3CE is the cosmetic brand from Korean Fashion brand Stylenande – their stuff is similar to the Urban Outfitters vibe, quite youthful and trendy. Their make up collection is fairly large now, and the imagery is amazing – for example one lipstick will have 10 photographs showing how it looks on the model. Who else has this amount of commitment! Needless to say I have bought a lot of 3CE over the years and it occurred to me that I meant to but never got round to watching my lipstick collection.
I have a really random taste in things. I like to try new things…as you will see from this random random mix of lipsticks I have. If I could only wear 3 shades forever I would choose a peachy nude, a medium rose and a hot hot pink! But I digress.
The very first ones I purchased when the brand was kicking off are on the left. The current packaging is on the right. It is square and boxy, with a matte feel like NARS (so powder will stick to it).
So from left to right.
These are mixed formulas by the way. 3CE are excellent at showing the differences.
202 Momo – A nude glossy beige
408 Chu Chu – Glossy blue based hot pink
501 Bella – Reddish Plum, slightly glossy
504 Glass Pumpkin – Sheer yellow orange, an awful colour
Then there are the other lipsticks in the newest packaging.
These are in number order, no particular rhyme or reason other than that.
104 So Pink – Medium pigmented glossy mauve pink
603 Burnt Red – Deep blackened purple plum lightly glossy finish
705 Sugary Cake – Matte medium pink
709 Bestie – Super matte hot pink
806 Dusty Coral – Orange coral matte and dry texure
809 Tell The Truth – Matte warm bright pink
905 Gone Bad – Dark blackened purple, warmer than Burnt Red
907 Old Dress – Matte dusty mauve
I went through a matte loving phase as you can tell. The thing about 3CE is that their Mattes are really matte and their Dangerous matte range is crazy crazy dry – similar the MAC Retro mattes. They will pull as the apply and whilst the look is funky, I am hating such a dry textured lipstick.
Contrasting are their Creamy Lip colours which are ridiculously melty and soft and glossy.
These lipsticks are the only ones in their collection which come in a round tube.
They are so very soft and very creamy and highly pigmented. The coverage and shine is amazing, IF you like that kind of thing.
I find these lipsticks quite special in terms of their opacity and glossiness but they are so soft they can be a little hard to control (ie., going all over the place) and they certainly look like they are going to give way in the barrel (as one of them have)
01 – Pick Me Up – True blue based red
06 – Jazzy Pink – Blue based hot pink
08 – Ladi Dadi – Light bright candy pink
09 – Kitsch Biker – Orange red
11 – Love Hate – Cool pink, nudey beige tone to it
There are no shimmery particles in this collection.
Very important: there are a lot of 3CE fakes which is annoying – the brand isn’t even *that expensive*. To be sure, buy from a South Korea seller where possible, someone with good feedback, expect to pay at least £12 for a genuine lipstick, and some fakes are quite obviously FAKE. I mean, what the hell is this:
However as always, the fakes get better and better. If you are unsure, compare what you are looking at to the actual brand. Some shades are just completely made up!
You can buy directly from 3CE but ya know, customs charges and all that.
So what are my thoughts on 3CE lipsticks in general?
The range is very creative, and for that reason the shades are quite unusual and all over the place as you can see from my collection. Some of these colours seemed like a good idea at the time but realistically, will get worn once in a blue moon.
Having said that I like trying new things. The older formulas are not as good as the recent ones – my latest purchase was OLD DRESS from the newest collection and although it’s a matte, the formula is superior to the previous mattes (far more wearable and flattering) and the collection it came from had a nice range of wearable hues too.
The creamy lipsticks are lovely in their own way, although their creaminess can almost be too much. Still I am the most likely to pick those up and wear them again as summer approaches (probably with a lip base).
My favourite shades and textures out of all of these are:
Old Dress, Chu Chu and Love Hate.
Will I buy more? YES! But I will be a lot more careful to pick shades I will actually wear more than once and not just because I want to look like a vampire for the day.
Have you tried 3CE yet?
*I purchased all these myself