The Red Lipstick Manifesto

The other night my friend mentioned to me that she wanted a really good, bright, true red lipstick. I immediately started listing off my favorites and it occurred to me that red lipstick is kinda my thing. Now, I don’t wear it super often anymore because my husband doesn’t love it. That doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to wear it. I’m allowed, nay, encouraged to wear it whenever and whenever I want no matter what. But I REALLY enjoy the look on his face when I wear one of his favourite darker, plum/wine tone shades. Hehehehehehehe *eyebrow wiggle*

But you know what? It’s my goshdarn birthday and I’m gonna goshdarn talk about red lipstick today and wear some tonight. HB 2 ME

So yeah I have a lot. Soz not soz.

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I decided to put them into three loose groups, and the emphasis IS on loose here. ALSO doing swatches on your un-tattooed right arm with your left hand is REALLY HARD so just back off.

I’m only going to link each product or group of products once, or I’d be finding links all day! If you want something and it’s not clickable, check up above to see where previous links might be. I’m doing US only links here apart from the Australis and Bourjois which are only/much easier to find in Australia. If anyone needs help sourcing things in either country, let me know.

First, let’s start with the orange-reds. This is really only something I’ve been into pretty recently and admittedly I don’t think they look THE MOST bangin’ on me but I like them so much I wear them anyway.

Here’s the swatches:

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  1. ColourPop Ultra Matte – “Succulent” – liquid lipstick
  2. Sephora cream lip stain – “Mandarin Muse” – liquid lipstick
  3. Australis VelourLips – “San-Fran-Disco” – liquid lipstick
  4. Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet – “Hot Pepper” – liquid lipstick
  5. NARS Audacious – “Lana” – bullet lipstick
  6. MAC – “Lady Danger” – bullet lipstick
  7. Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencil – “Bang” – liner pencil

Next up is the brights. This is a fairly broad descriptor, I know. but it’s the largest group and I’m bad at differentiating color bases (blue-based etc). DEAL WITH IT!

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  1. Australis VelourLips – “NY-Cee” – liquid lipstick
  2. Sephora cream lip stain – “Always Red” – liquid lipstick
  3. Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Outlaw – liquid lipstick
  4. Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Santa Sangre – liquid lipstick
  5. ColourPop Lippie Stix – “Frenchie” – thin bullet lipstick (+ matching pencil)
  6. Maybelline Color Sensational Creamy Mattes – “Siren in Scarlet” – bullet lipstick
  7. MAC – “Ruby Woo” – bullet lipstick
  8. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – “Dragon Girl” – thick pencil
  9. MAC lip pencil – “Cherry” – lip liner

 

And finally some darker shades. This is probably the most questionable grouping. Further notes on that below.

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  1. Australis VelourLips – “Buda-Pash” – liquid lipstick
  2. Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – “Nosferatu” – liquid lipstick
  3. NARS Audacious – “Rita” – bullet lipstick
  4. Make Up For Ever Artist Intense Lipstick – “43” – bullet lipstick
  5. ColourPop Lippie Stix – “Fighter” – thin bullet lipstick
  6. YvesSaintLaurent Rouge Pur Couture– “71” – bullet lipstick
  7. Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme – “So Rouge” – 240
  8. Urban Decay Matte Revolution – “Bad Blood” – round bullet lipstick

 

Obviously, numbers 3 and 4 should be bumped back into the previous category in hindsight but tbh I regret nothing because they wouldn’t have fit on the “brights” arm anyway.

I want to talk a bit about different finishes. The liquid lipsticks are going to last longer, and be completely matte (no shine at all). I have eaten chicken wings and burgers (not at the same time, UNFORTUNATELY) with the Kat von D ELLs on and they stay just fine with minimal, if any touchups. Seriously they are like glue. It might be sorcery. But their drawback (and the drawback of any of them listed liquid lipsticks) is that they are drying. I don’t mind this so much because I know it makes them last longer. But if you really hate the feeling of dry lips, give up the search for bulletproof long-lasting lipstick because you’re shit out of luck my friend. Sorry! By its very nature, a creamy, moisturising lipstick just won’t last very long. You have to accept this, and learn to love retouching (this is fine).

Personally, I find shiny/moisturizing lipsticks scary because I’m worried that any tiny brush of my lip against my hand or whatever is going to smoosh it everywhere. So most of the above things are very matte, possibly with the exception of the YSL and Marc Jacobs and the MUFE Artist Intense. The NARS Audacious are still a little bit drying (because they’re matte) but they are not as drying or as long lasting as the others. So they’re kind of a good compromise. As you can tell, I’m not a huge lip liner wearer. Some people swear by it but because I wear so much liquid lipstick I just don’t need it as much.

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Haul at Halloween: MAC, Sephora, CVS + Wedding Anniversary!

I can’t really call it a Halloween Haul, because none of the products are spooky. Sorry.

I was in Burlington, Vermont last week for a work training event. This was exciting because I got to visit some stores I don’t have ready access to most of the time – namely MAC and, to a lesser extent, Sephora. There is one of those in my parents-in-law’s town, but the one in Burlington is bigger and the staff have historically been better and nicer to me.

At MAC, I had a look at their current seasonal gift range and felt decidedly uninspired. I had however had my eye on one of the Paint Pots in “Groundwork”.

