Elizabeth Arden Lipstick Review: Ceramide Ultra vs Plump Perfect

Today I wanted to do a beauty post to talk about the similarities and differences between two Elizabeth Arden lipsticks –  the new Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra lipstick and the recently-discontinued Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect lipstick.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra vs Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect. review
Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra vs Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect… which is better? Dun dun DUNNNNN…

Last time we talked about lipsticks I was trying to get my hands on the Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect lipstick to find out how it compared to other plumping products that I had reviewed.  I ordered one on Amazon and was super excited for it to arrive.

Due to a set of weird co-incidences, I had to send it off to get it tested to make sure it really was a genuine product.  In the meantime, I tried to buy another one from Boots because I was stoked to get this lipstick and I wanted it NOW.

Due to another set of bizzarre events, Boots did not send me the Plump Perfect lipstick, they actually sent me the Ceramide Ultra lipstick.  I told them, they apologized, and then sent me the exact same wrong lipstick again.  So I gave up on trying to get what I ordered and decided to just use the Ceramide Ultra lipstick instead.

The ceramide ultra lipstick sitting on its own. This is the shade Sugar. review tutorial
The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra lipstick sitting on its own. This is the shade Sugar.

The Plump Perfect lipstick that I’d originally bought on Amazon then came back, confirmed as genuine, and I thought to myself, why not do an article comparing these two lipsticks, I’m sure loads of people want to know whether the new one is anything like the discontinued (but still available on Amazon) version.  Boots claims to stock the Plump Perfect lipstick but as you can see, it’s extremely likely you’ll end up with the Ceramide Ultra lipstick if you try to get one from them.

Here’s my detailed comparison:

  1. Packaging:  The Plump Perfect is in a thicker, plastic gold-coloured tube.  The Ceramide Ultra lipstick comes in this beautiful (slimmer) golden tube that just makes you feel like a queen when you get it out of its silver box (I keep mine in its box).
  2. Colour payoff:  The Ceramide Ultra has (very slightly) more colour payoff but there’s really not much difference between them for this.   You have to go over the Plump Perfect a few times to get a similar colour payoff.
  3. Shade: Since I couldn’t get the exact same shade, I’m comparing the shade “Sugar” in Ceramide Ultra Lipstick with “Perfect Bare” in the Plump Perfect.  The main difference in these shades is that Perfect Bare was a very sparkly brown lipstick whereas the Sugar colour is more matte/satin with slightly more of a pink base.  This doesn’t really make a difference to how they look on my face because I’m neutral toned, but it’s worth knowing for the 90% of you who are more warm or cool toned.

    Swatches! The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra in Sugar (left) and the Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect in Perfect Bare (right)
    Swatches! The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra in Sugar (left) and the Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect in Perfect Bare (right). The one on the right has a shimmery sparkle in real life but the camera didn’t want to pick up on it today because it’s too cloudy.
  4. Texture: The Plump Perfect lipstick feels slightly rougher, or more solid, than the Ceramide Ultra lipstick.
  5. Weight: They’re both 3.5g or 0.12oz.
  6. Duration: The colour was less long lasting on the Ceramide Ultra – but I like to take my lippie off when I eat and drink and reapply it afterwards so I prefer it to be easy to remove (unless it’s a longwear lip stain type thing in which case it needs to stay PUT), so if you want a slightly longer lasting lipstick go for the Plump Perfect.

    The colour left over after I wiped it off with a tissue; as you can see, there's slightly more left behind on the right (plump perfect) but neither of them are particularly longwearing.
    The colour left over after I wiped it off with a tissue; as you can see, there’s slightly more left behind on the right (plump perfect) but neither of them are particularly longwearing.
  7. Plumping: The thing that really swayed me towards the Ceramide Ultra lipstick was that it was more plumping than the Plump Perfect lipstick. I wore it non-stop for the first two weeks I had it, then I stopped wearing it after I found out it was the wrong product, and my lips stayed pretty plump for several days after I discontinued it. My top lip, especially, really looked better than I’ve ever seen it. Usually I have trouble trying to plump my top lip that when I plump it, it tends to stick out more but doesn’t seem to fill downwards, which is where I want it to go. With the Ceramide Ultra Lipstick I was really impressed that it managed to get my top lip to fill out. When it turned out Boots still couldn’t get my order right, so I didn’t have to return the first Ceramide Ultra lipstick they sent me (I sent back the unopened one instead), I was so happy to start using the Ceramide Ultra again like you would NOT believe, I just totally fell in love with it.
    Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect lipstick on my lips.
    Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect lipstick in Perfect Bare on my lips.

    The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra lipstick in Sugar.
    The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra lipstick in Sugar. My head is accidentally tilted more down here, but you can see more of my top lip on this one – even though I’m smiling more which usually makes my lips thinner.
  8. Moisture: Another thing that made me fall in love with the Ceramide Ultra lipstick was that it was just so moisturizing compared to the Plump Perfect.  Usually after wearing lipstick my lips are fairly dried out, and the Plump Perfect was no exception, but the Ceramide Ultra Lipstick seemed to have a balmy moisturizing effect on my lips and I noticed a LOT less dry skin while I was using this lipstick.

