a crime of passion (performance colors swatch & review)

The face of a notorious lipstick smuggler.

I swear, I did it for the good of mankind. Or mekind. That's the same thing, right? Maybe. I'd heard so so many good things about Performance Colors that I couldn't resist any longer. I was really in the market for an orange-red since the beginning of October, and they had what needed to be mine: inexpensive, pigmented, and just plain good.

Or so I'd been told my numerous IMAM reviews, and I'd trust IMAM with my baby even if it was a dingo, so...

When I needed to import a [redacted] from [redacted] for my girlfriend for Christmas, I also may have used the opportunity to shoot my darling mother an email asking her to bundle both my orders up and ship them over here to me in the not-so-deep north.

Needless to say, I have a wonderful mother. (She also sent us some packets of Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate mix, bless you mom.)

The reason I went through all this trouble in the first place is because Performance Colors does not ship to the EU since the new EU Cosmetics Directive in 2013. I can respect that, as frustrating as it is, because it's reasonable one wouldn't want to risk their livelihood.

But...I still wanted those lipsticks. So here I am. Thanks mom.

Sweet sweet lipstick booty.
Samples L-R: Bad Girl, Honeytree, Showdown
Tubes L-R: Committed, Red Light, Beaujolais
See that up there? I didn't even order all of that. I ordered the 3 lipsticks and got 3 obscenely generous lipstick samples tucked in as a surprise! I'd expected maybe one free sample, so 3 had me gasping in wonderful awe. Tiffany really is so generous.

The fullsize lipsticks I ordered using their 3 for $12 deal is as follows:


I know I don't have to put on that red light but I'm gonna do it because I love this lipstick ok.

Red Light: one of their mattes, this is a bright bright orange red, they describe it as "tomato red". Excellent opaque coverage and really creamy without being drying. It's got a bit of a sheen to it, it's certainly not a true hardcore matte, but it's def matte compared to any satin or glossy style lipstick. I love it because it feels "casual red". When I put on Ruby Woo (my favorite red) I feel a little dressed-up and glam. This is a more casual red to me, still red but very easy to wear with a t-shirt and jeans. My fav out of these.

I guess Beaujolais is a type of red wine according to Google.

I'd totally take some of the real stuff right now. Just sayin'.

Beaujolais: Described as a "deep mocha with purple-red tones". This one I'd ordered, then saw someone else's swatches and was bummed because it didn't look like what I thought I'd ordered at all! Then my order arrived today and I opened it, looked at the tube and was still bummed for all of five seconds. It's not the deep brown-red I expected, but it is a nice muted brownish red. It's really flattering and I will totally end up using this because it'll go well with my favorite MAC Pro-longwear Lip Pencil in Nice N Spicy.

The color is also in the same vein as MAC Mocha lipstick, so I guess the description makes more sense to me now. Where I read "mocha" as "dark chocolate brown", cosmetics reads it a bit differently and lighter I think. Colors are so hard auuuggh!

It's witching hour.

I'm committed to looking as goth in this picture as possible.
Committed: Deep deep inky blue with blue sparkles. It's lovely but...difficult. It likes to be a patchy finicky thing like a lot of glossy dark-colored lipsticks. If I would wear this out (and I intend to!) I'd make sure to apply it with a lip brush. These photos were applied directly from the tube and cleaned up with q-tips. I ordered this for both myself and my girlfriend, because we both wanted to try blue lipstick. The color is gorgeous and exactly what I'd hoped for.

I'm not your honey, honey.

Honeytree: This is a gorgeous pale peach nude with gold and reddish pink sparkle. It's super lovely, though I had a hard time getting the sparklies to show up in this photo! PC's Etsy listing swatch makes it look quite frosty/metallic, but I find that is not the case at all. The sparkle is a lovely effect that is not at all too much, it just adds an extra oomph! This was easy to get even, even applied out of the sample jar with a lip brush.

Let's throwdown for a showdown.
Showdown: Another one with the sparklies, this is a peachy coral color with gold sparkle. It reminds me of one of my favorite lipsticks, Urban Decay's Lovelight, except Showdown is much more opaque. This applied wonderfully with a lip brush, no streakiness issues at all. The sparkles also would not show up for me very easily either in this picture! Sadface.

I'm bad, I'm bad. Really, really bad.
Badgirl: This is a muted plummy color. The PC listing says "good on brunettes". Did she know? People have said they swear Tiffany has a 6th sense with these things. I really am starting to believe it's true, she just knows. This color is great, I'm wearing it right now as I type this and it's super comfortable. I swatched six lipsticks with the occasional swipe of balm and break in between but I applied the last 3 with no balm or breaks and my lips feel totally moisturized and comfortable.

L to R: Beaujolais, Red Light, Committed.

Here you can really see the difference in the restorative formula like Beaujolais vs the matte Red Light,
as well as some of the patchiness Committed deals with.

Red Light vs Ruby Woo, just for thoroughness sake.
 You can get a good idea of the color difference and type of red tone Red Light is.
L to R: Showdown, Honeytree, Badgirl

Trying to get a shot of the sparkle!
This picture does not do the gorgeous reddish sparkle of Honeytree any justice.
Showdown vs UD Lovelight.
Lovelight is much sheerer and a bit pinker.
So, despite the unfortunateness of Performance Colors possibly not shipping to your country, I have come to the conclusion that if you can get your hands on these, do it. They're wonderful, pigmented but easy to apply, great selection of colors, and obscenely reasonable in pricing. I wasn't sure if I was totally 100% buying into the hype of these, but now that I've felt them with my own lips, I believe.

Where to buy: Performance Colors can be purchased here on Etsy; shipping is limited countries only.


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peachy noon

Meet The Author

Noon. 25. American born, Finland residing. I really love dogs.