REVIEW | Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Cathedral

Ever since I’ve been interested in makeup, finding a perfect nude, MLBB shade has been next to impossible. Sure, I’ve come across a few that’s been acceptable, but I could never just settle on those shades and had to keep looking. Then came along the cult favourite Kat Von D Studded Lipstick in Cathedral. The swatches I saw online looked absolutely divine, and I knew that this could potentially be it; the be-all and end-all of my nude lipstick collection. One fateful day it was finally restocked after months and months of waiting, and here we are.
Kat Von D Studded Lipstick in Cathedral nc40


I purchased this lipstick from Sephora for $26 CAD. It is described as a ‘matte coco rose’ and is given this description from the Sephora website:

Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss Lipstick is infused with vitamins A, C, and E, an antioxidant complex that leaves lips feeling soft, and the Crème Brûlée scent provides a subtle, sweet experience when you apply it. Designed by Kat to resemble one of her favorite bracelets, the black, monochromatic casing is uniquely studded and topped with her KVD monogram on the outer crown and bullet.

I’ll start off by saying that the shade as described is quite accurate. It definitely pulls more rosy when applied but has some brown undertones. On me, it isn’t as apparent because I already have pigmented lips and a darker skin tone, but on individuals who are more fair, it will appear more like a…well…coco rose shade.

KVD Cathedral on NC40 skin

KVD Cathedral on NC40 skin


This aspect of the lipstick is probably what I disliked the most. Although the claims state that it should leave your lips feeling soft, that certainly is not the case after wearing this lipstick for a few hours. After a long day, my lips are left feeling extremely dry and chapped – and this is if I wear a lip balm underneath. I can’t imagine how my lips would look or feel like if I just wore this lipstick on its own. I believe that without the balm underneath the shade wouldn’t even last more than an hour on me. As for the scent, I honestly didn’t even notice there was one until after reading its description on the Sephora website. It’s a very faint artificial vanilla, coconut scent (kind of like the Cinema Secrets brush cleaner) which you can barely smell while applying the lipstick. Compared to MAC lipsticks, this lipstick is practically fragrant-free.

Final Thoughts

I’m a little torn about this lipstick. On one hand, I absolutely love the shade and how it looks on me. On the other hand, I’m fairly disappointed with how it wears. That being said, I’m used to the way that matte lipsticks feel on the lips and prefer them over any other type of formula, but this one is just a little too drying, almost like the Retro Matte formula by MAC. If I’m going to perfectly honest, some of the Retro Matte lipstick are my top favourite lipsticks, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal for me. I guess I was more disappointed about this lipstick’s formula because this shade was meant to be worn on most days, and not just for special occasions which I reserve my Retro Matte lipsticks for. Would I recommend buying this lipstick? If you’re not used to matte formulas, no. You’ll absolutely hate it. If you are used to them, sure.


Although this shade is in a perpetual state of being out of stock, I’m happy to announce that I’ve found some really good dupes for it. MAC Taupe is extremely similar to KVD Cathedral, except it isn’t as rosy and has more of a red-brown undertone. MAC Whirl (lipstick) is a close second with it being just a bit darker and a little more muted.

MAC Taupe vs. KVD Cathedral vs. MAC Whirl on medium tan NC40 skin

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