Absolution Sweet and Safe Kiss Lipsticks

Did you know that the average woman will ingest 6lbs of lipstick over her lifetime? The statistic does vary according to what you’re reading but nevertheless, the fact is we’re eating some of it. If you are going to be eating lipstick, surely you want it to be made of natural and organic ingredients rather than things like petroleum and synthetic waxes and preservatives.

Historically however, natural lipsticks have always been a bit on the dreary side lets face it. Brown, shimmery colours and pearly pinks don’t do a lot for a lot of people. It has always been hard for natural brands to compete with MAC for example with their vast array of colours and textures. Thankfully this is changing though due to amazing brands such as Ilia and RMS, who have been making organic beauty modern. Their use of clean ingredients to create lovely textures and bright colours has shown that you really can have a great lipstick that is good enough to eat!

There has still been a gap though, most colours still seem to be shiny. I love shine, however a good matte lipstick is always needed in my kit. Step in French organic skincare brand Absolution with their Sweet and Safe Kiss Lipsticks to fill that gap. Launched last year, they are a must for any green make-up artist or just anyone who likes lipstick. They are amazing.

They are a mix of natural and organic ingredients such as carnauba wax, shea butter, sweet almond oil and calendula extract. So all nourishing and soothing for delicate lips.

Made in collaboration with esteemed French Make-up Artist, Christophe Danchaud, there are three red and three pink shades. The rich pigment is brilliant, you can layer the colour to a bold intensity. There is some synthetic colour in there I’m sure, I tried to find out how much but without much luck. Purists might frown on it but I’m guessing it’s the minimum amount possible. It’s all about compromise, these beautiful shades make me very happy. They are described as semi-matte, so there is still a slight sheen but still the nearest to matte so far. I found that applying straight from the bullet worked well and then I sharpened edges with a brush. The application is really smooth and the colour comes easily.

I’ve been trying them out for you…(ignore my less than smooth hand!!)

absolution swatch

Starting from top row left to right –

Rose Petale #7 is a fresh pink. When I initially put it on I thought it was too candy pink but it really grew on me. It is a very wearable pink that will brighten your complexion, perfect for spring.

Rouge Bordeaux #1 is your classic deep wine red with blue, almost purple undertones. I really liked this shade on me which surprised me as I’ve never worn a dark colour before. I think it looks deeper and richer in real life.

Rouge Coquellcot #16 is a bright poppy red. It’s an orange red, I love the colour but it didn’t quite love me. I’m very yellow toned but have a lot of red in my face so the colour didn’t sit quite right. It would look amazing on an olive skin. I felt like it has slightly less pigment than the other two reds. Orange reds can make teeth look more yellow…

Rose Franc #19 is a bright fuschia pink with blue undertones. Perfect for making a statement.

Bois de Rose #11 is a really great everyday pink. It is a great colour for enhancing natural lip colours.

Rouge Theatre #8 is a deeper blue red. I love this one, a good strong bold classic red.

Absolution lipstick

All six of the Absolution lipsticks are really wearable colours, they’ve done such a good job in creating them. All of them are in my kit and I think will become firm favourites and staples in there. Also need to wear them myself I think…

Has anyone else tried them? What’s your favourite?

  1. Just discovered this brand and your swatches are very helpful! I love all the colours but the orange-red one. I grew up organic (36 now) so I completely know what you mean about boring natural lip colours! It has especially been a problem for me as I have extremely cool toned, very fair skin, without any hint of yelliw or warmth but a slight pink undetone. My veins look purple and anyone’s skin next to mine looks very yellow. I can’t wear colours with any hint of brown or yellow tones and look best in purple toned lip colours, but also cool pinks and reds, the brighter the better, generally darker is better too as my lips are naturally quite pigmented. The pale pink looks very neutral on your hand but MUCH more peachy on your lips, which makes me worried it wouldn’t work for me. Bois de Rose looks berry toned both on your hand and lips, but I worry it is too muted/brown? I’m looking for a lip colour that is natural looking….just bc I have never been able to find such a thing! Bois de Rose looks close, only a bit darker than my natural lips but less purple toned, more muted. Hmmm…

