Review: The Saem Eco Soul Kiss Button Lips Illuminator

In December of 2014, the Saem released a set of pictures of SHINee, who were slated to be brand reps, with each member linked to a color of their Eco Soul Kiss Button Lips lipstick line.  I first heard about the line through Instagram, where I follow Tracy from Fanserviced. The first color that really piqued my interest was from the Red Edition, #4, which is also called the Gold Illuminator.  It is Onew’s shade.


Here’s what the holiday packaging looks like.  The normal bullets are black, but since this is the illuminator, it’s shiny and gold.


The illuminator looks nice on bare lips.

Bare lips on the left, the Illuminator on the right.

Since this bullet is part of the Red Collection, I tried it out over Mac’s Ruffian Red (my favorite red lipstick, unfortunately Limited Edition).

Plain on the left, with the Illuminator on the right.

I think it looked really nice, but unfortunately one of the down sides is that after I applied the illuminator to my bottom lip, there was enough transfer of the red lipstick that I couldn’t really get any extra gold.  I had to wipe off the top layer of the illuminator, which of course feels like I’m wasting the illuminator, and then apply it to my top lip.  Then, of course, I had to repeat the process again, wasting more product.  Even when using a lip brush, there was some cross-contamination that happened.

Ruffian Red is a pretty matte color, so the glitter showed up really well.  I wondered how it would look if I applied the Illuminator over something glossier, so I used it with Innisfree’s Creammellow Lipstick in #4.

Innisfree alone on the left, with the Illuminator on the right.

Interestingly enough, this seemed to work a little better with the Illuminator than Ruffian Red. There was a little transfer, but it wasn’t nearly as bad.  I wasn’t expecting to see a ton of difference with the Illuminator, as the original lip product was really glossy on its own, but the combination is really nice.  Not very substantial, but nice.

Then I thought, “hey, let’s try it with something dark!”, so I used MAC’s Hang-Up.

Hang-Up by itself on the left, under the Illuminator on the right.
Hang-Up by itself on the left, under the Illuminator on the right.

Since this is another MAC product, it had the same problems with transfer to the bullet as Ruffian Red, above.  Interestingly enough, I had assumed that gold glitter would really ramp up any kind of look, but I think it actually made this look a little more suitable for daytime wear – it toned down the darkness of the color.

Since I had so many concerns about wasting product when I was using the Illuminator over a traditional lipstick, I thought next about using a type of lipstick that sets – so I put on  Hourglass’ Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Canvas and waited for it to set before putting on the Illuminator.


There was much less transfer using this product.  Traditional Western liquid lipsticks that set also tend to be slightly drying, so an interesting benefit of topping this with the Illuminator was that the lipstick was a lot more balmy.

For the last trial, I used one of my new favorite lip products, Peripera’s Peri’s Ink in #3 No Way! Again, I waited for the first product to dry completely before I applied the Illuminator.


This look was by far my favorite. It was comfortable to wear, the Illuminator didn’t break down the underlying lip tint like I was afraid it might.  The look wore solidly for four hours.

The product itself was comfortable both on its own and over other lip products.  It’s actually nice enough that I’m looking into purchasing some other colors – not necessarily the ones that are linked to SHINee members (although Key’s shade may be calling my name), but I’d definitely like to try both the regular and the matte lines.

You can purchase the Illuminator from KPopTown for $10.90.


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