Showing posts with label lipstick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lipstick. Show all posts

30 September 2014

making faces :: berry picking

leaves are turning! gusts of chill air are arriving! evening is longer than daytime! i get excited just typing those things. it helps that, compared to last year, the first part of autumn as been glorious. the temperature has been slowly creeping downward [although we did have a shocking run of heat last week], making it comfortable to wear light layers during the day and a jacket at night. my toes are getting ready to hibernate in boots and my lips are lusting after delicious berries and plums like at no other time of the year.

i always love a deep lip, from classically sophisticated to outright vamp and i'll wear them pretty much any time i want, but there is something to the pairing of such shades with the golden autumn light, just as bold, juicy shades come into their own on the most brilliant summer days. as a result, when this time of year rolls around, i'm magnetically drawn to try any new lipstick that has "berry" in its name or description, the fuller and richer the coverage the better.

you might recall that earlier this year, i finally got around to trying givenchy's le rouge formula for the first time. i'd passed on the opportunity to try them earlier, because none of the colours seemed unique, but having tried one, i knew i was going to keep my eye out for more. i got lucky in that they added more new shades, including one promisingly named "framboise velours", which translates to "raspberry velvet". that sounds like so many thrilling things- an edwardian gown, a quietly deadly cocktail and, yes, a kick-ass lipstick colour.

28 August 2014

making faces :: made for me [or you]

all makeup aficionados go through this: there's one colour [or several] that you want, but you just can't quite find. this is how most of us end up with seventeen colours that look close enough to each other: they aren't exactly what we're looking for, nor can we achieve that exact shade by mixing what we have. it's a frivolous but frustrating cross to bear.

luckily, if you're looking for a lipstick, bite beauty can help you out. you can travel to their one of a kind lip lab, where they will work with you to come up with the exact shade you want and will mix it up right before your eyes. of course, if you can't get to the lip lab in new york city, you might be able to get a version of the experience with the bite mobile lip lab, which is currently touring sephora locations in north america. it passed through the downtown flagship store this past weekend and, of course, i took full advantage.

the experience begins with a consultation where you can look at the different shades available. these are mixed especially for these events, so they aren't a match to any available bite products. the base colours are generally quite saturated and there are a lot of options, especially in the berry-pink-red range. [it's possible i was just paying closer attention to those, since they piqued my interest.] you can choose one of the colours as is, or try a combination. my consultant jackie helped me get the right mix to achieve the shade that i wanted. i came prepared with a pretty good idea of what i wanted, but they'll also take the time to go through what sort of shade you might be looking for. jackie helped me applying different mixes until we had the right one- a combination of two shades. [to go off on a tangent for a moment, i have to mention that jackie was an absolutely textbook true winter in sci/art terms and completely owned her colours. i wish i'd gotten more photos of her, because she really was a great example of how great you can look in shades that are best-suited to you.]

the adventure starts here
you then choose from one of three finishes- matte, luminous [satin] or sheer- and a scent. they had about a half a dozen scents to choose from and i went with violet. there was also a delicious vanilla that smelled a lot like crème brulée, but i was afraid that if i took that, i'd just eat the lipstick. [which, incidentally, i could have done. bite uses food grade ingredients that are 80% organic. but then i wouldn't have had a lipstick when i got home. just pink teeth and a lot of explaining to do.]

do not nom!
a sampling of scents
jackie noted my mixture and then handed me off to the lovely lady standing behind what looked like a counter full of macarons, but which is actually a counter full of "colour cakes" alongside translucent "cakes" [i'm sorry, it's what they looked like] for finish. she mixes the cakes in proper ratio, adds the scented oil and pours the resulting slurry into a metal mold. i was surprised at how little time it takes to set- maybe five minutes, which passes pretty quickly when you have pleasant ladies who know everything about lipstick to talk to. interesting detail i picked up: everything at bite is made by hand, right down to the application of the labels. because of the success they've enjoyed at sephora [the brand's exclusive retailer], they are in the process of moving to a larger facility.

checking the specifications.
the resultant lipstick was as nice as everything i've come to expect from bite. the formula for the custom made lipsticks is closer to the deconstructed rose products than the regular luminous creme. my shade, which is, as you'll see, fairly bright, lasted about four hours [one layer applied directly from the tube] before starting to fade, which is on the long side for me. it was incredibly comfortable and slightly moisturizing. [bite lipsticks are the only ones i've ever tried which actually seem to hydrate my lips. some do a good job of keeping them soft if they start out that way, but after wearing bite lipsticks, i find my lips feel slightly better.] i experienced no feathering at all and the shade faded to a very visible stain. applying first with a lip brush and then using a layer over top straight from the tube makes the colour pretty much like a beautiful piece of armour. it extends the wear time and mitigates the fading.

almost ready!
it seems strange to talk about a colour that was custom made for me, but if you have the opportunity to visit the bite mobile lab and think you'd like this exact colour yourself, i do have the recipe and would be happy to pass it on. [i believe that the premixed colours they use in the mobile lab are always the same.]

i wanted something with elements of pink, purple and red in more or less that order, cooler in tone and a little bit more muted than really bold fuchsias like mac show orchid and lighter than something like guerlain gladys. i've named the lipstick "flora mundi", which is sort of a personal reference, but i really wanted to give it a name more interesting than "kate's personal lipstick". here it is, in all its glory:

"flora mundi" made just for me
if you want to try something similar, i thought i'd provide some comparison swatches for you. nars "funny face" is similar in terms of the base colour, but has a blue sheen that makes them look different, especially in the light. bite beauty "crimson" is darker and redder. guerlain "gladys" is darker, redder and slightly shimmery. mac "catharina" [l.e. but returning for this holiday season, apparently] is redder, warmer.

l to r :: bite crimson [l.e.], guerlain gladys, flora mundi, nars funny face, mac catharina [l.e.]
closer look :: flora mundi, nars funny face
and finally, here is the lipstick adorning my allergy plagued face. there was seriously nothing that would fix those puffy eyes for most of the week, so it's good that i had a bright lipstick to distract from them.




products used:

the base ::
vichy bb cream "light"
ysl teint touche éclat foundation "b10"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
mac paint pot "painterly"
mac prep and prime finishing powder "translucent"

eyes ::
mac e/s "unbasic white" [dirty white]*
mac e/s "seedy pearl" [grey-tinged light pink]
mac e/s "copperplate" [warm matte grey]
mac e/s "print" [deep iron grey]
stila sparkle liner "starry" [gunmetal grey with multicolour shimmer]

cheeks ::
dior creme blush "pareo" [bright magenta]*

lips ::
bite beauty creme lipstick "flora mundi" [bright cool berry pink]

*suggested alternates :: unbasic white = mac crystal avalanche [more of a pure white, without the grey tinge]; pareo = nars desire

the lip lab experience is a lot of fun and takes less time than you might think. any beauty lover who has the opportunity should avail themselves. the cost was approximately $35cad plus taxes, which means it's about $7 more than a regular bite lipstick, but still cheaper than prestige brands like chanel and yves st. laurent. so that price gets you a great lipstick and a fun experience.

