I was excited for the Give Beauty (stylized as GXVE) launch. I love Gwen Stefani and her Urban Decay collection looked amazing. This time around she’s launched her own line which is almost green beauty. If you’re a child of the 90’s you’ve definitely listened to Don’t Speak, Sunday Morning, I’m just a Girl and Let me blow your mind. I still listen to Hella Good when I’m running, which is more alternative than their original rock songs, but I’ve made my peace with it. She was one of those rare unicorns — women rock singers — like Janis Joplin, Hayley Williams, and the late Dolores O’Riordan.
Sidebar: I love the Simple Kind Of Life palette because it reminds me of the old school Bobbi Brown palettes. If I were just starting out, that’s the palette I would’ve picked. Same goes for Just a Girl; if i were just starting out, that another palette I’d pick.
When the collection was sneak peeked I was drawn to her signature red lip in a liquid lip formula. It reminded of Beso by Stila which went out of stock after American Far Left idol AOC used it in a Vogue video. I have Beso and I decided to to compare them.
Let’s start with the original, Beso by Stila.
Stay-All-Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso by Stila
I’ve received so many compliments when I use this liquid lip. I’m a shade lighter than AOC but it still suits the golden and olive tones in my skin. With this formula, you need to wait for the liquid lipstick to fully dry before you wear a mask. Even after it dries, it will transfer a bit. It is a slightly drying formula but it’s not bad. The biggest mistake I made was not exfoliating before applying it; as the skin on my lips peeled, it left behind a vacuum of color.
It lasted an entire day from 10 am – 6 pm and survived a bout of mask wearing and a work out. It faded about 7 – 8 hours of wear time and had transferred a bit on my water bottle. Despite that it still looked good. What truly destroyed it was a serving of oily Kimchi fries after the 8 hour wear time. The oil smeared the liquid lipstick all over my chin and left a stain on my lips that was difficult to remove.
GXVE (or Give) Beauty I’m Still Here Longwear Clean Matte Liquid Lipstick
Now this liquid lip is a thinner formula than the Stila formula. As soon as I wore it, I laughed at my first thought: it felt like cling wrap on my lips. It was as drying, if not slightly more drying that Stila and spread quickly on my lips. It dries quickly, so if you make a mistake you need to quickly correct it before it sets. I would suggest working in parts, correcting the application as you apply. Because of the unusual shape of my lips I can easily over apply the product and then panic while trying to correct it. The best way to describe this product is a long lasting, pigmented, matte lip stain. It didn’t sit on my lips the way Beso did, but it was difficult to control and prone to straying beyond my lips. I wish I had used a lip liner but I did want to test it without the lip liner interfering in the performance of the liquid lip. What I liked about this liquid lip was that it didn’t transfer as much as Stila’s did.
Here again, you need to exfoliate your lips before applying, because I faced the same issue as Beso, I removed the dry parts of my lips and ended up with patches of no product.
It lasted long — almost 8 hours and was easier to remove with an oil based cleanser. It did start fading around the 6 hour mark.
Are they dupes for each other? Yes, shade-wise. But formula-wise they are night and day. What you pick depends on what you’re looking for in the product. If you want a product that lasts long, easy to apply and you’re fine with a bit of transfer then pick Stila. For example, if you have a long day of work or an overnight party, Stila will be great (assuming you don’t eat oily hors d’oeuvres). If you like a thin formula that doesn’t transfer at all and if you’re a fan of Gwen, GXVE is it. If you always wanted to buy Stila but want to support Gwen instead, you can just pick up the GXVE liquid lip.
Personally, I prefer Stila’s formula over GXVE, but I don’t regret purchasing it. I think GXVE liquid lip will look great during the summer.