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The Lipstick Page Forums Beauty & Fashion Blog
Beauty Notes: Jane is...back?

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 17, 2007 2:21 PM (Eastern)

jane lipkick lipstickJane was one of those highly innovative brands--the operative word being "was"--back when I discovered The Lipstick Page in 1998. Back then, such popular items as Magical Mushroom and Purple Heart eyeshadows; Blushing Glow blush; Loco Cocoa, Browned Down Red, Cinnamon Stick, Rosy Outlook and Bye Bye Brown lipsticks, were posted about with the same enthusiasm and reverence as, oh, Nars, Chanel, or other slightly more expensive brands.

It's not that Jane was ever quite high end makeup at drugstore prices. The staying power of the products varied wildly. Some of the lipsticks were dry, others (supposedly of the same formula) weren't. It's just that some of the stuff really was good. And it was all, what, $3 apiece?

Estee Lauder had already acquired Sassaby, the owner of Jane, in late 1997, before I found out about Jane on LP. It certainly explains how easy it was to find Jane. Longs Drugs carried it, Walgreens did as well; it seemed to be everywhere.

At one point, Jane changed, from being the hidden drugstore gem, into something akin to Bonne Bell. Sweet flavored lipsticks and shiny colored powders appeared to dominate, and I felt my interest wane.

Later on, it suddenly became impossible to find Jane at all. It was pulled from Longs Drugs, seemed to linger on a bit longer at Walgreens; it popped up at Target (the Weather Wear lipstick, carded packaging period). Then it disappeared from Target.

The last two Jane products I bought were "Blushing Babydoll" and "Blushing Petal" blushes, from Target. They had half an hour's worth of staying power each, and I threw them out, too disheartened even to bother trying to make them work.

Estee Lauder sold Jane in 2004 to Lisa Yarnell and Harry Adjmi.

I suppose I forgot about Jane, even when I read on the beauty boards that it was back. I was dismayed that most of the popular shades were missing from the new line-up. No Magical Mushroom; the "new" Purple Heart was not at all the same shade as before, et cetera. It struck me that one person researching beauty boards for two days would have known which shades to reissue. The flood of posts from beauty-board old timers rushing out to buy their long-lost favorites would have introduced the brand to beauty-board new timers, in a giant wave of (free) buzz.

What summoned these memories: yesterday, I saw a Jane stand at Walgreens. I don't normally shop at Walgreens (ours is small), so have no idea how long that display has been up.

The display was...small. There were ten lipsticks on the rack, all Lipkicks. I saw Cotton Candy (light pink, pearly?), Tiramisu (this seemed quite orange), what I'll guess is Firetruck (that ubiquitous red-in-the-tube, fuchsia-on-my-lips shade, that sometimes works if your coloring is cool), Peach Perfect (this looked pretty, an orange-rose shade), Toasted Rose (ubiquitous pink-brown, but looked like a nice rendition of it), something else that had too much purple in it to be of interest to me, something Barbie pink...I'm drawing a blank on the other three shades.

Nothing actually caught my eye, beyond Peach Perfect and Toasted Rose, but then, ten lipsticks? On a drugstore rack, you need more choices.

They had a slew of eyeshadows: singles, duos, quads, palettes of six and eight shades...a good concept. If you were starting out using eyeshadow, it would make perfect sense to try larger amounts of smaller shades.

I barely glanced at the blushes, I suppose remembering too well the zilch staying power of the last two Jane blushes I'd bought, but they did have some interesting-looking mosaic blushes. (No Blushing Glow on the rack, but it is on the Jane site.)

Didn't see any of the mineral products but then I wasn't looking for them. I have lately contemplated replacing my trusty MAC Blot pressed powder with a non-talc version, just to see if it made a difference...Jane wouldn't be the worst place to start. (Editor's note: I've seen good reviews for the Physicians Formula Mineral Wear pressed powders.)

Ultimately, I didn't buy anything. I'm not sure how much of that is because I don't readily buy drugstore makeup anymore (I've found it can be expensive over the long run, since more expensive products tend to last a lot longer), how much could be attributed to the limited product selection (if I had found a lipstick shade that caught my eye, I would have bought it for old times' sake, and to see if the new is as good as the old).

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Colleen Shirazi continues to blog here: Life of Colleen
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