Hey, everyone! I’m back from a loooong holiday weekend, including the first wedding of the “next” generation in our family – my nephew (the young man who got married) was a baby at my wedding, which kind of blows my mind. I have an embarrassment of perfume riches to write about right here next to the bed, including from a recent trip to New York –woohoo!!! But I knew I’d be getting back late, so here’s a post on lipstick which I wrote ahead of time; next time will be perfume, I promise.
I love makeup, but I’ve reached an age where I think less is more. I can’t be sitting at my desk retouching every five minutes like an actress on Mad Men, so whatever I slap on my face at 7am has to either disappear or remain more or less where I put it for most of the day. No raccoon eyes, no clown mouth.
I think makeup works beautifully when it’s focused on playing up one facial feature. My inspiration is Linda Rodin, former model and muse, lipstick queen and face-oil avatar – basically she wears a bright lipstick and everything else is minimal. It’s a look I aspire to.
But I’m human and at the office I drink coffee and eat leftover pastries and I love my Ethiopian platter, so there’s a certain amount of maintenance. I’ve reached the conclusion that with a “statement” shade of lipstick – one that’s bright, dark, strong, or fierce — a matte lip is my friend. I look ridiculous with matte nude lips, but bright shades are a dream to apply and they don’t wind up all over my face, and it took me way too long to come around to this realization.
On me, a bold lip is a precision look that requires the right tools and a steady hand. I have an array of decent lip pencils and I keep them sharp so I get a clean, fine border. I often color my lips in with the pencil so that, as the lipstick wears off, I’m not left with a clown line around my mouth. The pencil doesn’t have to match 100%, it just needs to be close; in fact, some of my favorite results are from mixing two slightly different shades of liner and lipstick.
I’m sure there are dozens of great matte lipsticks; the trick for me is finding one that’s not too drying. Right now I’m loving the Urban Decay Comfort Matte. It comes in great shades, is decently priced for a department-store line, and doesn’t smell or taste funny. I’m a little less enchanted with their Super Mattes, which I find drying and harder to use.
Recently I was playing in the NARS chubby lip pencils – I love the colors, but I’ve not yet found one I swooned over. Anyhow, I finally got around to trying their PowerMatte Lip Pigment which I’ve resisted because other liquid mattes I’ve tried ended up feeling gross, like I’ve got a layer of dried glue on my mouth. Well, I gave these a whirl because the SA at my favorite Sephora was rocking one, and HOLY COW. Assuming I don’t eat anything oily they last a full eight hours, and they taste and feel fantastic, which is to say, like nothing. I had to learn to wipe off the doe-foot applicator because it pulls up too much product, and to wait for a couple of minutes until it dries, and liquid pigments take some practice because Lord help you if you make a mistake. But the look is flawless. I wound up with NARS Powermatte in Warm Leatherette (a very deep, berry pink), and Under My Thumb, which is a true, deep red on me (try these in person if possible or google images, the online color guides are not even close and your skin tone changes everything.) That’s about as dark as I can get without straying into goth territory.
Fall favorites in Urban Decay comfort matte: Bittersweet, an insane orchid that I had to talk myself into a little; Menace (fuchsia!), and 714 for my bright red.
Finally, a hat-tip to Josie from Osswald for introducing me to the Pat McGrath line at Sephora in NYC – I think they’re only in NYC? Those lipsticks are fantastic, starting with the lipstick case itself. I treated myself to one called Wrecked, which is a deep plum (pictured). I’m wearing it right now!
Do you focus on one feature with your makeup? How do you feel about bright/statement lipstick? Any favorites you want to tell me about?