Tips and Tricks: Stress-less Winged Eyeliner

You guys know I’m always looking for ways to make this particular process easier. I’ve researched all kinds of ways, and previously was using the stickytape or page-marker flag method but I think I found a way that’s even easier and doesn’t involve sticking tape on your face. Score!

The biggest obstacle I face when doing this is getting both of the angles looking similar (remember, they’re sisters, not twins!) on both eyes. If they’re TOO different, you can look a bit strange!

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Bioderma micellar water, pointy q-tip, Sephora matte black shadow, Kat Von D Ink Liner in “Trooper”, Real Techniques angled liner brush

All you’ll need for this trick is some matte black eyeshadow (a lot of palettes will have one of these, or you can buy an extremely cheap one), a slanted or flat eyeliner brush (not a pointed one) and your choice of either gel or liquid liner. It’d also be handy to have some makeup remover or micellar water and a cotton bud (q-tip – gotta get used to the US words!). If you have those sharp/pointy-ended q-tips that’s even better!

The best way I have found to get the angles looking “right” is to basically continue the line of your lower lashline. Just pretend it keeps on going up towards the tail of your eyebrow.

So for this trick, what we are basically doing is drawing a “guide-line” in the most literal sense of the word.

It’s up to you if you want to do this before or after your foundation routine. Sometimes when I know I’m gonna be wearing a tonne of eye makeup that will have a lot of fallout, I will do my eye makeup first. Again, totally up to you.

Pop some primer or concealer on your eyelids first if that’s a thing you do. Give it a bit to dry, then grab your slanted or straight brush (doesn’t really matter I just find slanted ones a bit easier to use) and lightly press the very ends of the bristles into the black eyeshadow.

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Like so.

Tap off the excess and press it off a bit too, either onto your hand or on a tissue etc. I just pressed it off onto my background paper. You don’t want your brush to be too loaded.

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Now, with your eyes open (important) and without pulling your eye skin around, use the flat bristle-end of the brush to draw a line from the very outer corner of your eyelid towards your brow, ensuring you “continue” the line of your lower lid. I have found the easiest way to do this is to do a “stamping” motion. Stamp the shadow on and then, if you want the line a little longer, drag it lightly up and out continuing that same line.

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It’s true, I’m not wearing a skerrick of other makeup. SOZ NOT SOZ

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Close up! You can see the line basically follows my lower lashline.

Put the brush down and check your line. If you are happy with it, hooray! That’s the hard part over. If you’re not, dip the end of your q-tip into your makeup remover and remove the line you made, or part of it if you just made it too thick (this is where those pointy ones come in handy). Easy peasy – it’s just eyeshadow, not waterproof liner, it won’t make a mess. No biggie at all! This is the true genius of this method. It’s so easy to fix.

Note: If you want, you can actually draw in the entire eyeliner path – not just the wing line. I just do this bit, because it’s the part I really struggle with.

Repeat for the other eye.Once this is done, you can use your actual eyeliner to go over the line you drew. Start with the wing line, then keeping nice and close to the upper lashline and starting from the midpoint(ish, personal preference), use small strokes of eyeliner to meet the wing line.

As mentioned earlier, I really feel that it’s quite important to not pull your eyelid around or squint hard while you’re doing this. At some point you will probably have to at least partially close your eye to line the upper lashline but if you squint too much or pull your eyelid around, you will really warp the line that you’re trying to make. This might seem like stating the obvious, but it was a huge realisation for me, I’ve always pulled my eye around like a crazyperson, trying to make the skin tight so the line is straight. ??? Anyway..

I found this amazing graphic on J’Adore Glitz‘s blog (whether she made the diagram or not is unclear) which explains what I mean quite well. These are the lines you want to draw in.

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In the above graphic, she draws in the upper line of the wing immediately after the lower line. That’s fine of course, and a lot of people do it that way. I just don’t because I like to make it gradually thicker rather than committing myself to a wing that might be “too much”. I also think that bringing the liner all the way to the inner corner like she has can make one look a bit intense, and doesn’t really suit that many people. Unless you have quite wide set eyes, in which case go nuts! Do you, boo!

That’s pretty much it! I hope this was helpful and my bare-faced, hair-not-even-combed visage did not alarm you too much.

Next blog will be my April favourites and I am really excited about it! Lots to talk about. Stay tuned!

Love+++

Makeup Brushes: Keep It Clean, People!

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I CAN STOP ANYTIME I WANT

One thing I really forgot to mention when I did my series of posts about brushes was how to clean them, and when. And why. Well, the why’s not hard – you need to clean them because our faces, hands and surfaces do tend to harbour germs and it’s good to give brushes a good clean every so often, more often if you are prone to breakouts / blemishes. If you are this kind of person who is very prone to breakouts, then you might want to at least spot clean (“spray n wipe”) your face brushes after each use. Totally up to you.

But can you wash them too often? IMO, yes. A lot of brushes (particularly natural fibre ones) aren’t designed to be washed every day or every week even. So I thought I’d give you the lowdown on what I do. Disclaimer: this is just my opinion which you might think is gross, I don’t care, do whatever you want ok? Ok. It’s also worth noting that if I am doing makeup on another person, I ALWAYS thoroughly clean my brushes beforehand.

I find cleaning my brushes to be a really therapeutic process. I like doing it. Maybe this is BECAUSE I don’t do it every single week. I don’t know.

What you’ll need:

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1. A couple of hand towels, folded into four. I like my microfibre cloth because it’s super soft but also absorbent!

2. A mild shampoo such as Johnson’s No More Tears or even a face cleanser sample you got but didn’t like (I’m using Purity by Philosophy to clean mine).

3. A shallow bowl of lukewarm water with a bit of the above cleanser in it.

4. A flat surface with a cloth on it – I use a folded up muslin cloth (see picture at top) OR a rail like a towel rail and some rubber bands (stay with me, all will be explained)

5. OPTIONAL – Brush Guards. I frickin LOVE these things, SO MUCH. Again, will explain.

Righto so I normally start with the ones that are the least dirty, like doing the washing up. This is normally eye brushes. I dip each brush up to the ferrule (the bit that holds the bristles) into the water, letting it get fully soaked. I whisk it around in there a bit if I think it’s quite grubby.

