December 16, 2015

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick (2016) Review & Swatches

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick 2016

I was willing to make a fool of myself and wear the Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick (2016) but I chickened out at the last minute!

Don’t get me wrong, somewhere, out there, there’s a person that can rock this shade and make it look all kinds of amazing. I, however, happen to be the average, short, chubby geek girl that can not pull off powder blue lipstick.

This a sad fact. And I’m not delusional about how good I look in it. In fact, I look downright certifiable!

Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick5

Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick3

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick ($18) is a limited edition lipstick in one of the two Panetone Color of the Year shades, Serenity. Serenity is what I would dub a baby or powder-y blue. This shade reminds me of the Sweet 16 Makeup I had as a child! They had a purple-y shade in a lipstick tube that could be applied as an eyeshadow and I kinda get that vibe from this.

Last year Sephora stared embracing this rather cool suspension style packaging. You might remember it from the Sephora + Pantone Universe Pure Marsala Matte Lip Creme Lipstick! This year the packaging is the same. The outer box features a soft pastel watercolor print and the lipstick appears to be floating in the box but in reality it’s a clear film holding it in the box. None the less the packaging is quite elegant and presented very prettily.

Sephora Serenity Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick

Sephora Serenity Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick

The actual lipstick tube is an ombre design made up of Rose Quartz and Serenity which are the two shades selected as the 2016 Pantone Color of the Year. I noticed that this isn’t as weighty a lipstick as year’s past. It’s made from a very light plastic! Not sure how many people remember it but the Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Creme Lipstick from 2012 was the same price and came in a very heavy metallic tube. I wouldn’t say the lightness of it made it bad packaging or anything like that I just thought it was interesting that they scaled back.

Sephora calls this a modern lipstick with bold coverage. It’s actually created to be layered and mixed with other shades according to them which for me makes more sense versus wearing it on its own as I simply can’t get away with it like that. It’s a very, very pigmented shade with a creamy consistency that glides on lips easily but tends to accentuate every single natural lip line. It’s very difficult to get a smooth, even layer of color on lips directly from the tube so a lip brush might be the order of business to get it smooth. It isn’t a traditional matte as I didn’t feel it set to a dry finish or even an uncomfortable one for that matter and had a hint of sheen. It did migrate a good deal around my mouth if I wore it alone. I could get about three hours of wear from it but in that time it started looking patchy, it wanted to travel around my lip line, and the color faded a good deal.

I played around with it using MAC Von Teese Lipstick as it seemed like it would be a color that would work well with red. It actually took the shade and made it into a cooler raspberry as you can see from my swatch below. In theory, it sounds easy enough to cocktail with but I find it easier to swatch and cocktail with it versus actually applying it on my lips and doing this. I tried applying it on my lips first and following up with Von Teese and I made a big old mess. It’s not that easy to layer with. You might wanna get your lip brushes out for the best results!

MAC Von Teese Lipstick and MAC Von Teese Lipstick Over Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick 2016

MAC Von Teese Lipstick and MAC Von Teese Lipstick Over Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick 2016

Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick 2016 Swatches

Sephora Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick 2016 Swatches

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick will make some lucky girl or guy very happy indeed or for those of us that like to cocktail, mix, and match shades you’ll also fit right in here and adore this. As for me, well, I’m not much a makeup artist so I lack the creativity and the skills to create some master look with a shade like this. It’s definitely not for beginners or those lacking the proper skills for application that’s for sure.

But it is unique that you can count on.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Matte Lipstick launches soon at Sephora and

Think you’ll pick it up?

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

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‘.

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  • Nicole

    I think the only thing I’ll be buying from this collection is the eye shadow palette. I’m just disappointed that they didn’t do a blush/highlighter palette with the Pantone colors this year! The pink would make a pretty blush, and a lighter version of the blue would be a gorgeous and different from the norm highlighter. They could have mixed the two colors into a lavender type purple for a second blush. I would have bought that in a heartbeat!

  • Cecilia Sahl

    Yeah… I don’t imagine that looking good on anyone who doesn’t already have a really eccentric style, but it’s so cool that it exists!