    It’s hard to say just seeing your lips but based on how the surrounding skin looks, I think Bordeaux, the Fuschia, and Bois de Rose look best on you. Rose Petale makes your skin look more yellowish, as it would mine, and I think Theatre, while still good, might be a tad too warm (my fear too). I actually was searching for images of the colour Cerise, but you covered all the others that interest me. Thanks again!


  2. I just got 4 Absolution shades… #1 Rouge Bordeaux, #3 Cerise, #8 Roige Theatre, and #19 Rose Franc. In the tube Cerise & Theatre look nearly identical, Cerise is only a little lighter (very true to the pictures on thr official Absolution site). It just happened to be the first one I tried, and I was very impressed by its incredibly creamy and moisturising texture. It’s not very pigmented however, and despite applying it to dry lips (which I almost never do, usually I apply lip balm liberally first as my lips are very dry and lipsticks usually dry them out), I couldn’t get it to apply as darkly and heavily as I would prefer. It is a neutral light red, almost pinkish. Sadly not as dark or blue toned as I hoped for, but it should be good blended with drier, darker lipsticks. Then I tried Rouge Theatre and I was blown away by the colour; it is by far the most beautiful and flattering red shade I’ve ever encountered, just what I’ve been searching for. Unfortunately, it was very dry and gritty, and extremely matte on my dry lips. Also very highly pigmented, so completely opposite from Cerise in every regard.

    So I looked online and discovered that Cerise has a totally different formula from all the other shades, with organic argan oil as the third ingredient. The others have no argan oil and contain hydrogenated castor oil, which I’m positive is responsible for the grittiness and some of the dryness (100% Pure Lip Glazes contain hydrogenated avocado oil as the first ingredient and while they go on creamy, like Absolution Theatre Red, little gritty bits form over time on my lips). I was also very upset to see artificial pigments (various F&D reds and a yellow, in ALL the shades, even Cerise. While disappointing, the artificial colours don’t bother me nearly as much as the hydrogenated oils. I am so sick of seeing them in supposedly natural cosmetics! They are especially common (nearly ubiquitous) in eye and lip liner pencils, but also common in mascara, brow pomade/wax and lipstick, and not unusual in other things like foundation, concealer etc and various skincare products, especially night creams. Why does no one else seem to care about this issue? Synthetic trans fats are extremely toxic in any amount, including when absorbed via the skin. I avoid them completely but it’s difficult when they are used so often and companies use deceptive labeling (castor ‘wax’, avocado ‘butter”, jojoba ‘esters’ etc – if an oil that is usually liquid is called a wax, butter, or ester, it is often hydrogenated).

    I’m angry that I only, purely by chance, looked at the ingredients for Absolution Cerise and just assumed the other colours of lipstick would have the same basic formula. It’s also frustrating that Europe uses a different labelling system for pigments than the US which I’m not yet used to. I hope I am at least able to return the 2 lipsticks I didn’t try. It’s such a shame given the lovely colours! 🙁


    1. Hi Julia,

      I’m really sorry to hear that you’re not happy with the lipsticks.
      I know that the Cerise was released much after the initial 6 matt colours, along with the Dusty Rose and Papaya. They are a different collaboration with the make-up artist who does it with them, and they are different textures you’re right. Absolution say they are a “contemporary gel-like hybrid: Part-silky and part-gel texture”. I remember trying them and they are much sheerer in colour, so much so that I didn’t get them for my kit – I liked the texture and colours but felt they were great every day products rather than products I didn’t have already. It isn’t really obvious though that they are so different if you’re buying them online – so tricky buying make-up online!
      The initial 6 I do have and use a lot – the colours are amazing but you’re right again, they do contain artificial colours – It would be so hard to get those colours just using minerals I think. Natural make-up is so much harder to do than skincare because of the different textures and colours we need – especially from a working kit point of view – there is still compromise for sure.
      Very interesting point about the hydrogenated fats though – they are in everything. Thanks for your thoughts on them – will read up a bit more..
      I hope you will still use your Cerise though? Also going back to your Rouge Bordeaux – does it feel gritty in the tube?

