Gilded Cage Unleashed Lipstick in 117 True Orange - review and swatches


It feels like ages since I've done a review of a makeup product. This is partly because I've had so many skincare items up for review, and partly because I've had issues getting decent shots of coloured products now that the weather's getting worse.

Happily I trawled through my draft posts this morning and came across some shots of this lipstick, which I'd completely forgotten about. Woot woot! We received it in Marie Claire's Autumn Edit of The Parcel (reviewed here), and I was super excited to see it because I'd never heard of Gilded Cage before and it's a not a lip product you can pick up in the chemist, which is normally the kind of makeup item we receive from Marie Claire (fingers crossed that's changing!).

Anyhoo. Looks pretty special, yes? I like the packaging, and I'm also pleased to see that Gilded Cage is an Australian brand because I do like supporting homegrown companies.

About Gilded Cage

Just briefly - in case you hadn't heard of Gilded Cage either - while the brand in Australian, the products are designed in Paris and made in Italy.

According to Gilded Cage's website: 'we felt it was really important not to aspire to a collection that distorts and conceals who you are. Instead our textures are formulated to highlight and reveal your natural beauty.'

Also, 'our suppliers have certified our formulations in compliance with strict EU cosmetic regulations, including certification for Not Tested on Animals and EU Good Manufacturing Practices... Our brand will continue to promote individuality and to not have to look like someone else. Our promise will be to nurture, highlight and promote the many ways a woman can be beautiful.'

Sounds good to me!

Gilded Cage claims/product details:
  • Unleash the power of six moisture-rich natural actives in a soft, silky full colour-release creamy texture
  • Contains a combination of synthetic waxes and a gelly base 
  • Creates the ideal silky texture that glides into a weightless thin film of pure colour and extreme comfort
  • Formulated with a synergy of an amino acid derivative, wild mango butter, water lily and orchid flower extracts for smoother lips
  • A new and unique sugar-derived molecule works to create a 3-D structure to firm and lock in moisture over time for a smoother, softer lip surface
  • Medium to high coverage shine
  • Available in eight shades
  • To use: apply directly to lips or with a lip brush for a more precise finish; use more or less product for your desired pigment 
  • RRP $40 AUD for 3.5g

There's the bullet above and a swatch below, both shots taken in direct sunlight.

My bare lips for reference:

Wearing a light application, natural light:

Same shot, direct sunlight:

Wearing a thicker layer, direct sunlight again:

Same shot, taken indoors:


I'm really pleased with this lipstick for a bundle of reasons, and if I were cashed up at the moment, I'd definitely be buying more shades. 

In terms of the colour I received from The Parcel, I'd wanted the mauve because I already have too many brights (this orange was my second choice of the three available), but now that I've tried it, I'm thrilled with mine because you can wear it more softly - to the point that it almost looks like a completely different colour! Plus I do love me a good orange, as you'll know if you read this blog ; )

Colour aside, the formula is just gorgeous. It glides on beautifully without tugging, doesn't feather or bleed, and it feels creamy and nourishing on the lips. 

Having said this, it's not the most hydrating lipstick I've tried and because my lips are insanely dry at the moment, I do feel that I need something extra like a gloss to keep my lips comfortable (unlike eg the Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick that I just compared this to for reference). 

Do note, however, that I've used this Gilded Cage product before and didn't have the same issue: it's just that my lips are currently in all-sorts and need a little extra TLC. Plus my lips are always dry, so I think that most people would find the product hydrating enough.

Another huge plus for this lipstick is that it has absolutely no scent - I wish more lipsticks were like that! I don't mind a soft scent if it's not offensive, but I'd much prefer something with no scent at all. There's nothing worse than a perfumed lipstick that you can taste and smell on your face, because of course your lips are directly below your nose and there's no escaping something that reeks and keeps on reeking throughout the day.

In terms of lasting power, the product will transfer when you eat and drink, and I've been watching the colour fade as I sip at my coffee while writing this post. But if you're not sucking down the morning coffee, it will last quite well for a creamy product and it fades evenly, leaving a nice stain behind that I like just as much as I do the colour itself when freshly applied.

All in all, this is a beautiful product and I'd love to grab a few more. I've got my eye on 108 Burnt Coral and 112 Bold Coral in particular, but really I could buy half the range!

Recommended. Have you tried these? Let me know what you think if so : )

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