Tag Archives: Color

A Bold Lip!

15 Oct

I am going to try to blog MWF this week to make a little headway. I have about a billion things I could blog about – many of which I have been meaning to blog about for. ev. er. – but the months are quickly escaping me! I will start making draft blogs now though to remind myself of all of them and hopefully that will give me some impetus!

I am choosing to start this week with a special request blog from my friend (and amazing interior designer) Colleen. Norms I do NOT post photos of myself or loved ones in this blog, but this one is actually applicable. This weekend, the huzz and I went to a Swanky charity event and got all dressed up. I am now 7 1/2 months pregnant and feeling every week of it, but I had my hair done and made a go at my makeup and one of the resulting pics is this one:

Oh hey it’s me and that guy I married!

Well the outpouring of compliments on this photo has truly stunned me and I am SO grateful to have such kind friends! Besides that, however, I received this helpful suggestion from Colleen: “Please do a blog post on strong lipstick and disclose what you wore.” So here it is!

I tend to shy away from a bold lip. There are many reasons for this, chief among them:

    • it’s hard to find a color I can commit to that is dark/matte
    • it’s hard to color in the lines, so I am always afraid I’ll look like the Joker
    • bolds often bleed – see previous reason
    • I like to do eyes up and if you do eyes and lips, you end up looking like an 80s supermodel (which apparently is the new Estée Lauder campaign? Baffling.)
    • I end up with color on my teeth
    • I am afraid dark colors will highlight imperfections in my skin (it happens, truth)
    • I am a wuss

That about sums it up.

Now, as an Aries AND a fair blonde, they tell me red is supposed to be my friend. But I am just NOT a red girl. I’ll go for red toenails now and then or maybe a red sweater around Christmas, and I do BUY red things, but wearing them is a real once-in-awhile experience for me. Now and then, however, the time arises for a bold lip and I try to take that bull by the horns and ride it, which is what I attempted to do Saturday night, and I think somehow pulled off.

Here are the hints I have:

1) Think of the lipstick as your accessory. It should either totally match your dress (like the red is the EXACT COLOR as the red dress you’re wearing, and that can be tricky!) or it should be your glitz, along with your jewelry. In my case, I wore a very plain black dress, some sparkly silver jewelry, had my hair did, and then whammo with the lips. If I’d worn a red dress and done red lips, I’d have toned down the jewelry/hair. And if I’d worn some fab dress and shoes and jewels, I’d probably have gone with a fairly neutral shiny lip. Point being it’s all about balance. Don’t throw yourself over the cliff of glam.

2) I did a low-key eye. I used a light pink base with a gray highlight (Lancôme’s Ombre Absolue Duo in shade A01 Night and Day, which they apparently no longer make), my Buxom eyeliner in Onyx on the upper lid, Urban Decay liner in Dime on the lower lid, and Lancôme Hypnose Drama mascara (which incidentally is okay but does smudge so I’m not recommending it). Okay yes that sounds like a lot but refer again to the Estée Lauder picture above and stay with me. It was understated, so allowed me to be a little crazier with the lips.

3) Normally I stay away from reds that have ANY hint of orange/warm undertone because they make me look jaundiced, but this one was a little on the true red side and still turned out okay. Still, my typical advice is: if your skin has yellow undertones, seek reds in the blue, purple, brown families; if your skin is pinkish, then you can pull off those more orangey or yellowy reds. A good way to know which type of skin you have is to ask yourself if you can tan. I tan like crazy because of all my yellow pigment. Pinky fairs tend not to tan as well or at all.

4) I used a lip liner first (helps to keep you in the lines!) and then as soon as I applied my lipstick, asked my husband, “Is this too bright?” He said no, that it WAS bright, but not too bright, that it looked good. And the key here: I BELIEVED HIM. I walked away from the mirror instead of obsessing, and tucked a lipgloss into my bag in case I got self conscious later.

5) I didn’t have to put this into action last night, but I recently read that when wearing a dark color lip, use your finger tip to apply and blend and it will help keep you in the lines. Genius! I do plan to use this in the future.

6) I took both the lipstick and liner with me, along with the gloss. I didn’t have to reapply the liner at all, but I did do one reapp of the lipstick to keep it looking fresh, and it did the trick.

Okay so! All that said, what are the products I used? Estée Lauder Automatic Lip Pencil Duo in 06-Poppy Red, and Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick in 35 Rich Red. WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD IS THAT LIP PENCIL SO EXPENSIVE ON AMAZON? Well I can’t find it on the EL site, so maybe it’s discontinued, which figures. However I know you can go on the EL site and chat with a beauty consultant if you really feel like you need to find the closest match, or they have one called “Red” that I bet is comparable. Stop discontinuing my products, people! Argh ANYHOW, I love that EL lipstick because it has that smell that is so pleasant. Lancôme lipstick smells like a granny to me, but EL lipstick smells like sweet tea, and seems to have good staying power. Plus they’re not lying about the “Hydra” part – in spite of that nice bold color, my lips didn’t feel dry or matte-y at all.

