Karen Murrell is a New Zealand-based lipstick brand. Their lipsticks are all-natural and do not contain mineral oil, animal-based material, parabens or preservatives. Even their packaging is eco-friendly. The boxes are recyclable, made from New Zealand trees and printed with soya ink. The lipstick containers made from polylactic acid and start to dissolve back into the Earth after just 100 days. For these reasons and despite not yet being easily accessible in the US (it's currently only available online), I knew immediately this was a brand I needed to try out and feature on Will Work for Makeup.
Karen Murrell's range currently consists of 17 lipsticks, including a lip balm treatment and five shades which comprise their summer collection, Summer Bouquet. The following mantra can be found on both the outer packaging and lipstick casing: 'Nothing nasty touches my lips.'
Summer Bouquet is a floral-inspired collection, as evident by the lipsticks' names. It includes:
Poppy Passion :: hot pink
Lavender Laughter :: mauve-tinged lavender
Camellia Morning :: bright petal pink
Peony Petal :: peach with a hint of pink
Orchid Bloom :: warm nude
When I first opened the package and unveiled the collection, I may have let out a little gasp. Every shade is beautiful, wearable (Lavender Laughter is the only shade that may be slightly more difficult to pull off) and so me. I know a lot of you would love these shades as well. My personal favorites are Poppy Passion and Orchid Bloom.
L to R: Poppy Passion, Lavender Laughter, Camellia Morning, Peony Petal, Orchid Bloom
Every shade in the Summer Bouquet collection is without shimmer and sheer in one swipe, but easily buildable to opaque or nearly opaque coverage. The finish on all can be best described as matte, but on the lips, it feels like quite the opposite. To me, the formula is reminiscent of the original peppermint Burt's Bees lip balm - a bit waxy, supremely hydrating, shine-free and slip-free. I've definitely reached for one in place of lip balm before, and it worked flawlessly. Application-wise, Peony Petal is the only shade that can sometimes cause me problems, as it likes to gather towards my inner lip and needs to be blended away with my finger. All have a sweet and slightly spicy cinnamon scent.
Clockwise from top left: Poppy Passion, Peony Petal, Orchid Bloom, Camellia Morning, Lavender Laughter
These retail for $30 NZD each, which is equivalent to about $25 USD. They're not cheap (remember, 'good' ingredients generally cost more), and for those outisde New Zealand, Australia and Dubai, they're currently only available online. However, the lipsticks are really good quality and I have nothing but respect for a brand that puts as much thought into the composition of its sustainable packaging as it does the ingredients of the product itself and the overall aesthetics of its brand.
I love that these lipsticks nourish my lips while allowing me to be good to the Earth, all without requiring me to lower my expectations of the pigmentation, wear time, texture, etc. These proved to me that you can have it all.
Karen Murrell Natural Lipsticks, including those in the Summer Bouquet collection, are available from their website for $30 NZD.
Disclosure: These lipsticks were sent to me for consideration for a review. I am not affiliated with the company, nor am I getting paid for this post. The opinions expressed in this post are based solely on my own experiences with the products.