24 July 2014

making faces :: guerlain's new dream girl

guerlain, you need to stop doing this to me. you know i adore your lipsticks [well, pretty much everything about you, really], but there will come a time when i'm going to have to say "no more". not yet, of course. but sometime. eventually.

i think that part of the problem right now is that bold, saturated colours i love seem to be having a moment, which means that even the more conservative brands are introducing these sorts of shades to their lineups or featuring limited edition products that almost literally call my name. [<-- i="" note="" said="" that="">almost
literally", because if you hear the lipsticks singing to you, it's time to check yourself in somewhere safe.]
in guerlain's case, there's been a series of breathtaking limited shades lately, but now they've been joined by some great new permanent additions. all were released earlier this summer and i've already raved about "rose grénat", which came home first since it was limited. today, i'm raving about "gladys", which was the second of the new shades to follow me home. its official description is "vibrant fuchsia", which is pretty accurate. i'd say that it's deeper than what i'd normally refer to as "vibrant" [although that's a personal thing]. it's a berry-tinged fuchsia, meaning that it has a healthy amount of red in it, so it's warmer than a lot of other shades described as fuchsia.

"gladys" is a heavy-hitter when it comes to colour, even by guerlain standards. the rouge g formula almost always has fantastic colour payoff, but this one is exceptional. it is intensely, intensely pigmented even with one pass and lasts for hours. you'll probably have to reapply after eating, but even after a fairly oily meal, i had a healthy stain left. about the only things i can think of that compares to "gladys" in terms of colour payoff and lasting power are "madame batfole" and "gigolo". deeper shades tend to last better, but these just put almost all competitors to shame.

the other thing that stands out about "gladys"- and which is typical of rouge g's- is the faint micro-shimmer that helps lips look smoother and plumper, as well as give the colour a nice dimensional look. swatches on the hand don't do this lady justice, so let's just look at the effect she has on the lips, shall we?

gladys
gladys
now, whether or not you want to dish out the cash for "gladys" will likely be determined by how much you wear shades like this [me = a lot]. there are similar colours out there and guerlain themselves have come out with a few. "madame batifole" is similar, but pinker and lighter. they're actually more different than they appear in my swatch, but still definitely in the same ballpark. bite "crimson" is darker, redder and more matte, but again, not tremendously far off. both of those shades are limited, however, so if you've missed out on those, "gladys" is an excellent option.

l to r :: guerlain madame batifole [l.e.], gladys, bite crimson [l.e.]
with a colour this vibrant, there's little reason to do much else with your makeup, which is one of the reasons that i love them so. nothing is going to outdo your lips [and nothing should compete!], so it's pretty easy to throw on a few neutral products and go. [i've talked about the ease of bright lips before.] here's an example of how i've been wearing it. this looks fairly complicated, but was quite quick, since all the shadows are in the same palette. that said, you could get away with a simple wash of a single colour.




products used

the base
ysl touche teint éclat "beige 10"
nars radiant creamy concealer "vanilla"
mac paint pot "painterly"
mac prep and prime finishing powder "translucent"

the eyes [all shadows from the "naked 3" palette]
urban decay e/s "buzz" [all over moveable lid]
urban decay e/s "nooner [in the crease]
urban decay e/s "strange" [highlight]
urban decay e/s "dust" [patted on centre of lids to brighten]
urban decay e/s "blackheart" [outer v]
urban decay e/l "rockstar" [lightly along the upper lash lines]
ysl effect faux cils mascara "noir radical"

the cheeks
armani blush "509/ eccentrico"

the lips
guerlain rouge g lipstick "gladys"

if this looks like the kind of colour you'd like, i can't recommend it enough. there isn't a single flaw i can find with it. i've already been giving it an inordinate amount of love. [i try to spread out the lipstick love, but sometimes i just develop favourites. i can't help it.] it's a great vibrant colour for summer and it'll be amazing with the deeper tones that are more comfortable in the fall. and then it will look amazing when you're invited to parties over the holidays. a worthy investment indeed.

25 May 2014

making faces :: stop and smell and wear the roses

a rose by any other name...
i'm very happy to see that canadian upstarts bite beauty are getting more and more great press as their releases have been increasing. they are focused on the lips, on your lips and on making them healthier, softer and prettier. i've already fallen for their luminous creme lipsticks and i'm fond of their light, sheer glosses. i've actually missed a few of their other products, like their cult favourite matte lip pencils and their new lip mask, which is garnering rave reviews, but recently i found something that i just couldn't resist.

bite has created four new lipsticks in a new formula called "deconstructed rose". along with a coffret of lip glosses bearing the same name, the collection is supposed to highlight the rose in all its varieties. the glosses run the gamut from very sheer to quite saturated, but the lipsticks are all pigment powerhouses. i was drawn to one [the deepest one, unsurprisingly] called "crimson", because i was on the hunt for a deep pink shade that didn't pull fuchsia. you'd be surprised how difficult that is to find.

first up, as you may have guessed from that description, "crimson" isn't crimson, or anything like what i'd associate with that description. crimson is a vibrant red, usually cooler-toned, but something altogether brighter than what we have here. it's described on the sephora web site as "muted dark  purple", which is completely wrong. "crimson" the lipstick is a deep, wild rose pink. it definitely has some berry tones to it, without pulling purple, the way cooler berry shades often do. although it's bright, it lacks the high wattage impact of colours that lean more towards fuchsia, without moving too much into plum red territory.

crimson
crimson
there are shades which are similar and how much the distinctions mean to you will probably be dictated by how much you love and wear this kind of shade. i'm a huge fan, so the subtle differences mean a lot to me. rouge d'armani #402 is the closest in my collection, but on me it is noticeably redder and brighter, something which i find more noticeable on the lips than swatched on my hand. [you can be the judge. there's a look here with #402.] guerlain "gigolo" is darker, more berry. guerlain "madame batifole", which i initially thought would be closest, is not so close after all. it's lighter and pinker by quite a bit.

l to r :: rouge d'armani 402, crimson, guerlain gigolo, guerlain madame batifole [l.e.]
the deconstructed rose lipsticks cost $4cad more than regular bite lipsticks and boast and even more luxurious formula. it still uses the food grade ingredients and has the added benefits of rose otto essential oil. rose oils of all sorts are tremendous for softening and toning the skin. the question is: does the formula differ significantly from the regular luminous creme lipsticks? the answer: yes, although not greatly.