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As you can see, it’s a really nice neutral brown. It’s a tiny bit warm but not too warm, kind of a taupey-brown, and totally devoid of shimmer so it’s perfect for toned-down winter workdays where you just want to swipe on some long-lasting eyeshadow and stumble out the door into the cold. This is my fourth Paint Pot and they’ve all impressed me so far. I’m sure Groundwork won’t let me down.

You can get it from MAC for $22 in the USA or Australia for $35.

Next up I shuffled off to Sephora and grabbed one of the Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks that I’ve been pondering over for awhile (this purchase thanks to a long and in-depth conversation about this product and its many beautiful shades with my bestie Mem) – Bauhau5.

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It’s kind of a deep berry-pink tone. I have not yet put it onto my lips but when I do, I assure you I will post on instagram (you can find me there @freedomandvanity) because I really feel like I’m going to love it, like I love all of its siblings (some of them are boys, you see, like Echo). As I have stated many times, you can grab these from the Sephora US site for $22 and maybe even the Australian site by the time this goes up but I don’t really want to talk about the crapshow that the Australian Sephora site launch has been, tbh. If you’re in Australia and you have a choice, please go with Mecca Cosmetica they’re just so much better. Sadly, KvD is Sephora only.

I picked up one of my favorite brow products, the Anastasia Beverly Hills DipBrow. Before, I had it in the shade “medium brown”. It has occurred to me recently that this is actually too warm for my brows, it’s got a reddish tinge to it that looks a little strange at close examination, so I decided to grab “ash brown”.

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I think it’s going to be much better even just at first glance.  I’ll keep you updated, fair readers. ABH is available at quite a few places, but I get it from Sephora for $18 in the USA and in Australia you can get it from AdoreBeauty for $39 and from a couple of other places too, but the shades are a little different which is confusing. Ok ok I caved and went to Sephora.com.au, and they have it for $30 with all the right shades YOU WIN THIS ROUND, SEPHORA AUSTRALIA.

I’ve been vacillating about buying some of the Ceramidin products from Dr Jart+ (my latest skincare love) for awhile now, because in winter my skin entirely forgets how to hold moisture and ceramides are great for holding moisture in the skin longer than other moisturizing ingredients, and creates a protective barrier. I saw this nifty little sample kit of the liquid (serum) and cream moisturizing products so I grabbed it, it was the last one.

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So far I really like both these products, they’re light enough to absorb rapidly, but not so much that I feel like it all disappears and I have to reapply. Strangely, I can’t find this pack on the Sephora site anymore but you can get these products for $39 and $48 respectively. Check Sephora.com.au for these as well.

I also grabbed a sample of the Dr Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping mask and so far I freakin’ LOVE IT you guys. It’s probably the thing that I’m most excited about. But it’s relatively pricey at nearly  $50. Eep! Still, it feels so nice, I think I’m going to grab it. Sleeping Masks have always been a bit mysterious to me, but having tried this one, it feels different to a normal moisturizer because some of the product appears to stay on the skin. It absorbs overnight though, leaving my skin super soft and not greasy. Hooray!

I popped into CVS as well and picked up a CoverGirl Outlast nail polish from the Star Wars range. It’s a kind of greige color – grey/beige/taupe. The name is “Speed of Light”.

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I think it set me back around $6-7, you can get it from any number of places that sell CoverGirl.

I read recently on Lily Pebbles’ blog that Maybelline had released a new creamy matte range. I couldn’t find that exact range but I found something where the shade names matched, in a matte formulation, so I picked up “Siren in Scarlet”.

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Does that look like a “me” color or what? I’m gonna wear it tonight (pub trivia), keep an eye out on my instagram.

It was my first wedding anniversary recently and my amazing husband got me two very coveted Charlotte Tilbury products – Filmstar Bronze & Glow and the Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk. First of all can we talk about the amazing packaging?!

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So luxe! And on the inside of the palette, we have a lovely cool-toned bronzer/contour shade and a very finely milled highlight.

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It’s hard to even use them to be honest, they’re so nice. But I’m going to anyway. Best husband ever!

So that’s my latest … acquisitions.. I’m sorry I don’t have many pictures of me wearing them! I honestly haven’t been wearing much makeup lately, I’ve been really busy and prioritizing sleep over makeup application. Heh!

Thanks for reading!

Love+++
F&V

Review: ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip – Budget Friendly Liquid Lipsticks?! Yep.

I finally grabbed some of these recently after resisting for quite some time. I decided to have a play today and I’m quite impressed so far!

I also bought a couple of new Kat von D Metal Crush shadows recently (Thrasher, Black No.1 and Doce, which is brand new) so I had a play with those as well, hooray! Colors!

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These are lovely. I don’t know what else to say. I’m a huge fan. I wish they were released in a palette, because I want all of them. They’re creamy and buttery, pigmented and super, suuuper shiny. Almost wet-looking in their shiny metallicness. I love them! I decided to just go nuts and use all three today and this is what I came up with…

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Doce, in the center, is a gorgeous fall color. It’s a coppery, reddish warm tone. It’s not as much of a true brownish copper as Synergy, but not as red as Raw Power.

Anyway, moving on to the the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lips.

I bought Donut, Mars, Succulent, Guess and Lychee. They’re $6 a pop so it’s hard to resist buying more than one!

