When I saw Soap & Glory Marvelips! Lip Crayon ($10) at Target, I stopped in my tracks. My interest sprung from the fact that it looked very much like a more expensive product, Benefit Cupid's Bow Lip Shaper ($28). Released a few years back, Benefit's product is a duo-ended pencil, one side being a pearly pink highlighter, the other being a darker mocha mauve lip pencil. By using the highlighter end to accent the cupid's bow and the darker end to contour the lower lip, the Cupid's Bow promises to perfect your pucker. Marvelips! double-ended lip pencil promises much the same thing, but at a third of the price. That is a significant price difference, in my book. I should note, however, that the Benefit product also comes with a fancy lip brush to help with application, so that probably factors into the almost $30 price tag as well.
To be clear, I do not own a Cupid's Bow, but have played around with it a few times at the store, so I'm not completely unfamiliar. I do, now, own a Marvelips! and it is pretty great.
The instructions on the back of the Marvelips! package walk you through how to use the product to achieve maximal pout. This basically consists of using the pigmented end to line and fill in the lips, followed by using the creamy highlighter to accent the top lip by layering the highlight over the base color, thereby giving the illusion of fuller lips This did not exactly work for me as I found that the highlighter was too light to be able to show up in any noticeable way on top of the lipstick. I then tried using the highlighter on the cupid's bow and found that it worked splendidly in that capacity. The highlighter end is slightly greasy in consistency and, as I said above, is a silvery highlight, rather than pearl. The colored end of Marvelips! is a pretty mauve that is reminiscent of my ultimate fave lip color, Benefit Lady's Choice. It is creamy and well-pigmented, applying easily and smoothly. It is a ringer for the Bobbi Brown Lip Crayons ($22) and the color would fit right in with Bobbi's range of pretty neutrals (again, at half the price).
In contrast, the pigmented end of Benefit Cupid's Bow is darker and used to outline and define the lower lip rather than as all-over lip color. It is firmer in consistency and more like a traditional lip pencil than a lipstick. Recommended usage includes using another lipstick or lip gloss in addition to the contouring that is done with the Cupid's Bow. The Marvelips! is a complete product for a lip look that doesn't require any additional products. For that reason, Marvelips! is an even bigger value than it originally appeared.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with my Marvelips! purchase and I think that it performs on par, and maybe even better, than Cupid's Bow. It is the first thing that I've tried from the Soap & Glory brand and I'm pretty excited to try some more. They have a bunch of adorable lip products available just in time for Valentine's day so if Marvelips! doesn't suit your fancy, I bet that you can find one that does.