12 April 2014

making faces :: g-force sneak peek

the eagles have landed. beautiful, majestic eagles of the makeup world, under the name of rouge g lipsticks by guerlain.

if you've read this blog before, you probably know that rouge g is one of my favourite lipstick formulas [neck-and-neck with rouge d'armani]. if you haven't read this blog before, now you know.

along with every other guerlain fan, i was excited to hear that the brand was adding a half a dozen new shades to the line at once this summer. all are available at some locations now, with others to follow shortly.

while guerlain has been adding new shades to the rouge g assortment from time to time, they haven't done a refresh like this since the formula was initially launched. i've noticed that the size of the display doesn't actually seem to be changing and that there are a few shades that have been out of stock for some time, so it's possible that a number of shades that are being discontinued, but i don't have confirmation on that.

the official descriptions of the newly launched shades are:

galiane [15] :: nude beige
gaetane [16] :: deep brown
geraldine [77] :: luminous pink
gladys [78] :: vibrant fuchsia
geneva [48] :: blood orange
rose grenat [864] :: velvety red-pink
rose glace [866] :: nude, barely there pink

the last two shades, like all 800-series rouge g shades, are limited edition.

now here they are swatched on my hand [kind of surreptitiously in store]:


on the extreme left, next to my cuff, you may see a slightly shiny patch of skin. that's rose glace. and it's built up to get that. on the first swipe, i thought i had accidentally applied a plastic "dummy" from the display, because i could see anything. it's truly a lip balm and nothing more. there is a little shimmer, but i had to squint to see it even after three passes.

next is "geraldine". isn't she pretty? this is a great medium pink that's a little brighter than a lot of guerlain's offerings, but still works for everyday wear. it's cooler and brighter than "georgia" [62], which is the closest shade i could come up with from the existing guerlain line.

"geneva" is a happy reddened orange. it's a little less opaque than most rouge g lipsticks and seemed a little tricky to get even. that said, i've had this happen with armani lipsticks before and they apply perfectly, so it's possible that won't be a problem in use. i loved the colour, although there are a lot of these shades around at the moment. "genna" [28] is much redder and deeper. "nahema" from the rouge automatique line is extremely close, but a little bit less pink and more orange. you wouldn't need both, unless you adore corals.

"gaetane" is a chestnut colour, brown yes, but not especially deep. it also seemed to have a bit of translucency, like "geneva". there wasn't any colour i could find among the rouge g's that came close to it. there are some browns among the rouge automatiques, but they all seemed softer. i didn't have access to other brands to compare, but i think this bears a resemblance to chanel "baroque", just a little lighter and without the shimmer.

"gladys" is a knockout. it's a cool, bold fuchsia with amazing pigmentation that went on extremely smoothly. what you're looking at in the photo is a single pass. it is very similar to "gigi" [68], which is just a hair deeper and plummier.

"rose grenat" is my favourite shade from the launch and probably the first i'm going to pick up, since it's limited. the description of a velvety red-pink gives a perfect sense not only of the colour, but of the texture. it is pretty close to "madame batifole", which is cooler and has more shimmer and "provocative", which is a bit redder. my tube of "provocative" went missing, which is one reason why i'm lusting after this one so much. i can't see how you'd need both. [however, since both "madame batifole" and "provocative" were limited, this would be kind of like buying an insurance policy.]

finally, we have "galiane", a very wearable nude-beige. it's too warm to work as a nude for me, but i suspect it will please a lot of people. to my eye, it's indistinguishable from "gillian' [14] and there are a lot of nude shades that are similar.

the three pink-fuchsia shades are the clear winners for me. i don't hesitate to recommend any of them. skip rose glace, for certain. the others are question marks. i would like to see how "geneva" and "gaetane" perform on the lips before committing. "galiane" is an exact dupe of an existing shade, but if you want a nude lipstick, it's an excellent choice.

see any that you like? i know i do...

09 April 2014

making faces :: a six pack for mac to bring back!

the stupendous six
wow. i so hate myself for that title, but it's late as i'm writing this and it made me giggle when i first thought of it, probably because saying it out loud makes you sound a lot like a duck.

oh no.

you're doing it aren't you? you're reading it out loud. quack quack quack... this is where my mind goes when i just let it wander. but it also goes lots of other places.

for instance, it goes to pages where i can read about the dozens of upcoming collections from mac cosmetics, looking at the descriptions of new products and wondering how many of them are really different from what i already have [i've gotten better at playing this game in the last couple of years] and how many i might actually need to bring home. and when i look through the colour stories, i notice that many products get brought back to life, not once, but sometimes on multiple occasions. we get to see familiar faces- or familiar stuff for our faces; products that were offered in previous limited collections and that were popular enough to warrant a return. the last two years, mac has even offered a fan-chosen collection made up entirely of older limited edition/ discontinued shades and it seems to have been extremely successful.

but that doesn't mean that they've covered all their bases and, as a long-time fan of the brand, there are a number of products that i think they should revisit. they may not have been among the best-selling at the time, because mac was often ahead of the curve in terms of the colours and finishes that they offer. or because sometimes products get lost in a large collection, because they have some big competition. on the other hand, there are a few things that people seem to have been screaming for [the limited edition lipstick in "queen's sin", which i never actually purchased, is a perennial favourite, rumoured to be coming with almost every collection] but which never seem to materialize.

i certainly don't know as much about what has been popular, what has been requested, or what is even feasible to make as anyone who works at mac. but that doesn't stop me from dreaming that some day, i'll be able to see some of my old favourites return. to that end, i came up with a set of lipstick shades [eye shadows are trickier, since i've used a lot of them up] that i would really like to see mount a comeback and that i think have proven difficult to duplicate since their release.