Verdict: Surprisingly, I liked the Ceramide Ultra lipstick better than the Plump Perfect lipstick.  It’s just very pleasant and I keep reaching for it again and again whenever I need to put some lipstick on.

The Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra Lipstick is available for £21 from any Elizabeth Arden counter. The last time I found a lipstick that I loved this much was in 2006.  I was genuinely close to tears when I thought I had to return the Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra lipstick to Boots.  It blows the Elizabeth Arden Plump Perfect lipstick out of the water.  From now on, I’m going to be buying the Ceramide Ultra lipstick from an actual beauty counter, or (given my experiences trying to buy Elizabeth Arden lipstick online) who knows what I might end up with!! Even after the Plump Perfect (the one I originally bought on Amazon) came back as genuine, I still found myself reaching for the Ceramide Ultra lipstick. It just looks and feels (both in the packaging and on my face) like a better lipstick.

What do you think?  Have you tried either of these?  Which do you prefer?  Let me know in the comments!

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Meat Free Monday: Sneaky Ingredients

I just wanted to talk today briefly about the ingredients in food.  I know most vegans check their food religiously, but recipes change and vegetarians often don’t actually check ingredients (I’ve only ever met one who did, and he doesn’t bother any more).  That’s not a criticism it’s an observation.  We tend to rely on Good Faith, you know, you like to think, “how could fizzy orange juice POSSIBLY contain dead fish?” And they lull you into a false sense of security because you are a reasonable person and don’t want to be paranoid about whether there’s cow in your cake or what not.

So here’s some foods you need to be aware of as a VEGETARIAN (vegans, some of these foods are not for you):

1. Cheese:  A lot of cheese (especially in the US) these days is made using vegetarian rennet.  Some cheese (most traditional stuff) is still made using parts of sheep stomachs.  If it doesn’t say “vegetarian rennet” or “suitable for vegetarians” it almost certainly is not.

2. Marshmallows:  Made with gelatine.  Vegi mallows exist, but they tend to be super-expensive and all the recipes I’ve seen don’t yield the right results (although I’ve had to stop questing for this one in the past couple of months – I’ve cut sugar out to improve my mood stability).

3. Beer and lager:  When I was on a tour of Black Sheep Brewery in Yorkshire, I asked the tour guide, “is it vegetarian?” She said “the fish guts aren’t still in the beer when you drink it, so yes, we would say it is vegetarian.”  Obviously this is a crock of crap, and the fact of the matter is, fish died to make their beer whether they care to accept that this is the case or not.  Many other brands do the same.  Fanta did, too, for a while, but I’m not sure if they still do, as, last time I checked (2011), there were specific types of Fanta that definitely did (post mix syrup) and specific types that probably didn’t (cans).

4. Jelly sweets: Again it’s the gelatine.  Quelle surprise.

5. Anything fortified with “omega 3 and 6”: For example food marketed at children.  Heinz spaghetti shapes used to do it but they have stopped now and it’s 100% vegan again.  omega 3 and 6 can come from veg*an sources but the companies do generally get it from fish, this will always be stated in the ingredients.

6. Thai green curry, Thai red curry, ready made sauces:  Every single brand of Thai curry sauce that’s available in the supermarket in the UK makes it with either shrimp or anchovy paste which means they’re not vegetarian or vegan.  Some of them also contain milk.  They didn’t all used to have fish in them, but standards have clearly gone downhill in the past few years.  If you love Thai curry, get some coconut cream and the Thai curry paste, and make your own, it’s dead easy (I’ll go through it very soon).

7. “Freefrom” rocky road: This contains gelatine in the marshmallows, even though (annoyingly) it’s usually otherwise vegan and always gluten free.  Watch out for this one if someone buys it for you.

8. Refined sugar:  In the United States this is often refined with bone meal.  In the UK I have never come across this.  Tate and Lyle and Silver Spoon both don’t use bone meal, it’s just sugar, so theirs is vegetarian and vegan.  As far as I am aware, all other sugar in the UK is also fine.  I wanted to bring it up though in case you go to the US (or, if you come over here, feel free to stock up on British grown, animal free sugar, I don’t think customs limits export on it so bring a suitcase).

9. Walkers “meaty” crisps (potato chips):  In the past two years, walkers have made a move backwards towards the dark ages (I guess it upset them that they finally made their cheese and onion crisps vegetarian a few years ago).  Obviously they’re not happy if they’re not killing animals for seasonings, so their Smokey Bacon contains pork, their Roast Chicken contains chicken, and the Prawn Cocktail is still completely vegan, as are the Worcester Sauce, Salt and Vinegar (yes they stopped filling them with lactose a couple of years ago) and of course Ready Salted.  I’m not sure about their less “standard” flavours but do check before putting them in your mouth.

Those are the sneakiest ones I’ve found and which I feel don’t really need animals in them to make them tasty or edible or even chemically stable.  It’s just gratuitous.  But now you know.  And the more you know… (add your own to the comments, as long as it’s the most recent ingredients as they change unexpectedly)…

Note: This is prescheduled, I’ll reply to comments when I get back.