Black lipstick: the most difficult of all products to review in a fair and meaningful manner. As someone who handles the colour every day in a range of media, I'm well aware of the technical challenges posed by the shade itself. Black militates, against almost everything; this is of course why we love it, but attempts to incorporate it into something that will adhere to damp organic surfaces usually ends in a pile of godawful shite.
Every black lipstick formula I've ever tried has been cursed with at least one fatal mutation, rendering it unwearable in any real-world sense. They're all too patchy, too bleedy, too chalky in the case of mattes while anything less stodgy turns out too thin or unstable.
Even with the best formula in the universe, lighter-end-of-the-spectrum peeps are going to be confronted by a basic chromatic reality- for tighty whities, black lipstick is too high contrast to be an easy wear.
We just need to accept that and work around it.
Sweetpea & Fay Liquid Lipstick in Ominous is one of those newish-fangled tube formulas to which MAC Pro Lipmixes are ancestral. I'm often shocked by the sheer density of pigment packed by these products and ditto Ominous; it oozes out in a deep shade of black-blackity black that seems to go on forever, no matter how much you smoosh it around. 10/10 for pigmentation, and the same rating for its solid 100% blackness. Many crappier black lipsticks have a dreadful tendency to pull green but I'm happy to report that Ominous is a very true neutral tar or jellybean black. It is blacker than MAC Feline eye kohl, which is famous for its comprehensive darkness.
The emulsion spreads thinly and very evenly and a little goes quite a long way. It's easy to apply with a brush as far as getting consistent coverage is concerned, even in that annoying centre-of-the-mouth area that so often rejects darker colours and this impressed me greatly.
The finish yields a medium satiny shine; think MAC Lustre or one of the glossier Amplifieds. It dries down very slightly; some comfortable slip remains. There is a persistent vanilla caramel smell that you'll either love or loathe.
A thick application on bare lips feathered into my outer lines after 10 minutes of doing the dishes, and I don't usually have that problem. Clear liner and/or less product improves that outcome to within perfectly acceptable parameters.
That doesn't solve the transfer issue, though- without a decent amount of care, the Ominous on your mouth soon becomes the Ominous on your fingers, teacup, sandwich, cigarette, sleeve, pets, nose, keyboard etc.
neutral/coolish filtered outdoor sunlight
You can matte it down with HD powder but it's still going to travel. I used a bit of Ben Nye Translucent in Fair and got a lovely, slightly muted vintage charcoal without clumping or much settling into lip lines, and this is how I will wear it.
BELOW Ominous, MAC Feline kohl warm outdoor daylight
Ominous leaves a fetching greyish stain behind when you scrub it off and with a light application and a little bit of finger work you can achieve a really nice translucent lavender storm cloud look, especially on darker lips.
Most will probably be looking to Ominous to amend their red and purple lipsticks, and in this respect a little goes a verrrry long way. In fact, don't use more than a teeny micro-dab on a brush or the black will utterly overwhelm the other shade.