I then put a squidge of the cleanser of choice into the middle of my palm and rub the bristles into the cleanser. The voracity with which you do this will really be defined by the kind of brush. If it’s a synthetic bristle go nuts. If it’s natural and you find it to be a bit fragile, go a little softer and either way try not to bend the bristles against the ferrule (don’t push it too hard into your hand). You just want to swirl the brush against your palm in the cleanser, getting all the crud out.

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After that I swish the brush back in the water. if when you lean the bristles against the edge of the bowl, gunk still comes out of it, repeat previous step. Repeat until water is clear. This is particularly going to happen with things like concealer blending or foundation brushes that have held a lot of cream or liquid product.

Once you’ve got it all out, swirl the brush onto your folded dry cloth with whatever firmness you think best, until the bristles are no longer soaked with water. It’s not good to let brushes sit wet, so the more liquid you can get out of at this point, the better!

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At this point if I have a brush that I like to keep in a particular shape, for example my MAC 217s, Wayne Goss Holiday Brush or Real Techniques Buffing brush, I pop a Brush Guard over the top and then let it sit, bristles over the edge of the desk, on the muslin cloth. Brush Guards are fabulous. They’re a stretchy sort of mesh.. sock? open at both ends and they go over the bristle section to keep the shape of the brush while travelling and even while being stored but PARTICULARLY while drying. Now, if this is no concern to you, carry on they’re not an essential. But I personally really hate it when my brushes get all frayed and fluffy. I like them to stay the way I bought them, and Brush Guards are a super inexpensive way to do this. One of my favourite purchases ever, realtalk.

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The other thing you can do (with or without a brush guard) is to hang your brushes on a railing using some hair bands or elastic/rubber bands. I will admit – I don’t do this. The benefit is that the brushes hang upside down, bristles down, meaning that no water at all can get into the ferrule as they dry (important for glue deterioration and mould accumulation issues). This is obviously a good thing and it’s entirely possible that when I move to a cold climate I may start doing this but so far I’ve either had mine drying in a warm, dry spot or in front of the AC flow so they’ve dried fairly quickly. If you’re interested in this method of drying, you can see what I mean here:

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Img credit: http://prettybyjulianne.tumblr.com/

That’s pretty much it! Wait til they’re dry, then you can use them again.

One thing I want to say is to be mindful of your “good” brushes, the natural bristle ones (it is possible to get cruelty free ones – Wayne Goss is a good example, the animals are brushed to get the hairs, same with Hakuhodo) can really not do well with frequent washing. It makes the brushes deteriorate faster. So how often should you wash them? It’s such a good question and one I don’t feel really well equipped to answer. I wash mine probably every fortnight, or when I notice they’re getting very grubby. If I wore makeup every single day without fail I might wash them every weekend.

If you want to give them a spot clean in between washes, you can use something like a brush cleaner – Artiste is quite a good one that I’ve used with success, you can get it from Priceline for about $15 for 100mL. The best thing about this is that it’s in a spray format so you just spritz on, give a wipe and you’re doneski. For a higher end one, MAC is known for making a fabulous one though I’ve not tried it myself. It’s actually pretty good value to be honest, though it doesn’t have the convenient spray packaging that the Artiste one. It’s $20 for 235mL and you can get it from MAC Online, NOWHERE ELSE ONLINE OK? Don’t get tripped up by the fakeries. This method (spray and wipe) is how I always wash my Wayne Goss Holiday Brush, apart from every couple of months when I will give it a more thorough clean in the usual way.

I have heard people saying that they use Isocol (isopropyl alcohol). I would really not recommend this, it’s extremely drying on your brushes and bad for them but if you have a REALLY grubby brush, for example a lip brush that’s coated in very difficult to shift lipstick, then go nuts but give it a rinse afterwards for goodness sake. For long-wearing makeup you might be better off using an oil-based makeup remover anyway. Isocol is a great antibacterial though, so keep that in mind if you wish.

I hope this has been helpful, I hope I didn’t miss anything. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you have further questions, queries or suggestions!

Love+++

Priceline Australia 40% Off Makeup Sale! How to Not Lose Your Shit.

So my beautiful friend Memily brought to my attention today that Priceline’s 40% off Makeup Sale starts tomorrow. This is exciting news! I had actually unsubscribed from their emails in preparation for leaving the country so I didn’t know. But now I do, and I’m here to help you not lose your mind and buy all the things.

I have said from the beginning of this blog that I’m super pro pharmacy (drugstore) brands. Not just because I have access to them and not much else here, but because they frickin own and some of them are actually made by the same companies as the more expensive brands (Chanel/Bourjois anyone?) so there’s that, as well. I’m not going to go into super big detail on any of these products, I’m just going to give a basic rundown of things I think are awesome and worth spending money on. Hang tight, here we go!

FullSizeRenderThis is what I pulled out of my makeup collection in a frantic hurry…

First up, let’s talk about foundation. If you have a favourite brand of foundation and you’re running low, or you just want to stock up, go nuts. Do that thing. But if you haven’t tried any of the foundations available at Priceline and you think you might like to, here are my recommendations.

First of all, Bourjois Healthy Mix (for oily/combo) or Healthy Mix Serum (dry-normal). I use the former and love it. It’s a fabulous foundation with medium to full coverage, it’s a lovely consistency that doesn’t take much blending and is just generally a real winner. The shade range isn’t huge, but there should be something to suit most shades. I wear this is an everyday foundation, mostly because it’s cheap and using my expensive foundations every day (when I am in high-use makeup periods) makes me nervous. They’re both normally $32, so you’d pick them up for just under $20. You could also get yourself the Healthy Balance powder for $12 (usually $20) and the Healthy Mix concealer for $14.40. All brilliant products that I personally recommend.