      1. Louise,

        Thanks, but it’s really my own fault for not being better informed. I did get everything 30% during a very time limited sale so I was rushed too.

        That is very interesting about the later colours and makes perfect sense. A shame those other colours wouldn’t work for me. The difference in pigmentation is HUGE, at least between Cerise and Rouge Bordeaux. Cerise also came in different coloured packaging than the other 3 colours.

        I never really used conventional makeup because I grew up organic/natural and I didn’t wear makeup until my 20s except for special occasions. I do remember natural makeup was horrible back in the 90s and even early 2000s, though, both performance and really boring colours (I’m all about bright, dramatic makeup which is also what I think looks best on me). So your points are definitely valid. The artificial colours are annoying but not a deal breaker for me. I have such a hard time finding flattering shades and avoiding mineral oil, hydrogenated oil, carcinogenic preservatives etc that I pick my battles. Plus I don’t wear makeup up often enough to be too concerned about minor toxicity – and the specific artificial colours used in Absolution lipsticks have not been conclusively proven to be harmful.

        I will keep Cerise to blend with darker, more pigmented, drier lipsticks, but won’t rebuy. I really like the formula, the official description is quite accurate. The only natural lipsticks I’ve tried that are more moisturising are Nui and Nudus. Nudus is my very fave brand, though most of their colours look very different on me than pictured/described due to my extremely cool toned skin. I suspect it may also have something to do with natural pigments oxidising vs synthetic which don’t as often. The only lip products I’ve used that don’t look very different on me vs pictures/swatches contain synthetic pigments (specifically, the Absolution lipsticks, an orchid coloured Ilia lip gloss, Kjaer Weis lipstick/lip tints in KW Red, Rapture and Beloved).

        I have tried reproducing the shade Rouge Bordeaux with the red and purple-ish lipsticks I own but without success. 100% Pure Semi Matte in Aubergine, applied lightly over lip gloss, is the closest match and was formerly my favourite red shaded lipstick. But RB is just more vibrant, compared to Aubergine (supposed to be a dark purple but is just dark cool toned red on me). It’s a subtle difference but the overall effect is not as subtle. I can’t overstate how gorgeous RB looks on me, and others I’ve asked have unanimously agreed. It really doesn’t have any yellow or brown in it or oxidise. So I will keep it and use it until I can find a match or better shade (unlikely, RB is my hold grail red). But I won’t rebuy unless the hydrogenated oil is removed.

        Fortunately, the hydrogenated oil is low on the ingredient list and I am very vigilant in my avoidance otherwise so I don’t feel too guilty keeping RB. Still undecided on the other 2 shades. Rose Franc is a bit too light for me (I look better in darker colours) and I have several bright pinks I like more, at least from looking at it in the tube. Rouge Theatre is more appealing because while I do prefer darker reds, I like the boldness of classic bright reds. But, I already have a holy grail classic red – Nudus Revenge. Unfortunately, it’s sold out everywhere and has been for at least 6 months, and I only have a small sample. It might never be available again at this point. 100% Pure Lip Glaze in Cabernet and Cherry are both gorgeous but that damn hydrogenated oil first ingredient. Nui Cosmetics lipstick in Ahora is the next best thing to Nudus Revenge but a little lighter and less cool toned. I’m extremely impressed with Nui lipsticks, they are quite pigmented and very moisturising and hold well. I own Ahora, Akona and Tiare. The latter two are more muted than I would like (definitely a bit of brown) but still wearable. I also love the liquid foundation Nui makes, very moisturising, doesn’t sit in my wrinkles (I’m 36), and doesn’t feel like I’m wearing foundation. Kanapa (the lightest shade) is a my best match so far (currently waiting on Vapour samples), which is pretty amazing too.

