Red, Pink, Nude — What’s Your Power Lip?

power lipstick.indexedReader E sent us this interesting query…

Increasingly, I see ladies in all situations and events wearing pink or lip-colored lipstick. Seems like the days of Revlon’s Volcanic Red or Love That Red are now only in the print magazines. Or perhaps only when the lady is actually wearing red clothing (oh, that’s really dated, matching the lipstick to clothing). What says Corporette?

A few months ago we attended a conference and were shocked — shocked, we tell you — to see how many of the women speaking on the panels were wearing red lips. They looked great, don’t get us wrong — but we couldn’t fathom how they trusted a red lipstick enough to keep it on for a whole hour and a half of speaking.  Pictured: red lips isolated in white, originally uploaded to Flickr by TaniaSaiz.

It seems like there are a few pros, as well as cons, to the red lip. First, if you wear little-to-no makeup and suddenly add a red lipstick, it immediately dresses you up, adds color to your face (great for photographs, also) and yes, conveys a bit of authority as well as femininity. And, because you’re wearing a red lip, no one will fault you for not wearing any other makeup. However, the major con is that the red lip can fade unevenly, leaving an unpleasant (and aging) “line” around the outer rim of your lip. Furthermore, the shade is absolutely essential — a great red can make you look alive and sexy and confident and powerful, but a wrong red can make you look dead and unfashionable and frumpy. Finally, another con (as we see it) is that a red lip will almost always leave a stain on a coffee cup, a napkin, a wine glass, etc. — it seems to float there between you and your colleagues, as if it were a flag saying “I’m High Maintenance.” Better yet? The red-lipstick-stain-on-teeth look.

Having weighed these pros and cons, for our $.02, we go with a nude/light plummy lip when we’re in a “must look confident and authoritative without checking makeup” situation.  We also wear this look when we’re going out on the town — it allows us to add a lot of emphasis to our eyes without being “overdone,” and hopefully the eye makeup will survive a night of dining, drinking, and talking.   (Specifically, we like to mix the L’Oreal Infallible LipColour, Nutmeg 800 with a MAC Pro Longwear Color (we think it’s Night Rose, but our tube is ancient), and then top everything with the L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Lipgloss, Barely Nude 815.) But — that’s just our $.02 — and if we had found in our travels a red color that we liked and stayed put reliably we might change our tune.  Let’s take a poll — readers, what do you wear?  And in comments, please let us know specifics — brands and colors, as well as any tricks you use to get your lipstick to stay put.


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  1. I do red, but not full-on. Instead I use Benefit’s Benetint with the Benetint limp balm on top. It’s a nice compromise for me.

  2. I like deep plum, but that’s mostly because it works with my skin tone, not a dislike of red because it’s outdated (I refuse to buy into the theory that lipstick colors are in or out – it’s all about what looks good on you).

    To get it to stay I color my whole lips with pencil, then put on the liptstick.

    • My go-to colour for ‘power’ days is a brownish-pink (Cocoa Berry by Bobbi Brown) but can go with practically any berry shade.

      That said, I found the perfect red for my Indian skin – Shiseido RD613. If I want to tone it down I just pat it all over with my finger and then line my lip. It has a bit of berry mixed with the red so works for my deep/dark olive skin.

      I have no solution to the rim-around-the-glass thing though – but that’s for ANY colour I wear!

  3. I’m a fan of the red lip, and a lot of the problems with a red lip can be solved by a few tricks. Lining your lips and filling them in with a red pencil before applying the lipstick will make the fading less problematic, as will using an appropriate formula. Matte and satin finish lipsticks from MAC hardly ever fade for me.

    Keeping the lipstick off of your teeth is easy too – after applying, pucker up, stick your finger between your lips then slide it out. It wipes the lipstick off the inside of your mouth where it would touch your teeth, but leaves the visible part intact. Do that part in private though, it wouldn’t help your professional image much to have other people seeing that. ;)

  4. When I do red or dark pink/magenta, I use a lip stain first because the fading is bound to happen. I use the one from covergirl – I love it under lipstick as a base or use it to add a little color under clear gloss. Once you put it on, it does not budge. I forgot which color I bought but you can check them out here

    • anon - chi :

      No kidding, the Cover Girl stuff will stay on all day and all night. The downside is that I find it is really drying and makes my lips feel weird after an hour or so. Anyone else have this problem (or hopefully a solution)?

