Miss Claire Soft Matte Lip Creams were all the rage a year ago! Things went viral because they are a truly affordable dupe for the super popular NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. Before this fact blew up on the internet I had never heard of the brand, so curiosity took over.
Miss Claire is a brand whose origins are mysterious. After some digging I have come to understand that a company called Eureka Cosmo Pvt. Ltd has registered a Class-3 trademark on “Miss Claire”. Also found this decrepit website talking about the company and the other brands like VOV that it deals in. Despite being quite popular not a lot of information is available! (Strange No!) Recently Nykaa officially started stocking these and offered some reassurance in the brand description section:
“Miss Claire Cosmetics are of premier quality, trendy, affordable and are formulated using the finest ingredients that care for your skin. These are manufactured in accordance with European Standards.”
Cost & Availability:
I purchased these from stores around Pune. Shade no. 31 from Skin 79 (Pune) for 250 INR and Shade no. 04 & 09 from one of the stores in Clover Complex, MG Road (Pune) for around 200 each. The cost is variable and can change if you haggle, since MRP is not mentioned on tubes there is no saying what the actual cost is. I have heard people buying it for as low as 150 INR in Mumbai. Nykaa is selling them for 295 INR a pop, which is steep!
You can find some better deals online here.
They come packaged in an opaque plastic tubes which are colored as per the shade within. (Again very similar to the NYX ones.) Often in physical stores they don’t have testers and this is the only way you can go about selecting shades. But unfortunately it is not a reliable method because the actual colors within often vary greatly from the colour of the plastic. The packaging is lightweight but feels sturdy and is travel friendly. The shade numbers are sticker-ed on the bottom of the tube.
It comes with a doe foot applicator which is attached to the cap. The applicator picks up the right amount of product and spreads the lip cream evenly on the lips. The applicator is thin and stiff which I like because it gives a sense of control and works well even with thin lips. But after a while it does start fraying!
The packaging says that it is manufactured in PRC (i.e. China) and is cruelty free and has a 24 month shelf life. It also has this very amusing description printed on it:
“It’s not a lipstick nor is it a gloss. It’s nothing like you have experienced before. It’s a lipstick cream that goes on silky but looks matte.”
Due to their rock bottom pricing a lot of folks have been raising a concern about the ingredients so I looked at them in a little more detail to understand if any of them were out of the ordinary.
- Isohexadecane: High purity, iso-paraffin emollient and solvent used in cosmetics and beauty products. Although it is colorless and odorless, it creates a very creamy, thick formula. However, for all of its rich texture, Isohexadecane leaves a non-greasy, light and silky feeling on the skin. Responsible for the texture & feel of this formula.
- Pentaerythirityl Tetraisostearate: Binder; Skin-Conditioning Agent – Occlusive; Viscosity Increasing Agent
- Disteardimonium Hectorite: A vegetable-derived suspending agent used to thicken oil-based products and serve as a stabilizer for emulsions.
- Dimethicone: Is a silicon-based polymer used as a lubricant and conditioning agent. Considered a toxin and damaging to the environment.
- Beeswax: Beeswax (Cera Alba) is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees. It is a Substance of Animal Orgin which some might have a concern with.
- Glyceryl Behenate/ Eicosadioate: Skin-Conditioning Agent – Emollient; Surfactant – Emulsifying Agent
- Dimithicone/ Dimithicone Crosspolymer: They are flexible silicon polymers consisting of dimethicone copolymers that are linked together. Function as viscosity increasing agents – non-aqueous; dispersing agent – non-surfactant & as an emulsion stabilizer
- Talc: Functions as an absorbent, anti-caking agent and to improve the feel of the product. Talc is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in ingested and topical drug products.
- Propylene Carbonate: It is a synthetic solvent popularly used in lipsticks.. Suspected to cause irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs).
- Methyl Methacylate Crosspolymer: It is a film former used in cosmetics and beauty products, as well as a viscosity increasing agent. It is a porous polymer that absorbs excess of sebum or acne-producing oils.
- Silica: Silica is a mineral found naturally in sandstone, clay, and granite, as well as in parts of plants and animals, and is used as a versatile ingredient in the cosmetics and skin care industry because of its ability to serve as a an abrasive, anticaking agent, bulking agent, opacifying agent and suspending agent. Limited evidence of gastrointestinal/liver, kidney and respiratory toxicity when used in aerosol form.
- Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate: A complex carbohydrate made by plants.
Acts as an anti-caking agent, a viscosity (resistance to flow) increasing agent, and an absorbent. Used in products like lotion, powder, and makeup, mainly for aesthetic purposes. For example, it can keep foundation from caking onto the skin, or lessen the greasy shine associated with certain lotions. It’s also been shown to enhance the SPF factor in several sunscreens.
- Phenoxyethanol: It is used as a preservative in cosmetic products to limit bacterial growth. Studies have shown that Phenoxyethanol can be an extreme irritant to the eyes and skin, and can even cause blistering; it is hazardous in the case of ingestion and inhalation as well. Enough Evidence to avoid it even at concentrations of 1% or lower.
- Parfum: The word “fragrance” or “parfum” on the product label represents an undisclosed mixture of various scent, chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. It is more of a labeling ‘loophole’, through which potentially controversial or irritating ingredients can be hidden.
- Various Colour Compounds: Widely used in various colour cosmetics.
Looking at the Reds above anybody would be concerned but we need to bear in mind that these are widely used ingredients and are present in most mass manufactured beauty products and it would be unfair to single out this brand for using these chemicals that have some health concerns associated with them.
Formula & Feel:
The formula is similar to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream but varies from shade to shade. Some are creamy and opaque while some go on patchy. They have a chemicals mixed with Vanilla -scent to it that is strong initially but then fades away. They set completely matte and feel quite comfortable on the lips. They last for a 2-4 hours and will fade from the center after a meal.
These are reasonably pigmented and need two passes to reveal the true shade on the lips. After a couple of minutes it dries and sets matte, due to this it will enhance the lip texture and dead skin if any. This is a classic pain point of Matte Liquid Lipsticks but can be easily fixed with TLC for the lips or by using a primer.
Ingredients (marked red) and the lack of brand details aside these are one of the best budget matte lipsticks around. They offer a huge shade range and are great value for money.
In conclusion, we needs to weigh the facts that
-it is a dupe of an established brand,
-it is pocket friendly,
-its ingredients and
-the concerning lack of knowledge about the brand or its origin;
and then make an informed purchase decision. After all the onus of asessing what is ethically right and our own safety and health lies on us.
Let me know your experience with affordable brands like Miss Claire. I would love to know other affordable brands that can be relied on. Also if Swatches interest you check out the Swatch Gallery here. Find some more budget beauty products under 500 bucks here.