For all of the Birchboxers out there, I don’t need to tell you how awesome their rewards system is. But for those of you who have not yet discovered the monthly Christmas-at-your-door that is Birchbox, here’s how it goes. Every time you review a product from your Birchbox, you get 10 points. Every time you refer a friend to subscribe, you get 50 points. For every 100 points you earn, you get to spend $10 in the Birchbox shop. Pretty rad, right?
Well, last month, I had 200 points ($20) burning a hole in my pocket and I decided to treat myself to a high-end lipstick. I don’t usually spend a ton on lipstick – half because I’m broke and half because I get so many through Birchbox and Ipsy. But, despite my growing collection, I didn’t have any really deep shades. So, I scoured the Birchbox shop and I fell absolutely in love with the color of Manna Kadar’s Street Smarts.
At $21, the shade Street Smarts is described on the Manna Kadar website as “vivid intense plum & cranberry.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s a deep, rich burgundy with a hint of purple. Bold, for sure. I could hardly wait to try it out, which was a shame because shipping took forever. Not a huge deal – especially since I only paid $1 after redeeming my points and using a code for free shipping. But, it took 11 days from the time I ordered it until it reached my doorstep. Not sure what happened there, since last time I ordered something from BB it was at my door 4 days. Honestly, the biggest bummer was that I got it a day too late for National Lipstick Day. First world problems, anyone?
Anyway, I wasted absolutely no time trying it on and wore it out for drinks with the girls the very day I got it. Here are my first impressions.
- Nice packaging. I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging. The tube itself is very chic: rectangular in shape (but with slightly rounded sides) and matte black with classy, easy to read text.
- Built-in primer. A lot of times, I’ll use a primer (or even a foundation) to prime my lips. But, I always appreciate it when a product offers a built-in primer – especially if I am planning on using it on the go.
- Vitamin E. This lipstick is enriched with vitamin E, which makes it moisturizing and good for your lips! Plus, it doesn’t feel drying.
- Pleasant scent. It’s a real bummer when you buy makeup that smells like chemicals. So, I was pleased to find out that Manna Kadar lightly scents their lipsticks with vanilla.
- The shade. I am extremely happy with this color. I will say that as a rather pale person, I was concerned that this shade might wash me out. But, I actually really loved it. It’s bold and sexy! Great for a night out or a special occasion.
- Duration of wear. This isn’t a straight-up con, it was more of a neutral. But, with a $21 price point, I wish it wore for a bit longer. To be fair, I wore it out for drinks (which is a big test for any lipstick). Overall, I thought it held up okay, but I wasn’t blown away.
- Accessibility. This isn’t for this specific lipstick, but for Manna Kadar as a whole. I haven’t seen this brand in stores before. Have you? If so, where? I looked online and I can’t seem to find it anywhere – even at shops like Ulta and Sephora.
All in all, I’m diggin’ this lipstick. It’s an impressive and hydrating formula and they have some great shades available. I’d love to try other Manna Kadar products. If you have, what are some of your favorites? Since I can’t find Manna Kadar in stores, I’m relying on the internet for this one!