Pucker up

By Ann

 Ah, tomorrow’s the big red  heart day. Everyone ready? I’m sending perfumed hugs out to all of you lovely Posse peeps.

 In lieu of a perfume-centric post, I’m going with something (nearly) equally dear to my heart — lipstick. I don’t wear much makeup these day, except for special occasions, but I do love  a great lipstick, preferably in red. I tend to look best in hues within the blue-red family, deep burgandies or plums and even those with a hint of brown. Orange-based reds are a no-no for me, although I’ve seen some gorgeous shades in it that I wish I could pull off. And I envy all of you who can wear those lovely pale pinks, peaches, beiges and nude lips.

 My all-time favorite (sadly discontinued) is Estee Lauder’s Perfect Silent Red — the best drop-dead glamorous red (on me) I’ve ever found. Other faves (also discontinued) are Chanel’s Shanghai Red and Laura Mercier’s gloss stick in Fuchsia (not so much a hot pink as a very vibrant blue-red), that’s amazing with spring and summer brights. I wised up and bought back-ups on that one.

 Lipstick loves of mine that are still available include Lover and Fatale by Chanel and Clinique’s Butter Shine Lipstick in Cranberry Cream. Next time I’m in the big city, I’m looking forward to playing with Chanel’s newish line of matte lipsticks; several of those sound right up my alley.

 So share with me: What shade of red (or pink or whatever) will you be wearing for Feb. 14? And what are your top lipstick picks? P.S. Inquiring minds want to know if any of you have found a product that really helps stop lipstick bleed and those annoying vertical lip lines that occur as we  get older. Thanks!

  • Bevfred says:

    Sorry I’m a bit late but I have some lipstick info that might be helpful. I’m older, proud of it and love red lipstick. I’m very fair and red lips make me look like less of a corpse.
    Regarding the lines around the lips, Guerlain Kiss Kiss
    Lip Lift is amazing. Put it on the lips and around them. Let it sink in and then rub a bit. I use lip liner and for the past year my favorite red is Burberry lip cover in Union Red, No.17.
    It has a lovely texture.

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, good info — thanks so much!! I will have to try the lip lift, and that Burberry red sounds yummy. Now off to find a store that carries their cosmetics …

  • Vasily says:

    I’m afraid I haven’t found a shade that goes well with my Sigmund Freud beard.

    • Ann says:

      That’s OK, Vasily; you’re stunning just as you are — au naturel! Have a very happy Valentine’s Day!!

  • mals86 says:

    Funny – as a younger woman, I tended to pick soft pinks and corals, the YLBB type of thing. Or just clear lipgloss. I had a nice soft natural lip color, and I didn’t bother much with it.

    As I’ve gotten older (I’m now 43), my lips have paled, and I like a bit of color on them. I cannot wear blue-reds or blue-pinks at ALL because they make me look dead; I can’t wear orange or salmon, either, because they make my face look dirty. I need a nice, neutral, medium-intensity color, and I pick soft browny plums or peachy pinks. When I wear red, I use that 3rd tip March mentioned, the one about using a dab of color, applied very subtly. I loved Candy Apple Sheer from Milani, and of course it’s discontinued (BOOO!) so I stocked up on it.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Mals. Lucky girl — wish I could wear those pretty peachy pinks, etc. I think that little dab of red is great — all you need most days. Glad you stocked up on a favorite; that’s what I’ve been doing lately too.

  • Nancy says:

    I use lipstick by L’Paige which is easy to get via the mail. They are really good with the order and always put in a sample. I’ve spoken to them about my choices that I see online (hard to tell a color 100%) The reds I have used are fantastic. This is one lipstick that you can pretty much eat anything with and the color will remain. It is not harsh but has aloe vera. Feels good going on and the whole time it is on is nice…never burning or dry or weird like all the others I have tried. I am older too so the bleeding is always something to be aware of. But this lipstick stays where you put it. AND they are not expensive. Stick with the long lasting shades. Other than the reds (one is more bluish and the other rings more coral as reds go) I also use Green and Yellow and White that change color according to my skin tone. Only lipsticks I use. Hope this is encouraging to you. Happy Valentine’s Day. The company is in Dallas, Tx.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Nancy! Always good to hear about a lipstick that stays put instead of sliding off everywhere. I’m going right now to look it up. Happy Valentine’s to you as well!