  • Jackie

    seriously, how many light blue lipsticks do you think will sell? I bought the marsala last year. I hadn’t realized that if you mix it with another that you might get something wearable, but why have to mix 2 colors? are there that many blue-lip lovers out there that I’m missing something? πŸ™‚

    • Isabella Muse

      probably a lot πŸ™‚ People love unique shades like this! I can’t wear it but there are a lot of folks out there who love unique colors like this! πŸ™‚ I think people generally enjoy playing with makeup and creating something different using their many different shades so no surprise it was created with mixing/matching in mind. Same as eyeshadow, lipstick can be blended together with other shades and mediums to create something new. I can’t pull this one off but truly there are plenty of peeps who can πŸ™‚ Don’t write it off my dear!

        • Isabella Muse

          haha no not at all! I just never write off any color! It might seem weird or unusual to me or us in this case but someone else might think “HOLY COW! I LOVE IT! I WANT TWO” πŸ™‚

        • The Silver Nail

          I’m with you, Jackie. Maybe it’s my age too (50s). I love blue nail polish and know some think it looks wacky, but blue (and gray and yellow and black etc. etc.) lipsticks to me look creepy and suitable only for Halloween. Yes, it makes a statement. No, I am not the makeup police. Just don’t like them.

          I also can’t imagine Sephora selling many of these.

          • Isabella Muse

            I don’t think it’s about age. It’s just about colors you personally prefer! I’m sure there’s some 80 year old lady out there that rocks pink hair and wears bright purple lipstick πŸ™‚ Age doesn’t mean you have to suddenly stop wearing the shades you love. It’s all about how comfortable you are in it. If you love it and you think it looks great and it makes you feel good, GO FOR IT! πŸ™‚ I don’t classify wearing blue lipstick as something suitable for Halloween only. Do I like the way it looks on me? No, it looks horrible and no I’m not comfortable wearing it on the street. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other people be they young or old that think the shade is perfect for them. Color is personal, you can’t just write it off as “Halloween only”. Maybe the shade isn’t you (or me for that matter) and that’s completely ok but you should be ok with what they like wearing too you know?

          • The Silver Nail

            Whoa, Nellie. As I said, I love blue nail polish and am sure there are others who think it looks weird or creepy or whatever on me, but I don’t care. It (and purple) are polish colors I love so I wear them.

            As I constantly say on my blog, which is aimed at older women, of course getting older doesn’t mean you can only wear mauve. Wear what you like. What I meant by “I am not the makeup police” is that naturally women, girls, men, and boys should wear what they love and it’s their business.

            Nevertheless, I think blue lip products look icky. That’s my opinion. I don’t tell people what to wear or not but I can and do have opinions. Other people here are saying basically the same thing I did but are not getting called on the carpet for it.

          • Isabella Muse

            I wasn’t calling you out on the carpet, you’re totally entitled to your opinion! I was just replying to your comment about it being for Halloween only. Like I said, I hate the way it looks on me but some folks can totally rock it and look great! That’s all! Def not picking on you or anything like that!

          • The Silver Nail

            I apologize, but when someone else says “…the cartoon character β€˜Marshmallow’ from the Disney movie Frozen. He would be the ONLY one whom could wear this on the lips…” and only gets a “ha ha,” yet I say Halloween and get the opposite reaction, yeah, I felt defensive.

            I’m really not an old lady who sits on her front porch and says, “Hey, you kids with the blue lips and purple hair, get off my lawn.” I love wild looks. I got a Mohawk a couple of years ago just for fun. I wear crazy colors of nail polish. πŸ˜€

            I wish Sephora had done more with these Colors of the Year. So many possibilities for the pink!

            Keep on with the great reviews and swatches (except you are a threat to my wallet). πŸ˜‰

          • Isabella Muse

            Sorry, I meant no insult Silver Nail. Just think the shade isn’t everyone’s cup a tea, mine included, but I can def understand others who might wear this everyday and love it. I def apologize if you felt I was calling you out! Hopefully you know I value all your opinions and I always like hearing ’em! πŸ™‚ ha..I’m threat to my own wallet! xoxox!

  • Dee

    Passing on this ~ When they made this lipstick color, they HAD to be thinking of the cartoon character ‘Marshmallow’ from the Disney movie Frozen. He would be the ONLY one whom could wear this on the lips and possibly rock it. ;-P
    I do plan on buying a few fleece tops/sweaters in this beautiful shade of blue though. It is a beautiful color!