The next foundation recommendation that I’ve tried and loved myself is the L’Oreal True Match foundation. This one has LOADS of different shades and is another fabulous medium coverage everyday use foundation. It’s not as matte as the HM, which is quite matte, but it’s semi-matte I would say so it’s still good for those of us with oily skin as well as dryer skin types. It’s normally $29.95 so you’d get it for $18 though I note at the moment Priceline has a $8.99 off deal for it – I wonder if that will continue into the sale? Would be SWEET if it did, but I doubt it. We can dream!

Other foundations that I haven’t tried myself but that are popular so rate a mention include the L’Oreal Lumi Magique Light Infusing foundation, normally $33.95 now $20.40 (great for dry skin), Revlon ColorStay range (usually $34.95, will be $21) and I’m sure there are more too, ask your friendly Priceline beauty consultant for one that will match your skin type 🙂

My lip product collection is largely premium branded I must say, there’s a lot of MAC and Nars in there, but there’s definitely a few key pharmacy brands to look out for. The first one won’t come as any surprise to you guys, it’s the Australis VelourLips range.

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ZERO REGRETS

These are like $10 so you’re looking at paying $6 each. I’m going to stock up, as well as grab some to give to my American friends because they are just THAT good. I swatched my favourites for you below.

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Fun fact: they also smell like delicious candy. I dug up a few Insties of me wearing them too:

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Left to right: Buda-Pash, Doo-Bai, NY-Cee

They’re seriously good, buy them, omg, they’re $6 for the love of god. BUY THEM! They’re so pigmented and they last forever and they’re just great. They make me want to cry.

Okay so. I also very much enjoy and have three of the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipsticks which are really similar, just probably not AS long lasting. There’s a great colour range. I actually packed two of these, Hot Pepper and Ole Flamingo (bright red and hot pink respectively) but I found Nude-Ist hiding under my bed so that one stayed. Here it is swatched:

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And here are some other random insties of Hot Pepper (left) and Ole Flamingo (right).

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As you can see they are similar in level of pigmentation but not quite there, you need a couple of coats.. Anyway they’re good and for $14 down from $24, a great choice IMO.

That’s it for lip stuff, like I said I do tend towards the higher end for a lot of lip stuff but that’s just me.

Eyeshadow gets a good run at the pharmacy for me, particularly Maybelline eyeshadows. Their Color Tattoo range is fabulous and I have lots of them. It’s a cream shadow that lasts for EVER, the longevity really is astounding, through an entire work day easily. I consider them as good if not better than my beloved Smashbox cream shadow range which is known for being ultra longlasting. Pop a bit of eye primer on before you start and you’re good for an entire day, sweat and all. They are normally $11.95 which is frankly a bargain anyway (the Smashbox ones are $26) but tomorrow and Wednesday they’ll be $7.20. GO. JUST GO. That goes for the Metal range as well (of which Inked in Pink is one).

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I’ve sent a few to the USA but the ones that have stayed are swatched here:

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The taupe is quite a lot darker than you think it’s going to be, that was a lesson learned. I like it though, it’s a taupey greyish purple, and totally matte unlike the other two, which are shimmery. Barely Branded is a really fabulous base colour, I don’t have it because I have a Smashbox one that’s exactly the same and I have SOME self control sometimes I SWEAR TO GOD OKAY

Ahem

Speaking of shimmery eyeshadows, these lovelies are by MaxFactor and they’re quite similar to the above except that they are much lighter and more moussey of a consistency. They definitely don’t last as long but they are really nice and still relatively longlasting. They’re the Excess Shimmer shadows and I have them in 3 colours, all of which I wear fairly regularly.

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Swatched:

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The copper is almost a creamy beige moreso than a true copper, but I do very much like it. For reference, when I went to wipe these off, they came off fairly easily with some Bioderma (what a pity that won’t be included in the sale) on a cotton pad but the Maybelline Color Tattoo range did NOT, it took some scrubbing. So there’s that. Anyway, these are great. Weirdly, I cannot find them on the Priceline website but I know I bought them from there, and they’re definitely not discontinued because I saw them at Target the other day.. can’t solve that mystery however if you see them and you feel the price is right – go nuts they’re tops. From what I remember they are definitely not as cheap as the Maybelline though, and they don’t last as long.

There’s also the Maybelline Color Tattoo Pure Pigments which are for the loose powder lovers in all of us, of which I am majorly one. I only have one of these however, because I’m trying to curb my intense loose powder collection (*buys 1000 Baroque Cosmetics shadows* oops). This is the one I have:

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Swatched on skin:

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It’s really nice! I wore it to work the other day and it lasted well. It’s quite dark for a copper but I love the colour, personally.

I also have another Maybelline eyeshadow (I srsly love this brand), it’s a little palette and I just loved the rose-gold colour in it. It’s this one:

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Also in the “sent to USA” group.. soz.

This is one of the Eye Studio Hyper Diamonds Eye Shadow sets in “Hyper Bronze”. I was really surprised how well all the colours worked together in this little baby. I’m a fan. These are normally $18.95 which means you’ll pick one up for about $11.50 which is smashing value for an eyeshadow palette. There’s lots of other colour sets too including a lovely looking green one, but lately I’m really into metal bronze/copper/rose gold type tones so yeah soz not soz.

My last eyeshadow rave is the L’Oreal Color Infallible range. Seriously, these are AMAZING. They’re a dupe for something really spectacular – the Tom Ford shadows maybe? They are a lightly pressed powder, in that they live with a little stamper in them so they’re kept pressed but they’re not pressed in the traditional sense. This makes them way easier to work with if you’re not keen on the messiness of loose powder.

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This one is an absolutely amazing navy blue, a TRUE navy blue if I may dare to say so, and it’s lovely and shimmery! Swatched on skin:

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These are normally $19.95 so will set you back about $12 tomorrow and Wednesday, which is a total bargain because they are wonderful. I am told there are all kinds of new and different colours in this range in the USA so I look forward to that. Hourglass Beige is one that I’ve been wanting too but it’s always sold out so if you see that one, snap it up. Great value even at their full price, IMO.