I tried on Guess last night and while it is interesting I’m not completely sold on it. Same with Donut. I have the same problem with Donut that I have with Mi-Am-Ee from Australis’ VelourLips range. It’s a bit light and a bit watermelon-y for my taste and it made me feel a bit ridiculous. So I’m sorry to say that those are going to need a bit more work/bravery from me before there are pics. But Mars, Succulent and Lychee are all great! Here they are, in that order:

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Fun right! Ok so as for the consistency, it’s good. It’s somehow more comfortable than a lot of other liquid lipsticks. It’s only been a couple of hours but other ones often “flake/pill” up on me by now so I’m impressed. One layer was enough to build adequate opacity, and they were easy to apply with the applicator. Guess was tougher but that’s just because the color is less forgiving – mistakes are easier to see with dark colors. They dry down matte but not chunky. Because you don’t have to use a lot of it, it doesn’t get an opportunity to feel too ‘thick’ on your lips. Good times!

All in all, for $6 each I kinda feel like you can’t go wrong. The packaging is sturdy and not cheap-feeling.

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Here’s the swatches in the same order as above:

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The lower end is a bit liquidy because that’s where I first touched with the wand, but the other end is already dry not more than a few seconds after application. Pretty impressive stuff.

So anyway that’s my review for today – pretty much loving all o’ dis. September Favorites is coming up this week.

Thanks for reading!

Love++
F&V

Drugstore Haul and Product Review: Hits & Misses

I got an email yesterday from CVS saying I had extrabucks that were about to expire. For those not familiar, you earn extrabucks when you buy things at CVS and it’s basically like a voucher. Free money?! Drugstore spree time. Wheeeeeeeeeee

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Ok so when I got home I decided to just try out the new things I have, as well as some other items I’ve obtained recently. First up I applied some TooFaced Hangover Primer and NARS eyeshadow primer, then I put some of my new Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation.

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I gave a sample of this a pretty good go before I bought it so I was already pretty happy with it. It’s not too matte, not too glowy (though the Hangover primer does make it a little more glowy) but has a satin finish. It’s a good every day medium coverage foundation. Obviously not drugstore but it’s a recent purchase and I didn’t buy any foundation today.

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All looking okay so far, let’s continue.

I had heard good things about the Maybelline Better Skin corrector/concealer from a few beauty youtubers so I grabbed it today in the shade “light”.

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I applied it under my eyes, between my brows, on some blemishes, on my chin, above my cupid’s bow and at the sides of my nose/nostril area – don’t we all get that bit of redness? I was really pleased with how easily this product blended out using the Real Techniques contour brush.

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Not bad! Ok, next up is the Maybelline Fit Me Matte+Poreless powder in 220/Natural Beige, applied with another new purchase – the Real Techniques Powder Brush. Recently it occurred to me that the RT Blush Brush is actually great for blush so I stopped using it for powder. This left a powder-brush shaped hole, so I picked this little number up today.

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Decent color match, I decided to see how it wore before I made any snap judgments. And look, the truth is, I don’t love it. I feel like my pores are actually emphasised (picture later) rather than made ‘less’ and I got shiny pretty fast. I don’t want to immediatly dismiss it though, I’m going to try it with a pore-minimising primer and see how that goes before I throw it in the trash. The brush is lovely and exactly what I wanted – soft and loose but still dense enough to pick up enough product to make a difference.

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Next I applied the deluxe sample size of Tarte’s Park Ave Princess bronzer with my ELF Complexion Brush.

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I like this brush because it is paddle shaped so it’s great for applying bronzer to the cheekbones, temples and forehead areas and for blending out as well.

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This bronzer is okay. It’s got nothing on the MAC Mineralize SkinFinish Natural so I probably won’t reach for it too often but it will be a good one to keep in my handbag or travel makeup kit.

The above photo also has my brows done with this sexy little number – the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown. This is a FANTASTIC dupe for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. GREAT product!

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Onto eyes. As mentioned earlier I already applied some primer, and this primer is tried and true. Today I bought the Rimmel ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick in Naughty Navy.

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I’m really into navy at the moment, even more than usual! Ok, on it goes.

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First impressions: it applies really easily, but the pigmentation isn’t great and it’s quite hard to get a smooth appearance. Also I noticed as soon as I blinked, even after letting the product dry for a good 30 seconds, it got all messed up.

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I decided to put some of my trusty L’Oreal Infallible shadow on in All Night Blue just to set the eyeshadow stick.

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Marginally better but I sorta don’t think there’s any saving this eye crayon, it’s just really bad. Glad it was cheap. Not impressed.

I picked up the Rimmel Exaggerage Full Colour Lip Liner in Obsession, a dark wine color. I already have EastEnd Snob in this product which I really love so I was keen to grab another one. The lipliner went on nicely as expected. I then applied Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Black Cherry.

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It’s pretty nice, I like that it applies nice and smoothly and doesn’t pull the lips around like some more matte lipsticks can. This isn’t matte as you can see, which is a fun change for me. But it is a smidge patchy. It requires a few coats. I found it to wear well though and it stayed comfortable so this is a winner. The slightly melon-ish smell really doesn’t do it for me but it definitely fades very quickly so that’s a bonus. This will be a great product for winter because it doesn’t dry out the lips.

In brighter light:

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So that’s the finished look. I wanted to add a closer-up photo of the eye and inner-cheek area to highlight the products I found problematic.

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Yeahhhh… not great. Check out those pores. Who were they testing the “poreless” aspect of this powder on, exactly? And what good is a “waterproof” eye crayon when it sets like this?

But the lipstick is lovely, the brow crayon ROCKS and the concealer is great too.

I also bought a set of the Sally Hansen MiracleGel polish, in Teal Twin with the top coat. I applied it and it’s nice. Is it a gel-like finish? Frick no. No, nope, not at all. It’s precisely and exactly like a normal nail polish with a shiny top coat. Meh.

