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Beauty Notes: Lipstick Page
by Dain


L to R: Nocturnal // Chelsea Rose // Fuschia // Strumpet // L'Heure Bleue // #48
RD178M // Rouge Passion // Poppy // Chamade // Smile

Next up in my stash overview (unmakeup covered here), my lipstick collection.

I buy only one shade from each brand—I'm peculiarly fussy about redundant packaging—so that it's easy to pick out the right color. (That I have two from Guerlain's Rouge Automatique range is a testament to how much I love both.) This is generally not an issue, because my lips desaturate, warm up, and enhance browntones in pigment to such an extent that I'm limited to a very specific color range: richer, cooler, clearer more opaque lipsticks that brighten my skin tone. (There are no lipglosses, for these reasons.) Bright midtones like RMS Smile and Estée Lauder Chelsea Rose (disc) wear like nudes (one pink, the other peach), whilst Hourglass Nocturnal, quite vampy on most, is a pitch-perfect rose, and the warm pink of Guerlain Chamade is my idea of a soft coral lip. So be warned, all my descriptions reflect how they look on, and will most likely register entirely different on you, as cool-toned lips are more commonly seen.

Dramatic colors always appeal to me, so I've got some hot pinks, and a vamp, too. There's blue-leaning Shiseido Fuschia, with its unusual white base, and the ruddier magenta of OCC Strumpet. They're great when I'm a little less sure of my eyeshadow; the aggression behind a hot pink makes the clashing colors seem deliberate. Though not quite as smooth as one wishes from a vamp, the berry undertone makes Make Up For Ever #48 the most wearable of vamps, less draining than shades too purple or too brown.

I'm fondest of reds, and, finding it nearly impossible to resist their siren song, I do my best to vary undertones and finishes. For a pure, classic cherry red, Sisley Rouge Passion takes no prisoners. If I want a vermilion, leaning slightly orange, there's Kanebo Poppy with its luscious, lacquer-like finish. It's great with bronzer and a summery palette. Because my lips do cancel out the blue in most lipsticks, I've got two berry-reds, the velvety, moodier Shu Uemura RD178M (disc) and L'Heure Bleue, made more festive with some sparkle. And, when a brown-based oxblood feels most appropriate, I've got YSL Grenat Satisfaction. It desaturates once it hits my lips, so it's not quite dark enough to be considered a true vamp, though by blotting and applying multiple layers I can approximate the depth in the tube.


I am not too picky about texture. My lips are dry and cracked all year round, so not even a creamy, high-silicone formulation will moisturize them (though they feel nice). Consequently, lip balm is a necessity, perhaps as important as the lipsticks themselves. My favorite lip balm, Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick, is expensive for a constant repurchase, but it is extremely kind to my lips, even when they are sore. I love the oddly herbaceous rose fragrance, too. A generous layer of pure lanolin, sometimes layered over eye cream, works best as a heavy-duty overnight treatment. For daytime, I like Avene Cold Cream Lip Cream, for reasons unknown not available in the US. Though not so protective, it's lightweight and absorbs well, ideal as prep for lipstick application (I never wear them without balm). It also doubles as a cuticle cream in my purse.


Also designed for travel, I depot my favorite colors into a slim Japonesque palette. I do prefer to apply straight from the bullet, but I can't argue with convenience.

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12/31/2012 [7]




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