08 December 2013

making faces :: xmas kisses from guerlain

MINE
there's no denying that the holiday season is upon us. i was in the drug store today and while i was waiting for a prescription to be filled, there was a quebecois country hoedown version of "jingle bells" playing and i was consumed with the urge to set things on fire. i always like to take a moment every holiday season to consider the poor sales associates who are forced to work day in and day out with the most insipid holiday music in their ears all the time. they are truly the heroes of xmas.

but even i'm drawn to overcome my seasonal avoidance syndrome enough to risk venturing out to the retail environment when i don't have to in order to try out the season's makeup collections. and none tempts me more each year than guerlain. 

after last year's operatically themed "liu" collection, the company has gone in another direction for this year's "crazy paris". everything is touched with neon, including the packaging, which is black [rather than silver or gold] and features highlights of either fluorescent orange or pink or, in the case of some of the compacts, given a faux 3-d effect. reactions have been mixed, since the look is definitely a leap away from guerlain's normal high-class image, it's like watching a group of wealthy society ladies get tarted up to investigate the seamy scene around broadway and 42nd street in the late 70s/ early 80s. 

personally, i sort of like that guerlain can show its wild side and i find the look in keeping with the colours offered. they're not at all typical holiday shades, at least not as far as the lipsticks are concerned. what you have there are three glowing, unnatural, almost eerie colours that command attention. again, whether or not you enjoy that is a question of personal taste. and anyone who knows my personal tastes knows that these will have been pretty irresistible to me. 

19 November 2013

making faces :: game changers

i'm not sure when i became skeptical, but i will say that i have never once believed the claims of any
beauty product. that's not an exaggeration. for years, my selection of products was determined by two things: 

do i like this colour?
does this smell nice?

that was really it. i did fundamentally understand that more expensive stuff generally had higher quality ingredients, because that was something that i could see reflected in other ways: food works like that. clothing works like that [up to a certain point]. so as my budget increased, i would try out more expensive things to see if they were worth investment and i'd be pleasantly surprised when they turned out to produce good results. 

part of my credulity came because i knew about the facts of skin and aging. there are some things that are effective, but the main thing you have to accept is that the changes you can expect are not going to be massive. [and actually, you can make a far greater difference through changing diet and sleep patterns than with anything topical, but that's a discussion for another time.] 

another part came from the fact that a lot of the products i tried when i was younger had big caveats associated with them. yes, you could have lipstick that lasted for hours, as long as you didn't mind the fact that it sucked all the moisture out of your lips. you could keep the impact of freshly applied liner if you could draw a perfectly straight line with a brush as sturdy as thread and were ok with the fact that it had a tendency to peel away in rubbery strands.

there have certainly been some advances in the technology. there have been advances in our understanding of how the skin reacts to certain elements. nonetheless, it is still pretty rare to find a variation of a long-standing product that represents something truly new. 

so imagine my surprise that this year i've found two

the first is long overdue for a review, since it actually came out last spring. i didn't get around to trying yves st. laurent's glossy stains for a long time, since i was always hamstrung for what colour to select, but in the last several months i've amassed three of them. i'd read enough from experienced bloggers that my expectations were high and i was impressed that even swatching them in store left me stained for hours, but i still worried that they'd leave my lips feeling parched, or that they'd bleed and migrate all around my lips or that... well, i had concerns. 

the first shade i ended up buying was totally predictable. i got "violet edition", which is the darkest shade, a vampy purple with a lot of red in it. as soon as i tried it, i realised that this was something special. it immediately affixed itself to my lips with a first coat and grew luscious and glossy with a second. the colour lasted for hours. it survived drinks. it mostly survived a meal. it reapplied nicely without needing to have its remnants scraped from my face with a chisel. left alone, it barely needed touch-ups, even to maintain its shine. this truly is a gloss that has the long-lasting power of a lipstick, except that it's better than a lot of lipsticks. 

violet edition
violet edition
like a gloss, it keeps the lips moist and like a gloss. the texture is just barely tacky, not sticky and it's lightweight enough that you don't really notice it on. it smells a bit of red wine, which i know some people have found objectionable. personally, i was just so thrilled that it didn't have the sickly fig or rancid watermelon scent that i've encountered in other ysl lip products that i hardly noticed. the scent fades fast enough anyway, you won't be bothered by it for long. 

i even have to say that the packaging- always the thing about ysl products that drives me nuts- is even a little better. it's still plastic and still has the gold paint on the cap, but it isn't as dominant or as prone to scuffs as other products in the line. it's not marvellous, but it's a step in the right direction. 

05 October 2012

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.

21 March 2012

making faces :: spring flings [part 3]

i'll admit it up front: i am all about the lips when it comes to makeup. it was years before i figured out you should use more than one colour of eye shadow to do a look and if there is something that dictates what i'm going to wear on my face on a particular day, 95% of the time, it's that i have a lipstick or gloss i'm just dying to try out.

but in spring, it's considered more appropriate to play down the lips, to wear something a little more natural, a little less obvious, a little more demure than you would in other seasons. and in recent years, i have discovered that there is a certain logic to having these sorts of everyday, understated, innocent shades in your lipstick library, whether it's because you work in a conservative environment or you'd like something to plump your pucker before you try explaining to the police why you were doing 115 in a 50 zone. if you're the type of lady who likes to keep an edgy look no matter what predicament you're in, may i suggest that you have a look at the post on "spring lips for vampy ladies"?

but if you're the type of lady who likes to play innocent by looking really fresh and sweet, here are a few spring-ready shades that should easily find their way into your regular rotation.

mayflower
nars :: mayflower :: this warm strawberry-pink shade made its debut with nars summer collection last year and you can see my review of it here. really, though, this is my ultimate spring colour within a brand that really has a knack for springy, fresh, natural colours. as with most of the shades i describe as "natural", it will work best on pale ladies [sorry, that's really all i have to go by]. "mayflower" [incidentally the official flower of the province where i was born] is sheer enough that it will blend well with your underlying lip colour, but pigmented enough that it won't just look like a balm. it's a sweet, natural pink that gives my lips a slightly warmer, more polished look.

jersey rose
chanel :: jersey rose :: a little while ago, i actually found out that a whole branch of my family actually hails from the channel island of jersey. so the name "jersey rose" for me conjures up images of faded family memories and history rather than drunk fights between snooki and her housemates. so we're going to assume from this point on that chanel's thinking was more in line with mine.

