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making faces :: spring lips for vampy ladies

the wrong of spring
every year it happens. you've had months to indulge your love of deep, dark, come-hither lips and then
suddenly, the mercury starts to rise. sure, you can still get away with those vampy looks at night- that's always when they're most appropriate- but during the gradually extending daylight hours, those blood red or eggplant purple lips look less elegant and more emo kid. all around you, people are doffing heavy coats and black leggings in favour of featherweight fabrics and pastels. but if pink and peach make you shrink and screech, what are you supposed to do?



no! no no no no no. n-o
well, i've long since made my peace with the girlie spectrum of tones, but i still feel more like me wearing a colour that's quirkier. luckily, the world of cosmetics is no longer trying to force us into a single spring mold. there are lots of colours available that are perfectly appropriate for a balmy spring day without making you feel like you sold you dark, misunderstood soul.

in choosing a few recommendations for the rest of us, i limited myself to colours that form part of the permanent range of colours each company has available. there's no point offering help if i'm just pointing you towards things that you have to buy from scalpers on evil-bay. that said, trolling on line can be lucrative and not everyone is selling deleted items for an arm and a leg, so it's always worth keeping an eye out.

HELP IS AVAILABLE! SEE OPTIONS PLUS A SPRING LOOK



urban decay :: oil slick :: hey, haven't we seen this one recently? yes, it was getting oil slick (reviewed in detail in my last post) that got me to thinking about this subject, but i did want to underline it's post-vernal equinox appropriateness. it's black, but it's sheer enough and has that dewy sparkle that gives the impression of being ready for sunnier weather. by the time they've figured out you're wearing a vampy lip colour, you'll already have bent them to your will... or whatever you were intending on doing. [$22cad, exclusively at sephora locations or on line at sephora.com]

mac cosmetics :: date night :: this is actually a gloss, part of mac's "dazzleglass" range of products. these are very sheer, to be sure and feature a ton (not literally) of sparkle and shimmer. most are quite
date night
pastel and therefore useless to someone looking for something darker, with the exception of this one colour. while it's far from being intense, the gloss has a cool purple base that does lend a darker cast to the lips and has a lot of blue and purple shimmer (don't worry, it's not gritty), that make your pout subtly cooler. of the selections i've made, it's probably the one that's furthest from those ultra-opaque matte tones, but it does make for a hint of something a little mischievous. the formula on these glosses is quite slippery, so it requires reasonably frequent touch-ups if you want to keep it looknig fresh (and keep the pigment at its most intense). like all glosses, they are quite moisturising. i've noted in my own collection and read reports from others, that these glosses are subject to "evaporation", meaning that once you open them, they have a tendency to deplete faster than you use them. given the price, that's more than a little annoying, so keep the cap on tight and feel free to use them often over the course of the warmer months. it's not like you're going to want a gloss come september anyway. [$22cad, available exclusively at mac stores and counters and on line at maccosmetics.com]

good to be bad
mac cosmetics :: good to be bad :: i have no idea why, but it seems like someone discovered a burning need in the hearts of cosmetics consumers sometime last year: women everywhere were tired of having to choose between the pigmentation of a lipstick and the soft, moist feel of a gloss. and so, this spring, every company in the world seems to have responded with their own version of a hybrid product. chanel launched their rouge coco shine collection, guerlain's rouge automatique is hot off the presses and dior, not to be outdone by anyone, has just revamped their entire dior addict line with an overwhelming 50+ shades as a gel-based hybrid product. the thing is, the huge majority of those products (editor's note- i haven't seen guerlain's in person yet) are pastels.

as usual, it's mac to the rescue with a smaller collection of a new product called "sheen supreme", which has a nice range of colours from soft pinks to this shade, a vampy dark red that any black-clad girl would love. the colour can actually get pretty intense on this one, but it can be applied sheer as well (i'd say the image on the right represents a medium between the two).

these products are super-soft and moisturising, but i find that this also makes them prone to melting. it's not a product i'd recommend carrying in your purse if you're going to be out and about in the summer sun all day. that softness can also make them a bit messy to apply if you press too hard, so a light hand is always a good idea. the pigmentation is excellent and it actually lasts longer than most gloss-type product. [$17.50cad, available exclusively at mac stores and counters and on line at maccosmetics.com]

nars :: fast ride :: nars has a whole collection of sheer colours that are often quite pigmented and warrant a look from anyone searching for a decent pop of colour that isn't heavy. fast ride looks almost intimidating in the tube (or at least it would to people who don't normally wear dark lips), but in fact it's colour is an inviting currant red that seems to blend with the natural lip colour of the wearer. the pigmentation is good, although you're not ever going to get it close to opaque and it glides on easily.

fast ride
compared to the other products mentioned here, i found this less moisturising on the lips. it did have a bit of a tendency to settle into lines a little, although it's far from uncomfortable. it also has less of a sheen than the other products mentioned here and tends to look more like a nice stain, as if you've been drinking a little red wine, or the blood of your enemies. because it blends with one's own lip colour, i can picture this working on warm or cool skin tones, although i think on very dark lips, it wouldn't show up as well.

for a fairly sheer product, the lasting power is very good. i didn't find i needed much in the way of touch ups unless i was eating and/ or drinking. it's a lovely colour that feels very "me" without calling a lot of attention to itself. [$29cad, available at nars counters in major department stores, murale locations in canada and, for u.s. customers only, on line at narscosmetics.com, also available through nordstrom.com]

if none of these grab your fancy, here are a few suggestions from old mac collections that you might be able to find through the magic of the internet ::

overdone :: originally released in 2006 with a collection called "rockocco", it was described as a "smoky plum". it's a brownish berry tone with hints of purple in a lustre finish (look here if you're confused about what that means) with a faint shimmer. it's fairly light and sheer in texture, but it's still definitely the kind of colour you don't see every day. i almost cried when i finally had to admit that, yes, i'd used it all up.

jampacked :: this deep grape coloured gloss was released in 2008 with mac's "cult of cherry" collection, also known as the greatest cosmetics collection in history. any lady who likes deep lips should own at least a few items from this. although it was released for fall and the colour is pretty deep, i find jampacked looks sheer and juicy enough to work just fine in the spring.

boys go crazy :: released as part of the 2010 "digi pops" collection, this is a dazzleglass, like date night, but it's more like date night's cousin from the wrong side of the tracks. it has the same sparkle effect, but deeper, darker, and an overall bluer shade of purple. apparently, there are a lot of women like me, because when the collection launched, this sold out in about a week.

and, to wrap things up, here's just something that i did for a spring day that i think still sticks pretty close to the look i have regularly (insofar as i have a regular look). all products are from mac unless otherwise specified ::

face
nars sheer glow foundation mont blanc
prolongwear concealer nw20

eyes
painterly paint pot as base
unbasic white e/s
silverthorn e/s
fashion e/s
shu uemura metallic olive e/s
carbon e/s
blacktrack fluidline eye liner
ysl faux cils mascara

cheeks
vintage grape blush ombre
springshine blush ombre

lips
nars fast ride l/s

Comments

Lisa said…
I was very impressed with the SKII Facial Treatment Essence (http://www.geocities.jp/hongkong_skii/index_e.htm), enough so that I have continued to use the product daily as part of my skin care routine after the test period. It's a luxury purchase to be sure, but this is one of the best products that can really make a significant difference in your skin, and so worth every penny.

I applied the treatment each morning and evening after cleansing my skin and before moisturizer/primer and then makeup. Within just a few days I could see that my skin was much more supple and smooth - particularly in the t-zone. After about two weeks, I loved the beautiful glow my skin had - even without makeup.

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