  • Marilie says:

    Oooh, I love reading about lipsticks! Thanks for all the lovely tips and tricks. :)
    I have pale skin with warm undertones and fair curly hair. For a long time, I thought that all I could pull off was mascara and some natural looking eye shadow. No blusher, no lipstick. I felt too painted otherwise but still wondered why I looked so plain…

    It all changed when I went into a MAC store and got the most worthwile make up advice ever. My favourite red lipstick is still the MAC Chili that the saleswoman recommended to me: a beautiful warm red that is in the permanent edition, so thankfully not discontinued at least.
    I tend to only wear orange reds (or every warm red like coral red or peach red) and my newest purchase fits my small collection: its the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet 32 (I have a soft spot for matte lipsticks and this is probably the one I shall wear tomorrow).

    My friends keep telling me that I should try pinkish lipsticks but apart from one (the shade is called “tea rose”) I stay with my reds ;)

    • Ann says:

      Marilie, you’re proof that a good make-up session can really make a difference. So glad you found a couple of great reds that work for you. P.S. I tried one of the Chanel velvet mattes this weekend and LOVED it!!

  • Julie says:

    I am one of those that just can’t wear red, or at least haven’t found a good one for me. I think if I spent more time overall on my makeup, perhaps it would look better. I am lazy so wear very little makeup and my lipstick is generally the warm neutral (coral/bronze/rose/brown). If I put on red, I feel clownish. Also feel that way when I put on eyeshadow. Obviously, I just need to learn to put it on better! I really should get a makeover at a counter to figure out how to do it right, but I already spend enough on perfume, I don’t want to start buying expensive makeup too!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Julie. I hear you, but as a makeup-artist friend once told me, “Everyone can wear red — it’s just a matter of careful application and finding the right shade.” A makeover at a good cosmetics counter could work well for you. You could use the session to find the best red(s) for you and then just buy them and not worry about the other stuff they apply, unless you love it, too.

  • adanish says:

    You’ve hit one of my hot buttons with the red lipstick question. I’ll probably be wearing more than one throughout the day, but these will ABSOLUTELY be on the list:

    Givenchy’s discontinued orange-red ROUGE ORIENT (I own backups!)
    L’Oreal’s true-blue REAL RED #301
    NYX Black Label’s is-it-orange? is-it-blue? It’s gorgeous! OPIUM

  • KirstenMarie says:

    Hi Crazy Red Lippies! Love you gals.

    As a red head with pale skin that has blue undertones, red is my friend. If I REALLY want to rock red lips, I line first in invisible liner. Stuff is amazing to prevent feathering. To be doubly safe, I line just inside my lips with a nude or red liner. Use a lip brush to control application, and then put on Urban Decay’s Revolution (bonus: the bottom has a sword handle on it, and increases my moxy.)

    Then it’s time for the Never Fail 1940s Make-The-Lipstick-Stay trick:

    1. Get powder puff or Kabuki brush. Dip in translucent powder.

    2. Hold tissue/Kleenex over lips.

    3. Dust powder over Kleenex on lips. Enough gets through the tissue to really set your lipstick.

    Repeat a lippie layer and do the powder trick again. Stuff stays put!

    If I want shine, I throw on Lip Fusion’s Screen Siren over top Revolution.

    Sounds like a lot, but actually goes pretty quickly. And I don’t do it every day. The combo of Urban Decay’s Revolution and Lip Fusion’s Screen Siren had the girls at Sephora lining up to try it by the time I was done playing.

    Happy Valentine’s Smooches!

  • karin says:

    I am a Bobbi Brown devotee when it comes to makeup, and have been for years. I used to (in the dark ages of the early 90’s) really like one of her discontinued lip colors – Walnut. It was an orange-y red. I seem to have gravitated to more neutral colors as the years go by. If I wear read, I prefer a very sheer stain. Sometimes I’ll apply a color, wipe it off, then apply gloss (plain or shimmered) over it. Provides a great tint, which I prefer over a heavy application.

    I remember reading something BB said about applying lip color to your bare face to see which color works best on you. The right color should make your features pop – enhance your natural coloring. The wrong color will do the opposite. It’s amazing to try it…definitely true.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Karin! Thanks for the excellent tips. That wipe-off trick sounds like a good way to ease into red for those who think they can’t wear it.

  • bookhouseshell says:

    Oh, how I envy all of you divas! That amazingly sexy act of applying red lipstick has always eluded me. I’ve extremely thin lips, and my coloring is the type where anything close to red is an absolute no-no. I’ve never been the pink type of gal, even when it was more age appropriate! I’ve played a little with the few lipsticks I have (mostly gifts of Mary Kay from my mother, who I’m sure is increasingly appalled that a woman in her late 20’s, then 30’s, and even early 40’s has not yet accepted “the fact” that she should wear make-up) and while lining just outside of my natural lip line and using a dark/muted/purply shade looks nice, I feel incredibly self-conscious and mucky-faced and end up wiping it all off before I end up being seen.