As far as mascara goes, well, drugstore mascara is where it’s at. There’s tonnes to choose from however my favourite at the moment is still the Kate Moss for Rimmel one, “Idol Eyes”. It’s normally $16.95 so tomorrow it’ll be about $10. A bargain, it’s got a weird wand but I just love it. But honestly if you have a favourite pharmacy brand mascara just grab a couple of them and make sure they’re very tightly sealed. It’s letting air into them that makes them go off!

Brows, well, you know, I’m a big fan of the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow range (Brow Wiz and DipBrow come at me) but I also really was surprisingly a huge fan of the Maybelline (oh god) Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara. It’s a very interesting little thing! It’s got a kind of knobbly end, as shown:

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Making it fabulous for when you’re just in a real hurry and you want to give some definition to dem brows. It doesn’t add a lot of colour, and in fact sometimes I use this as a brow gel over my already filled in brows. This is normally $12.95 so will be $7.80 tomorrow and Wednesday.

Speaking of brow gels, I think the Ardell one is excellent and it is cheap as chips at $6.99 for normal price. It’ll be like $4.20 in the sale which is a great price and honestly, it does what it says on the tube what more can you ask for? Give it a whirl.

If you haven’t bought any Real Techniques brushes yet for some insane reason, this is a great time to pick them up. I will be grabbing myself a new Complexion Sponge (normally $16, will be <$10) because I think it’s as good if not better than the beauty blender (and vintageortacky agrees with me).Grab yourself an Expert Face Brush ($20 normally, will be $12) – I guarantee you won’t regret it. I’m also tempted to grab another Core Collection pack purely for the Buffing Brush because I love it so. But the rest of that pack is kinda garbage so it makes me sad. Anyway we shall see!

So those are my main recommendations. It’s certainly not the entirety of my pharmacy brand collection but that’s what I’d get, were I you.

I hope this has been helpful, please feel free to leave any questions, comments or suggestions either in the comments section or on whatever social media you’d like. Links for that stuff will be up soon – but you can certainly find me on instagram @freedomandvanity in the meantime!

Love+++

The Freedom & Vanity Lip Product Manifesto 2015: Part 3 – “The Rest”

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Let’s FINISH THIS.

Ok so here we are with the conclusion of the Lip Product Manifesto. This is going to take a different shape to the others, because there’s lots of individual products. So I’m going to divide them by type rather than brand / product. I’m also doing away with the pros and cons this time as I don’t want to waste time and space, I’ll just talk about those things within the product descriptions.

There’s a fair few things to talk about so I’ll get on with it.

Balms & Creams

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Heh.

Would you believe, dear readers, that there are actually some missing that I just couldn’t be bothered rounding up? Anyway, as you can see I do love a good lip balm. These ones are all non-tinted and quite nourishing.

Chapstick is a classic, I don’t feel a great need to go on about it apart from the fact that Candy Cane is definitely my favourite! The reason is that it has a pepperminty thing happening which feels quite plumping and refreshing. A classic nourishing balm that is a great primer for lipstick. I normally swipe a bit on before I do anything else on my face, then before lipstick I wipe off any excess so it doesn’t slide around. Lisa Eldridge is also a huge fan of using some Chapstick and a cotton bud (q-tip) to exfoliate lips. Great stuff and will run you about $5 as far as I can remember. I got the Candy Cane and Red Velvet flavours in an amazing gift tin from Steph in a Secret Santa! Love it. Important note: the first ingredient on these is petrolatum and that’s not everyone’s jam. Personally I don’t really care, not gonna lie.

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm is another that needs no introduction. Similar to the Chapstick, as is the Blistex. They’re both still quite nourishing but a bit harder in consistency, more of a wax than a balm perhaps. They contain zero petrolatum, the BB one leaning much further towards natural ingredients. Both cheap too, under $10.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 is a definite favourite for me. I bought this when I was in the USA because I was there in February and it was cold. My lightweight Australian skin and lip products just weren’t cutting it and I was drying out like a prune. Terrible! I think this stuff rocks, it’s very nourishing and comes in tonnes of different flavours. Mint is my favourite, but Mango is also nice! Mine lists petrolatum as a high level ingredient but on the website it’s no longer listed, that could be a formulation change? Anyway they’re $12 in Australia so a little pricier but well worth it, you’d have to be using it pretty heavily to ever get through a tube.

My least favourite of this lot is the Aesop Rosehip Seed Lip Cream. I just don’t like it. I don’t think it does anything really, and it smells weird, like rubbing herbs on your lips. It sinks in immediately, leaving your lips the exact way they were before. This one won’t be coming with me to the USA, and won’t ever be repurchased. Not recommended.

Which leaves my favourite! The clear winner is the Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Balm. I. LOVE this stuff. It’s naturally derived which is nice, but be warned, it does contain lanolin which can be comedogenic. I do find that if I don’t apply it carefully in the places I need it (ie, if I don’t stay inside the line of my lips) I get the odd small pimple on the outer edge of my lips. Rarely, but it happens, so just to be thorough with my review I thought I’d include that little factoid. I also have this in the “Apples” tint, which is a very faint red tinge but I can’t find it at the moment! Which is a bit of a worry as it’s lovely. It was in my handbag so perhaps it made its way into the lining via the little hole I found in my lip product pocket. I’ll have to check later. But anyway I use this before I apply lipstick and just when my lips are dry. It’s great stuff. I’m a huge fan. You can grab it on Adore Beauty for $17.95 for the 101 plus a heap of other types and tints, most of which are cheaper than that. The LemonAid is brilliant as well, I keep it at work and it’s a lifesaver.

