Lipstick Queen Mystery Chinatown Pencil Review & Swatches

March 18, 2010
Some weeks back Gilt had a Lipstick Queen sample sale, so naturally I hauled a few items including this Lipstick Queen Chinatown pencil.  This line isn’t too widely carried (I’ve pretty much only seen it at Barney’s), which is a small tragedy considering all the fun items they make, but I was more than happy to pick up this pencil for only $12!  
Lipstick Queen’s Chinatown pencils are sheer, moisturizing glosses in an easy-to-use draw-on pencil form and Mystery was love at first swipe for me.  Check out the full review and more photos after the jump!

So what’s to love?  Well pretty much everything – my inner child loves cosmetics that come in big fat pencil form – maybe I feel like I’m being naughty and drawing on my face, maybe it makes me think of coloring books and crayons – either way, there’s just something so pure and innocent about it all :).  And to top it all off, the Chinatown pencils come boxed with their own fat pencil-appropriate sharpener, meaning you won’t have to go hunting all over the place for something that’ll be the perfect fit.  Gotta love it when cosmetics companies take practicalities into consideration for us!
The formula is sheer so if you’re looking for color that’ll pack a punch, look away.  If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a lightweight, semi-sheer kiss of color with a glossy finish minus the stickiness of a conventional gloss, you’ve found your product.  
Mystery looks to be a dark, vampy, kinda scary shade of deep purpley brown, but on the lips it’s this gorgeous berry stain reminiscent of the “I just had a popsicle” look.  It’s a subtle look with buildable pigmentation, and a great option for those who’ve to add a little non-scary color to their makeup arsenals. 
Please ignore the splotchiness in the lip swatch – these photos were taken awhile back and I’d actually just burned my lip (long story short I bit into an extremely hot dumpling that dripped scalding liquid onto my lip, resulting in several raised welts).  
So while the Lipstick Queen Chinatown pencils aren’t the longest lasting (non-sticky = not too long wearing) as I’d say they disappears in about an hour or two, they really do make for some good clean fun and are definitely a nice addition to my lippie collection. 
I purchased this product myself as I’ve been dying to own some Lipstick Queen for years now.  Next on my list of things to do – to meet Lipstick Queen creator Poppy King, who I’ve heard as absolutely AMAZING and seriously just a gem of a person.  

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28 Responses to “Lipstick Queen Mystery Chinatown Pencil Review & Swatches”


  1. oh I totally wish I had picked this color. I picked up a great corally orange which I love, but this looks gorgeous as well! I also got some of teh oxymoron matte gloses but I havent tried them yet…


  2. Scarlettholly did you get your stuff from Gilt too? I picked up an oxymoron matte gloss too, and sadly don't love it nearly as much as I thought I would, although I have yet to try it as a cheek color.I also picked up the little pot gloss trio which is INSANELY sticky but very pretty nonetheless. Hoping I'll get around to reviewing it all soon!

  3. MeiBelle Says:

    I seriously thought the color would be super dark but I love it!! ❤ Hopefully Glit will have another sale of it soon!

  4. Cookie Says:

    Aww i love these type of lip stuff…stains are higher up the list than actual lipstick ^^ too bad Gilt doesn't ship to aus…might try ebay ~_~

  5. Penelope Says:

    The colour looks great on you! I've got the colour 'Crime', which is a vivid pinky-rose colour. But I think yours looks better!


  6. MeiBelle I never would've picked this up on Gilt had I not swatched it at Henri Bendel's (another Lipstick Queen retailer) a few months back. I just had to try it as it was such an interesting shade – I thought it'd be black or something lol. Love it though!


  7. Cookie the Lipstick Queen site might ship to aus – definitely give it a shot. I really like these and I've heard nothing but good things about all the other shades. The color range is beautiful and very forgiving as the shades are definitely there but sheer enough that they work for most anybody.


  8. Penelope Crime sounds gorgeous! Is it rather sheer as well? Would love to have a pinky rose shade in this formula, it's so fun to wear and love the ease of use. I'm all about quick and easy these days, as I've been feeling particularly sleep-deprived and cranky.

  9. Deb Says:

    QVC also carries some Lipstick Queen as far as I know. These are much more glossy and sheer than I would have imagined them to be. I guess when I think of pencils, I think dry and opaque. Cool.

  10. poppy King Says:

    Hello!!! Thank you for this !! I would love to meet/speak with you anytime!You can email me on poppy@lipstickqueen.com. I am so honored by your words. xxPoppy

  11. Penelope Says:

    Hiya, me again. Crime is sheer and glossy. I've nominated you for an award on my blog!


  12. I like the nice and glossy pink…you are looking great in it and I think it is an ideal time…that of summer to let this out of the closet.

  13. Sojourner Says:

    Hey Jen, I wanted to let you know you were included in this list of "7 Great Beauty Blogs" from http://www.allwomenstalk.com. I thought you'd be happy to know!Here's the link:http://allwomenstalk.com/7-great-beauty-blogs/

  14. dblchin Says:

    wow! it sounds interesting! which part of chinatown can i get this from?


  15. If guilt shipped to Canada my life would be easier


  16. Deb you're so right I can't believe I forgot QVC – they often have some great Lipstick Queen package deals that I'm always lemming!Yeah I usually avoid the pencils because I'm not too big of a fan of that somewhat dry look that they can give, but these are really special – glossy, sheer, and all around beautiful.


  17. Thank you so much Poppy for your kind words, I'm beyond flattered that you took the time to visit my blog and leave me a comment! I've always been a HUGE fan of your products and love how unique and different they are from everything else on the market. I definitely hope to contact you soon!


  18. Sounds beautiful Penelope, and thank you so much, I really appreciate it! I absolutely love your blog – such lovely photography and of course you're gorgeous!


  19. Mineral Makeup this is most definitely a fantastic pick-me-up color for spring. The sheerness gives it a nice, fresh feel and I do love the lighter berry shades to go with the beautiful weather I'm hoping will reach me soon.


  20. Sojourner I had no idea thank you so much for letting me know – I'm so flattered!


  21. dblchin these are actually available anywhere the Lipstick Queen brand is available – this particular product just happens to be called Chinatown which I think is so fun. You should be able to find this brand at Barney's and Henri Bendel in NY, and online at QVC's site, and of course on the Lipstick Queen site! 🙂


  22. Keely it also drives me crazy how long Gilt can take to ship certain items – I'm not patient and once I've purchased something, I want it now!

  23. todisenchant Says:

    i miss your daily posts:(

  24. noemii Says:

    i've always been curious about Lipstick Queen and i'm surprised by how very sheer they are but not in a bad way 🙂 I always figure pencil lip products to be dry but these are not . I hope these appear on gilt or hautelook or the like another time ! I'm sure it is, but i hope your lip is better by now !


  25. Awwww todisenchant I promise to pick up on the daily posts very soon! And thanks so much for the sweet comment!


  26. Noemii I love how glossy these feel on the lips, and how they're not the kinds of pencils that emphasize lip dryness or lines. Such a beautiful product!


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