      • left coast girl :

        These days I’m using Cover Girls stain and layering it with a gloss from Bath and Body. The stain is Fig colored (very nude for my medium brown African American) and the gloss is Violet Mint, which gives my lips a great menthol tingle, keeps them comfy and just a dash more color, but the combinations are endless. The stain lasts all day, and is still not that easy to remove at night. The gloss needs to be reapplied once a morning and once an afternoon, which is about all the lipstick re application I’m down for.

  5. I am incapable of finding a lipstick that looks good on me, so I am (still!) wearing Clinique black honey. It looks good, but wears off in like ten minutes. Sigh.

    • I am a Black Honey fan too! That shade is universal I think. I get a few hours’ wear out of if I’m not eating or drinking. Applying on dry lips seems to help (that is, not right on top of chapstick of lip balm). It’s maybe not a power lip, but it does add some life without too much flash.

      • I wear this every day. I think I have at least three tubes – home, purse, and work. Boring, maybe, but it looks good!

    • I love this shade, but the Almost Lipstick makes my lips incredibly dry, and they no longer make it in the gloss. Sigh.

    • Have you tried lipcote? You paint it over your own lipstick and it forms a sealed layer. Seems to work, but it is very drying so you’ll want to be using a balm overnight if you use it often.

      • Another fan of black honey, and I also recently picked up Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment (SPF 15) ( Gives you a lovely natural pink flush with lots of hydration.

        • For a more pinky/light red but still natural color, my current favorite is Medieval by Lipstick Queen. I switch off between that and Black Honey on 90% of days.

  6. For on the cheap, Almay TLC (truly lasting color) all day conditioning color is my winner for lasting color that doesn’t smudge all over everything.

    I tend to stick to the blushes just because red looks a bit garish on me. I haven’t the skin tone, bone structure, or personality to pull it off, I’m afraid. Maybe one day I’ll find a red I can feel confident and look good in.

  7. I usually do a plumy nude – kind of a my-lips-but-better tone – or I do a red stain like Benetint. Full-on red lipstick can look fantastic and authoritative, but like you said, it can be really high maintenance.

  8. Personally, I love red lipstick – but just not for work. For work I like a pinky/plum or nude color. For work I swear by the CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stain. Great staying power and still looks good as it fades.
    As for red lipstick, to me it’s more of a night-out look (last time I wore it was with dark jeans, leopard print heels, burnt-orange colored tank, and khaki fedora). I swear by Revlon Colorstay Lipcolor in Red Velvet. Great shade of red and stays put like nobody’s business (even without pencil).

    • i’ll second covergirl’s outlast lip stain – absolutely no fear it will end up on a glass or my teeth

    • I love the CoverGirl Outlast Lip Stain too! I have the blush one and the “nude” one and wear them all the time. I like how they fade slowly and not unevenly and you don’t have to worry about it being gummy or tacky or rubbing off on anything. Plus you can kind of revitalize it during the day by adding a gloss or even chapstick over it – it seems to bring out the color again, at least on me. I have some of the darker colors for night.

      I agree that dark/bright red is not really appropriate for day, however, as I’ve been unable to wear eye makeup for most of the last six months due to a long battle with an eye infection, I have found that wearing a brighter lipstick/stain whatever plus a blush really brightens up your face if you can’t do anything to your eyes.

      • Another fan of Outlast Lip Stain! I have worn only clear gloss for like 10 years and this is the first time I have really liked having a color on my lips – plus I can add gloss on top if I want!

        • Anonymous :

          Love Covergirl LipStain, and Maybelline Colorstay. I tend to put on a “me only better” shade in a pinky nude because I dont ever remember to reapply. I do my makeup once in the morning. Sometimes I will remember to touch up during the day, but usually dont remember to!

  9. My favorite lately has been pomegranate lip stain from Stila available at Sephora. It’s a nice berry color and stays in place. I just use plain burt’s bees lip balm for a little shine over top of it.

    Supposedly you can use it on your cheeks as well, but I’ve never tried that. I do swear by the lip stain, though.

    • Is it really a “stain?” I avoid all the long-lasting touted lipsticks because I’ve read that they stay put via little bits of acid etching into your lips/skin. Do tell!

      • I love the cherry crush lipstain from Stila. It is a glossier lip stain than I have used in the past. I used to love some from Geurlain, but they don’t appear to make them anymore.

      • Never heard the “acid” thing. I’ll just say that it lasts a good long time, but I certainly haven’t seen any change in my lips – color or texture – over time.