Preps and Primers

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So totes monochrome

Lip primer was a thing I really wanted to get into this year and I held out for a long time to buy the MAC Prep + Primer Lip when MAC did my wedding makeup. Alas they didn’t have it so I held out a little longer, til they had a free shipping sale. And here’s the thing, I don’t love it. It’s okay I guess. I see no difference between this and a very cheap lip balm. It’s a basic siliconey primer that claims to smooth and prep the lips but does it? I don’t know. I have quite creasy lips and I don’t think it makes any difference to either that or to longevity of the lipstick. I don’t get it. Am I doing it wrong? Find it on the MAC website if you’re interested.

I feel similarly about the Lipstick Queen Invisible Lip Liner. The description says “Keep lips looking fabulous and pucker perfect all day long with this silicone based, mechanical wind up lip liner. Apply around lips for a defined edge and to stop them from bleeding, perfecting life’s little imperfections.”. I just don’t agree at all. I think it does crap all. Part of my problem with it is that as soon as you use it, the lovely sharp liner tip is dulled so it becomes just this weird flat topped thing … I dunno. I don’t think it makes any difference at all. Lily Pebbles lied to me, wah. If you want to give it a go, you can find it on the Mecca website.

So yeah the prep/primers are a pass for me at this stage. I would absolutely love to hear your recommendations though! Gimme!

Lip Gloss

I’ll be the first to admit that lip gloss isn’t really my jam. I have a couple of old favourites but previously it’s never really been a thing that interested me that much. The sticky, overly glossed look isn’t really my jam. I’m a matte girl! However I think it absolutely has its place and I’m getting behind it a little more in my old age (weirdly). Usually when I get lip glosses it has been as gift-with-purchase and I give them away immediately. So just a couple for me, oldies and newies.

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So glaaawwssy.

Okay so yes, I have two of the MAC Lipglass in “Clear” which is weird for someone who doesn’t like lipgloss BUT it’s just really good. It’s long-wearing without being sticky and I just really enjoy it. I put a dab of it in the middle of my lips when I’m wearing a bold lipstick sometimes just to make the centre look more full and pouty! Or I wear it by itself for a sheeny juicy look. It’s great stuff.

Soap and Glory is a really fun brand of which I have quite a few items. I like these “Sexy Mother Pucker” lip glosses. The silver tube is a clear gloss, just a very plumping formulation with a long-wearing, glossy finish. It’s fantastic stuff. I’m always looking for nice plumping products what with the whole creasy lips thing I have going on.

I also have this gloss in a tinted, doe-foot applicator style. The shade is called “Half-Naked“. It’s great. A nice browny nudey neutral. Similar formulation in that it is quite plumping, and again nice and long-wearing.

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Is naice.

I do also have a MAC Lipglass in “Russian Red” on the way just to see how I like a full tint gloss. It’s a colour I’ve worn before in lipstick form and liked, so I think it should suit me, shade wise.

Tinted / Stain Balms

Love a bit of this action. My top two are these little stunners:

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Hello beautifuls.

I got the Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment in a sample box from Sephora and it’s bloody brilliant. Incredibly buttery and soft. The tint is faint, but there. This is a lovely nourishing product. Enough said really.

Now for the star of the show.. this might be my second favourite product, by a HAIR, of this entire post. It’s the Lipstick Queen Medieval Tinted Treatment. It does remind me of that olde timey stained lip look that you see in things like Game of Thrones that probably came from the blood of a virgin nightingale or something like that. It’s beautiful! The tint itself is quite prominent which is nice for my overly-pigmented lips, and the Vitamin-E heavy formulation is so creamy and hydrating. I just love this product. Let me try to dig out a picture of it on the lips, brb.

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There we go. Nice!

Lip Liners

Again not something I’m suuuuper good at, but still, I’ll say a few words.

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Good excuse to sharpen my MAC liner..

Too-Faced Perfect Lips is a really nice one, it’s a wind-up mechanical liner which is always pro for me, since it means I don’t have to screw around with sharpeners. It’s also a great nude colour, not too brown or too pink. Perfect, some might say!

MAC “Cherry” lip pencil is also beautiful, I have had this for many years now (probably 5 years) and it’s still going strong. It’s not too pink, not too blue and not too brown so it goes under a huge variety of red lipstick shades perfectly. It’s super pigmented and soft enough to go on easily without being messy. Swatcherinos:

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I’ve also enjoyed the Bourjois liners, though they are quite soft. I bought one in a really lovely pink colour but it was just that smidge too bright for what I wanted so I gave it away, but formulation-wise it’s great and I would definitely buy again. Good old Bourjois!

NARS Lip Pencils

“AaaaAAaaaaAaaaaaaaaa” okay so it’s really hard to spell out the noise of angels singing from on high. Anyway that’s what’s happening here because these products ROOOOOOCKKKKKKKK SOOOO HARRDDDDD OH GOD I really love them so very much.

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Hello, beautifuls.

So these magnificent creations come in three different finishes: Velvet Matte, Velvet Gloss and Satin. I don’t have any Velvet Gloss ones because glosses just aren’t really my jam as mentioned before. I have had three of the Velvet Matte ones and have recently acquired a Satin as well. One of the VMs, in the shade “Cruella”, I gave away because it was just a smidge on the dark side for me. That left me with “Dragon Girl”, a bright red/orange shade with fabulous pigmentation and “Dolce Vita” which is a brownytanpink MLBB (My Lips But Better) shade. These pencils are highly pigmented and leave a perfectly matte but not overly drying finish to the lips. Like all matte products, they are SOMEWHAT drying, but that also makes them quite longlasting. I don’t think they are as longlasting as say, the liquid lipsticks of the previous post but they’re pretty good for what they are. They’re also very easy to apply easily, and not messy. Great for the handbag and travel!

The Satin I have is “Yu”, a beautiful shocking bright pink that I think is quite flattering to all skin tones. This has more of a satin finish obviously, so it’s not as drying on the lips, but retains the high pigmentation and easy application of the VM versions. I really want more of this finish but I’m not sure which ones to choose so I might wait til I can swatch them. Speaking of which!

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I don’t know why DV came out strangely here! Weird iPhone camera issue I assume.