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It’s fine. But it’s not gel. It’s just not!

Ok team that’s it from me today. Have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing!

Love+++
F&V

Review MegaPost: Pale Girl Self-Tan, Cleansing Oil, a Brow Pen & Drugstore Lipstick

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Wednesdays off are blog post days and there’s a few things I’ve been wanting to review lately, so I thought I’d condense them into one post. Hopefully this will stop me going on for too long about each product!

First of all, let’s talk about a much-reviewed product of late, the St Tropez Gradual Tan In-Shower self-tanner.

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The pale, lazy girl’s ideal self-tanner.

I was very curious about this product for a very important reason: I am super, super lazy with self-tan. And the prime factor influencing this is that being tanned is just not a priority for me at all, I don’t really mind being pale. But I really like how I look with a very slight tan, for instance you can see my veins a little less and it disguises cellulite and all that good stuff. I am working on giving fewer fucks about cellulite but it’s still pretty cool when you can make it less obvious!

So the instructions for this product are to get in the shower, wash your body like normal (though if you use an oil or very moisturizing gel I’d recommend swapping to a normal soap – self-tans do not cope well with overly moisturized skin) then turn the shower off, apply the product with circular motions all over your body, wash your palms and wait 3 minutes. Then you just rinse and you’re done. They recommend during the 3 minutes you put a mask in your hair or something like that but I just turned the kitchen timer on and waddled around damp and slimy doing a couple of things because I have the (in this case) luxury of a tiny apartment where everything is close to the bathroom.

The tan then develops over the next 24 hours. When I first washed it off, there definitely wasn’t any evidence of a tan which was in line with what I expected. But overnight I definitely developed a light, even, natural tan. I SO wish I had taken before and after pictures. AMATEUR! It’s so light and natural that my husband couldn’t even tell I’d done it but I could definitely tell. It was just like I’d got a little bit of sun, a healthy amount, without the tan-lines. There were no yucky streaks or patches because the product has a slippy quality that makes it really easy to spread. There was no orange-ness or unnatural Dorito-hued aspects to this tan. Pro!

A few things: the smell of this product is not offensive at all. It does linger, I could smell it even the next day. It kinda reminds me of biscuits or scones or something like that. It didn’t last past my next shower and it wasn’t obvious to anyone but me.

The 3 minutes you have to stand around naked and damp could be a problem if it’s cold where you are, or just in your bathroom or whatever. It wasn’t really the case for me (New England is finally seeing summer!) so I didn’t mind at all.

If you are the kind of person who wants a nice deep tan, or who is ALREADY tan, then this product is not for you, not as a tanner anyway. I think if you wanted to extend your tan a little longer it could be perfect, but for US$25 I’m not sure how keen you’d be to pick it up.

Bottom line: it’s really easy to apply, it’s really natural and it’s really subtle. TICK TICK TICK DONE WILL PURCHASE AGAIN A+ PRODUCT! Grab it from Ulta or Sephora for $25.

Next up let’s talk about a very recent purchase for me, the Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil.

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I bought the mini (50mL) size of this to try it out to see whether I like it more than my current oil cleanser obsession (Nude Skincare Omega Cleansing Jelly). The product comes in a pump pack which already puts it above the other to me, but that could just be me.. anyway, I used a full pump and massaged it into my skin to remove my makeup and my first impressions were that the amount I used was WAYYY too much for my face, which is good news, means the product will last longer. I also felt that the smell was quite strong – it reminded me of eucalyptus which is a scent I enjoy but I worried that there would be an irritant oil or perfume in it. I also felt that it was a lot thinner in consistency to the Nude jelly but that wasn’t necessarily a negative, it spread a lot more easily but has the potential for more mess.

I used the same technique as always, giving my face a good massage with the product to break up all the makeup then wipe off with a warm, damp cloth.

I have to say, I really like this product a lot. I felt that it did a better job than the Nude product and will last longer. I waited a few days to write this review in case it broke me out but it hasn’t at all, and after using it my skin feels more soft than it does with the other product too, I don’t feel that I need to run straight to my moisturizer and slather it on immediately. I will be buying the full size of this (US$28, mini size is $10) when the mini runs out. Very impressed.

Next up, something I was not at all impressed with – the L’Oreal Colour Riche Le Matte Lipcolor Stick.

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When I posted on my fb that I had bought this, a fellow beauty lover said that the smell was unbearable for her. I’m not particularly sensitive to smells so I wasn’t too worried. Nevertheless I picked it up, uncapped the lid, brought the product up to my nose and nearly passed out. It is TRULY DISGUSTING. It smells like the worst kind of shitty plastic kids toys you can get from the crappiest stores. Like chemical laden play-doh. I decided to try it on anyway and look, I’m not gonna lie. It lasted about.. 2 minutes before I took it off. I literally couldn’t wear it, the smell was so strong. The application was also very patchy, I couldn’t get it to look smooth and even. I got the colour “Matte-r of Fact” which is a magenta pink and a really nice color but just .. no.

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Even in the swatch I had to go over and over it to make it come out an even color. This product sucks and unless you like that smell and patchy lipstick I just wouldn’t bother. If that sounds great to you, you can grab it from anywhere that sells L’Oreal or from Ulta for $10, congrats on being a huge weirdo I guess!