Also, a final hint that often works to keep color off your teeth: After application, wrap your index finger (otherwise known as your pointer) in tissue, place it between your lips, and close in an “ooh” mouth around your finger. The stick that gets on your teeth is the stick that’s in that area, so blotting it helps to reduce transfer.

This has taken me WAY longer than anticipated but I hope it satisfies – as usual, any questions, feel free to ask!


Anastasia Hydrafull Gloss

1 Aug


Sephora was giving full-size tubes of this stuff in “Moi” away for free (I dunno if they still are, but you can try – the promo code is MOI). That should have been a clue that maybe I wasn’t going to love it (nothing good comes free in full size, in my experience). But enough parenthetical statements (okay, just one more, for funsies).

The gloss is thick and a little sticky, which is okay. The color is nice, a good neutral on me. And the smell is nice – a kind of pleasant vanilla sugar smell. But the applicator ruins it all! They show it above – see the image in the upper right that looks like it’s going BOI-OI-OI-OING? That’s it. The applicator is a paddle (?) type – flat plastic. I have used this type of applicator in the past with success but there’s something different about this one – perhaps it’s the width of it, or the thickness of the gloss itself. Either way, me no likey. It gives NO precision, which is pretty imperative with a semi-opaque gloss, and I ended up either applying too much or too little and then having to smooth out with my finger, which completely defeats the purpose of the applicator. After two uses, it’s being relegated to my giveaway pile, which is sad, because it has everything else going for it.

Re-release in a foam-tipped applicator wand, Anastasia! Do it!

Stila Long Wear Lip Color

25 May

On that previously mentioned trip to Sephora with Dina, I of course couldn’t help browsing about for myself. I am pretty set currently in the cosmetics department (GASP!) so I haven’t been going too crazy lately, but of course there’s always room for one more fantastic lip product (see blog title). I have used and like Stila products before, so when I saw they were making a lip crayon, I was delighted. I checked every color for one I thought I could pull off on a regular basis, and settled on Serenade, a nice peachy mauve. Of course, that was the one color Sephora was sold out of – D’OH! I left Sephora that night not empty-handed (I got some makeup removing towelettes and some face wash), but not with anything new or exciting, sadly.

Naturally I went online the very next day and ordered myself a stick of Serenade. I wore it for the first time last night, and I have to tell you, it is freaking awesome! I applied it at about 5pm. It went on smooth and slightly glossy, but with a definite lipstick finish. There was no noticeable taste or smell (for me), and it made my lips feel soft and conditioned, not stiff and dry like some long-wearing lip colors. On the way home at about 8pm, after NO reapplications, a few light snacks, and a bottle of water, I flipped down the visor in the car to discover THE LIPSTICK LOOKED PRETTY MUCH THE SAME AS WHEN I PUT IT ON. Have I been missing the boat?!? Is this what all long-wearing lip colors are like these days??? I tried long-wearing lipsticks many moons ago and could not stand the fact that I had to apply gloss over top just to make my lips feel normal.  My lips felt completely normal last night, like I had a light coat of gloss/color on, and it really and truly stayed on for three hours!

I may have to investigate further with different colors of Stila’s Long Wear Lip Color. And can you blame me?

Lip Crayons, Lip Crayons, Everywhere….

9 May

One of the newer beauty fads I whole-heartedly embrace is the lip crayon craze. I’ve never been a fan of lip liner – one extra step, and when your lipstick fades you can end up with the dreaded lip outline. Lip crayons, however, are the ultimate combination of lip liner and lipstick. Super easy to apply, the tip allows for precision application and the twist up applicator is simple and efficient. My favorite so far is the Tarte collection – they make both a shiny/glossy version, called Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Stain, and a matte version called (appropriately enough) Tarte LipSurgence Natural Matte Lip Stain. In a wide variety of colors, you’re sure to find one that suits you, and the very slight minty tingling (I suppose that’s the “surgence”) will make your lips feel kissably fresh.

My next favorite lip crayon is Buxom’s Big & Healthy Lip Stick. Like their gloss, this is a great, long-wearing lip color that causes an intense tingling after application. Again as with the gloss, I find the tingling quite pleasant, but it’s something you might have to get used to. Buxom also has a wide range of colors to choose from, and you can layer this under the Big & Healthy Lip Polish if you’re so inclined, for a really bold look.

I think I like Urban Decay’s Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color just as well as the first two, but it has a much more limited range of colors. The colors offered are very bright, very dark, and very ooh-la-la. (Think Moulin Rouge.) I only break these out once in a great while because I am not a bold lip kind of girl, in spite of the fact that I’d like to be. If you are, however, definitely give these crayons a shot.

Ah, NARS. Don’t get me wrong – I actually like this lip crayon. I haven’t yet tried a lip crayon that I don’t like, to be honest. But I just find NARS to be one of the most overrated cosmetic brands out there. I think everything they do is serviceable, some things more than others, but unimpressive. Anyhow, their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil is just fine. It works, it lasts, it has a good variety of color choices, but it doesn’t do anything special. If you’re a NARS devotee, you will no doubt enjoy them more than any other lip crayon. Otherwise, I’d check out one of the others I’ve mentioned first.

