the jar or spill/drip some of the stain onto my clothing. This might work better for me as a rollerball, to be honest. Still, the shade is a beautiful pink/rose that looks really lovely on my lips. Not only would I be tempted to keep the set for this shade alone, but I'm fairly certain that I'll be purchasing a full-sized version when this sample runs out.
Finally, the last hit of the kit is the Lancome Juicy Tube in Raspberry Ice. The scent of this shade is almost overpowering (ARTIFICIAL BERRY!) but the color is really beautiful. In the tube it looks like an electric peach with glitter, but on the lips it mellows out into a soft pink/peach that reminds me of nothing so much as NARS Orgasm blush. The glitter translates into a subtle shimmer, and the overall effect is quite pleasing. I was really surprised at how much I liked it, especially since I don't tend to gravitate towards peachy lip colors.
So at $25 for the set, this works out to a little over $4 per tube ($3.33 since I snagged it during F&F), which is definitely a price point I'm happy with. The Tarte LipSurgence alone retails for $24 for a full-sized tube, and a sample this size would work out to $8 if the price was calculated proportionately. All of which is to say that both mathematically and aesthetically I think the Give Me Some Lip set is a solid value worth buying if you're in the market for some new lip products.