The final product is one that I’m going to return to Sephora for reasons that aren’t really to do with any failing of the product itself, but more of a systematic issue in brow products: STOP MAKING BROWN SHADES SO FRICKIN’ WARM, MAKEUP COMPANIES! GRRRRRRRRRRR! It’s the Kat von D Tattoo Brow Brush Tip Brow Pen.

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I bought medium brown which is the darkest shade and I’m so cranky at how red-toned it is, especially when compared to my dark-brow/black brow hairs because as a product it is GREAT. I really like how you can adjust the pressure to make the product work differently. A little bit of pressure paints the thinnest, finest hairs into where they might be missing from your brows, a little more pressure adds fullness and depth to the brow area in general. You can then brush out the brows to blend everything together for an overall full effect. Fantastic!

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But it’s so warm and it’s just really upsetting. There’s no darker color either so I can’t swap it. Please KVD, please create a cooler or just straight black brow pen. I love this product and it will suck to take it back. If your brow hairs are more of a warm brown then you can grab this handy little sucker from Sephora for $US19 and I recommend you do because it’s really great!

Heading off to the gym now. My next post is going to be about the Kat von D Shade & Light Eye palette and how to create 3 different looks using it. I hope the weather holds so I can take good pictures! One day I’ll get a good camera.. one day..

Love,
F&V

How To: Lipstick Application Tricks and Techniques

Lipstick! If you follow me on instagram or anything like that you’ll know that I frickin love lipstick. I LOVE IT. I wear it all the time, mostly pinks and reds but I’m starting to learn to love berry/purpleish shades as well.

Admittedly, I’ve always just kinda had a knack for putting on lipstick. I remember someone saying that to me when I was in my early 20s. “How come you always put lipstick on so fast and it turns out perfect?” I don’t know. I didn’t realise that until then. Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I have large lips: I have a greater margin for error.

Today I’m going to talk about a few different things. Lipliner, lipstick, liquid lipstick and lip crayons. I’m not going to go into too much detail on each product because I already did that in the lip series.

Before I put on any kind of lipstick I always make sure my lips are really well moisturized. Especially if you’re going to wear a long-wear lipstick, this is really important unless you want to be super uncomfortable pretty fast. I use good old Lanolips, or any ChapStick balm etc – whatever you want. I usually put that on at the beginning of my makeup application so it has time to absorb. There’s also a lot of lip primers you can get, I use the MAC one and I’m not really sure that it makes any difference but I use it anyway. It’s kind of a silicone-y feeling product, it’s possible that it fills in lines so that the lipstick can smooth over the top but I’m really not sure. Anyway it’s not important. Just make sure your lips are exfoliated (use a q-tip with some lip balm, or a fancy lip scrub, or some sugar and olive oil if you want) and hydrated.

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Pls do not judge me for not putting anything but foundation and concealer on. I’m not even sorry.

First up let’s talk about lipliner. If you want a really long lasting application I strongly recommend using lipliner. It gives a good foundation for your application and can really help you to create a perfectly defined outer line. However, I think it’s best to colour in the entire lip and not just the outline.

For lipliner, I really feel like you can’t go past MAC. I have used MAC Cherry for my red lipsticks for years. It’s a great all-rounder.

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I always start with my cupid’s bow when I do my lip line. It’s the hardest part, IMO, so you want to do it when the pencil is at its sharpest (I always sharpen my lipliners before I use them, I know it’s wasteful but it makes a huge difference). I like to make a semi-smile and trace the edges carefully. You don’t want to smile so hard that your lips stretch out – this can result in a warped line. Just enough so that the skin at the edge of your lips doesn’t catch while you draw the line.

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So that’s how I start. One great thing I learned about lipliner is that it’s not about drawing in one straight, continuous, perfect line. What are you, superhuman? Nobody can do that! You want to use short, careful strokes to draw a line that follows your lips. Don’t try to do it all at once. Continue this all the way around the lipline. Make sure you go into the corners, if you’re like me and your lipline really narrows in at the corners, be careful and precise in these areas – use a light hand.

2015-07-08 17.02.45So cute.

Then just use the flat side of the crayon to fill in the rest of the lip. You could use the tip but it would take you forever. Aint nobody got time for that.

2015-07-08 17.04.58All filled in. This is just lipliner. You could go out like this if you wanted!

So then we go in with our lipstick. If you want, you can apply it straight from the bullet. That’s what I do most of the time. This, unfortunately isn’t really something I can give you any help with.  It just takes practice. I use the same “smile-ish” strategy to stop my lips from pulling and tugging too much, and I always do my cupid’s bow first. Usually I’ll do my upper lip then stamp my lips together to add some color to my lower lip.

But today we’re going to talk about applying with a lip brush. Do you have to do this? No of course not, lots of people go through their whole makeup wearing lives not using a lip brush but I like it for making a super long-wearing lip. It works the color into the lip so that it really stains. It also enables you to be more precise. To do this, I take the lip brush and just get some off the bullet onto the brush.

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Then, starting at the cupid’s bow, I carefully apply the color to the lip.

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When I go into the corners, I just use the edges of the brush, or the tip of the brush to carefully add color only where it’s needed. You can open your mouth a little wider here, so you can see better. The key is just to be careful.

When you go along the bottom edge of the lip, I do find it better to turn the brush and go on the side. This makes it easier to drag the brush down and make a straight line. But again – feel free to use shorter strokes so you are less likely to make mistakes.

