I remember the first time I heard about Lipstick Queen Medieval was from Nylon magazine back in 2007 (or maybe 2008?) and I am a little surprised that it took me this long to get this, given how I always have a thing for sheer red. (By the way, it took Nylon no time to sell me a Nars blush. "Who needs orgasm when you can have super orgasm?" I whipped out my credit card as soon as I read that line.)
Anyway, the article features the story we have all heard for a gazillions times: How it was sinful for women in medieval times to wear red lips so they rubbed lemon on their mouth instead. The story inspired Poppy that she ended up sitting with a chemist for a whole afternoon (That's it?) and ended up with this: a universally flattering (well, that can be said about anything super sheer) red that's barely detectable...and minus the sting.
The packaging for most of Lipstick Queen products is simple and distinctive. Medieval has a small red metal tube with just the brand name (and by Poppy)stamped on. I quite like the design in general (as it goes well with my granny-print dresses, tortoise shell glasses and the rest of my hipster fantasy) but the metal closure (friction fitted so the lid rubs/scratches the paint) is bugging me a little. Anyway, I have another two lipsticks from the brand, the lids come with rubber sleeves inside so those close without scratching.
Now to the product - Medieval (to my eyes. I think my color perception is out of whack because for that stripe dress that was allover the internet. I see it as blue and poop brown...). Instead, it looks like a slightly brownish red in a light gel-stick formula. I mean, I think the brown tone is quite apparent (especially it looks more brown than Lunasol "brown red").
Lunasol Full Glamour Lips in Brown Red, Wild Watermelon, Medieval, Maybelline Color Whisper Red Around Town, Mac Crosswire, Revlon Candy Apple, Revlon Super Lustre Shine Lipstick Rich Girl's Red, Revlon Balm Stain in Romantic
From my personal experience, it seems that my lip color enhances both the warm and cool. Oranges tend to look extra yellow, neutral reds usually turn very bright (and cool-toned) on my lips. I find slightly cool cherry tend to be the most flattering so I kept going back to those.
The unique part about Lipstick Queen Medieval is that on my lips, it looks neutral and stays neutral! It also happens to be the sheerest of all of my sheer red tints (pigmentation level is probably similar to a red gloss and I don't have to deal with stickiness). The gel-stick formula is light-weight and somewhat hydrating (by don't count on it for your winter in the Northeast)and lasting power is just a little better than other tinted drugstore balms.
I think it's a great bare-bone basic that does everything it promises (it doesn't promise much though). I personally enjoy it a lot because not only it's light enough to be a slap-on-and-go color, it's the only red that I can wear with eye makeup (without feeling like a show girl) comfortably.
Medieval as a base for LA Girl Lip Paint in Pin Up (turned way too cool on me).
Bottom line: Wait for a sale (I think 16 dollars seems like a more reasonable price for what it does) or you will end up feeling like you are paying for their poetic marketing. After all (even it's unique), the formula is different, but not necessarily better than lipsticks by Maybelline or Revlon (actually I think the finish and level of pigment reminds me of Essence Glow Neon Glow).
I bought it off a set (after reading it on Dalenna's blog) that went on sale, that's why I am not whining about the price point. Anyway, can't wait to play with the other two shades (and venture more into the brand, Endless Summer range is totally my thing).