I’m not a makeup girl.
I wear it, I like it, can’t live without it—but in reality, I’m not a makeup junkie. I rarely buy eyeshadow or other products, and I can’t be bothered to do more than a little powder, blush, mascara, and lipstick on a daily basis. But I do love lipstick. That’s the extent of my beauty product confession. Well, almost. I’m definitely a little over-the-top with nail polish, but I’ll cover that in another post.
Despite the fact that my everyday face is no extraordinary feat of modern cosmetology, I am repeatedly asked about my bold lipstick when I wear it, which these days is almost every day. On Monday I promised I would share the answers to my two most-asked questions: What lipstick are you wearing? What polish is that?
This is part one of my beauty confidential: all about my lippie…but first, a peek inside my Cole Haan makeup bag. Oh, and I could’ve used fancy images of products from the Web, but I wanted you to see my actual stash, unretouched, in reality.
This is what I carry with me pretty much daily—a lot of lip products(!)—plus MAC powder, floss, anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, and lip balm. My faves are L’Oreal Color Juice glosses, and Yves Saint Laurent and MAC lipsticks.
A few years ago, I was seriously into gloss worn over lipstick. I wore it daily. For some reason since then, I’ve gotten back into fully-saturated lipstick and really only wear gloss when I’m wearing nude lipstick, or to the pool or gym. (You bet I wear makeup to the gym! I don’t give a flying fig what the derms say about that. Sweaty can be sexy, but sweaty and unmade? Uh, not so much.)
Lipstick Arsenal #1
The five shades above are my go-to colors, from left-to-right: MAC Myth and Vegas Volt; Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur #52 and #49; MAC Impassioned. I use the nude shade, MAC Myth, under some shades if I want less intensity, or under a taupe gloss (first photo, top right) when I do a nude lip.
I have fair-to-medium skin, without much underlying pink, yellow, or red—so most products look the same on my face as they do in the container. That said, here’s a guide to my faves:
- MAC Impassioned—A bright reddish-pink. Kristina of Pretty Shiny Sparkly also wears this one if you want to see it on someone else. It looks phenomenal with her porcelain skin and blonde hair!
- MAC Vegas Volt—A true orange. Bright, but not in-your-face bright. I love the formulation of this lipstick…it is smooth, creamy, and covers fully. Not too slick or too thick. Perfection.
- Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur #52—A vibrant coral, a pinkish-orange. A little more intense than Vegas Volt.
- Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur #49—The closest thing to a grown-up neon pink that I’ve found. Seriously, this one gets compliments from men and women. It is bold, unexpected, and so flattering on. Absolutely adore this one.
Lipstick Arsenal #2
Whenever I need a change (or my outfit begs for something different) these secondary colors usually fit the bill. From left-to-right: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté #2 , Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture #6 , Estée Lauder Tiger Eye, Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in Are You Red-dy.
A guide to my secondary lipstick arsenal:
- The Yves Saint Laurents—The YSLs in this set are a different formulation than the Rouge Pur lippies I so love. Although I like the pinky-nude shades, I do not like the consistency of these newer productions one single bit. Coverage is thinner and not long-lasting, so I have to apply them like every 30 minutes. Won’t be buying them again.
- Estée Lauder Tiger Eye—The one anomaly in my collection. Why? It’s the only metallic in the lot. I tend to like matte/cream shades (but not a matte lip). This is my third tube of Tiger Eye, and I clearly need another. It is a a gorgeous cinnamon-bronze; very creamy for a shade with sparkles, and it lasts beautifully.
- Maybelline Color Sensational—Are You Red-dy is my one drugstore lipstick, and it is superb. It has taken me years to find a red lipstick that isn’t too dark, too orange, too dry/matte, or too severe for my whiteness (I look so goth otherwise. And that’s OK, but I’ve been there, done that). This one is just a joy to wear. Luscious, moist, long-lasting, and so ladylike.
Tips for Wearing Bright Lippie
- Stick to cream (not metallic colors), in moisturizing formulations.
The key to bright, bold lips is intensity and total coverage. Glosses and shimmers diminish the oomph of a vibrant shade. Moisturizing lipstick is also key to long-lasting color, but formulations that are gloss-like do not have the same effect.
I’ve tried a lot of brands over the years, in drugstores and department stores, and the best of the best are:
- MAC Amplified Creme formulations (Vegas Volt and Impassioned are both of this ilk)
- YSL Rouge Pur formulations
- Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor (not High Shine or Pearls formulations)
- You really only need lipliner when you wear red-based shades.
Red is the only color that “bleeds.” I actually don’t wear liner because it always changes the color of the lipstick slightly.* My red bleeds a little when I wear it sans liner, so I use a little extra powder along my lipline to combat it. And all those makeup artists who advise that you fill in your entire lip with liner before applying lipstick? That has never worked for me. My lipstick flakes every time.
- Wear Chapstick or Carmex under lipstick if your lips are dry, or your lipstick flakes.
I prefer Carmex in the tube. The waxiness of a lip balm not only helps with dry lips, it helps the waxes in your lipstick adhere to your lips, with less slippage, believe it or not. Whenever you have a formulation that is too thin, start with a layer of lip balm (not lip gloss).
- Color block with your lipstick.
At the IFB Conference in February, I wore a fuchsia dress with orange lips and nails, and loved the coordinated clash.
These colors look fabulous together:
- hot pink + orange
- coral + purple or fuchsia
- red + pink
- cinnamon + melon
- orange + blue
- When wearing bold lipstick, make it the focus of your face.
That means toned-down eye makeup, so you don’t look overdone, or like a Robert Palmer Addicted to Love extra. (Though I love that video!) Let your lips be the focus, without any competition.
- After eating, remove all remnants of your lipstick and reapply.
If you simply reapply with any residue of food on your lips, you can expect your lipstick to start migrating outside your lipline. Go to the ladies room, remove it all, re-powder around your lips, and reapply.
What are your favorite lipstick colors and brands? What tips or tricks do you have to share?
* Want to know more about red lipsick? Wendy Brandes rocks red all the time (and splendidly, I might add), and I consider her to be a red lipstick aficionada. Search her blog for deets on her favorite red-toned lipsticks and liners.