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But guess what! If you do make a mistake you can fix it super easily. Just grab a q-tip with a little makeup remover (I like micellar water for this task) and run it along the lipline where the issue is. While you’re running it along the lipline, slowly turn it as well so that you’re not rubbing the lipstick everywhere. Don’t ever use the same end of a q-tip twice. TRUST me. And you know what? Most makeup artists will tell you that they do this on almost every single client. Mistakes happen – clean up carefully and don’t make it worse if you can help it!

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Once you’ve brushed over the whole lip, it’s time to blot. Grab a tissue and fold it in half then press it lightly between your lips. Don’t press too hard or you’ll smudge everything. After that I usually do another layer of lipstick, just with the bullet to add a final layer of color opacity. Done!

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Yeah look I didn’t do a single thing with my hair but it’s not because I don’t love you, ok?

Ok so let’s move on to liquid lipsticks. These are definitely harder to apply, there is no arguing with that. They can be messy, and therefore tricky. Some people still like to use a lip brush to apply these, for the sake of precision. Feel free to do that. I don’t though, because I’m like super rebellious and stuff.

First up, again make sure your lips are hydrated. Liquid lipsticks, though the name suggests otherwise, are often very drying. This means that they’re very long lasting but they do require your lips to be in great shape.

To get started, once again I always start with the cupid’s bow.

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Then just slowly and carefully make your way around the edges.

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Now go into the corners. My strategy with liquid lipstick is to juuuuust touch the wand to the corners of my lips. Any more pressure than that causes mess. I also don’t stretch my mouth too wide open because this makes the lipstick cover more surface area than it needs to. You might need to open your mouth a little but don’t go nuts.

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Same rules apply if you make a mistake. Just clean up the edge with some makeup remover on a q-tip or on a flat definer brush like so:

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One thing I did here was deepen my cupid’s bow a little. As you can see here, I overdrew it a smidge (kinda looks like my lipline goes straight across at the top) and wanted to make sure it was well defined:

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So I just took a finger (make sure it’s clean of lipstick!), pressed it to the area of skin above my cupid’s bow and dragged it downwards towards the lip. I hope that makes sense!

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I forgot to take an after, but I did take this ridiculous shot, ENJOY!

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You can add another layer on top of this if you want but I sometimes find that makes things too chunky and thick. By the way, for this I used Kat von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Outlaw”.

Next I want to talk about lip crayons. These generally have a little less color payoff but they are very easy to use. Kinda like a giant lip liner! So they’re a 2-in1. My favourite ones are the NARS Lip Pencils. Today I used Dragon Girl which is a Velvet Matte lip pencil.

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Again let’s make sure it’s nice and sharp before we start, and our lips are nice and hydrated. Now just use the tip of the crayon to go around the edges of the lips then use the flat of the crayon to color in the lips. Build it up until you get the level of color you want.

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What’s that? Oh why yes, it is incredibly intimidating to post close-ups of your less-than-perfect skin. Thanks for asking! Anyway, shit’s gotta get done right?

Et voila!

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So those are main techniques I use. Another thing I want to mention is a great technique I use when I really just want a very light wash of color. Basically you just want to get a little lipstick on your finger, straight from the bullet is fine, and “pat” it into the lips. You can build this up into quite a deep stain if you want, but I usually wear it quite sheer.

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You can wear it just like that:

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Or you can add a gloss if that’s your thing:

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Some other tidbits: the suck your finger thing. That’s to remove lipstick that might be on the inside area of your lips and could transfer to your teeth. I don’t bother with it, but if you find that your lips are shaped such that you get lipstick on your teeth, feel free to do that before you finish up your lipstick. Just try to only touch the inside of your lips to your finger and not your whole lips or you’ll ruin your hard work! Do you have to powder your lipstick? No, and honestly I wouldn’t, you’re just adding product which can make your lipstick really chunky.

Remember, the bottom line is that everyone’s lip shape is different. You learn about your own by practicing. I’m sorry! I wish I had the perfect-lipstick-every-time answers but I don’t.

I really hope that answers some questions about lip products.

Playtime Wednesday: Mineral Makeup, Black Liner, Lipstick and Unboxings..

This is going to be a bit of a mishmash!

A couple of weeks back, one of my lovely friends, Evelyn, who created Mineralis Cosmetics – an indie makeup brand based in the UK, asked if she could send me some of her products. I told her that would be lovely, as long as it was okay with her that I was 100% honest in my blog. Evelyn happily agreed, she has a lot of faith in her products.

With good reason. They arrived this week and I used them the next day for a full day of work. Evelyn sent 2 shades in case I needed to mix them and a translucent powder in a gorgeous little purple drawstring bag. Cutest!

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Mineral makeup has always been a bit of a mystery to me. I don’t get it. It’s just a powder? How does it work? Do you just dust it on? Do you mix it with water (yes, I literally thought this)? Evelyn patiently explained that I should apply it with a flat topped brush, after applying a dusting of the translucent powder in my oilier areas. So that’s what I did. I used no primer, just some moisturizer which I put on half an hour before I applied the makeup. I mixed the two shades together, which gave the perfect shade (well done Evelyn!). I dusted a little translucent powder again over the top. I used no concealer at all. Below is a picture of the freshly applied makeup and the 6pm appearance – no touchups.

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Different light – sorry! I tried!

There’s a totally normal amount of shine on my nose and the makeup has absorbed into my face a little bit but again that’s totally normal – my face likes to eat makeup. Even the absolute best and longest wearing makeup would be failing by that point. My t-zone is oily and makeup is not infallible despite what L’Oreal likes to tell us!