    • Isabella Muse

      Haha! πŸ™‚ Honestly, there are bloggers, like Phyrra, who can totally work this shade hard! On me, I look like I just landed from the planet Your Anus. Hashtag that true story, for serious.

  • Renu

    Not my thing either. I can rarely pull off anything that is not dusty rose, mauve or neutral, leave alone this. I loved last year’s Marsala lip crayon set of five minis. All of them were wearable (except for the palest shade that made my lips disappear), and the gold packaging was fabulous. Only thing was, I left a crayon in the car and it melted.

  • Katherine T.

    Not too many people (including me) can rock this shade either, and I’m too lazy to pre-mix with another lipstick. Also not a fan of the box either, looks like a big waste of cardboard/plastic. Maybe it’s suppose to look like a painting? I think they should’ve made this a translucent blue gloss, with bluish shimmers/sparkles, so you can use it as a topper for other lippies . That would be easier to wear.

    • Rachel R.

      I like this shade by itself, but I love your idea of a translucent blue with sparkles. That would have been beautiful.

  • Erin

    I would not wear this color for my everyday look. However, I think it would be perfect for a Frozen, Elsa look. Also, I love how you showed it layered with the MAC Von Teese lipstick, the shade produced is amazing! I was going to pass on the Pantone lip products this time and now I will be purchasing the lip gloss set. I think the glosses will layer beautifully with other lipsticks/glosses to create new shades. If you have the gloss set can you swatch them with others lipstick(s) so people can get an idea of color mixing and transformation? Great idea Muse, thanks!

  • Al

    Thanks for defending us “weirdos” who like unconventional colors like this, Muse πŸ™‚ and thanks for the review. I was wondering if this was going to be sheer and I’m glad to see that it isn’t.

    • Isabella Muse

      you aren’t a weirdo at all Al πŸ™‚ You like what you like and that’s what you like. Who knows maybe you think I’m weird because I like nude lipsticks πŸ™‚ Who can say right? And hell, if we are weird it feels damn good haha! πŸ˜€ My pleasure! Do you think you can wear it!? Because I’m jealous if you can. I look crazy dumb in it ha!

    • lala

      agree!!! I need this in my life as well Al! I shall join the wierdo club then cuz I cant go to Sephora fast enough to get this and throw it on!! πŸ™‚

  • Rachel R.

    I do like it by itself, much more than the whitish-pink shade. I can see where this wouldn’t work with your skin tone, Muse, but it mixed beautifully with the red. I’m glad you found a way for it to work for you. That’s what is fun about makeup…seeing everyone put their own spin on things.

    I have Nyx Earl Gray, though, which I think is similar. I’ll probably bust that out more often instead of buying this.

    • Isabella Muse

      I agree! I LOVE seeing whatever creates with something plus it inspires me to recreate their looks and put my own spin on it. I’m looking forward to reading reviews on this collection, I’m curious how everyone will use it!

  • Krizstyle

    Have you seen the Pantone and VDL collaboration promo photos yet? They mixed both the serenity and rose quartz shades in a marbled lipstick!

    • Isabella Muse

      Yes! Also the palette looks more wearable than the one we got from Sephora. Plus I think that marble lipstick applies sheer pink so that makes it way more wearable for me πŸ™‚

  • Natalie Brown

    Oh wow, what a crazy shade for a lipstick. lol Anyway, I really enjoyed the throw-back commercial. πŸ™‚

    • Kate

      I agree! I’m debating getting this cause I love fun colors but I’m worried about how it looks on the lips. I can’t seem to find any other swatches on line right now.

  • lala

    oh wow haha am I the only person that NEEDS this like asap!!?!?! lol Isabella u need to put this on and post a picture of u wearing it! no judgement! πŸ™‚ I liveee for bright crazy lipstick. yeah some shades probably look better on me than others BUT I refuse to let that stop me lol I LOVE makeup! this would be insane with a nude eye, perfect cat eyeliner, r brows and minimal minimal blush. and some strobing!!! gorgeous! ok thanks for letting me know this existed πŸ™‚

    • Isabella Muse

      haha glad to see ya so excited πŸ™‚ Let me know if you try it out! Maybe one day will do an FOTD with it πŸ˜€ When I’m feeling braver!