released last spring, but now part of the permanent collection of rouge coco lipsticks, "jersey rose" does have a sort of faded, antique look, like roses painted on wallpaper, or on an old jewelry box. it's a perfect, let me stress that perfect tone for a lady trying to emulate that sort of victorian or edwardian look, since it's a fairly natural shade, but is also the sort of warm rosy pink one sees in paintings of the era's heroine's. the embodiment of england's rose, as it were.

pago pago
nars :: pago pago :: here's a strange one- this shade was actually released last fall, normally a time when dark shades dominate. at the time, although i sort of looked at it because it was on display, i didn't even really pay attention to this new lipstick that is now part of the nars collection. and what a mistake that was! i'll admit that pago pago took a while to grow on me, because on its own, it seemed nearly invisible, but i finally decided that the nagging sensation i had at the back of my head whenever i saw it was not merely evil demons trying to convince me to spend my money, but part of me that somehow knew this was a shade that should come home with me. and how.

despite the fact that pago pago is a fairly sheer pink shade, with lots and lots of gold and white shimmer, it does seem to cause a sort of magical transformation on my lips. it's that classic "my lips but better" theory, but more like "my lips but better on steroids and happy pills". donning this, my lips look fuller, glossier and smoother, but my whole face seems to look brighter, my eyes seem to catch the sparkle in the lipstick, everything is suddenly light and fresh and sunny and... well, i still wonder why they included it with their fall program.

seriously, the sheerness of this shade makes it adaptable to a lot of different lip colours and skin tones, so if, like me, you shrugged it off last fall, consider giving this one a second chance. it totally deserves it.

WOULD YOU BELIEVE THERE ARE FIVE MORE SHADES AFTER THE BREAK?

27 March 2011

making faces :: product review [estée lauder pure color lipsticks]

while i was out shopping the other day, i was given a sample by the lady at the estée lauder counter that caught me quite by surprise. it wasn't that i was taken so much by the product- i couldn't tell anything about it- but because the sample itself was so intricate and well-designed that i could immediately see that the company had spent a pretty penny (i always wondered what happened to the ugly pennies... but that's another story) creating this little card that they were handing out to women like me who stopped at their locations. someone at estée lauder wanted my attention.

what i received was a folded card with a plastic insert containing four little pots of lipstick and a mini lip brush to boot. it was quite adorable. all this was to announce the launch of a new  line of lipsticks- and a big launch too. lauder is launching a total of 35 new colours- 25 in their "pure color long lasting" lipstick (plus a few extra limited edition ones) and 10 more in their more sheer "pure color crystal" formula. all of this is being done under the auspices of creative director tom pecheux, who has taken on the challenge of reinventing the brand's image- taking it from the makeup of mothers and grandmothers to makeup for the young and successful that everyone wants to have.

REVIEW AND PHOTOS AFTER THE BREAK...

03 February 2011

the lips have it

what is it about red lips? spicy vermilion, bold crimson or deep, mysterious blood reds, they have all held a fascination for both men and women for hundreds of years. even in the twenty-first century, with thousands of colours available for women (and adventurous men) to pick from, reds from across the spectrum remain a statement. in fact, many women still shy away from them out of fear of looking shocking. and, given the reactions that some receive, maybe they have reason.

guerlain rouge g in rouge sensuel
the association of red with audacity, energy, even danger is an ancient one. the greeks and romans identified their god of war with the planet mars- the red planet. of course, red is also the colour of blood, linking it to the force of life as well. and of course, if you are a christian, or are raised in any area where the culture is predominantly coloured by christianity, red is also the colour of apples, the sweet forbidden fruit, the seed of all temptation.

there is also the fact that red lips are actually completely unnatural. if we were trying simply to emphasise the mouth's natural beauty, there are a whole range of hues that would be appropriate, depending on skintone, from light pinks to rich browns to plummy shades, but never red. in fact, the origins of using red tint on the lips actually came from the fact that it was unnatural. in the middle ages, european aristocracy distinguished themselves from the rough folk who toiled in the fields by cultivating a pale complexion and eventually, to further add to this distinction, women began to tint their lips red. of course, this did not look natural, but that was its charm: those who looked natural were those who had to spend their lives working outside. an unnatural appearance was the privilege of those who had their choice of when and how to interact with the natural world.

chanel rouge lacque in dragon
of course, as time went on, cosmetics became more widely available and rouged cheeks and bright lips became the hallmarks of low women, while those of breeding were encouraged to be demure, to avoid appearing to seek attention. thus was another dimension added to the history of red lips: the woman who wore them was held in contempt, but at the same time inspired fear, being both independent (in the case of higher class mistresses, at least) and sexual.

by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the cultural ideal of feminine beauty had shifted. in europe and north america, the church frowned on the use of cosmetics and the fresh-faced "gibson girl" became the new icon. at the same time, a new class of women, also independent and often sexualised, became known for their dark red lips- entertainers.

the reason for the use of red lipstick in the theatre and early cinema was practical rather than political- red lips showed well under theatre lights and a dark lip colour was necessary to make lips more visible on film. of course, along with the screen ingenues, who were generally lit so that their heavy makeup was less obvious, a new woman was introduced to the popular imaginary: the vamp. emobodied best by a midwestern girl born theodosia goodman, the vamp was the polar opposite of the gibson girl. her eyes were ringed with kohl, rather than proper restrictive clothing, she wore robes that flowed as freely as her dark spirit. and her lips were dark, as dark as blood. the term "vamp" was obviously coined from vampire (another popular icon of the late nineteenth century), the damned creature who fed off the blood of innocents. the cinematic vamp, by contrast, drained life from formerly upstanding men by sucking the spirit from them, the allegory reflected in those deadly blood-stained lips.

this is who your mother warned you about

this was a naive time of absolute good and evil, distinguished visually as well as morally, but that came crashing to an end with the first world war. in the wake of such unbelievable carnage, past standards seemed at best quaint, at worst psychotically mislead. and with the crash landing of colonial values came a general questioning of all that had been parceled with them. (as a side note, i've always thought that the first world war was actually far more interesting and more important than the second. i encourage people to read up.)

not the girl next door
with the 1920s, the flapper arrived. she was youthful, independent, a bit wild, brimming with energy, utterly modern. she was a vivacious combination of the ingenue and the vamp- feminine but able to keep up with (or lead) the boys. her hair was cropped short and her lithe figure was frequently clothed only in a small sheath. and she wore makeup. her eyes and lips were darkened. in this case, her dark lips were a symbol of that other kind of danger- rebellion. these were the daughters who refused to do as their mothers had done, who insisted on experience more and staking a place for themselves in the world.

mac kissable lip colour in love peck
in the last century, both the position of women and the cosmetics industry have advanced beyond what the women of the early twentieth century would have dreamed possible, and yet, when we see a red mouth, there is still something in us that feels that ruffle of excitement, that faint thrill that the wearer is bold, daring, sexy and possibly just a little dangerous. for all our advancements, it is still a challenge, smiling beguilingly at us with bold lips.

for a scintillating read about icons of femininity from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, i recommend bram dijkstra's evil sisters.