I played again today this time just adding a little bit of under-eye concealer before I put the foundation on. I did a before and after so you can see the amount of coverage with just a single “layer” application. Not bad for ground up rocks, huh?

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Before and after mineral makeup application

I’m going to keep trying this stuff out and seeing how it goes. So far I’m super impressed. These foundations are 6GBP which is drugstore prices for a great quality product. The translucent powder is 6.5GBP and you only need such a little bit, it’s a bargain. I really recommend checking Mineralis out! Link in first paragraph.

I decided after that that I’d play with the Maybelline Kajal black liner. I hardly ever line my entire eyes anymore, so as not to make my eyes look smaller. I then used a pencil brush to smudge everything out. Fun!

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Wow such dark so mystery

Then I dug around in my lipstick collection and re-discovered MAC’s “All Fired Up” retro-matte lipstick. This lipstick is SO MATTE that I sometimes find it hard to wear, which is why it doesn’t get pulled out very often. But the color is great so I put a bunch of balm on, waited a bit then applied the lipstick and it’s wearing really nicely so far.

FullSizeRender(1)Love dis red

I mean look at this color. It’s like a light, pinkyish red. I blurred out the edges with a q-tip, I’ve been into that lately, just to make the edges a little less stark.

I got my BoxyCharm today which was, tbh, kinda disappointing. It’s meant to be a luxury box and maybe it is but the only exciting thing to me is the Oscar Blandi silk serum. I waited all damn month (they billed me on the 1st of June) for this?!

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Ipsy was way better and half the price. But I might just be saying that because the Ipsy bag came with a brow pencil by IT Cosmetics which is a brand I like. It’s a great pencil too! I don’t like the nail polish though. I disagree with the “gel effect” claim, it chipped like less than 24 hours after wearing it.

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Anyway that’s my Wednesday of playing around and trying things out, and revisiting some favorites. I hope yours was nice! Have a great week, readers.

Love+++
F&V

Mini Reviews: New Lip Products at the Drugstore

This week I bought two new lip products at the drugstore with mixed results. The mix is that one of them is amazing and one of them is disappointing.

I’ll get the disappointing one out of the way first. Look, this is partly my fault. I saw something gimmicky and I knew I had to have it. When will I learn? It’s the Maybelline ColorBlur Cream Matte Pencil & Smudger. GASP! I know. I love Maybelline. They’ve never steered me wrong in the past. But this product is just silly – or I don’t get it. It’s hard to tell with me sometimes, I know. Please illuminate me if you think I’m doing it wrong!

Basically it’s a wind-up pencil (which in itself is a stretch, it’s a slim bullet rather than a pencil) with a weird.. eraser.. thing.. on the other end. Observe:

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Ummm.

One end is literally eraser material I’m not joking. So I guess what you’re meant to do is kind of put a bit on the inside areas of your lips then.. blend out with the eraser end? I really didn’t like it. For one thing the formula felt really bad, it immediately dried out my lips and spreading it thinner definitely didn’t help. It was patchy and hard to blend which is weird because isn’t that the point? I don’t get it. It looked weird and bad. See?

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This isn’t my impressed face

I mean, I feel like you could grab any good-formula-having lip product in your collection and blend it out with your finger and you’d get a way better effect. Gimmicky and weird. And it doesn’t last. Lemme tell you one thing Maybelline, if you’re gonna make me use a drying lip product it had best stay put all damn day. This didn’t. I think I reapplied like 5 times at work. Not cool Maybelline – I’m glad I had a lip gloss in my bag that I could put over the top or I would have gone mad. NEXT.

Ahhhh, this is better. Recently L’Oreal released a set of red lipsticks called “Color Riche Collection Exclusive Reds“. There are six in the set, they’re based on what a few celebrities consider their favorite, go-to reds. I picked up “Frieda’s Red”. And ooooh my god Frieda you nailed it. First up the packaging is glorious, it’s quite luxe even though it’s just matte black plastic. The gold accents and solid-click lid really do it for me!

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You may have noticed by now that it’s actually pink. GOOD JOB YOU! It is pink but sometimes people’s favorite reds are actually pinks, who am I to argue I say. I love a good pink lipstick and this one is glorious. It’s SO bright, rich and pigmented. It’s a satin finish (claims to be matte but I don’t agree) which is nice when your lips are a little on the dry side. It goes on beautifully and stays put if you do a couple of coats and blot (just the usual, no special technique required). My friend over at All That Frou Frou did a great review on a couple of the other colors (and this one) – check it out by clicking the link! If you’re not following ATFF already you bloody well should be, I’m telling you, girl is smart, gorgeous and knows her shit.

Anyway, I loved this lipstick so I did some silly poses out of sheer glee and frivolity.

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Needs more lifted eyebrow IMHO

This is an absolute winner for me, super creamy and pigmented but long lasting. I will probably pick up some of the other colors in this range.

These were both around the $9-11 mark at CVS. The L’Oreal product is definitely available in Australia. I’m not totally sure about the Maybelline one but I wouldn’t link you anyway, it’s not a good product IMHO.

Until next time!

Love+++
F&V

Review: Lipstick Queen Sheer Tint & “Colour Transforming” Lipsticks (+ Threading!)

In previous iterations of my blog I have raved about Lipstick Queen lipsticks so I hope you don’t mind that I do it again (mostly).

I recently obtained from Ulta these two lipsticks: Hello Sailor and Frog Prince.