    Which is strange, ‘cuz I’ll wear Opium to the grocery store and not give a damn. hee hee

    • Ann says:

      Too funny! You’re scent-brave but lip-shy. That plummy purple you mentioned sounds good, so maybe you could just start out with a little at first and build up gradually until you get more comfortable with it? And even if you feel self-conscious, just remember, other people are probably admiring it on you, even if they don’t say anything. I think a little lip color does wonders for anyone’s face, no matter their lip size, complexion, etc.

  • Musette says:

    I’m a YLBB kinda gal, mostly, though I do admit to a redder lip in the winter, as I pale up (that awful olive-yellow) in the colder months. Plus I wear glasses and have a lot of VERY curly hair, so I have to be careful if I don’t want to end up looking like Krusty the Klown. :o)

    When I do wear red, I tend to stick with MUF’s orangey-red (formal occasions/no glasses) or a light swipe of Lipstick Queen’s genre. I never go out without my Soytastic lip balm – awhile back we were yarking about laundry detergents and candles and I mentioned her (this lady in Mason City, IA) – I have never found a lip balm to beat hers.

    No matter what color lip I’m wearing I always line with Rimmel Coffee Bean. I have a box of expensive liners but nothing is truer to my lip color (aka doesn’t look like I just lined my lips) like that one. $3 at Wal or CVS, etc. Can’t beat it with a stick!

    xo >-)

    • Ann says:

      Baby, you had me nearly spewing me tea over your Krusty the Klown comment! I think you owe about 10 of us on here new computer keyboards, tee-hee!! Glad you’ve found the perfect lip liner (and a great price); stock up before they decide to discontinue it.

  • March says:

    Everybody will leave many great shades, brands (I don’t favor one), etc. Here’s my wisdom as a red lippie lover:

    1) Hand test = fail. Clean the tester, PUT THE THING ON AND GO OUTSIDE AND LOOK AT IT IN THE DAYLIGHT BEFORE BUYING or you may be surprised, and not in a good way. (I can wear a warmer shade of red than I should be able to get away with, because my natural purply lipcolor cools it down.)

    2) If I’m out rocking the red for the day (not just the grocery store) I have the lippie, an applicator brush, a pencil and a mirror in my purse. Hot tip: if you don’t want to wind up with red pencil clownlip-outline, color your lips in lightly with the red, before putting the lippie on, rather than just doing the outside.

    3) If I want to ease the look/maintenance, I simply dab the red lipstick lightly on my lips and then pat the color out to the edges with my fingertip, no liner. A soft, bright pop of color without the full-lip effort.

    Wearing Chanel Lover today!


  • Sherri M says:

    I love those double-sided Rouge Double Intensite lip wands from Chanel. The color really does last into the next day! I do have to use a lot of gloss to offset their drying effect. My two standards are Rose Quartz and Tourmaline. (I’m very fair and cool but think they could work for many different skin tones.) As far as regular lipstick goes, I have a drawer full of every shade, my current favorites being Guerlain Apres L’Ondee and Chanel Plumetis. As much as I love the red lips, my lips are small so i think a bright pink will be better–maybe Coco Pink if I’m feeling really bold for V-day.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Sherri, you know I’ve seen those double-ended Chanels but never tried one. Anything that lasts that long gets a big thumbs-up in my book. Hope you wear your lovely Coco Pink tomorrow and really rock it!!

  • Louise says:

    I have a personal Obsessive collection of all shades, including red lipsticks, not yet the OCCs. I am lucky in that I can wear a range of reds, depending on the naturalness or brightness I am seeking. My all time favorite is a discontinued warmish red Chanel called “Sexy” and it is : ) But for tomorrow, I’ll likely wear a blue-based red LE from MAC called heartless-just so pretty, a bit bright. Perfect for my Valentine.

  • Francesca says:

    Reds are difficult as I get older–Some of them make me look like Sunset Boulevard–but Trish MacEvoy Jolie works nicely. The browny reds are the ones that work for me.

    • Ann says:

      I think a lovely brownish-red can be every bit as lovely as a bright red, sometimes even more so, because it’s a bit more understated and creates a more earthy glamour. I used to love a Lancome shade like that, called Brick, but it’s discontinued.