One thing I’d strongly recommend with these, is getting the NARS pencil sharpener. I know it’s a pain to have to buy one especially for these, but it’s absolutely fabulous and really sharp, does a great job on these and I haven’t been able to find one that even fits these babies let alone does as good a job. The smaller hole is perfect for any normal sized liner pencil as well, I used it to sharpen my MAC pencil today and it did a fantastic, quick and easy job.

So, for now, that’s the end of the 2015 Lipstick Manifesto. I hope you enjoyed it. I know a lot you would have really liked to have seen all these products on my lips and that is absolutely feedback I have taken on board for future posts. Thanks so much.

My next post is going to be non-beauty related. I’ll be talking about my move to America and associated feels. Keep the feedback coming as always!

Love+++

The Freedom & Vanity Lip Product Manifesto 2015: Part 2 – Liquid Lipstick

Time for part 2. Thanks so much for all the incredible feedback on the first part, it really means so much to me that all these awesome people in my life have taken the opportunity to let me know what they think so far!

Right! On with it.

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Let’s do this.

Lately, I’ve really been loving liquid lipsticks. I love the ease of use with the doe-foot applicators, I love the wet-to-dry formulation, they just feel so modern and fun.

These ones are once again in a loose least-liked to best-liked order. But I like all of them honestly! You’ll notice all of them are really well priced apart from the TooFaced (which is still pretty well priced just not as great as the rest). This is a section of the market where the drugstore is really kicking some serious arse at the moment.

Okay, gosh.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams 

This was my first foray into liquid lipsticks. These are magical. They are cheap as chips, and just wonderful little things! So much fun, lovely colour range, what’s not to like? Well, a couple of things. Let’s check them out pictorially.

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NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams – (L-R) Stockholm, Milan, Addis Ababa

It is worth noting that the light I photographed swatches in today wasn’t as good as the other day so bear that in mind.

For cream lipsticks, these are super pigmented! The doe-foot applicator makes these amazingly easy to apply. It’s much easier using one of these than using a brush or lipstick bullet, because of the finer tip and also because they are more ergonomic to hold (in my opinion). The consistency of these is super creamy, and not at all sticky or thick. It reminds me of lightly whipped cream or something. They smell kinda vanilla-ish which is super nice! They also have a matte finish. Onto the swatches.

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Stockholm is a lovely peachy nude, Milan is a browny pink (more brown than it appears here) and Addis Ababa is a SUPERBRIGHT fuchsia. As you can see, these aren’t SUPER pigmented in the same way as a normal lipstick would be. They take a few swipes before they become opaque – particularly the brighter colours.

They’re also not super long lasting, which may be a dealbreaker for some but isn’t really for me because the fade is even, there’s no weird chunking or caking, they just sorta… fade away to nothing.

Still, I love them for how easy they are to use. I don’t mind reapplying when it takes 2 seconds in the bathroom at work. There’s never any mess to clean up so it’s no biggie. Great product!

Pros: EASY. Cheap as chips. Fantastic colour range. Smells nice. Goes on like a dream. Fades evenly and comfortably. Comfortable to wear, doesn’t dry the lips out.

Cons: Short wearing. Not amazingly pigmented, takes a few swipes to reach opacity. Packaging is quite minimalist and cheap but that’s kind of NYX’s thing.

Cost: $13.50 on Crush Cosmetics, or grab them at Target for $12.95. Bargain!

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet

These are fairly new to me so I don’t have tonnes to say just yet. I like them, and I know my friend Lauren loves the one she bought, which I didn’t get and regret not getting.. anyway that’s another story (she has Pink Pong which is a fabulous bright pink!).

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Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet – 03 Hot Pepper and 07 Nude-Ist

Now, it’s no secret that I bought these because Vivianna Does Makeup recommended them and I LOVE HER oh god, I really do. She has not steered me wrong yet, and she didn’t with these beauties. I really love them! These are a little sticky/glossier than the lip creams, not quite as matte though they do dry very matte. I simply didn’t have the time to wait for full matte-ness on these today as I was running out of daylight. The packaging is much more luxe, but so it should be at a higher cost, and because Bourjois is just rad like that. Fun fact: made by the same company as Chanel! The more you know. Aaaaanyway.. swatches!

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Gosh, these just did not swatch well at all! But one of the key issues with this product is highlighted here. They are just not very pigmented! You have to go over them a couple of times, a few even. The first time I wore Hot Pepper, I found that I had to add a lipliner underneath to make it really work its magic which is a bit disappointing, because part of the beauty of liquid lipsticks (IMO) is that they don’t need a lipliner. But once it was on, holy CRAP did it stay on. Nude-ist was the same, even with no lipliner, though personally I would not call this a nude shade myself. It’s quite pink. Even not on my overly pigmented lips you can see that it’s more of a pink than a nude, by a long shot. But I like it anyway, because I’m into pink neutrals.

Pros: Intensely long lasting. Great colour range. Available at most Pricelines. Great quality packaging. Dries to a lovely matte finish.

Cons: Not super pigmented, quite a lot of swipes before opacity is achieved, sometimes even requiring a lipliner.

Cost: $24 at Priceline but GUESS WHAT, they’re currently 30% off so get thee on down to your local or order online for a ridiculous saving, they end up costing $16.80! Yeeha.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain & TooFaced Melted Lipstick

I did these together because doing single ones seemed silly and I like them about the same. I’ll talk briefly about each then post the pictures.

These are both absolutely excellent products.

The Sephora lip cream stain is a much coveted item after another of my British beauty gurus, Lily Pebbles, raved about it. Every time I thought to myself “god what is she wearing on her lips, it’s amazing” it was this. So my amazing friend Jaime picked one up for me in Thailand! I was super grateful and this product did not disappoint. It’s bloody excellent. The staying power is amazing, it’s really pigmented, the colour is this perfect pinky-bluey-red and dries to a flawless matte finish, it’s just amazing.

