Za Cosmetics brand discontinuation announcement (if I read it correctly...).
I've seen Za aplenty while I was in Taipei so my understanding is that it's available outside of Japan while Ettusais is harder to get a hold of. Anyway, I clicked over to browse Za's website only to find everything on 50% off final sale, including the whole range of these gorgeous Plumper Lips. These lipsticks normally goes for 900yen each, so with 50% markdown they were 450yen each. From my previous Ettusais order, I also earned some points, and in all I paid about 385yen each, which translates to about $3.10 a piece with the current exchange rates. Scored! ^.^
In all, I received 8 lipsticks: OR1, OR2, PK2, PK3, PK4, RD1, RD2, and RS1, as PK1 was sold out and cancelled from my order. Shucks. I skipped BE1 because, well, it looks brown...
***Screencaps from Za JP.
All pictures taken in natural light without flash.
I would have preferred a recyclable paper outer box, although it's nice to see a lot of English ^.^ Interesting also that the lipsticks themselves are made in Taiwan.
For drugstore lipsticks, these come in gorgeous packaging! They're plastic but has a mirror-like pale pink metallic coating with Za print, easy to open but clicks shut securely. I do smell a very faint flowery scent so I wonder if being made in Taiwan has something to do with that, as lipsticks made in Japan are usually unscented.
I do think these Za Plumper Lips are drugstore versions of DHC Moisture Care Lipsticks, going for about half the retail price but are also half the quality. Like DHC, these Za lipsticks:
1 - Strive for super wearable colors,
2 - Provide a lightweight formula for a sheer but buildable coverage,
3 - Give a beautiful shimmery (but not glittery) glossy finish, and...
4 - Try to be moisturizing.
Whereas DHC achieved pretty much 3.75/4 points, I'd say Za gets about 2/4:
+ 1 point for super wearable colors.
+ 0.25 point for a thin and slippery formula, with some colors more pigmented and do provide more coverage while others translucent. A couple of the colors are somewhat milky, which border on the iffy side for me because they exaggerate dry flakes and cracks.
+ 0.25 point for the pretty glossy finish, but this finish lasts only about 1 hour or so before fading to a satin. Also, even though the shimmers aren't glittery or garish, the sheer amount of them makes the texture a bit gritty.
+ 0.5 point for the moisture that also disappears after a couple of hours or so.
So I'd say you'll be better off with DHC even if you have to pay more, not to mention Za as a brand is going away altogether. If you do want to try a couple of these lipsticks, I do believe they're still available online via e(vil)bay, etc., and definitely pick among PK4, RD1, RD2, and RS1.
- OR1: interesting they named this "orange" because it's more of a warm pink on me. This color is slightly milky and when I wore it today it took about 15 minutes to "adapt" to and soften my dry lips. But immediately upon application it looked atrocious (probably because my lips were atrociously dry) :(
- OR2: looks orange in the tube but is really an apricot and not orange either. This one is translucent with very fine shimmers that don't show, and so it appears shimmer-free upon application.
- PK2: a gorgeous medium pink with silver shimmers in the tube but turns a few shades lighter on me and milky :(
- PK3: a translucent and softly shimmery my-lips-but-better fleshy tawny pink. Pretty, and matches my natural lip color pretty well!
From left to right: OR1, OR2, PK2, and PK3.
- PK4: a pretty coral with more silver shimmers in the tube than they care to show on my lips.
- RD1: a bright neutral medium pink and is probably the most pigmented color in the bunch. This color totally surprised me when I first tried it on as it looked darker in the tube. Again, there are very fine shimmers that don't show at all.
- RD2: a translucent warm red with a gorgeous golden sheen from micro shimmers. It's the 2nd most pigmented color of the bunch and my favorite! I wore it yesterday and it was very flattering ^.^ Love!
- RS1: a red wine in the tube but is actually a translucent berry, basically all barks no bites :P I still love it as it's flattering on me as well!
From left to right: PK4, RD1, RD2, and RS1.