  10. I love red lipstick, but more often than not it requires a full arsenal of lip pencil, lip brush and mirror for precise application and that’s just too much effort during a busy day. At work, I prefer to be able to just quickly swipe on something sans mirror and that’s easiest to do with nude shades.

    My fav reds are Revlon Matte lipstick in Fabulous Fig and MAC’s Dubonnet. Fav nude is Vashanti’s Jordan.

    • naijamodel :

      I use Dubonnet too. It works very well on my complexion (like Kerry Washington). I only do the full application in the morning though. Red liner, paint on lipstick, blot, reapply. Pout and remove lipstick from teeth. Top with Loreal red lipgloss. By the middle of the day when I want to reapply I just swipe on the lipstick and then cover with gloss.

  11. I like red lips in theory, but I don’t think they work on me — I have (and love) my big eyes, but as a result, if I try to emphasize any other feature, it’s just a “one too many focal points, trying too hard” impression regardless of how much/little eyeshadow is involved.

  12. I never wear lipstick to the office. I can’t think of anyone who does at my office or, for that matter, who wears any visible, obvious makeup. Subtle makeup seems much more professional to me. I wear something sheer, like a non-sticky gloss. I like Burt’s Bees lip shimmer or L’Oreal Colour Juice.

    I like both red and plum lipstick for big nights out.

    • Oh, and for the big nights out, I swear by MAC lipstick. It’s by far the best I’ve found.

    • I would never, ever dare to leave the house without visible makeup, much less show up to work without it. In many cases, it is precisely makeup that takes somebody from being drab to being professional looking, at least this is the case with me. I have terrible skin that absolutely needs to be covered up with something to make my face into something presentable that isn’t going to get laughs or questions of ‘why do you look as if you’ve just stepped out of bed/the shower/the weekend garage sale.’ My skin problems are somewhat serious so I am not the type who can get away with a tinted moisterizer and some chapstick. No, I am a full face of foundation/matte powder sort of person, and then since I cover all the color in my face up, I need to put it back with the right amount of blush, lipstick, and eyeshadow.

      Maybe some people are blessed with such good skin and complexions that makeup really does nothing for them, but certainly for most I imagine, makeup tends to brighten the face and contribute to an overall more put together look. And then, for some of us who need to cover up very obvious imperfections that would be akin to showing up to work with disheveled hair if left untreated, makeup is an essential part of the work wardrobe that in no way relates to us being tarty/unprofessional/anything else negative. In my case, I’d probably be judged much more negatively without visible makeup than with.

      • Chill. I think you and I have drastically different definitions of what “visible” means.

        • Hit submit too soon. I meant to finish by saying that just because you’re wearing makeup to cover up your presumed imperfections (that honestly, others probably don’t find so imperfect) that doesn’t mean it’s unprofessional or unsubtle. There’s a big difference between matte powder and natural blush, and bright red lips and purple eyeliner.

          • I suppose it’s true that matte powder look/blush is not over the top in the same way green eyeshadow or garish red lipstick might be, but because I have to wear so much, my makeup is definitely not subtle and it’s definitely perceptible that I am wearing makeup when I go to work. So really, I was just trying to make a point to your comment that ‘visible’ (your word) makeup is more unprofessional than subtle makeup, just in the sense that visible, non-subtle makeup is sometimes there for a purpose, and in my case, it’s covering up skin irritations and problems that would probably get me laughed out of the office if I exposed.

          • It’s completely none of my business because I don’t know the people at your work, but I can’t think of any skin condition that would get someone laughed out of the office, especially if its something that can be covered up by makeup. Have you talked to a dermatologist or doctor about the problem? (You don’t have to actually answer that of course) You’re response just seems so severe it seems like a condition that is really impacting your life, and I think the majority of people would be kind and sensitive to your issue, since everyone has dealt with something like that before even if its to a lesser extent. I think everyone’s had the thought Gosh everyone is probably looking at my pimple/cold sore/scar/hair curling iron burn/dandruff/thinning hair/varicose veins, whatever it is.

          • @ CFM, I’m with Frump. I believe everybody looks better in makeup, no matter how good or bad your skin is. Obviously that doesn’t necessarily mean full-fledged clown makeup, but makeup of some sort is de rigueur in professional settings. I have never ever seen a woman who takes herself seriously in a professional setting (in the law but I mean every professional setting) without at least foundation or powder, and some sort of eye makeup (at least mascara), and probably blush. Never. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it’s true, whether that’s right or wrong for what it means to be a woman.