20 January 2011

the lexicon of lipstick :: mac


i'll start off this post with a bit of an apology. when i ordered all the men from the room in my last post, i was being unfair to my own sweetie, who's very patient going shopping with me and, in fact, has an uncanny eye for spotting colours that work on me (better than my own sometimes). i guess there are some guys who figure that, if they're going to be looking at your lips a lot, there are certain things they'd like to see when they're looking. so if there are gentlemen who are interested in the subject, you are welcome here. but this is another lipstick post, so consider yourself warned.

in my post about some of my favourite (when i can afford them) lip treats, i did say that i'd left out the one brand that i have sworn by for years. everyone who knows me well knows that for me, mac is to makeup what fluevog is to shoes. i've been a loyal customer for years and, in that time, i've amassed a fair amount of knowledge about their admittedly complicated product range. in fact, i think it's because i've been a customer so long that i've been able to keep track of a lot of their developments. one of the benefits of being around when new products come out.

every company has different sorts of lipsticks- ones that are frosty or creamy or sheer- and those types are generally fairly easy to understand. but mac takes this to a sort of extreme that requires a lot of studying. it may seem like this is just a marketing device, but the fact is that each type has its own characteristics and those will determine whether you like what you get or not. the differentiating factors are colour intensity, moisture, finish and opacity.

so here is dr. kate's descriptions of everything that mac has to offer your lips. (well, there are a bunch of glosses too, that are probably even more complicated, but i really don't have that kind of energy.) all mac lipsticks are $17.50 regularly, although some in special packaging or limited collections can be more expensive. the finish names are given on the label on the bottom of the tube, along with the shade name.

matte :: i usually think of these as sort of old-fashioned, like the kind of lipsticks women would wear in films from the 40s, when the object was just to get colour as intense as you possibly could. these are about the best colour payoff you'll get and they stay put for hours, which is nice. the finish, as the name suggests, is completely flat, no shine at all, which i also think of as the way "original" lipstick probably looked.

the downside of these is that they're dry. dry like a desert. dry like dying of thirst. if your lips are a little dry, the colour will tend to pill like an old sweater. it will come peeling off your lips, which will then start to look patchy. you can try reapplying, but it'll still look uneven and for the rest of the day you will look less 1940s glam queen and more 2010s homeless crazy person.

if you're lips are very dry, wearing one of these is going to be like someone torturing you. these will get into every crack and cut, they will suck out any remaining moisture and, because they are so strongly pigmented and long-wearing, at the end of the day, you'll basically have to sandpaper your lips to get the colour off.

some are better than others. they range from almost creamy to ones so dry it's difficult even to get a proper swatch on your hand. basic rule: if it feels really dry, it is.

recommendation? great colour, especially if you want to look like you walked off the screen of a film noir. but since films noir usually take place in foggy, rain-soaked locals anyway, do yourself a favour and wait for the rainy season to incorporate these in a regular rotation.

favourite shades? russian red, a bright "statement" red that suits almost everyone (it's consistently one of mac's best-selling colours); charred red, a deep slightly warm red that makes perfect vampy lips

satin :: to me, this finish is defined by not being anything else. they're a little bit creamier than mattes and can have a little bit of a sheen (which is more than nothing but less than a shine). there aren't tons of these left and there don't seem to be a lot more coming out. maybe they feel they're not unique enough within the product offering. a bunch are being discontinued, but a couple of limited ones were released in the last few months. maybe they're just kind of nuts, i don't know.

i do know that, back when i started buying from mac, i liked these a lot more. now, they're sort of like less problematic matte lipsticks. they have the same drawbacks, but to a lesser degree. (of course, they also don't last as long, so it really depends what you're willing to sacrifice it.) i don't know whether the formula has changed or my lips got older, but i find i notice their flaws a lot more than i once did.

recommendation? most of the colours left are duplicated in other finishes, but they're probably going the way of the dinosaur, so why not buy a couple and in a couple of years you can show everyone your collection of antique lipsticks?

favourite shades? mystic, a slightly shimmery plum red colour that's being discontinued; toxic tale, a super-bright electric coral colour for when you feel shocking

amplified creme :: yes, that's how they spell it. it's sort of a hybrid of english and french, where they use the french spelling but the english characters (i.e., no accents). these are really gorgeous and they compete with brands that are twice the price. the formula is rich and creamy and deposits loads of colour. the effect is not subtle, but it's great if you want your lips to stand out. (and why wouldn't you?) the colours are solid rather than dimensional, although some have a bit of a coloured pearl for added depth.

being creamy, they don't last quite as long as drier formulas, but the good news is that reapplication is easy enough. also, despite being moist, they don't have a tendency to start feathering around the edges. plus they have that nice shine that tends to make lips look a little fuller and healthier. (how something completely unnatural like shiny lips looks healthy, i don't know, but trust me on this one.)

the one drawback, other than the lack of subtlety (if you consider that a drawback), is that i always feel just a little like i'm wearing one of those old pairs of wax lips. they're heavy enough that i'm constantly aware that i have lipstick on, which is not what i want. i guess that once i'm not aware of it any more, i know it's time to reapply, but the sense of there being a film on the lips is a little discomfiting. (i should add that i've noticed this with some shades more than others, without being able to establish a pattern.)

recommendation? gorgeous. loads of colour, loads of impact and a great (and always expanding) range of colours.

favourite shades? where do i start? tribalist, a limited edition blackish berry colour that looks like the skin of a dark plum; blankety, a rich neutral; fusion pink, a warm hot pink with a gorgeous pearly sheen to it; up the amp, a rich lavender purple... the list goes on...

cremesheen :: again with the creme... these are a newer finish and i was unsure about it for a long time. in theory, they're a combination of medium to high pigmentation with a softer feel. these ones aren't as colour-intense as the amplified cremes, or as shiny (remember the difference between "sheen" and "shine"?), although that can vary a bit between colours. they do have a really nice, soft feel and they don't tend to move around a lot, which other moist lipsticks do, so that's a definite plus.

