I only own one of these, Explode, but Claire has one too, Divine. I've only tried it on to take a photo, so i asked her to write a little bit about what it's like to wear properly and here's what she had to say:
'This was a gift to me from Lillian :) We were shopping around at the Illamasqua counter and she overheard me admiring it's Calpol-pink colour. When my back was turned she bought it on the sly to give to me later! Aww.
Divine goes on very smoothly, it's not thick or gloopy, nor does it feel tacky or unpleasant on my lips. I don't wear a lot of lip products, so I'm usually very concious of the texture, and if something is too sticky or too drying, I can't tolerate it very well and want to scrub it off, and this is especially true of a lot of lipglosses I've tried. But i can put on Divine and forget i'm wearing it because the texture is so nice. Divine also doesn't seem as sticky as most of the ones I have, and I was especially impressed when on a windy day my hair smacked me in the face, and when I went to brush it away, it didn't stick to my lips in the same horrible way as other lipglosses do (for instance Pink Poodle by Mac is a similar colour but i find it a lot more sticky).
Because it's not thick, it's hard to build up the colour, but for a sheer lipgloss, you do get quite a lot of pigment onto your lips without much work. It's also quite long lasting for a gloss, it will vanish within about an hour without touching it up, but in my experience with glosses, this is pretty good, and I find it quite easy to apply considering it doesn't have a wand. I find the tip is a nice shape for pushing the gloss around on my lips, though maybe because it's sheer, I can get away with being a bit sloppy applying it, so it's easy for me to just pop it in my bag and carry it around if I want to wear it all day.'
Thanks Claire! Kiss kiss.
My findings when wearing Explode and briefly Divine are pretty much the same as hers. For something specifically called a 'sheer' gloss these are really quite pigmented, around the same as the average gloss you can buy. I guess calling it 'sheer' is to show to differentiate them from the opaque Intense lipglosses, not because they are super sheer themselves. They still impart a good amount of colour on your lips, but it is translucent instead of opaque.
To me they feel the same as the Intense glosses, even though the Intense ones must pack a lot more pigment. And, while they do wear off quicker than the opaque colours they still stick around for about an hour or 2 before you really need to reapply, which personally i find quite good for a gloss (don't know if it's just me but most glosses tend to last just a few minutes on my lips before they just disappear or feather away). As they are sheer hey are easier to apply and less high-maintenance than the opaque ones.
So finally here are the lip swatches of the two i have access to.
Explode - a lovely milky colour which shows mainly pink reflects but also some gold and a little blue. As you can see it covers the natural colour of my lips quite well.
Divine - Pretty clear bright pink.
So would i purchase again? Well i'm not as in love with these as i am the opaque ones simply because i love opaque lip products a lot more than sheer. However there are a few colours i really like and am interested in buying (the purples are lovels and some of the pinks are very pretty) . Another great thing about these is that you can layer them over lipsticks or liners to change the colour. Explode is really lovely over other colours as it makes the colour have a milky-pinky sheen but the original colour still shines through. I think for other people who are used to wearing sheer glosses or lipsticks these would be great though, their staying power, formula and colour range make them still really worth the money. I really like them a lot, just not as much as the Intense Glosses, which as you may know are one of my favourite ever lip products.