  • hongkongmom says:

    I also love the reds…my current is chanel Rouge allure velvet 38 from the matte collection.. FABULOUS colour. Deep blue red and long lasting.
    I was gifted and armani “ogaa” 404 and whilst i wouldnt have chosen it myself..i got soo many complements. It has an almost 3 dimensional look because of colour pigments and the texture is lovely

    • Ann says:

      Hi sweet lady! I just tried a Chanel velvet matte yesterday and really liked it, too (can’t remember which shade) — they do go on beautifully. Glad your Armani “gift” worked out so well and you’re enjoying it.

  • Tatiana says:

    On a daily basis, I tend to wear sheer moist lip colors in “your lips but better” shades, like Armani Sheer #10 and NARS Dolce Vita. My new red is MAC Viva Glam.

    I used to love a berry shade by Prescriptives NavyRose. Alas that whole line is gone.

    But 3Custom Color does custom blends of discontinued shades. I noticed that they have Estee Lauder Perfect Silent Red in their files, which means they’ve already formulated it for someone else and can make it again.

    I have to agree with everyone, I love the moist formula of Clinique Butter Shine Lipstick.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Tatiana, and thanks! I will definitely look into that company. I envy you being able to wear those pretty blush shades.

      • Ann says:

        BTW, I keep meaning to try the Viva Glam. Passed a MAC counter yesterday but was in a rush, as usual. Next time for sure!!

    • Musette says:


      They’re not gone. They left the brick and mortar sites but have an online site. I get my powder foundation from them, still and my matte foundation for summer (Fresh Antelope, which always sounds vaguely b-( ,like I am on my way to the butcher to pick up some meat!

      xo >-)

      • ggperfume says:

        Fresh Antelope! Are you a lioness?

      • Tatiana says:

        Thanks for letting me know they’re not gone. I really liked the texture and lack of fragrance in Prescriptives lipsticks. I find it hard to buy color cosmetics on-line unless they have a liberal return policy. Sometimes I think I’ll look good in something until I try it on, then wonder “WHAT was I thinking?”
        I also loved the color match I got in their foundations as I am the palest, palest B/R.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    In younger years, I was a lip gloss type of gal. Now that I’m about to turn 30, I’ve started to crave lipstick. My favorite gloss was Clinique’s Air Kiss and Raspberry Jam. Sadly, they are discontinued. I enjoyed Clinique’s Honey Bee lipgloss as well when it was still being made.

  • Amy K says:

    I have incredibly dry lips, so I usually stick to Clinique Butter Shine because it’s so moisturizing. My favorite shade is Raspberry Rush, but I also think Berry Blush is a great “your lips but better” shade for ultra-pale gals (like me – I’m about one shade darker than paper) who want something similar to Lipstick Queen Medieval for cooler skin tones. I love LORAC Breakthrough Performance Lipstick in Ingenue, too. If you can recommend a true red lipstick for nearly translucent women with zero yellow or brown undertones, please let me know! I always chicken out and go with deep rose or berry instead.

    • Ann says:

      I do like the Butter Shine ones too. They always feel so nice all day. Don’t have anything to recommend to you but just keep playing and testing and you’ll find something that will work well.

      • Ann says:

        Now that I think about it, have you ever tried Chanel’s Lover? It’s a nice red, not too polarizing; and it seems like it would play well with a variety of skin tones. I’m pretty fair (but have a lot of red in my skin from rosacea) and it looks good on me, and March also wears it (see her comment below).

    • Joanna says:

      Oh gosh love your post Amy K. I am one of the translucent Tribe as well.

    • ggperfume says:

      Raspberry Rush is a good one for me, too. Thanks for your other reccies – like you, I’m too fair for most (all?) red lipsticks and usually play the deep pink to mauve part of the spectrum.

    • Elisa says:

      I’m a few shades darker than paper, but fair enough overall (blonde, blue-eyed) that a really strong lip looks weird on me, though I envy those that can pull it off. I also touch my mouth too much and am always drinking something so lipstick gets everywhere. Nonetheless I’ve been trying to find ways to wear red lipstick in the past year. One of my favorite finds: the new Revlon lip butters, especially Candy Apple, a sheer red that goes on easily and looks nice and bright but doesn’t get smeared all over my face or teeth or make me look like a clown. Also very moisturizing, and under $10.

      I’ve also had some success with creamy-textured lip pencils (just the pencil plus balm, no lipstick).

  • Liesl says:

    I like red lips, as well, but I don’t do them much because I prefer (and necessity ort of dictates this) to play up my eyes.

    My best lipstick was discontinued, too! It was the perfect pinky brow, with a slight hint of coral. And the formula was divine! So creamy and smooth. It was Shiseido #18, Salmon Rose. I’ve found four that sort of fill the void, each in their own ways, but nothing’s been as good as that particular color with that patricular formula.

