lip colours 101

I was requested to do a video on lipsticks, and lip colours in general. I must confess I was a little bit baffled… what was there to talk about?
judging by the four hours it took me to cut down and edit this video, plenty…

I. textures and finishes

Tinted Lip Balm: just the sheerest amount of tint without any compromise. the kind of thing you go for when you’re nostalgic and feel like being a kid again. the range of princes goes from basic drugstore (like Maybelinne Baby Lips) to high-end thick creamness and high pigments that make you doubt it’s just a lip balm (like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF).

Sheer Lipstick: with more pigment but still understated, these are perfect for those times when you have to be more demured or you’re just not in the mood for a bright pop of colour on your pout. (featured: Rouge Coco in 402 Adrienne, by Chanel.

Classic Lipsticks: they come in creamy, satiny or matte finishes. you know these ones by heart. the pigmentation is strong, but the shine (when there is any) is softer than a gloss. (featured: La Crème Lipsticks from Too Faced, and Creamy Lipstick in Heirloom, H&M).

Long Lasting Liquid Lipsticks: it’s all in the name. the only thing is to make sure the ones you get don’t suck the life out of your lips, don’t crumble, bleed or highlight any lack of moisture… my money is on the Rouge Edition Velvets from Bourjois, and Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain… while I can’t get my hands on Kat Von D or Ofrah…
The Melted Lipsticks from Too Faced are the safe bet when you want the lasting power and super pigmentation of these kinds of lipsticks, but in a creamy formula.

Gloss: full-on shine, just pick the pigmentation you want. my criteria? not too thick, not too goopy, not too sticky, and not streaky. I like the sheerness of Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector by Clarins, the smoothness and understated colours of Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Crayon Glosses, and the full-on pigment and lasting stain from the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain.

II. pucker maintenance

Simple: exfoliate, be it with something like the Popcorn Sugar Lip Scrub by Lush, mixing castor sugar and coconut oil, or gently rubbing a cotton bud soaked in lip balm on your lips – just remove those dead skin cells. and then, moisturize, with a good lip balm. I love Rêve de Miel by Nuxe.
this is especially important in the winter time and if you’re frequently sporting matte lipsticks.

III. choosing your colours

This one is such a personal thing that I don’t really know how to help, really.
I know too well the frustration of falling in love with a colour to then find out (too late) that it doesn’t suit us.
Or my very personal struggle of knowing that theoretically there’s a nude for everyone and – apart from the Chanel Adrienne’s sheer formulation – not being able to find mine.
I talk you through some tricks and rules (like the opposite rule, which states that you should wear colours that have undertones opposite to your own, or putting a lipstick in front of your lips to immediately see if it fits your skin tone), but it’s all so subjective, and they’ve proven wrong several times on me, so I can’t actually attest to them.
The closest I can get to actually eyeballing it is watching people on YouTube (with similar colouring to mine) wearing the colours I’m on the hunt for.
The only way to actually know is to wear the dang thing. That’s why – and because I’m totally against using the testers on your lips because gross – if you’re too unsure on what to bet on, I must insist on the lip liner tip: take the colours you’re interested in in lip liner form. You can wear them sheered out with lip balm, on their own as mattes, or full-on shiny with a gloss on top. For a fraction of the price of a lipstick, you can experiment and get to know – through trial and error and a lot of anticipation and disappointment – what kind of shades suit you, no matter what trends try to tell you to do. Then, through that experience, you earn confidence to pick a lipstick and take it home without second thoughts. Unless you’re me and it’s a nude ;)

Overall I think I do great with my little set of rules: bright colours worn more opaque and/or matte, nudes and soft colours worn sheer. If I have more money to spend, I may even gamble with colours I’m not sure will suit me.
As for the nudes, Lisa the goddess of everything makeup Eldridge has a pretty good video about finding your shade.

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