        I am still having the gritty problem with RB. It didn’t look gritty in the tube initially, but it had and still has some sheer white streaks on the outside midway down, possibly a sign of extreme temperature exposure. Since using it, the part I apply from looks gritty. But it is very cold in my house, especially where I keep my cosmetics. When I apply RB, it goes on smoothly for the most part, with only a few little balls forming. But over time they build up/develop more. It’s just like with the 100% Pure Lip Glazes which are also hydrogenated. However, Absolution uses hydrogenated castor oil which is a hard wax; hydrogenated avocado oil is more a hard butter like shea butter. And indeed the little balls RB develops are harder than those that the 100% Pure Lip Glazes develops. But the Lip Glazes develop more, which makes sense since they contain substantially more hydrogenated oil.

        I have tried wearing RB on dry lips as well as combining it with various lip balms (my preference, I have dry lips and like a glossy look) and it doesn’t seem to affect the grittiness. I have not had any grittiness with my non-hydrogenated lipsticks. I also find that when using hydrogenated lipstick or cream blush/multisticks as blush, I get the same problem of little balls forming and it makes it difficult to apply the blush evenly. On my lips, the little gritty balls mostly form on the edges, which is quite frustrating as they are difficult to remove without ruining the line. I do think it is somewhat temperature related as I am often cold (even to the touch).

        I don’t think there is a solution to this problem (other than my lips being warmer!) due to the chemical properties of hydrogenated oils. They simply do not blend with other fats unless adequately melted. So I just have to completely remove and reapply RB every couple hours to keep it looking good.

        I just realised, I have one more hydrogenated lipstick – Axiology in Reflection (a magenta-purple), which contains hydrogenated avocado oil. Unfortunately it is much pinker on me than in the tube or on others, it’s basically the colour of my natural lips. It also is extremely sheer (more sheer than most tinted lip balms!) and even applied very forcefully to very dry lips it barely comes off, it doesn’t melt hardly at all. It also smells and tastes awful, like rancid oil and chemicals. The worst lipstick I have ever used. It doesn’t form the gritty balls, but I assume that’s because so little of it gets on my lips.

        Thank you for your reply and sorry for the novel! I mostly wanted to post so that others searching online can find this info. But you should definitely look into hydrogenated oil, it has been deemed unsafe to consume in ANY amount by the strictest health organisations. Our bodies are not equipped to metabolise it properly, in short, which has a variety of deleterious effects.

        1. Hi Julia,

          Thank you very much for taking the time to leave such a great comment – it really is very informative and I’m sure it will help others for sure! Helping me definitely, it is always so good to learn from other people’s experience and knowledge.

          I agree, it is definitely about picking your battles. There is so much out there, we need to decide what is important to us and what works for us individually – otherwise we’d drive ourselves round the bend!

          I can’t believe I still haven’t tried Nudus yet – I’ve seen them online and heard rave reviews from a few people now, so I really ought to check them out! That’s great to hear they are your favourite brand. Nui sounds like it needs to be checked out as well..

          Very interesting point about the natural pigments oxidising and the synthetic ones not… I love the Kjaer Weis lipsticks too. I also love Vapour foundation – fingers crossed the samples work for you!

          I will look into the hydrogenated oils for sure, thank you, and thanks again for sharing your experiences – so helpful.

          I forgot to say – have you tried the Axiology pencils? I much prefer the texture to the lipsticks – although they do still contain the hydrogenated avocado….

  3. Ugh, I meant to say I tried Rouge Bordeaux after Cerise…and apologies for the typos, my tablet doesn’t catch them.


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