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.

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

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.

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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.

Beauty: April Favorites

Well as you all know by now, I moved to the USA in April so I have a LOT to get through this week. I mean, check this out:

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Just a small selection!

I’m going to transfer over, slowly, from linking both USA and Australian links to just the US links, but I’ll try to at least figure out whether things are available in Australia for you lovely people. I’m also trying very hard to switch over to American spelling though I assume that will take some time to happen automatically, forgive me if this is a mixture of both!

Let’s get on with it.

Sigma F88 Flat Angled Kabuki Brush

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I got this in my Sigma brush order and honestly it’s the only one I’ve given a red hot go for right now, I’ve been living out of a small amount of makeup brushes so as not to have to clean a lot of brushes all the time. And can I tell you, it is frickin amazing. It feels like a kitten’s paw. It’s so soft but very, very dense. It just seems to smooth on and blend out foundations and BB creams so fast and efficiently. I love it. I probably would not use this for sheer applications of a base – it’s better for medium to full coverage. You can get Sigma brushes from a bunch of different places (including online in Australia), I shopped straight from sigmabeauty.com and this was $28. Well worth it, IMO!

IT Cosmetics Tightline Mascara

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When I was at Ulta Beauty in Keene, NH this month I overheard one of the makeup salespeople gushing about this mascara to another customer. I thought it sounded really interesting so when I saw a sample size at the counter I had to grab it and try it out (you know how I feel about full size/price high end mascaras). I was not disappointed, this is actually REALLY cool. The brush is teeny tiny, the bristles are barely there. But this enables you to get right up to the root of the lashes and it does indeed create a “tightline” effect (ie, it makes you look like you have lined your inner, upper lashline which is a thing that really sucks to do if you’re not well practiced!). I sometimes go over the top of this with another coat of something a little more volumizing but as a basic, everyday mascara I think this is absolutely great and will probably buy the full size.  I can’t see that it’s available in Australia but if you’re in the USA you can grab it at Ulta Beauty for $24.

Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks

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As you can see, I like these a lot. I want all of them, they are great. They last forever and don’t go chunky on the lips. I think they are wonderful! I got Berlin, Outlaw and Bachelorette, in that order from left:

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Not the best picture ever, sigh. Berlin is a kind of watermelon pinky-red, Outlaw is a scarlet, bright red and Bachelorette is a bright, deep pink-red. I find them incredibly easy to apply, they dry really fast to a very matte finish and they stay put. They just do. I ate a burger wearing Outlaw. I ate wings wearing Bachelorette. I’m not joking. Here’s a couple of pictures of it on (left is Berlin, right is Outlaw – sorry I don’t have one of Bachelorette on!):

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I don’t know what else to say. I love these. I think I’ll buy the very orange-red one next time, but it’s SUPER orange so I haven’t yet got the balls. SOON. Sidenote: I also tried a sample of the KvD Lock-It Tattoo Foundation and it owns, coverage is fantastic but not cakey, it will be my next foundation purchase. You can get these lipsticks from Sephora in Australia if you have a mate in Sydney, otherwise you’re SOL. But in the USA they’re obviously available from Sephora in-store and online, and are $20.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

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This is like lip balm on steroids. It was an absolute lifesaver for me when I got to the USA. The sudden change from hot humidity to cold dry weather was hell on my skin and this stuff really saved my lips from cracking. I smeared it on obsessively. I think it’s meant to be an overnight thing but I just treated it like lip balm.

One thing that annoys me about this product is that it’s kinda hard to squeeze out of the tube, and doesn’t come with an applicator tip it’s just a plain tube opening. No biggie it’s still worth it. It smells and tastes delicious and is an all-round all-star product that I think will be joining my holy grail collection. It’s another Sephora Australia product or you can get it for nearly $32 at ry.com.au but in the USA it’s $26 from Sephora.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer

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This. Stuff. ROCKS. It’s super creamy, super blendable and comes in a decent, though not extensive, range of shades. It has great coverage (I’d call it on the high side of medium to full) and has a handy doe-foot applicator. It is totally matte so doesn’t have a brightening effect like the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but otherwise I would call them quite comparable. I love Urban Decay so I was excited to try this product and it really did not disappoint. Even without the brightening effect I still wear this under my eyes and I think it does a great job of evening out the tone in that area. I find that highlighting concealers can draw attention to blemishes so it doesn’t bother me so much that this one doesn’t have that, since blemishes are more of a concern to me than dark under-eye circles. Errybody got those u know?! Anyway you can get it at Mecca (Maxima) now in Australia or from Sephora or Ulta in the USA for $28.

Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat

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Guys, it does what it says on the box. It dries SO FAST, to such a hard, glossy finish. I will probably never use another top coat ever again. I am constantly surprised, every time I use this (and I’ve done my nails A LOT this month) at how fast it dries and how unbreakable the finish is, for quite a few days. It’s like having hard glass on top of your nails, it’s bloody fabulous I don’t know what else to tell you. You can get it at Crush Cosmetics in Australia for about $15 or in the USA you can get it at CVS and probably other drugstores, or even on Amazon for like $8 it’s great. You won’t be disappointed with this product, I promise!

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask

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I had heard good things about the masks from PTR so I grabbed the little three-pack from the beauty to go section of Sephora. It’s kind of a rip because the box looks like the products will be bigger than they are – they have a corner section of the box, so the products themselves are pretty tiny (see above). The Rose Stem Cell and Cucumber of these, I could take or leave. Maybe it’s just my skin type but I didn’t think they did much for me really. The Pumpkin one though, holy CRAP you guys it’s PHENOMENAL. Honestly, after I took it off (you only need 3-7 minutes for this baby, depending on your sensitivity) I exclaimed out loud and made Ray look at and touch my newly glowing, soft, smooth, bright skin. I can’t even tell you guys how impressed I am with this product.

A small flaw: I did find that it stung a little bit for the first say 30-45 seconds of wear then it went away. It has some pretty potent stuff in it so I was prepared but if you do try it, don’t be alarmed. It stops, and as said above you don’t have to have it on for very long anyway. As with all the things I recommend though, be sure to make decisions based on your own skin type and patch test if you are worried. Sephora will give you a sample for no cost so you could try that first if you wanted.

Unfortunately this one is not available in Australia. Booo! Any Aussies want to try it, you can PayPal me and I’ll send it over to you (in fact this goes for any of these things, anything that helps me add to my VIB points or Ulta rewards is ok with me!). In the USA you can get the full size from Sephora for $58 or the Mini Mask Set for $20.

Matrix Biolage ExquisiteOil Range

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I got this on recommendation from the ladies at the JCPenney salon when I described the damaged, dry condition of my hair. It was 3 for the price of 2 so I thought why not? I’ve had good luck with Matrix Biolage products before. And let me tell you, this range has been a revelation. Even Ray has commented on how much healthier, shinier and “less crunchy” my hair has been since I started using it. I do love a hair oil and the Moringa oil in this range really does the job. I’m super impressed and recommend it to anyone who’s looking to give their damaged, treated, dry hair some love for awhile. I got the shampoo, conditioner and the leave-in oil. They said I could use the oil either before or after drying my hair. I often put it in before, and then use a little bit of my beloved Kevin.Murphy Immortelle Oil just before straightening. Americans can get this fantastic range at a bunch of places and salons including Ulta for $17 per bottle and Aussies can get it from their Matrix Biolage carrying salon or from myhaircare.com.au for pretty dece prices actually! Hairhouse Warehouse also has the 1L bottles for 50% off right now, if you’re already a fan.

Phew! That was a huge amount of stuff to get through. I even cut some things out! There are some things I’ve purchased that I want to give a bit more of a go before I call them favorites, or don’t.

As I mentioned, I’m happy to be a re-shipper for my Aussie friends if needs be. I’m going to be starting work next week but only part time and any perks I can get like points / rewards are well worth it to me. Hook me up with some PayPal dough and I’ll help you out as speedily as possible.

Let me know what you guys think if you’ve tried these products, or what your April Favourites are – I’d love to hear! Also I would love to know if you guys think there’s a way I can improve these posts and make them more helpful/useful to you.

Next month might have quite a lot of non-makeup in it as I am moving this weekend, Ray and I are finally moving into our very own apartment and we’re going to IKEA tomorrow to do some furniture shopping!

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!