Skip to main content

making faces :: how dry i am

it is happening again. whether it's a wet cold or a dry cold, you can pretty much rest assured that if you're in the upper part of the northern hemisphere, you're going to be spending the next several months having the moisture vacuumed out of every section of your epidermis, especially those that you routinely expose to the world at large.

for most of us, that means our face and hands.

one of the things that i have never quite figured out is how both wet and dry colds somehow leave my lips feeling equally parched. i grew up in eastern canada, where the winters are wet enough that you'd assume the entire population would look like distorted sponges by the end of the cold season, but that's not the case. instead, a soggy winter leaves you in pretty much the same condition as the brittle winds of the prairies. [yes, i know that winds technically can't be brittle, but i thought that the phrase was evocative. it's my blog and i will sin against grammar at will.]

i think that a great deal of the problem comes from the fact that we actually spend far more time indoors, around electric heating, which makes the air even drier. i've already noticed the difference since i've been working full-time in an office that isn't in my home. that still, lifeless air takes a toll that's at least as bad as what's outside. [on a side note, i'm not sure who decided that office windows should never be allowed to open, because it seems that a lot of the problems people have with workplace air would be addressed by letting some fresh air in.]

if you are, like me, a lady who loves her lipstick, this time of year can get a little challenging. after all, the diminished light and moody skies are perfect for sultry, deep colours, but a lot of the most saturated formulas can feel like you're applying a combination of salt and hydrogen peroxide.

but i'm here to help.



since i try out lots of different lip products and work in an especially dry office, i've had a lot of opportunities to figure out what works and what doesn't. my lips are not exceptionally dry under normal circumstances, but they do tend to dry out fairly quickly when the weather changes and when i'm in a dry controlled climate for an extended period. so if you want to sport those autumnal hues, but not if they make you suffer, here are a few formulas you might want to check out:

guerlain :: rouge g and rouge automatique :: these really do seem to care for lips and pamper them with rich, hydrating hugs. both formulas are generally pretty pigmented to begin with and they hold their colour fairly well, throughout the day. remove them at night and they leave lips feeling good.

armani :: rouge d'armani :: i found that these were tops in maintaining their colour and, while they weren't quite as moisturising as guerlain, they're pretty damn comfortable. i love the fact that even their lighter colours last a long time.

bite :: luminous creme :: an upstart canadian company that i'll be reviewing in detail later this week, bite are completely focused on the lips. their colours are super-saturated, but do fade to a stain within a couple of hours. the stain, however, is generally very even and hangs on a long time. they feel lovely on the lips and are one of the very few formulas that actually seem hyrdating- my lips feel better after i've worn them.

nars :: semi-sheer and semi-matte lipsticks :: both of these formulas are really nice on the lips, even if the lips aren't feeling that nice to begin with. the semi-sheer shades obviously have less coverage, but it does last fairly well compared to others in the same category. their semi-matte shades are surprisingly forgiving on lips and probably the easiest matte formula to wear without aggravating already chapped or cracked lips.

and here are a few formulas you might want to keep on the shelf until milder, moister temperatures return:

chanel :: rouge allure velvet :: don't get me wrong, i love how pigmented and smooth these lipsticks are, but there's no getting around the fact that they're on the dry side. you can combat that by applying lip balm or a base, but if you want to keep things simple, it's probably wisest to look elsewhere.

mac :: cremesheen :: i never understood the hype around this particular formula, which has never struck me as one of mac's best. it's supposed to combine the rich colour of their amplified finish with the glossy shine of their lustres, but the fact is that many of their lustres are plenty pigmented and lipsticks don't tend to keep their shine that long no matter what. i find these are tricky to apply evenly if your lips are at all dry and that they tend to make that dryness a little worse. they are also very prone to feathering on dried lips.

makeup forever :: rouge artiste intense :: i should say that i haven't tried one of their satin finishes and i understand that these feel a little better, but the matte and frost shades in their range, while they have some amazing colours, are dry, there's no getting around it.

it always helps to apply a moisturising balm in the morning to help soften your lips and seal in moisture- just pat it dry or kiss the back of your hand before you apply your lipstick. there are also several lip primers that help lipstick glide on smoothly, last longer and stay inside the lines, although they generally won't moisturise your parched kisser- just make it look nicer. [moment of honesty- i remain to be convinced about the efficacy of these sorts of treatments, but if you find they work for you, feel free to speak up.]

so take heart. yes, the drying season is upon us, but there are places you can turn to get that distinctive dark pout without putting yourself in pain. [and, as always, please feel free to share your experiences and preferences!]

Comments

I am in love with Fyrinnae's lip lustres! They apply incredibly creamy and I rarely have to reapply throughout the day.
Kate MacDonald said…
I've heard so many good things about Fyrrinae, I really must try them. I have one of their loose pigments which is incredibly beautiful, but somehow I've never gotten around to ordering from them.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

i'm definitely someone altogether different

about a hundred years ago, i remember having a partner who told me that, rather than writing the sort of ambiance-oriented crap [he didn't say crap, i'm saying it] that i was naturally driven to write, i should just compose something like the harry potter books. this wasn't out of any sense of challenging me to do new things but because of the desperate hope that my love of writing could be parlayed into something profitable.

my reaction at the time was "i just can't". and that was honestly how i felt because i didn't believe that that kind of story was in me. for the record, i still don't think that anything like the potter-hogwarts universe is in me. i'm not a fan of fantasy literature generally speaking and i feel like there's a richer experience to be examined in looking at our experience as regular humans being part of the rational, limited, everyday world and at the same time being able to feel connected to something that, for lack of a…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [winter edition]

it seems oddly canadian to have two posts in a row about winter/ cold/ snow, but they're obviously unrelated. after all, for most people winter is a season, but in colour analysis terms, winter is part of what you are, an effect of the different wavelengths that comprise the physical part of the thing known as "you". this might be getting a little heady for a post about lipstick. moving on...

if you've perused the other entries in this series without finding something that really spoke to you [figuratively- lipsticks shouldn't actually speak to you- get help], you may belong in one of the winter seasons. winter, like summer, is cool in tone; like spring, it is saturated; like autumn, it is dark. that combination of elements creates a colour palette [or three] that reads as very "strong" to most. and on people who aren't part of the winter group, such a palette would look severe. the point of finding a palette that reads "correctly" on you…

making faces :: best [bright winter] face forward

a few years ago, i wrote quite a bit about sci/art colour analysis. i haven't followed up on it more recently because there's only so much a girl can say about three-dimensional colour and what the "hallmarks" of each loose category are without getting super repetitive. i am planning on updating a few of the posts that i made, particularly the "lip for all seasons" posts [springsummer, autumn, winter], as those are out of date and not so useful. the posts on colour analysis continue to be very popular despite being years old, so i figure it's worth following up.

during my journey of colour self-discovery, i determined that i was probably a bright winter, which means i look best in colours that are highly saturated first of all [and sharply contrasting second of all], and which lean cooler and darker. not for me the soft smoky eyes and muted lips, nor the bubbly, light-as-air pastels. as i proved to myself wearing different looks, trying to embrace th…