Having bought the second, apparently limited edition, version of the Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipsticks Mini Set from TheBalm I thought it’d be interesting to compare it to the original mini set I bought a while ago. Although they should be pretty much the same there seems to be some differences, besides the colour of the lipstick, which may be due to the colours and formulation of each colour like you often find with products of different colour in the same range.
I have had the original set for a while, but I don’t think there has been much change over time with the formula. If you want to read the review posts for these you can find the original set, the one I’m calling Vol. 1, here and the newer set review can be found here. They have swatches and a bit more of a detailed description of each of the colours.
Ingredients: I feel like I should start this post off by saying that when I compare the ingredients the lists are identical besides the addition of a dspecici red in the newest set which is simply going to be the one used in some of the colours and they may not all contain all of the colour dyes. Putting the two next to each other you can see everything is the same in the same order so, I would guess, the base formula for all twelve liquid lipsticks should be the same and it’s simply the colour that makes the difference.
Consistency: For some reason the liquid Lipsticks in Vol. 1 are thinner when you apply them than the new set. This hasn’t changed over time, if anything I’d have expected the older set to get thicker, so I’m just going to assume it’s the specific colours within the set. The vol 2. set colours have the consistency more of the moussier, almost whipped feeling, liquid lipsticks like the NYX lip lingerie. The vol 1. lipsticks are more liquid, though opaque in one coat, and seem to show lines in my lips more at times, the other almost seems to smooth over my lips more.
Pigmentation and Opacity: This is one way that both are good, it’s pretty consistent within both sets that the darker colours are more opaque and pigmented. Most of the colours in both are opaque in one coat but there are a couple in the newer set that needed a touch up when I first applied it, the two lighter colours. The original set did have one or two that I, personally, would choose to touch up but they weren’t at all obvious unless you properly look hard at them.
Lasting Power: As when I first bought the original set it was my first real look at any matte liquid lipsticks I thought maybe I’d been expecting too much from them so wanted to give them another go after getting the new set. I think this is another point where it’s simply a matter of the specific colours being the ones that have more of a problem and, again, the lighter ones do come off worse. However, I do still think that the three non reds in the original set do not have the staying power of the rest of the colours. The reds in general, in both sets, do tend to stain my lips slightly and can be a bit messy when you remove them, I had a pink stain around my mouth for a while without realising after my last swatch of the latest set. I would say the lighter colours in the original set are definitely the weaker colours when it comes to staying power, they do need to be topped up after three or four hours or after eating, whereas all of the others seemed to survive most food without obvious fading.
Overall the Meet Matt(e) Hughes formula seems good when it comes to lasting compared to other liquid lipsticks I’ve tried since. They do take a bit of shifting if you want to remove them after they’ve set but within the first couple of hours, I had a line of marks in my arm for a while that took a lot of scrubbjng and soap as well as makeup remover and I still had red marks from some colours. However, in this category the second set wins for me, though as I said it’s probably just the specific colours in it.
Colours: This is the main difference, and probably the reason you would choose the one over the other really, and both sets do have a fair range of colours in them. Having all twelve colours actually covers most reds and neutrals, though only slightly goes into pinks. I tried to swatch them near to the colours that are kind of similar to each other with the two sets side by side so you can compare the colour ranges.
The original set is definitely a warmer group of colours with the more orangey true red if Loyal alongside the other bright red of Dedicated and then varying neutral shades that all have a warm base to me in the shape of Doting, Commited, Charming and Sincere. This set does have a nice group if colours that sit well together but it doesn’t have all that much of a range. I have a feeling this was released to cover the original, smaller range, of full sized matte liquid lipsticks thy had out at the time.
The second, limited edition, set had a greater range for me and leans more towards the cool tones, especially with Affectionate with the almost purple hints in the dusty pink. The two reds of Faithful and Romantic do have a slightly bluer base compared to the original set and are almost berry shades and the two more neutral tones of Charismatic and Reliable are more brown toned than the slightly orange or coral bases the Vol. 1 colours seemed to have. The one colour which does more on the warmer side than the rest to me is the almost salmony pink of Brilliant. It’s a nice colour and not a true pink but I find it hard to tell if it’s a neutral or warmer toned colour. This set definitely covers more vases when it comes to colour groups and the range in there.
Packaging: I wasn’t sure if I should include this as a category as the packaging is almost identical, especially when it comes to the individual lipsticks. The outer card packaging is slightly different, the limited edition one includes small photos of the colours underneath the names so you have more of an idea of the actual colour on the lips as they are a bit different to the colour in the tube.
Final Thoughts: To be honest the main difference is the obvious one of the colours included and whichever one you choose because of this is a matter of your colour preference and skin tone. Both sets have good pigmentation and I think would show up on all skin tones, though the originals would stand out a lot more on darker skin as they seem brighter in some way, the second set has more muted colours that wouldn’t be as bright.
The formulas do feel different, though they shouldn’t, so I’m going to say that this is probably due to the variation in the colours, as with a lot of products you can find two colours in the same product react differently. Neither set is that drying but I have found that the colours in the original set seem to give my lips a drier look, I think it’s the thinner consistency so they don’t have as thick a coat on your lips to smooth then out at all. Both sets have great staying power and do almost as well as the Kat Von D one I have, just not quite, but given the price at £14 for the full size I would say they’re worth the cost and I definitely think these minis are if you want to try different colours. I can’t see these running out too quickly and you get the six colours for less than you’d pay for two so if you don’t have one particular one you want to try it’s a good price.
To me, and this is personal taste, I prefer the second set. This is due to the range of colours in there, the moussier texture and the fact that they are just more me colour wise for the makeup I choose at the moment. Both are good sets but I know I’ll personally be reaching more for the ones in Volume 2 rather than Volume 1.