lots of people seem to like these, because they're a nice hybrid between heavier and lighter. the one complaint i've heard is that some, ironically enough, find the formula drying. i haven't experienced that personally, but what does bug me a little is that these have a tendency to bleed and feather, so you start to look smudgy rather than sexy.

the colour is rich on almost all of them and solid, so you get a nice amount of impact for something that doesn't feel heavy or thick.

recommendation? mac made a big deal of these when they launched and i imagine they're going to continue as a staple of the line. the colour range is still a bit limited, but it's likely going to expand fairly quickly. if your tastes are similar to mine, there are a couple of awesome reds/ berry colours at the moment.

favourite shades? hang up, another one of my beloved dark purple-red shades; creme d'nude, which really looks like rich creme on the lips (looks awesome with dark eye makeup); kittenish, a warm red wine colour; go for it, a bluish purple... more coming all the time.

frost :: this is a finish that's been around forever. it's super-pearly, almost sparkly and for years i associated it with girls working in tim horton's or dairy queen next to truck stops in the middle of nowhere. that frosty pale pink that symbolised the abandonment of all hope of escape.

of course, a lot of things have changed. for instance, frost finishes now come in a lot of colours and they aren't nearly as drying as they once were (nor are they made using fish scales, as they once were). they do still have a tendency to settle into any lines on the lips and make them look like canyons, which is why more people seem to have a hate on for this finish than for any other. i'm lucky enough for that not to be too much of a problem at the moment (it'll happen), but i do find that, because any lines become more visible, there is a tendency for lips to look more compressed- thinner and smaller. if you have thin and lined lips, a frost lipstick is going to make your mouth look like a zipper.

the colour payoff tends to be pretty good and the nice thing about frosts is that, no matter how drunk you are when you apply them (so i'm told), they always look even. plus, since there are generally at least two colours- the base colour and the colour of the "frosting"- the end shade has a lot of dimension. so, after years of being put off by the truck-stop associations, even i've taken the plunge.

recommendation? this finish is going to be around as long as people insist on painting their faces. with all the options that there are available and more coming all the time, it's certain that you'll be able to find something to tickle your fancy.

favourite shades? o, the colour that won me over to frosts and one of the most amazing lip colours you'll ever see, is a red-purple base with a lot of gold shimmer and turns a different colour virtually every time you see it (if you've seen stills or the trailer for conversion, it's the lipstick i'm wearing for most of the film); victorian, a bright pink base with a gold shimmer that looks like no other colour i've seen (i'm wearing it in the avatar picture on this page)

lustre :: isn't it nice to see a canadian company so successful that they're able to foist canadian spelling on the world?

ahem, back to topic. this is probably the most popular of mac's lipstick finishes and with good reason. the texture is soft and moisturising- it competes with even very high end items- and the colour range is fantastic (and the more successful it becomes, the more colours are available). the real plus here is that the colour can be built up for more of an effect, so they're an easy solution for a variety of settings. they're shiny and make lips look like ripe, delicious fruit, plump with juice. many of the darker shades also fade to a very nice stained effect, which, even if it's different than how it looks in the tube, can be nice.

for all their positives, there are a few negatives. some of the lighter colours are so delicate they become invisible, or require a lot of application to become visible. some also have a tendency to apply unevenly, which is really obvious when a colour is a bit sheer. some shades also have a tendency to bleed badly, which can leave you looking like you ate too many popsicles. and of course, as with most moist formulas, they don't last that long. even within the range, there can be a lot of differences from one colour to another in terms of slipperiness, pigmentation and durability.

come to think of it, that's quite a few negatives. it's just really hard to resist the appeal of something that can look and feel so nice.

recommendation? if you find one that works for you, and with the number of shades available, it would be almost impossible not to, you'll probably want to wear it every day for the rest of your life. there's one that i've been purchasing for years, because i feel incomplete without it.

favourite shades? new ones all the time, but my current favourites are viva glam v, a light beige pink (and part of mac's extraordinary aids campaign); desire, a dark purple- berry shade again that can be sheered out nicely; naked paris, a really rich, sparkly brown-pink colour that makes neutral lips just so much more interesting to look at.

glaze :: this is mac's lightest finish and it pretty much lives up to its name. it leaves a sheer layer of colour on the lips with a little bit of a sugary sheen, much like the glaze on a doughnut. there are very few permanent shades in this finish, because i think most people dismiss it as lustre's feeble cousin. personally, though, i disagree.

in fact, while many of the colours are light and you'll never have the kind of pigmentation that looks totally vampy, these can have quite a bit of impact. the rest weightlessly on the lips like a sort of stain and can actually add quite a bit of colour. more than with other finishes, they work in combination with the natural colour of the lips, so they tend to look a lot different from one person to the next. every cosmetics fan in the entire world seems to disagree with me, but i think these are vastly underrated. i was happy to see that mac had a handful of new ones as part of their 2010 collections.

recommendation? the trick here is going to be finding a colour that works for you. with so few available, the options are very limited. but i highly encourage everyone to keep trying, because i think these babies deserve more credit than they get.

favourite shades? bubbles, a limited warm white colour, the kind of thing that would likely never work if it were more opaque; riveting, a distinctive plum- taupe shade that was unfortunately limited

rumour has it that mac may be simplifying the line that it offers to the public, because for some reason, people find its product offering confusing. they'll still have the full range available at their "pro" locations (anyone can shop there). until such time as the list becomes simpler, though, now maybe what's on the label will make more sense. the bottom line is just keep swatching things on your hand until you find something you like. that's part of the fun.

perfect kiss


important note: all boys are to leave now. this is a girly post. you have nothing to gain from reading this.

ok ladies... we're going to talk lipstick. why? because i happen to be a huge cosmetics fan. does that make me less of a feminist, less of a contemporary woman? well, during a time when i was working at a community radio station, i was called a bad feminist. i was called a bad feminist by someone who subsequently moved to another place, with no job and no immediate job prospects, because her boyfriend had gotten a job in that required him to move. she called me a bad feminist because i wore dresses and make-up. i've supported myself independently since i was 19 years old, through two university degrees, a number of jobs and three inter-city moves. i'll just let you decide who the stronger feminist is.

