Jun 28, 2020

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet 401 Scarlatto

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet 401 Scarlatto review swatch

I like good lip stains and love hot pinks and cool-toned reds, so adding Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet Scarlatto to my lip collection was no brainer. After trying numerous long-lasting lip stains, I find Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet is still one of the best as it is kind to my lips while being tenacious and the color wears out most evenly. Today, I will briefly review the Scarlatto (401) shade and share some comparison swatches.

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet 401 Scarlatto swatch

Scarlatto is a bright saturated red with pink undertones (I think the name is slightly misleading as a scarlet often refers to an orange-tinged red). 

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet 401 Scarlatto swatch
(Scarlatto applied sheer and blotted)

The pink hues become more obvious once the color sets in. Compared to Maharajah (reviewed & featured), Scarlatto is less dramatic but more versatile. From afar, Scarlatto is a youthful red that you can pair with either minimal eye makeup or smokey eyes.

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet 401 Scarlatto comparison swatch
(A comparison swatch with Scarlatto & Maharajah)

Then I remembered that I own a couple of L'Oreal lip stains that look strikingly similar to these two - L'Oreal Rouge Signature Matte Stain in I'm worth it and I represent

L'Oreal Rouge Signature Matte Stain swatches

Actually, L'Oreal Matte Stain seems an excellent dupe of Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet. It's not very surprising since Giorgio Armani is under L'Oreal's umbrella and L'Oreal has brought out many obvious dupes over the years. L'Oreal Matte Stain comes in many different shades and has a featherlight formulation which is very impressive. If you like long-lasting red stains, do check out the Empowe(reds) collection of this line. 

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet dupes swatches
L'Oreal I represent is very close to Giorgio Armani Maharajah. Compared to Scarlatto, I'm worth it is more of a true red and the difference shows more when applied on the lips. Then again, these are quite close in terms of both color and formulation.

Now, I thought it was a bit odd that I reach for my Lip Magnets way more than L'Oreal Matte Lip Stains. Have a become a makeup snob? Nah, I still love good drugstore stuff. The presentation of L'Oreal Matte Stain is actually as good as higher ends and it comes with an awesome applicator as well. I think the initial application, look, and feel is quite comparable but how they wear after a few hours is the difference. Lip Magnet is by no means moisturizing because it is a matte stain by nature, but I hardly feel that I need to rescue my lips by adding a gloss on top. Lip Magnet is rather perfect in humidity and especially under mask since it's virtually transfer-proof once blotted. For some reason, L'Oreal Lip Stain feels more powdery and becomes a bit blotchy over time. Is the difference big enough to justify a 3 times more expensive price tag? It probably isn't although I do love my Lip Magnets.

Thanks for being here. Have you tried any of these long-lasting lip stains? What are your thoughts on opting for more affordable makeup alternatives? 

*The items mentioned here were purchased by me. This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for choosing to use them.

Join the conversation!

  1. I would reach for lip magnet more (only because packaging is less clunky) ...

    I would buy cheaper dupe for fun (some shades in Kate brown shades Eyes is similar to Lunasol cat Eyes) but usually it's the 10% diffrence that sets the high end option apart. I also recently found a formula dupe for Chicca lipstick (in coffret DOr) and realize I would totally pay $10 more for a beautiful package and shades curated by a pro makeup artist..

    1. I didn't think these L'Oreal stains were dupes for the Lip Magnets and didn't see the color similarities, either. Imagine how many similar colors in similar formulations I have in my stash. LOL. But, you're so right - that 10% difference! Finer packagings and the unique colors with complexity can be found more often on the higher-end spectrum. I seldom collect makeup for the packagings only, but aesthetics and functionality are very important factors. Finding good dupes is so fun and satisfying, though. :D


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