Pony Effect “That Girl” Lipstick

Pony Effect is a new brand created by Korean social media phenom Pony, whose name is Park Hye Min.  She is a graphic designer turned makeup-artist and YouTuber.  She’s previously worked with Etude House and Memebox as well – I reviewed her first Pony x Memebox palette here.  Pony Effect’s website is here, and the brand is starting off with the “That Girl” line.

I’ve spent a significant amount of time on this blog talking about lipsticks, lip tints, and lip stains, and I’ve accumulated enough of a stash of lip products in enough colors that I felt like it wasn’t really practical to be purchasing more, so even though I was interested in Pony’s makeup line I decided to pass on the lipsticks.  I guess someone linked Memebox my last post on K-drama lipsticks, though, and I received a very sweet e-mail from Michael over at Memebox asking whether I would be willing to test them out.   Free lip products? Of course I said yes!

This is my first press sample, so I’m going to take a brief minute to chat with you all about how I’m going to structure these reviews.  First, I’m going to review the product itself – the same way I review all other lip products.  Then I’m going to talk about how much it costs and where to purchase it.  Then I’m going to talk about whether I would be willing to pay that amount for the product – and if the answer is no, I’ll try to give a ballpark of what price point would work for me.  I’ll also make sure to tag all my posts that involve press samples so you know going in whether I paid for the products I’m talking about with my own money.

Pony’s “That Girl” line has three shades of lipstick: Noble Bruch, which is listed as a “Marsala pink – warm nude”; Expensive Dinner, a “berry red”; and Vibrant Club, a “plum burgundy”.  Frankly I’m surprised that the shade range is so limited;  generally I see a lot more variety in colors from lip lines.


The bullets themselves are fairly substantial – and the nice thing is that they are magnetized, so that the caps don’t come off accidentally in your purse or pocket while you’re out doing whatever fabulous things you do while wearing lipstick. They’re larger in diameter than MAC’s lipsticks, and a little taller as well.


Here is an arm swatch of the three available colors:


The lipsticks themselves are heavily fragranced – I can’t readily identify the scent other than it seems to have a note of black pepper, and I find it incredibly unpleasant.  My sister, on the other hand, thought it was phenomenal.  So if you prefer citrusy, sweet, or foody fragrances rather than more smoky, dark scents, you will probably dislike this product.  I could totally get past the scent if it didn’t stick around once the lipstick was applied, but unfortunately for me it not only sticks around but it’s discernible if someone else gets close to your lips as well.

Here is what they look like swatched on the lips.


The lipsticks go on easily, with a nice amount of slip.  They are not even a little bit transfer-proof, and if you are the kind of person that has a beverage of some kind at their desk and sips away throughout the morning you are likely to find that your cup is wearing more lipstick than you are when lunch rolls around.  Noble Brunch and Vibrant Club have glitter in the formula. Expensive Dinner may as well, a little, but it’s significantly smoother as you apply it than the other two colors.  The texture is not super noticeable when you’re looking at someone, but if your lips are chapped and sensitive you will definitely feel the particles.   The feel of the Pony Effect lipsticks are better across the board if you moisturize your lips before you apply the lipstick, but you should blot the balm off before application otherwise the color may dilute.

The lasting time for this lipstick formula isn’t fantastic, which is kind of par for the course when you have a lipstick that has more slip or is more moisturizing.  After about two hours, the color was visibly faded, and by four hours it was gone.  The darker colors stain, but only slightly.

Memebox carries all three shades of the Pony Effect lipstick, and right now they’re selling for $18 USD a bullet. (They’re currently on sale – the list price is $22.) You can also pick them up at the Pony Effect website, where they sell for 24,000 KRW, although you’d have to use a buying service like Avecko, which would up the price by adding in a service fee.  You can also find them on eBay in the USA and GMarket in Korea, although they’re fairly marked up right now as the product is so new; and on W2Beauty, although again the markup is fairly ridiculous.

So the real question is this:  how do these lipsticks stack up against others that are similarly priced?  For about the same amount of money, you could purchase lipstick from Shiseido (a Perfect Rouge is $25), MAC (one of their lipsticks retails for $17), or from Clinique (many of their lip products cost $17, including the Chubby Sticks and Almost Lipstick).  The Pony Effect lipsticks are more opaque by far than the Clinique products;  the microglitter particles in MAC’s lipsticks (for example, in Drive Me Wild) are finer than in the Pony Effect lipsticks, and the scents are vanilla compared to some sort of peppery darkness;  Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge in RD142 also has significantly finer microglitter and almost no scent.  Since I don’t appreciate the scent of this product at all, and the texture isn’t everything I’d want, I’d frankly be better off putting my money towards any of the alternatives, and there really isn’t any price point at which I’d be happy paying for them.  My sister, on the other hand, saw the bullet of Vibrant Club and almost immediately requisitioned it.  She loves the scent of it, likes how moisturizing it is, and the color is super flattering on her (she got the pink skin tone between us siblings).  So I guess it’s all down to personal taste.

Overall, I’m a little disappointed in these products.  I’m not giving up on the Pony Effect line, but I’m definitely going to be careful about purchasing products in the future.

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