    So, on Valentine’s Day, if I give myself emough time to do my makeup before work, I’ll be in one of three pinks– Chanel Rouge Coco Mademoiselle, Lorac Premiere, or Guerlain Bal de Mai. The Chanel lasts the longest, the Guerlain’s color is closest to my beloved Shiseido, and the Lorac’s formula that might actually be superior (but that line has, like, seven shades, and none are the light pinky brown type.)

    • Ann says:

      Hi Liesl! Doesn’t it just make you crazy when they discontinue something you love? I’ve often thought that they need some way to alert customers that certain shades are being cancelled so those who love them can stock up. But I’m glad you found four that sort of work for you.

      • Liesl says:

        Lol, that would have been nice! I went up to mu Shiseido counter one day to get a new tube, and that’s how I found out. I was like, “Well, NOW what am I supposed to do??” Ha.
        It is a little fun, being on the constant hunt for the perfect one, again… but I’m also enjoying the variety in the slight variations, too. :)

      • ggperfume says:

        Some of the manufacturers (Lancome, at least) offer “last call” on their websites for the items they’re discontinuing. But after that, it’s off to *Bay. I can’t tell you how many d/c cosmetics I’ve stocked up off the evil-Bay. . .

        • Ann says:

          I second that! Good ‘ol evil-Bay has gotten me more than a few discontinued gems over the years …

  • Joanna says:

    Vapour Organic Beauty Siren Lipstick in Ravish. It’s a nice deep plum/berry shade. We seem to have similar lipstick issues as I can’t carry off the hues you lamented about. I like Origins Rain and Shine lipstick in Brilliant Bronze when I’m looking for more of a subtle/nude look. I don’t look like a corpse when I wear it so yay!

    • Ann says:

      Sounds like a great shade, Joanna. Will have to look into that one and also the bronze you mentioned, although generally I can’t wear anything too far into the brown/bronze range. I did, however, once in college, wear a very dark chocolate brown lipstick with a particular outfit; thinking about it now, I can’t help but cringe … :)

      • Joanna says:

        It’s a peachy/rosy bronze…I can’t carry off a true bronze or brown either.

      • Julie says:

        Was this in the 90s? I was just looking through old photos and in so many, I am wearing this dark reddish brown lipstick that was way too dark for me. Whatever was I thinking?

        • Joanna says:

          I have a picture from the 90’s where I was wearing an orangey-brown shade of lipstick. It looks like I’m in renal failure. I still wish I could wear orange but have accepted it’s not for me.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Fun post, Ann! You and I are red lip opposites; I need orange based red. I love the strong red lip look, though. A couple years ago March posted a series on red lips. At the time, I became hooked on the Lipstick Queen’s Red Sinner (matte, true red) and Red Saint (more satin, still true red). I’d line outside the lip line with the Invisible Liner, to decrease feathering. Then apply Red Sinner with a brush, blot, then apply Red Saint. This lasts for 4-6hours on me. I’d carry Red Saint for touch up after lunch. I’m a fix it and forget it woman, makeup-wise.

    That red was a bit bluish, so I began using Guerlain’s Terracotta Liner to give it more orange base. That’s still my favorite strong red lip look. Recently, I’ve also used OCC Lip Tars in NSFW and Harlot, still with the invisible liner, with nice effect. It’s a very matte, dry formulation, but wears all day. . .unless I eat something with lots of oils. There are lots of online reviews and videos for both those company’s products. I have no affiliation with either :) Last thought: beside the Invisible Liner, I’ve also used Mally’s Lip Fence. It’s similar in effect, and I can’t tell you why I like the Lipstick Queen version better. I look forward to other’s recommendations on this subject. Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks for the suggestions re: lip bleed. And I’ve heard great things about Lipstick Queen items, just haven’t gotten around to trying any yet. BTW, what does OCC stand for? Or is it just the name of the company?

      • HemlockSillage says:

        OCC is short for Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. It’s a professional makeup brand, based in NY. They specialize in vegan cosmetics. It’s certainly a very different product line. The Lip Tars are like nothing I’ve ever tried. I have several, and they garner more compliments than any other makeup in my collection. I always worry I’ve gone too bright with them! My mom tried Harlot, and six hours later, the lady in a drive through complimented her lips :) The colors are bold. The great thing about them is the price point, so trying three shades is less expensive than a Chanel or Lutens lipstick. I sound like an advert. While I don’t like Lip Tar daily, it is a fascinating product.