So that’s it! That’s all the lip crayons I have in my arsenal… so far. If this trend continues, I’m sure I’ll have more to report on in the future!

A Week In My Purse – Day 1: Estée Lauder High Gloss in Blush

15 Apr

This week I am going to do a special feature – a week’s worth of the items I don’t leave home without!

First and foremost on that list is Estée Lauder High Gloss in Blush. The fact that EVERY color is currently sold out through the Estée Lauder site should give you an idea of just how awesome this lip gloss is, but I’ll go on about it a bit anyhow. (Although you can’t get it through the actual site right now, a quick Google shop search indicates it can still be purchased from other stores online, such as Dillard’s. I assume Estée Lauder will eventually get it together and make more, but for now, you’ll have to hunt it down.)

Like many of Lauder’s lipsticks, and the Lauder lip gloss I previously recommended, it smells wonderful. A very vague, slightly fruity, almost iced tea-like aroma that is pleasant, sweet, and inoffensive, I never tire of it or find it to be too much. The color Blush is perfect for my complexion – I’m blonde-haired, green-eyed, with fair skin with yellow undertones. Peachy pink shades of makeup look great on me, and this one has just enough color to be there without being overly dressy or noticeable. My favorite thing about this gloss, however, is not the smell or the color – although both are a ten – but rather the fact that it is highly glossy without being runny or sticky. It has good lasting power, but doesn’t make my lips feel coated or stiff, and the applicator is absolutely perfect – a standard angled plastic top with a small hole, attached to a squeeze tube. Easy to carry, doesn’t break, doesn’t leak, don’t need a mirror to apply it.

The only time this gloss leaves my purse is when I’m moving it to an evening clutch for a night out. Great on its own or layered over a matte shade, Estée Lauder High Gloss deserves and has earned the top spot on my list of items always in my purse.

Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow

9 Apr

I used Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow in 54 – the rightmost color above – yesterday for Easter and was reminded why I bought almost every one of these colors when this line first came out.

I am a glitter girl. I used to perform burlesque – I would put glitter on everything if I could, from my eyes to my lips to my fancy brassiere. However, in real life, offstage, glitter has a limit. I don’t want it covering my face, I don’t want it getting on anyone who comes into my glittery aura, and I definitely don’t want people looking at me and wondering if I fell head first into a craft bin. So I have to be subtle with my glitter, and the way I do that is with lightly glittery eyeshadows, frosted lip glosses, and sparkly nail polishes.

Urban Decay Stardust Eyeshadow does glitter right. The colors are smooth and powdery, and true to the color they appear. The light purple goes on light purple; the dark purple is noticeably darker. And the glitter is just divine – it’s there, but it’s not going to end up all over your face, making you look like a Mariah Carey video.

Best of all, the range of colors means you can find one that will suit you for a night out or, say, for an Easter church service. It’s all up to you.

Glitz yo’self.

Chantecaille New Classic Palette

29 Mar

One of the items I bought during Frenchy’s Chantecaille day was this palette. At $85, Chantecaille’s New Classic Palette doesn’t come cheap, but surprisingly, I have so far found it worth every penny.

What you see above is: top left, eye shadow base; top right, eye shadow contour; bottom left, eye liner; and bottom right, blush. I find it unusual to purchase a palette where I like every single color, but this palette has succeeded in an area where so many others have failed. The blush is lovely and looks so natural that it doesn’t even look like I’m wearing blush. For a very natural, no-makeup look, I’ll dust a bit of the base only on my lids. For a little more sophisticated look, I’ll use just a hint of the contour. And for a night out, I’ll really play up the contour color and use the eye liner. I almost can’t believe a palette exists that can take me seamlessly from dog walker to dinner at Canlis, but here it is.

That said, I have one gripe, and one tip.

The gripe is that apparently all of Chantecaille’s palettes are limited edition. This one is sold out on their website and presumably won’t be available again, so get it while you can at places like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus (or Frenchy’s in Madison Park). This also means that if you fall in love with any of these colors, when you run out, you’re going to be relegated to combing ebay for a replacement. I really hate when companies do that – don’t get me addicted to something then pull the rug out from under me. Uncool. And I don’t mean you just can’t get this palette again, either; I mean THEY DON’T MAKE THESE COLORS. So annoying.

The tip is that the colors in this palette are in metal pans that are magnetized to the base. This is nice because when you run out you can replace them (with other colors, of course, since the ones in the palette are obnoxiously no longer available), and also nice because you can move them around. I found that when I was using my blush brush on the palette, I was sometimes picking up a little of the eye liner color on the edge of my brush and unwittingly sweeping it onto my cheek before I realized it. I swapped the places of the eye shadow base with the eye liner, however, and that no longer happens. Very convenient!

This palette is fantastic and if you’re looking for the ultimate all-in-one, day-to-night makeup color accessory, this is it.