          • Oops, CFM, realized my comment sounds directed at you, but I really meant to direct it more generally at the idea that some people don’t need makeup. And it’s obviously just my opinion :) To each his own…

          • Oh I don’t leave the house without a little makeup, I think I look more polished with it, I totally agree with you there. I was just commenting on the fact that frump thought she would be laughed out of the office for skin irritations and trying to lend a little support.

          • @peony
            Wow. I can’t remember the last time I wore makeup, but nobody (before you, I suppose) has ever even hinted that I don’t take myself seriously in a professional setting, and I’ve had more than my fair share of professional success (as a lawyer). No makeup = what it means for this woman “to be a woman.”

          • @ ab68 – note I said that I have never seen someone who takes herself seriously in a professional setting and doesn’t wear makeup. These people may exist (like you), but I haven’t seen them. This could be a regional thing, I understand.

            Also, as for “what it means to be a woman” I didn’t mean a person isn’t a true woman without wearing makeup. I meant that for better or worse, I think that people view makeup as necessary to polish a woman’s professional look. That doesn’t mean I agree with the principle. In fact I wish it weren’t that way, but I think it is.

            I certainly didn’t mean to offend you. Rather, my intention was to say what I believe, and that is that I believe wearing makeup is necessary for one to project a professional image. This may be an incorrect opinion, but I can’t change the fact that I feel this way. And yes, my opinion is probably influenced by my belief that everyone looks better with makeup (maybe some need more than others, but still, everyone). But my point was to express what I think is a perception by the professional community (the same would probably go with blowdrying hair if you have a certain type of hair, or brushing hair, or wearing hose or not wearing hose, etc. etc.). This is a site where people come to give professional advice, ask questions, etc. where it seems like everyone is trying to be helpful, not hurtful. So I thought I would share my belief that it adds to a woman’s professional image. Again, that doesn’t mean I agree with it, but I absolutely think it’s true. I wish that weren’t the case because I know it is a double standard for men.

            Finally once again let me say I was not trying to offend the non makeup wearers out there. I am sorry if I did. I’m simply expressing what I believe to be true – and again, this could be partially based on a regional thing, though maybe not.

            Am I the only one out there who thinks makeup is de rigueur in a professional setting, even if minimal makeup?

          • peony, I think what happens is a lot of women feel more polished and put together with makeup. I know I do, it sounds like you do, and I think there are a lot of women that feel the same way, even if its just a powder and blush. Therefore, you feel like you see every woman you work with makeup, and it becomes the norm for certain environments.

            To be honest, I don’t think men notice makeup vs. non makeup, just the overall look. I think women are able to pick up on other women that wear makeup or don’t much more. My boyfriend of two years commented the other day “Oh you have eye makeup on.” And I wear eyeliner and mascara every single day. For the entire time I’ve dated him haha.

            For me I feel more confident with it, but if you have the confidence without the makeup, I think that lends itself to the same polished look.

          • I don’t think Kagan wears much, if any, makeup (at least from what I can tell from photos) – and she’s taken certainly seriously as a professional!

          • Peony, I am 100% with you. For some of us, wearing makeup is EXACTLY the same thing as ‘treating’ or styling certain kinds of hair in order for it not to look wild/untame/like we’ve just rolled around in a haystack (lucky for me I also have this kind of hair that needs treatment/heavy styling), people with sweat problems wearing perscription strength deoderant, or people with any sort of ‘condition’ in general the requires certain treatment regiments in order to put forward the most professional appearance. I am not offended by this- it just is what it is. Some people do not have bodily issues that would affect their general image in the work place, but I do, and that means that I need to take the steps to rectify those issues such that I am going to look appropriate for work.

            For me, it’s not an issue of one little spot or blemish here or there that nobody is going to notice- it’s an issue of a skin condition that has been under treatment for six years now, and will probably continue indefinitely, and it’s just my lot in life that I have skin problems that need to be covered up if I want to be taken seriously at work.

            Again, it’s not something that offends me or makes me bemoan the ‘institution’ or anything I like- I just know that people staring at my very obvious problems (were I to leave them uncovered) would not only be horribly distracting (and let’s face it, we all judge, and people judging my skin issues is no exception), but would make me horribly un-confident as well, and neither of those two things seem to be what is appropriate to project in a work environment. For most women as well, I agree that a little bit of makeup is very useful and helpful, but for some of us, we truly do need visible or even somewhat heavy makeup as (like I said) others might need perscription strength deoderant in order to (literally) put our best faces forward.

