The Beauty World Is Losing It Over This Viral X-Rated Lipstick, so I Tried It
Photo:Courtesy of Isamaya Beauty
Isamaya Ffrench is, hands down, one of the most exciting figures in beauty right now. The 33-year-old makeup artist has built an impressive résumé over the years, lending her artistry to famous faces such as Bella Hadid, Cher, Kate Moss, Rosalía, and more. (She's the one who gave Rihanna pencil-thin brows on the cover of British Vogue in 2018.) She's also served as global makeup ambassador for Christian Louboutin and creative director for Byredo and is currently the beauty curator at Off-White. Ffrench is known for her theatrical and otherworldly makeup—she recently transformed models into glamorous Animorphs at Collina Strada's F/W 23 runway show—so when she launched her eponymous beauty brand in 2022, it was an instant revelation.
Isamaya entered the scene with a BDSM-inspired collection that includes mascaras and lip glosses pierced with captive barbells (those brought me back to my own pierced youth!) and followed up with another collection that is cowgirl themed. Her latest drop called Lips features two types of lipsticks: the Colour Infusion Lipstick and Water Balm ($95). It seems simple enough, except for the fact that the lipsticks come in packaging that's phallic with a capital P. We're talking about penis-shaped tubes complete with testicles. Unsurprisingly, the lipsticks sold out almost immediately, but not before I could add one to my cart. The launch dropped while I was isolated in my bedroom due to COVID, so I considered the penis-shaped lipstick a gift for my sad, sick self.
My Honest Review of Isamaya Colour Infusion Lipstick
I knew that the arrival of my order was going to be a moment in itself. The lipstick came packaged in a gorgeous silver box with an image of the product printed on it. I took a deep breath and opened it. There it was. Honestly, if I had my own makeup brand, this is the kind of thing I'd make too. Picking it up, I was immediately surprised at its heft. Now, this is where I made a mistake. For journalistic purposes, I wanted to see how much it weighed and grabbed my kitchen scale. I didn't realize the metal case would be slippery against the scale's tempered glass, and it slid off and fell right on my toe. (There may or may not be video proof of this tragic scenario.) For a minute, I was afraid that I'd have to tell the world that I broke my toe on a penis-shaped lipstick, but thankfully, all it needed was some ice. And since you may be curious, it weighs a little over 10 ounces.
I bought Cardinal, the red shade, which is not a surprise to anyone who's had to hear me talk about lipstick for the past 20 years. The brand describes it as a "satin-slick color" with intense color payoff, and it lives up to its description. I was ecstatic that the lipstick went on easily and already looked lush and bright with just one application. It also felt secure on my lips, almost like a matte, but was very comfortable. This is all thanks to a slew of hydrating botanicals and plant oils: açaí-berry oil, cherry-seed oil, pomegranate-seed oil, sweet almond, and jojoba oil. I fixed and defined the edges of my lips with Too Faced Lady Bold Waterproof Longwear Lip Liner ($16) and was good to go. While it's not transfer-proof, the Colour Infusion Lipstick lasted a long time on my lips. It didn't hold up against eating, so I needed to reapply, but it settled into a nice worn rouge.
At $95, this is obviously a pricey lipstick, but it's well-made in both the formula and the packaging. If you're lipstick obsessed, have a crude sense of humor, or like to collect really wild makeup products, then you might think it's worth it. It's basically a little art piece, especially since the lipstick is removable, and it can double as a paperweight! I personally see these lipsticks as a makeup version of a barrel man, a popular souvenir in the Philippines that's a little wooden man inside of a barrel. You lift the barrel up, and you get an NSFW surprise. My only complaint is that I wish it came in gold!
More Isamaya Products I'm Obsessed With
I've been wearing more lip gloss than I usually do, and part of it has to do with this one. It looks black but goes on like a berry gloss. PS: Julia Fox wears it too.
I'm such a sucker for the piercing on the products from Industrial, the first collection. This mascara is much more than its cool tube, though. It is a lifting mascara that makes your lashes super long for up to 16 hours of wear.
This eye shadow palette is on my wish list. It has 14 shades in metallics and mattes and is grunge inspired. So gorgeous.
I have this palette, which is another work of art IMHO. It has 12 shades—a few are mattes, and the rest are pretty shimmers. You can also remove the palette and reuse the compact.
I've been experimenting a little bit with brown on my lips, which is probably because of the '90s teen in me. These liners go on smooth and buttery, and I love pairing them with lip gloss.
I'm dying to try this mascara because… Well, look at it! It's more of a curling mascara and contains proberry wax derived from Chinese lacquer tree, which helps make lashes feel soft and fluffy.