February 19, 2015

NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

NYX Vamped Up Lip Top Coat1

The new NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat ($6) is a new sheer transforming black lip pencil with a gloss finish that instantly takes one lipstick color and transforms it into another. Is your red lipstick a little dull? Vamp it up by slicking on a little of this to darker than the shade. Paler lipstick not doing it for you? Slick this on to liven it up! The options are endless with this pencil as it allows you to darken shades or even to transform them into entirely new colors plus it adds a hint of glossiness!

Check it out.

If nothing at all NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat is super fun to use! You can transform shades, darken them, create new colors, the options are endless. This is a chunky swivel up pencil and is shaped much like the recently released NYX Lip Cream Pencils however, unlike those pencils I thankfully DID NOT experience any breaking issues with this pencil.

This is a pretty sheer black shade so don’t be scared of it! When I purchased it I kinda raised a brow mentally and was thinking how scary black lipstick can be. Sure, it can be a really great transforming shade but it can also go dangerously wrong. NYX gets the pigment just right on this! It’s not overwhelming dark, it’s sheer, yet it still has plenty of pigment to transform or darken shades easily. The formula is very thin, slightly moist, and applies easily onto lips. The texture has a comfortable wear atop lipstick with a glossy finish. As per the name it is a top coat not an under coat. You can’t use this under lipstick as it won’t work well! It’s a little too slick to use as an under coat so you’ll struggle to apply lipstick atop it. So using it on top of already applied lipstick is the correct way to use it.

NYX V'amped Up Lip Top Coat

NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

NYX V'amped Up Lip Top Coat swatches

NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat Swatches

So what’s it do?

It’ll take a shade of say pink and create a beautiful purple. Or it’ll take a red lipstick and transform into a sultry, deep shade of vampy berry. Orange? Sure! It’ll take orange and deepen the shade and give it more of a burnt finish. The possibilities are endless and you’ll have a lot of fun using this.

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Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick in Catwalk Pink, Matte Orchid, and Matte Confident

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Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick with NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

Few issues…

The pencil applies a little sloppy. I had a hard time applying without creating a mess. It applies over lipstick but creeps around my lip line as it glides on. I kinda feel like a five year old applying lipstick when I’m using this as the end result is rather sloppy and all over the place. I’m not sure why it gets everywhere during application but it does. Perhaps blame it on the slicker, thinner consistency of the formula!? Not sure! But you do have to practice a little patience when using this to avoid making a big old mess out of your lip look. I also felt like at times I looked silly because the color would apply towards the center of my lips and transform my lipstick shade in this area but the outer edges it wouldn’t reach so it looked like I had applied a completely other lip liner shade. For example, if I used it on a pale pink lipstick it would transform the shade to lilac! Beautiful right? But the problem was my lip line would have a pale pink surround so it looked like I applied pink lip liner with purple lipstick. It was weird. I found if I used a q-tip I could blend my lip line shade into the center of my lips so the color was evenly distributed. The other issue I had was if I used the pencil with one shade it would leave a lot of left over residue on the tip which would transfer when I used it with another lipstick. You’re probably thinking, “clean it off with a tissue!” Sure you can do that but it leaves little fuzzies on the tip of the pencil and it also leaves this pencil with an uneven surface! You’ll see what I mean in the image below!

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So…yeah it has quirks! But it’s cheap and it’s super fun to use!

I think we all have that moment in life when we purchase a lipstick at the drugstore or counter that we THINK is going to look amazing on us. When we get home, try it on, and look in the mirror we have second thoughts! Sometimes we return it and sometimes we kinda toss it in the drawer and forget about it. This little pencil is a nice way to breath new life into shades that aren’t quite working for you as you can transform, deepen, and add richness to a color and make it more wearable. Below are examples of how lipstick looks without the topcoat and WITH the topcoat.

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Without NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

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With NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

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Without NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

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With NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

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Without NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

NYX V'amped Up Lip Top Coat16

With NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

NYX V'amped Up Lip Top Coat17

Without NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

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With NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat

The NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat has quirks but it’s a fun product to use to create new and exciting lip looks from old lipsticks!

For $6 bucks you can play mad scientist with your lipsticks!

Do like!

The NYX V’amped Up Lip Top Coat is available now at Ulta.com.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment


  • meganlisa

    So glad you did this review! I was so curious about this pencil and love the effect. Love!!!

  • Danadoo

    Yays, ive been waiting for you to do a review on this! Now im really torn, it sounds like a cool way to give more versetility to my lipstick stash, but because of all the issues with it, i fear it will end up in my lipstick “reject box” (which has like a gazillion lippies in it already).

  • Lindsay

    oooh this looks very interesting! what it really made me want though is the Milani lipsticks hahaha

  • Heidi

    This looks fun. I’m not a fan of bright pinks and anything too pale. This would be an awesome way to make those less-loved items more wearable!

  • Sissi

    Oh at first I did not get it- why would I use some black glitter on my lips- but I got it now thanks to your photos- interesting idea but the sparkle is not my fave!

    • Isabella Muse

      there isn’t any sparkle in the finish Sissi, the flash is just capturing shine but there’s no sparkle, shimmer in the finish.

  • Erin

    I was playing with the tester at my Ulta yesterday with some of the associates. We found it to be most effective if we applied a little to our fingertips and then dabbed it on over the lipstick swatch so that it would apply evenly without turning the lipstick underneath into a patchy mess.

  • chrissy

    Why didn’t this come out last Fall? I think its too close to Spring for me to vamp it up but I’m so glad that you did this review. It looks fantastic and the possibilities are endless!!!!

  • Andrea

    um… broke college kid and quasi-goth here says I sooo need this!! As a fan of dark and somewhat outrageous lipsticks (…I may or may not own pitch black) this would be the perfect thing so I DON’T have to buy darker shades of all my brights! (…yes…I many have a problem…)

  • devon

    do we know if this works with colored glosses as well? or just lippies? now that i see how this works, it will be mine on my next ulta run!

    • Sarah

      For glosses you may want to look into Occ Little Black Dress gloss, which does the same thing but is in gloss form, and a bit less dramatic I think. They have it in a set at Sephora for $10, worth checking out. πŸ™‚

  • Fancie

    Yeah I need this! Lol it does look a little messy but I really like the effect. It’s pretty cool!

  • Dusty

    MAC used to make a black Cream Colour Base. I still have mine but it’s discontinued now. This is exactly how I use it though. CCBs are great for this because they are virtually weightless and only impart color. The black one and Nude are regular use ones for me πŸ™‚

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Oh wow, genius idea πŸ™‚ But I’m not sure if it’s something I’d actually use.

  • Jess

    I bought this when I did a gradient black and red lip for a masquerade ball costume and it worked PERFECTLY to blend my bright red lipstick and black liner into red to burgundy to black gradient. Now I know I’ll love using it to transform other colors.

  • Smidge

    I have a Givenchy lipstick that does this but it’s much sheerer, and a black sheer gloss from Rimmel that is similar, too. I dig the idea of essentially doubling your lip wardrobe with one little tube!

  • Katie

    I can’t wait to try this! I got the NYX black eyeshadow primer which is essentially the same idea but for an eye base instead of topcoat, I can’t believe how different some of those lipstick shades look with that topcoat! I am definitely purchasing this next time I find a NYX display… oh, the possibilities!

    • Isabella Muse

      i have the topcoat too! but didn’t try yet! How’s it working out for you katie?!