for those who've stuck with me, there is a certain magic in finding the perfect lipstick. that particular formula and shade is a really great feeling. myself, there are a lot of different looks that i like and, hence, a lot of different colours, but i have a particular weakness for deep, dark, rich colours, reds and purples mostly, and yes, i can tell the difference between all of them. much like the proverbial amateur home decorator, i can tell the difference between various shades of white. i'm told that this is actually a genetic holdover from a time when women were the gatherers in early, semi-nomadic societies. in those times, knowing the difference between the dark warm red berry that would nourish you and the dark blue-red berry that would kill you was a really important thing. but whether you feel you need a few colours from different parts of the spectrum, or a selection from each area that you like (or an entire spectrum to yourself), there are a lot of lipstick choices for you.

i've decided to post this to de-mystify a few of those choices.

i'll state first of all that i tend to have fairly high end tastes in my choices of lip colour. part of that is because i prefer to buy products that are not tested on animals and most higher-end brands are based in europe, where there has been a ban on animal testing since 1998. i still recommend checking out various lists of companies that do and don't test (and who ultimately owns them) to determine where you are comfortable drawing the line, but what's included here are products that meet my criteria.

i don't cover mass market brands here, but if you do want them, i suggest revelon (animal-testing free for many years) and wet 'n' wild (also free of animal testing). both have decent shade ranges, the former has a variety of formulas and the latter is responsible for a colour i bought in university that remains one of my all-time favourites (called "blackest red"). the following would qualify as a "treat". however, since i'm writing this in canada, i'd like to call attention to a potential escape hatch: most of these brands are carried by shoppers drug mart/ pharmaprix/ murale, who have an excellent customer loyalty program called optimum. under this program, you build up points (fairly quickly, if you keep an eye on specials like 20x the points), which allow you a certain number of dollars worth of free purchases. so if you like, you can use your bonus money for a little extra you wouldn't normally be able to afford. (aside from that, i seriously recommend that all shoppers get one of these cards. the program pays off in spades.)

so here are some of my thoughts on mid- to high-end lipsticks that are available on the market:

brand :: bobbi brown
product :: lip colour
price :: $25- $30 CAD
evaluation :: beautiful colours, but tends to be pretty conservative. if you want something a little richer and racier, look for colours with the word "black" before them (black raspberry, black maple). they won't be as dramatic as they look in the tube, but they are very nice nonetheless. the formula is incredibly moisturising, which is nice if you live in a climate where it's cold and dry a lot of the year, or if you're reaching an age where your lips tend to dry out naturally. on the other hand, these feather like a son of a bitch, so be conscious that you might have to use a lip liner. they also require reapplication throughout the day and the more you have to reapply, the worse the feathering is.

brand :: bobbi brown
product :: creamy lip colour
price :: $25- $30 CAD
evaluation :: other than the fact that they come in different packaging and the available shades are different, i'll be buggered if i can figure out the difference between these ones and the regular bb lip colour (see above).

brand :: chanel
product :: rouge coco
price :: $30- $35 CAD
evaluation :: very nice shade range, but i find the formula a little drying. it glides on nicely, but starts to feel a little dry on lips after about an hour. the nice part is that, if you aren't bothered by the slightly dry feeling, the colour lasts a long time, even when you eat and drink. the shade range is pretty good. colour payoff is excellent- you don't have to do lots of back and forth to get it to match the colour in the tube.

brand :: chanel
product :: rouge lacque
price :: $35 - $40 CAD
evaluation :: i love these to death, seriously. "dragon" is the best red lip ever, but the real magic isn't in the colour, it's on how these actually work. they're a liquid lipstick. they apply like a gloss, with an in credible sheen, but they settle into a lovely, satin-finish lipstick that lasts for hours. the colour is incredible and they feel wonderful against the lips. of course, they're expensive, and the range of shades available is incredibly limited, but if you want to treat yourself to something, i couldn't recommend anything nicer.

brand :: dior
product :: rouge dior
price :: $34- $36 CAD
evaluation :: stunning. creamy and luscious and high-impact and long-lasting. in fact, even after smudging or eating, they leave a really beautiful stain-type finish. if you're going to spoil yourself with something, i really couldn't suggest another formula. on the other hand, the shade range is limited to pinks and reds, mostly, so people looking for a really beautiful, vampy colour might be, as they say, SOL. still, if you can find something that catches your fancy... grab it.

brand :: guerlain
product :: rouge g
price :: $50 CAD
evaluation :: wait, it costs how much??? therein lies the downfall of this product, yes, it comes in a nice space-age package with a built-in mirror, but personally, i don't need a mirror to apply lipstick, because i know where my lips are. yes, the colours are incredibly nuanced and nearly impossible to truly duplicate, but for christ's sake, for the amount that it costs, i'll take a slightly lesser product. yes, this is probably one of the nicest formulas on the market, but i recommend it only if you can find a way to circumvent the pricing.


brand :: lancome
product :: colour design matte lipstick
price :: $26 CAD
evaluation :: some people just do not want a juicy, shiny look to their lips, but the fact is that a lot of matte lipsticks feel like applying chalk and look super-creased and cracked an hour after you put them on. these are different. they feel absolutely amazing. they're creamy, rich, intensely coloured and they're not drying at all. hallelujah. there's not a tremendous number of shades available, but they do cover a lot of the "classic" shades- reds, corals and plums that hearken back to the film-noir era of enticing lips that drew men in like a spider's web.

brand :: yves st. laurent
product :: rouge volupte
price :: $35- $40 CAD
evaluation :: lovely and creamy with a lot of shine, but there's a very limited range of shades available. for the price, i would expect more dimension or originality to the colours, but there are really only a few that can't be duplicated by cheaper alternatives. they do feel wonderful on the lips, particularly during dry weather and their colour is really rich, but for the price, there are better options available and, for the colours, there are cheaper options available.

people who know me will have noticed that i've not addressed my absolute favourite, canadian-born mac costmetics. that' sbecause i think that they require their own post, since navigating through their finishes and colour spectrum can be challenging. i'll get around to that, hopefully tomorrow.

this isn't by any means an exhaustive list of brands or formulas available on the market. it's just a list of opinions based on my personal experience. those who enjoy having a pop of colour on their lips can take it as the advice of a long-time lip colour lover. those who don't enjoy colour can take it as information that will be of little use to them. personally, despite the fact that both men and women (according to a recent poll by in style magazine) prefer the emphasis to be on the eyes, i still enjoy finding that perfect look that just draws the eye to my lips. at the very least, it helps people focus on what i'm talking about.

ok, it's now safe to let the men back into the room. next week i'll do a post about hockey or soccer (yeah, i know it's really football) or something. just to be fair.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...