NOUBA: Plumping Gloss Stick

I first came across NOUBA in a large Douglas store in Amsterdam early this year. The display counter was so eye-catching with its colourful products. Think bold and vibrant. Think rainbow.

I managed to pull myself away from the display counter, which required a lot of will power! However, I took another good look at its products several months later at another store and this time, I got myself a lipstick and a liquid eyeliner. So, first, the lipstick.

Ooh, the colour for this one really packs a punch and I love it!

According to the website of NOUBA, the brand has been around since 1982 and was created by makeup artist, Rosy Armanini. For the name, the creator took inspiration from the Nuba people of Sudan who are known for their elaborately painted faces and bodies. From what I understand, the brand’s based in Italy and that’s also where its products are made.

This Plumping Gloss Stick retails for €22.90 in the Netherlands, but a bit of scouring on the internet tells me that it’s available in some other countries for a lesser price. It’s more on the pricier side for a lippie of 4 ml / 0.13 fl oz. And hey, take a look at the casing. Don’t you think it bears a striking resemblance to the NARS lipstick? Black, stumpy, squarish and has a rubbery surface.

Anyway, for those of you ladies who are ingredient-conscious, here’s its list of ingredients as printed on the box:

Polybutene, Caprylic/Caprictriglyceride, Hydrogenated polyisobutene, Dipentaerythrityl hexahydroxystea- rate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate Polyethylene, Calcium aluminum borosilicate, Cera microcristallina (Microcrystalline wax), Mica, Silica Parfum (Fragrance), Tocopheryl acetate, Sodium hyaluronate. May contain: CI77891 (Titanium dioxide) CI77163 (Bismuth oxychloride), CI77510 (Ferric ferrocyanide), CI77491-CI77492-CI77499 (Iron oxides), CI15850 (Red 6 lake, Red 7), CI19140 (Yellow 5 lake), CI45410 (Red 27 lake),CI42090 (Blue 1 lake)

The Plumping Gloss Stick that I’m showing here is in shade No. 414, a dark fushcia, almost purple. It does have a faint scent and I read somewhere a while back that it’s the scent of frangipani and almond. It’s very pigmented and it applies beautifully. I thought its staying power was pretty good. However.....

• Plumping? I didn’t notice any ‘plumping’ action, but that’s not quite a complaint, Ms Armanini. I think my lips are thick enough as it is, so I really don’t need any seafood-allergy kind of lips.

• Gloss? I’m not quite seeing it either. Is it just me or is it more on the matte side?! You might want to scroll up to have another look. This isn’t a lipstick that I would use alone as I thought it was only so-so on the moisturising factor (bear in mind that I have very drying lips, so this is a recurring theme any which way).

While the first lip photo shown was with only the Plumping Gloss Stick lipcolour, this second one was with a (generous) layer of Rituals Eve's Kiss lipgloss on top.

I'll let you decide which version looks better.

More information can be gleaned from the NOUBA website and its Facebook page.