I caved and picked up the Smashbox Be Legendary Lip Gloss in Black Tied ($20) because I couldn’t resist the idea of black gloss with multi-color sparkle in a gorgeous formula.
In my experience, black gloss can be tricky. I much prefer straight up black lipstick or liner if you really want that goth chic look that is trending right now. I wasn’t expecting this to be all that pigmented and mostly wanted it for layering.
This is also described my Smashbox as ‘sheer’, so there are no illusions going into this gloss. The formula is the same as Coraline, nice on the lips, smooth, and non-sticky.
The sparkles, black base, and minimalist packaging make this a really stunning piece on any vanity, but do you really need this black gloss?
Here is a swatch of Black Tied. It looks kind of like dirty water on the hand. The sparkles are so minuscule and very hard to capture without blurring the photo and adding flash, but are more apparent in person.
Above is Black Tied on lips in artificial lighting. What this gloss does is bring out the pink/cool undertones in your lips very well. So, if you are looking for a very basic gloss that will enhance your lip color for cool-toned looks, this is a good choice. Although, I know that many reading this will want/expect more of a punch out of a color like this.
Above is a more natural lighting scenario. You can see my lips appear cooler, pinker, and slightly gray. This gloss will in no way give you any ‘goth’ look. I tried layering this over other glosses/lipsticks and it cools them down a bit and adds plumpness and a slight sparkle to my lips.
You are not going to get much pigmentation out of Black Tied, no matter how much you layer it, so for $20, pass on this black gloss, no matter how pretty it looks in the tube, UNLESS you are looking for an easy to wear, comfortable formula for a my lips but cooler (toned) look. I personally like the way it gives my lips a finished look when I am just wearing black liner and mascara, but it is more of a frivolous un-necessity.