The TooFaced product is one that I was also extremely interested in, I bought it originally in Peony which ended up being too light for me. I wanted Melted Candy real bad but it is not being sold in Australia for some reason. My amazing friend Brianna got it for me in an online Secret Santa! I was so happy when I unwrapped this! It’s a gorgeous bright orchid colour. Like the Sephora product, it has fantastic staying power and the pigmentation is great. Let’s see some pictures, shall we?

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Sephora Lip Cream Stain in 01 – Always Red, Too Faced Melted Liquefied Lipstick in Melted Candy

As you can see, these two products are pretty darn different, packaging wise. The Sephora product is your “normal” doe-foot applicator style and the Melted lipstick has a sponge applicator through which you squeeze the product, then apply the slanted tip to your lips directly.

Swatches are really where the beauty lies in these products. I mean, look at this.

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LOOK. AT. THEM.

How beautiful are they?! That’s hardly any swiping, just super pigmented and rich. They both dry to a totally matte, but not drying finish. They are both long lasting and require no lipliner. Enough said.

Pros: Super pigmented, dries to a matte finish, long wearing, Sephora product has amazing colour choices within the range and is very well priced. TooFaced has lovely packaging.

Cons: Sephora only available at store of same name (not even online, gj Sephora Australia), TooFaced has a limited colour range. TF shade shown above is not available in Australia though I suspect Melted Fuchsia is similar. Sephora product packaging is a little cheap but so is the product itself so it’s fine.

Cost: No idea on the Sephora. US$13 in the States, if that helps. TooFaced has other shades available for $28 at Mecca Cosmetica.

Australis VelourLips Matte Lip Creams

GOOD GOD. I just can’t even tell you. I can’t actually describe how much these rule in every way. Someone on a forum I use got me onto them and honestly, I think there may be witchcraft involved in how these stay on for so long. I don’t know how it works. It is sorcery.

I have two colours in this range and honestly the lack of range is the only reason I don’t have more. There are some interesting colours – even a purple! I would strongly recommend checking them out for sure. Lack of range might not even be the right way to describe it. There are lots of colours. I’m grasping at straws. I’m the one with the lack of range (in that I am not very adventurous and tend to stick to reds, pinks and nudes). I bought this in Hono-Loo-Loo and it was a little light for me – a common problem, you’ll find, with me and my pigmented lips.

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Australis VelourLips – NY-Cee, Mi-Am-Ee

Pretty standard stuff, right? But look at the swatches.

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BAWwwwwwwwwww check that out, that’s ONE SWIPE.

The place where these babies really win though is the longevity. It’s unbelievable. You can eat, drink, kiss and talk all day and it’ll be fine. I tested these when I first bought them by applying, letting them dry for a couple of minutes then kissing my husband on the cheek pretty hard. Nothing. Not a scrap of colour on his face. Then I had a coffee. Still nothing, no colour on the mug at all. Brilliant. I really can’t say enough good things. And guess what? Not only are they my favourites they’re also the cheapest on this entire list. Yup.

Pros: Everything. Literally everything is a pro.

Cons: I guess you could say the packaging is kinda minimalist, and some might say tacky? I don’t care, it is sturdy as heck which is really all that matters.

Cost: !!!!! $9.95 from Priceline.  Do yourself a favour – go get some of these. Some. Not one. Not a couple. Get some. I know I’m gonna be getting more!

Thanks for reading! Part 3 will be primers, liners and pencils. I know a lot of you are waiting for this one because of the Nars Lip Pencils and I’m sorry to make you wait but it’ll be worth it!

The Freedom & Vanity Lip Product Manifesto 2015: Part 1 – Lipsticks

Getting ready to start. Coffee was required.

Lately, I’ve been on a huge lipstick bent. I go through phases, and this is the current one. I am still not sure that dividing them up by type is the way to go. The issue with by brand is that some brands only have 1 or 2 pieces in them so I think this is the best way. As always I would love your feedback because after this will be eyeshadow.

All the products I don’t use much anymore or don’t like as much as I once did have gone into the sell/giveaway box so these are all products I like, to varying degrees. I am going to start with the ones I like the least, which is to say that I very much like them – just not as much as the others.

You will notice that I lean towards reds and pinks. This is because my lips are extremely pigmented already, so anything that’s too brown or nude makes me look very strange! Especially anything on the lighter end of the colour scale. Sigh. I do have a couple of pinky/peachy nude colours though. On with it!

Make Up For Ever “Rouge Artist Intense” Lipsticks

I love this brand. Their HD Translucent Loose Powder is my absolute holy grail loose powder of life. So I wasn’t surprised at all that these lipsticks are rather lovely. They’re very creamy, but not too glossy like overly “wet” lipsticks can be – for lack of a better word. I started out with 32 and I liked it so much I bought another couple. I wear these pretty regularly, particularly 32 which is a really nice neutral pink – probably the best neutral pink I own. They are a satin finish – they’re not matte but they’re not a glossy finish either. The line contains multiple different finishes but I only have these three:

Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense lipsticks (note: finally got rid of the watermarks after this lot!)

Pros: Amazing colour range, very easy application, highly pigmented, not too wet or dry, decent lasting power.

Cons: Smell may put some off (it’s a kind of floral/powdery scent that seems unnecessarily strong to me. Reminds me of old ladies), on the pricey side.

Cost: $35

Lipstick Queen “Sinner” Lipstick 

Lipstick Queen is the new brand from Australian lipstick guru Poppy King. I must say, I rather like it quite a lot! This is one of three products I own from this brand and when I can swatch more easily (ie, when I get to the USA probably) you can rest assured I’ll be buying more of these glorious lipsticks. The Sinner range is very highly pigmented. There is another range called Saint which is quite sheer. I haven’t tried this, because that’s not super appealing to me. When I wear lipstick I really like to WEAR it, you know? Anyway, here’s the one I have. The shade is called “Peachy Nude Sinner” but looking on the site shows me that it may just be “Sinner Nude” now because I can’t see mine there even as a sold out shade.  As you can see, it’s a lot peachier than the previous nude which is more of a pink. I got a LOT of compliments when I wore this for the first time, it’s really very much a go-to easy-wear lipstick for me.