          • I see makeup as a five or ten minute thing you can do every day that makes you look better. Some people seem to get touchy about their decision not to wear makeup, and that is understandable. Some people I know like this say they don’t know how to wear it, or are afraid of it. But I would say that if you’re like this, try it out a few times. You will get over your fear soon. And if it’s not a fear thing for you but a feminism thing, well if you’re on corporette, can you really say that you don’t already care about your image? Some people I know who read corporette get obsessed about wearing the “in” item and always look 100% put together EXCEPT for no makeup. And they look like they’re 12 years old. If somebody said to you “hey, lose 20 pounds/gain 20 pounds/dye your hair blonde/dye your hair brunette and you will instantly be taken more seriously as a professional,” you’d rightfully be taken aback and probably offended. It’s not a quick fix and it’s not easy. But makeup is such a quick fix.

      • Thanks for providing your perspective. I am not a make-up wearer, try to get away with almost nothing at all, and somehow, you made me understand better the women who do wear full make-up.

        • Some people are blessed with great skin, M, and look just fine without a lot of MU. I’ve definitely met those people before and I am envious! But, sadly that isn’t me, and I need to take the necessary steps I need to in order to be presentable at work. Otherwise I am sure my skin problems would a) be distracting and b) let’s face it, visible serious skin imperfections (that CAN be covered with the right efforts, mind you) don’t really convey the right impression in my mind- if it’s something that can be covered up with effort, leaving it bare to me seems to send the message ‘I can’t be bothered to do something that would drastically increase my presentable professional image ,’ and when looking at it that way, it seems to me to be the same thing as combing hair, washing hands, or doing any other grooming rituals that drastically influence people’s put-together professional appearance.

      • I partly agree with Frump, some of us have to put on makeup, otherwise they don’t look very good. However, going out with bad skin is not unprofessional it only means you got unluky (like me).
        I have acne leftovers (and dark spots where acne was). I wear braces and I have crazy hair (think transitioning African hair), and I look like I am 16 years old.
        The only way for me to look mature is by wearing makeup; however I have become very professional at applying make up, so whenever I put on makeup, it just looks good without being overdone.
        On days where I wear less or no makeup, I feel a bit insecure but not at all unprofessional, I still do my job very well.
        If I want to look confident I go for red lipstick because it looks good on my chocolate skin.

        • I tend to fall into the non-makeup camp (more out of laziness than principle), but I’ve found Almay Smart Color line of makeup to be a good solution for lazy + would really do well to put SOMETHING on just to even out tone and feel put together. It’s all the trouble of putting lotion on your face, plus it’s SPF 15, and the liquid blush is the only blush I’ve ever found that looks totally natural on me (probably because I’m not very good at applying other blushes). It’s my mainstay for everyday minimal effort.

  13. As a fair-skinned redhead, I never wear red lipstick. I tend to choose shades in the brick family.

    • Really? I am also a fair-skinned redhead. I love red lipstick (not for work – for going out). I tend toward reds on the slightly orange/brick side instead of the deeper, purple-tinged reds. I think the contrast between lips and skin looks great, very dramatic. Think Joan from Mad Men.

      I don’t wear red clothing, though, because it doesn’t look great with my complexion.

  14. Neutrogena brand lip gloss. Not sticky, comes in a big range of colors (I prefer the lighter pinks), perfect size for pocket or clutch. Also like $8 at Target.

    Actually, I like Neutrogena’s whole makeup line. I’d love to have more expensive makeup but just can’t afford it very often, and Neutrogena concealer/powder/bronzer/gloss/mascara is my go-to.

    • I also love Neutrogena, especially for skincare products including foundation, powder, and blush.

    • I’ve been using the Neutrogena Clean Lash Tint mascara for the last few years but have had trouble finding it lately. I have been blessed with pretty good, thick, long enough lashes and I hate most mascaras which either look clumpy or just too thick, which doesn’t look professional on me. Any suggestions for another lightweight mascara?

  15. I like colors and lipsticks I can reapply without a mirror, since my lipstick seems to last about 15 minutes before I accidentally lick it off or wipe my mouth with a napkin. I really like the Cover Girl Lipslicks, though I think my next tube will be in a darker color (I bought a pink that is just a little too bubble-gum color for my tastes). Honestly, even the Blistex and Chapstick brands that have just a touch of color are fine for me.

    Although I do envy the women who are able to rock the deep, rich colors and make it last all day. Sigh.

  16. Legally Brunette :

    I know they say that there is a red for everyone, but I have never found a red lipstick that I like. I much, much prefer a pink/berry color or nude. Red lipstick just stands out too much for my liking.

