Over the last 20 years of working as a beauty editor, I’ve tried my fair share of lip products. I'm talking everything from glosses and lipsticks to stains and pencils. But unlike the hundreds of other makeup and skin care products I’ve fallen in love with, I’ve never found a lip formula that's given me reason to obsessed over it — until now.
Deck of Scarlet Threeway Solid Lip Oil
This product by Deck of Scarlet falls into the recently popularized category (I'm looking at you, TikTok) known as lip oils, which are known for combining the color of a lipstick, the shine of a gloss and the hydration of an oil. If it sounds too good to be true, I would have agreed with you; and then I swiped this Threeway Solid oil across my lips.
I was struck by the formula immediately, which starts out as a solid balm and then eventually melts into a rich oil. The first time I applied it, I was hesitant about how smooth it felt, convinced that it was going to immediately transfer onto the glass holding my morning orange juice. But, sure enough, after waiting for it to dry, I took a sip and saw ... nothing. Unlike similar products I've tried that offer up this much moisture, this one doesn't disappear quickly or smear all over my face within minutes. How this product doesn’t bleed — and how it stays within the lines of my lips without the use of a pencil — is a pretty incredible mystery.
You’d think with all that oil your lips would feel sticky and look overly shiny, but it actually strikes a happy medium. The shine is neither too goopy nor too flat. The retailer says it has “ultra-reflective pigments that impart a glass-like effect on the lips” which, it turns out, is not a bunch of nonsense marketing hype.
Depending on the color you choose, you can expect the oil to live on your lips for a few hours before needing to reapply. I find the brighter hues last longer, possibly because the other more natural-looking shades blend in with my actual lip color. Most of the shades I like fall in the pink or nude category and, lucky for me, there’s plenty of colors to choose from given the 25 available shades. (For me, Nude Ambition and Rose Goddess are the ones that garner the most compliments.)
This particular lip oil contains ingredients you’d normally find in a skin care product, like moisturizing hyaluronic acid (which supposedly gives the lips a slight plumping effect, which I really don’t notice), and watermelon, cucumber and carrot seed oils, which are loaded with skin nourishing vitamins A, B and E. I'd also take a wild guess that these ingredients have anti-aging properties considering how young it makes my lips look. Somehow, it fills in any microscopic lines, so they appear smoother and less dry.
The one and only sore spot is that I seem to go through tubes of this stuff fairly quickly. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t realize how often I reach for it, or if it has something to do with the oil’s formulation. And once I get to the end of the balm, I have to use my finger or a plastic spatula to reach what’s left in the tube.
That said, if you need yet another reason to drop this lip product into your cart, consider this: The brand has banned over 50 ingredients — from sulfates to phthalates to synthetic fragrances — making this one of the cleaner beauty products I've tried in my career. Between this, the incredible payoff and my lips practically aging backwards, you can officially call me a lip oil convert. This is one lippie trend I can get behind.