Lipstick Queen “Sinner” Lipstick in Peachy Nude Sinner

Finally got around to removing those pesky watermarks, sorry about that. Best $1.49 ever spent.

Pros: Beautiful consistency, highly pigmented, easy-wear, satin-matte finish, great lasting power, well priced.

Cons: I literally can’t think of any. Some people might consider them pricey but I don’t agree.

Cost: $27

It’s worth noting that I have only tried this one plus the Medieval lip stain & Invisible Liner so I have very little experience with the range, really!

MAC Lipsticks

Let it be known that as far as MAC lipstick collections go, mine is pretty small. I have had a couple of others that I’ve ditched for a various reasons, but what I do have I like very much.

Lipsticks are what MAC does best, in my opinion. I don’t think much of their foundations for me personally. Their eyeshadows are very good but not their standout product line. It’s obviously their lipsticks. Errybody know dat. They come in different finishes – I have three of them in my collection. The finishes I have are Matte, Retro Matte and Amplified. Let’s talk about them in order, pros and cons included.

Matte: As the name suggests, there’s no shimmer or shine or glitter or anything like that. They are bone dry. They are EXTREMELY opaque and pigmented. They take some work to put on because of how dry they are, but once they’re on, they are ON! Hardly any reapplication is required. Lips should be well exfoliated and hydrated before these go on because after a few hours, they can start “chunking” up especially on the inner part of the lips.

Retro Matte: Basically the same as above – great opacity, matte as heck – but even more drying, therefore even more long-wearing and a little harder to put on. Again – hydrate hydrate hydrate people!

Amplified: Much more comfortable to wear, more of a satin finish than a matte. Great pigmentation, still quite opaque but not as much as the mattes. They don’t come in a huge range of colours which can be a drawback but I do love this colour!

L – R: Honey Love (Matte), Impassioned (Amplified), All Fired Up (Retro Matte), Lady Danger (Matte), Ruby Woo (Retro Matte)

Let’s have a look at some swatches.

 

Honey Love is a browny neutral nude (it’s my wedding lipstick!), Impassioned is a very bright true pink, All Fired Up is a reddish-pink, Lady Danger is an orange-red and Ruby Woo is a blue-red. RW is really the classic for me. The first MAC lipstick I ever bought was Russian Red which is a little deeper/darker but Ruby Woo is where my love affair started. I mean, look at it. It’s me on a stick. It’s bright, it’s classic, it’s vintage, it’s a really proper true red. I love it. It is VERY drying. I don’t wear this one as an all day colour, which I realise seems silly because it’s so long-wearing, but the truth is that by lunchtime or not much later, I just want to remove it and re-apply with more lip balm. I do have naturally dry lips so that’s a factor to consider as well.

Pros / Cons in description above (too hard to do separate things for each finish). On the whole, they are fantastic lipsticks with an immense colour range and great staying power. They are on the pricey side of things but well worth it, IMO.

Cost: $36

NARS Audacious Lipsticks

Holy grail time, people. These are THE GD BUSINESS, let me tell you. These are a new revelation for me, I did actually hold off for a long time before I bought these but when I finally cracked and bought one, another two followed swiftly after. They are DREAMY. They’re super pigmented, super creamy, super long lasted, the packaging OWNS, the colour range is fantastic.. I just really can’t say anything bad about them (but for one thing – more on that later).

I mean, just look at this packaging. LOOK AT IT.

It’s so magnificent..

Get this. The packaging is MAGNETIC. The lid snaps back onto the body of the lipstick packaging when it’s aligned properly, the lipstick cases themselves snap together IN ORDER (see above) when you have them facing the correct way, oh man I just love it. It’s so immensely satisfying. Funny story: I showed my husband these and he’s in love with the packaging. He just told me we “definitely need another one” to complete the set and make it spell the full brand name. This is why I love him.  ….. Aaaaanyway, onto the COLOURS!

L – R: Rita, Greta, Lana

The colours are absolutely amazing. Rita is a darkish, blueish red similar to Ruby Woo by MAC. Greta is a bright, fuchsia pink and Lana is a fantastic bright orange-red. I truly love them all. You would think that because they are so creamy that they’d wear off fast but they just don’t. They’re not as long-wearing as the MAC Mattes but they’re NOWHERE NEAR as uncomfortable to wear. They’re just glorious. Let’s have a look at them on the skin.

OH GODDDDDD LOOK AT THEMMMM

These are ONE SWIPE swatches. No doubling over them like I have for others. ONE swipe each. They’re so incredibly pigmented and opaque. They are a satin finish, which is my favourite finish I think (might be a different story if I didn’t have such dry lips). The ONLY bad thing I can say about them is that the bullet itself is HUGE. I find them tricky to apply from the bullet which is annoying because putting them on with a lip brush isn’t something I always want to muck around with. If you have thin lips and hate applying with a lip brush, just be aware of the bullet’s size. It’s only the edges of my lips that are thin (like most people, but I hate that overdrawn/painted edge Kylie Jenner look).

These are my ultimate favourite lipsticks ever. Even though they’re new I feel fully confident making that call.

Pros: Super pigmented, super opaque, long-lasting, creamy, easy to apply, incredibly comfortable, spectacular packaging.

Cons: Overly large bullet which makes them somewhat tricky to apply, fairly expensive (but worth every penny in my opinion) – the most expensive of the lot by $8.

Cost: $44

Whew! That was a lot of things to talk about and took me basically all day to write up and take pictures of etc. I had a break for lunch with my husband.

The next part of this series will be in relation to liquid lipsticks, because those are my jam. I love them and have quite a few, I feel that they warrant a whole different post so that’s what I’ll do. I have some balms, stains and glosses as well which I will probably do in a further third post.

Thanks for reading! As always, I’m super keen to hear your feedback. I’m in this blog game for the long haul and I want to make sure I get it as right as possible so I don’t lose your attention!

Have a great Sunday. Peace!