FullSizeRenderThe weird thing about these lipsticks is that the bullet color does not match the color they turn on your lips. In a process that has something to do with pH balance, they change color on your lips. They’re also extremely nourishing, the base of the lipstick is Vitamin E which is really hydrating and comfortable on the lips.

So first of all I want to talk about Hello Sailor. And that’s because, well, I hate it. I mean, hate might be a strong word? I don’t know. But these aren’t exactly cheap and this particular product does nothing. The description says: “Turn the blackberry lip trend on its head with this ultra-modern, navy blue sheer lipstick. In a nod to the nautical, Hello Sailor tints lips in a cool, berry tone with a hint of deep sapphire.”

I just don’t agree. Let’s take a look. I tried to get the same/similar light but the weather is weird today and basically it’s different shades of overcast at all times. Sorry!

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Navy blue bullet?! So promising!

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Hello Sailor: Before & After

So okay maybe there’s the tiniest weeniest bit of different maybe. But these lip colors are $25 each, man. As the amazing KathleenLights would say, “thasespensive”. As hell. So yeah this $25 lip balm gets a big ol’ NOPE from me.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I have very pigmented lips already and it’s totally possible that someone with less pigment on their lips may find that this shows up more for them.

Next I thought I’d mention trusty old Medieval. I’ve talked about this before. I love it. It does not only what it says on the tin (so to speak), but what it says on the bullet. It’s a lovely, natural red flush. Description from the site: “Medieval is the red that flatters all complexions. Impossible to detect as anything other than a sensual melancholic hue.” Yep! Accurate. Let’s take a look.

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Yep, I have worn this a lot D:

FullSizeRender_3 FullSizeRender_1A lovely natural red flush, as described. Hooray!

A winner for me and will definitely be repurchasing in the near future when this runs out. Must.. conserve.. product….

And now we come to, IMO, the star of the show. Let’s have a little talk about Frog Prince, shall we? For one thing, it’s green. I mean what the hell?! What is that about? Perhaps the site will provide some answers: “Get heads turning with Frog Prince, a remarkable emerald green lipstick that transforms into magical rosebud upon contact with the lips. Don’t be fooled by the deep green hue of this semi-sheer lipstick – the green reacts with the warmth of your lips turning them an intense, fairy tale rose. No two pairs of lips will look the same as it adapts according to your pH and natural coloring, appearing entirely different yet beautifully flattering on everyone.”

What!? But it’s bright green! I don’t believe you, Poppy King. I JUST DON’T. Let’s see, shall we?

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*narrows eyes suspiciously, looks for hidden cameras*

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Before and After. SO DELIGHTFUL OMG!

THIS IS SORCERY. I’m a witch now. Just so you know. Please don’t burn me. But yeah look at this?! I love it so much, I’m so impressed, this is a super cool product.

Just like Medieval it’s nourishing and moisturizing, and it’s the kind of lip color that’s great for those on the go, because you can smear it on without using a mirror. I mean, not too liberally but if you go a bit outside the lines it a) doesn’t matter really and b) is super easy to fix if you want to, the color won’t smudge around like a lipstick normally would.

These babies are US$25 each from Ulta and for someone who hates to have to always think about their lipstick, hoping it’s still sitting right and not bleeding or smearing or on their teeth, they are PERFECT. A great investment. I wear these a lot when I am giving my lips a break from more serious lipsticks, but still want to have some colour. In America you can grab them from Ulta, and in Australia from Kit Cosmetics stores or online from Mecca. Note: Aussies, sorry, only Medieval is available in Australia right now (for AU$27) so you might have to put in an order with me or wait patiently to see if Frog Prince comes out over there soon. I imagine it will. Poppy is an Aussie after all.

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Other things I played with today!

I also wanted to mention that I gave the Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen WOW! foundation a go today, the nice Ulta lady gave me some samples when I was in Keene last. You can see from the photos, it’s a nice match (I mixed two together) and the coverage is medium. It’s a satin finish so not super matte but not dewy either. It’s quite nice. I probably won’t buy it, because I still think the Kat von D Tattoo Foundation is going to be my next purchase. I like to think that I want to wear more sheer bases but it might be lip service to what I think I “should” do, you know? Because as you can see I have some breakouts at the moment (related to taking a Biotin supplement to make my hair grow (it is working)) and it’s not doing a fantastic job of covering them up. I did use some concealer as well, but I didn’t want to cake too much product on and you know what? Some spots just won’t be covered. That’s life.

My hair looks like utter garbage but that’s kind of on purpose. I know I need to wash and blow dry my hair after being a the farm yesterday but it was too late when we got home and now it’s too cold and I never promised you guys I would look flawless erryday in errypost. In fact, I refuse to look flawless basically ever. It’s not realistic and it’s not why I’m here. Realtalk.

OH ALSO I got my eyebrows threaded! What do you guys think? I absolutely love it! They are a smidgy bit thin I think, not bushiness-wise but the actual distance between the top of the brow and the bottom if that makes sense. But it’s possible that I’m imagining it and even if I’m not, I still love how neat they look without being really sharp and severe. She also did my top lip which will save me using that smelly cream stuff ugh! ~ladymoustache problems~

Here’s another pic if you got this far. I let the Frog Prince sit a bit longer and it got even better I AM IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!okay I’ll stop

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I know today should be May Favorites but the end of the month just really snuck up on me! I will get it done as soon as possible. LOVE YOUSE! ❤

Thanks for reading!

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+++