    • It doesn’t look great on me either. I have rather thin lips and I think red just makes them look thinner, while more subtle colors tend to make them look a little plumper.

    • Legally Brunette, I thought so too for years (and always strayed to the berry/plum area) but found mine…so you never know….

  17. Also love black honey. The gloss was my first serious lipstick as a teen.

    For anyone who has trouble finding a shade they like (like me) & wants something low maintenance, I highly recommend Smashbox’s O Gloss.
    It’s fantastic. You don’t even need a mirror to put it on, it somehow adjusts to a natural looking, highly flattering to * you * shade, lasts a good amount of time, is not sticky, is not too shiny (no drool-y Mac Glass effect), and it feels good on & then fades naturally– no worries about it coming off badly. It makes you look the way you wish you did naturally — just a bit rosier, healthier, plumper, etc. It seriously fabulous.

    • I have Smashbox’s O Glow blush, and I love it. My friends with rosy complexions find it too overwhelming, but for those on the pasty side, highly recommended. It starts out clear and then adapts to your tone.

  18. Kat did a post on CoverGirl Lipslicks a while ago and I tried it out and now I am HOOKED! I especially love the Edgy and Demure shades, but they have an interesting red shade called Daring.

    Also, I like the Outlast lip stain pencil but I feel like there is very little product in them. It seems like they are halfway dried up right out of the packaging. Anyone else feel that way? I had that problem twice with them.

  19. I have very fair (ever so slightly olive) skin and long black hair, I think red lipstick is supposed to look awesome on my complexion, but I’ve never been able to pull it off. Granted, I haven’t tried that much and I rarely wear any makeup at all, but as I get older (early 30s now) I’d love to be able to pull it off.

    Any tips from ladies who wear red to work as a “power statement”? I do like the idea of it, but I think it might take some getting used to so I don’t feel self-conscious wearing it.

    • I’m similar (though not olive-based, just lighter skin, darker hair in the winter) and I feel the same way – like I’m TRYING to look like a makeup model in red lipstick. I LOVE putting it on, and then walk out of my front door and take it off out of fear. And my husband’s complaints. Any recommendations on how to pull it off?

    • I don’t think it’s a matter of pulling it off, per se, but just getting used to it. It’s very visible, and it’s a bit startling to look in the mirror and see yourself with red lips when you’re not used to it. Take a few pictures of yourself wearing it and you’ll probably realize that you pull it off quite well.

  20. I’ve found that the only red lipstick that works well with my skin tone (tan) is from Iman’s line that my mother bought from QVC/HSN (?). It’s really lovely. But I’ve only worn it when going out to clubs/bars, and not to anything that’s supposed to be professional.

  21. I just wear chapstick day-to-day, but when I want to kick it up–my color of choice is a bright (almost hot) pink.

  22. I’m amazed that Kat wears 3 layers of lip stuff when going out! What do you do when one drink rubs half of it off within the first hour??

  23. MAC has a lip primer that I love:

    It really makes a nice smooth surface for any lipstick and extends the wear without overdrying. One note, though: I’ve found it tends to lighten strong shades slightly. This can be good if you want to somewhat mute a strong color, but perhaps not if you want the full effect. It doesn’t change the shade drastically, but you do notice the difference with bright colors.

  24. I was once told by a makeup artist at Bobbi Brown that the most flattering lipstick shade is one that’s just a shade darker than your natural lip tone – so that’s what I wear, usually with a little gloss on the top/around the cupid’s bow. I usualky use a heavier tinted moistureiser, pressed power and concealer together with blusher and a bit of this awesome dior shimmer highlighter. I wear heavily-prescriptioned glasses which make eye-makeup a no-no but my current routine turns my drab, dead morning face into something passable.

  25. I wanted to wear red lipstick for my wedding and talked to a girl at Sephora to see if there was a way to keep it on without seriously chapping my lips (like most long-lasting lipsticks tend to do for me). She recommended a NARS lipstick, I forget the exact shade, and Make Up For Ever’s Eye Seal:

    I just put a few drops in the cap, applied it over my lipstick and let it dry for a few minutes. It stayed on pretty much all day, through the ceremony, pictures, and through pre-dinner toasts and appetizers. Right before dinner, it started to fade, not unevenly, but I decided to remove what was left so I wouldn’t be worrying about it the rest of the night. My lips were a little dry the next day, but nothing a little moisturizer couldn’t fix.

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