Plump, pillowy and smooth are not words that anyone would use to describe my lips (that would be my post-Christmas stomach). Rather, I’d use the the more unsavoury adjectives of shrivelled, dry and rough, which isn’t helped by my love of Sahara-desert-inducing matte lipsticks. I’ve been trying everything to inject some life into them, but nothing seems to work long term. My lips will form a scaly, peeling texture (do you feel sick yet?) most days which does not translate well under bold or matte lipsticks. I usually use the Lush sugar lip scrub beforehand but my pot has got to the point were I have to dig in with my finger and it gets stuck under my nails, which makes me feel a bit horrible.
I stumbled across the Body Shop Lip Scuff when I was buying yet more lipsticks I’ll probably never wear. Being in a lipstick-like form, it’s perfect for anyone else who’s averse to sticking fingers into messy pots, you just twist it up and rub it over your lips.
From what I gather, it’s made mainly from coconut oil – it’s solid at room temperature and gently melts into your lips on contact with heat. The little exfoliants within the stick aren’t too rough but do a decent enough job of smoothing away dead skin, helped along with lanolin and marula oil, which help condition dry lips. It’s also minty, so leaves a pleasant cooling sensation on the lips.
Long term, this hasn’t really improved the condition of my relentlessly dry and scaly lips but it’s definitely something I reach for when I’m doing my makeup and decide to go for a matte lip. I still use the Lush sugar scrub in my evening cleansing routine every few days for a more industrial effect but I really like the Body Shop lip scuff as a quick fix at the dressing table. I just pop it on, leave it for a few minutes and wipe off with a bit of micellar water on a cotton pad. Like I say, it won’t work miracles but it’s perfect for prepping your lips before lipstick with minimum effort.
The Body Shop Lip Scuff is available in Body Shop stores and online for £8.00.
2014 seemed to be the year of the lip crayon and with good reason. If like me, you’re rubbish with lip liner and lipstick but still want to look like you’ve at least made a bit of an effort, lip crayons and pencils are your friend.
When Maybelline released the Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils, I was so excited to see a drugstore matte pencil that I bought five of them completely blind. We’ve got In with Coral (a neon coral pink), Red Essential (a blue toned, deep red), Fab Orange (an orange-red), Nude Perfection (a brown toned nude) and Berry Much (a deep reddish purple). I think there are 10 shades in the collection so you are guaranteed to find something that tickles your fancy.
These pencils are easy to apply and extremely pigmented. I’d say that In with Coral is almost too pigmented – to the point that it’s a bit too intense and creamy. It covers absolutely every trace of your natural lip line so you’ll need a steady hand otherwise you’ll end up with clown-face. I get a few hours of wear with these but I would recommend you moisturise well before putting these on otherwise they do drag a bit and look a little dry. But with a little lip balm on underneath, these pencils are creamy, comfortable and a joy to wear. The finish isn’t completely matte – there’s a little bit of sheen which stops your lips feeling like the Sahara but it’s by no means glossy.
A lot of people moan about these needing sharpening rather than being twist-up but personally I like that as it means you always have a sharp end – and with such intense pigmentation, you need it. Yes, you do end up wasting a bit of product but at less than a fiver each can we really grumble?My most worn shade is, unsurprisingly Nude Perfection. It makes me look ‘done’ but isn’t over the top. If you’re after a nude that isn’t pink – try this one. My favourite one however is Berry Much which I whip out on the weekends – it’s striking and sexy but I don’t feel too self-conscious wearing it. As for the other three, I tried them for the first time taking these photographs and I was flabbergasted at the loveliness of Red Essential. To me, it’s basically a much easier to wear version of Ruby Woo. A darker, blue toned red that will look good on literally anyone. The only one I don’t like is In with Coral – I’m sure it would look absolutely hot on other people but for me it just looks wrong. It’s far too bright on my skintone and the texture like I mentioned above is far too intense. Weirdly, I quite like it in the photo but in real life it’s a no from me.
I’d recommend these in a heartbeat, especially if matte lips are your thing. It’s nice to see the high street taking matte lips more seriously – well done Maybelline.
Has anyone tried any of the other colours? I’d love to see what they look like on.
Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils are available from Boots and Superdrug at £4.99.
Having finally gotten off my fat ass and uploaded my June favourites last night after a three-week hiatus, I can safely say I’ve been bitten by metaphorical blogging ‘bug’. To mark this huzzah-worthy occasion I’m bringing you a review which I’ve been agonising over for weeks.
Stila is one of those brands I was never really bothered about (probably because the font reminds me of a pet shop) but my rampant desire to find a nude matte liquid lipstick could not be quenched in Boots. I was passing the big Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street and remembered that trusty M&S is no longer just for the aged middle classes and big pants – they stock some surprising brands in their ‘beauty hall’ including Philip Kingsley, Nuxe and of course Stila. I picked up the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina, which is a brown-toned nude-pink – a perfect match for my natural lip colour. First off, the smell is incredible. I’m not usually one for such twee-ness but these lipsticks have a vanilla cupcake scent which makes you want to devour the whole tube. The formula is not at all sticky, and is extremely smooth and velvety. So smooth in fact that my hand slips and slides all over the shop, making it impossible to get a neat finish with the applicator, so this is definitely a job for a lip brush. The formula is very liquidy but dries down to the mattest finish I’ve ever seen and really adheres to the lips. Because the formula is so opaque, any wonky lines will be extremely obvious. This is absolutely not one for moving vehicle application. As it is so opaque, it’s perfect for over-drawing your lip line and covers up the real one brilliantly, giving you Leslie Ash lips if your heart so desires. To be fair, when I put this on in the morning, it does hang around for a good few hours. However, any prolonged liquid consumption causes it to flake horribly and it leaves a bit of a line. Because Patina is nude, it’s not as obvious as it could be but I dread to think how one of the bold shades would look.
As I said, the finish is very, very matte which causes some dryness issues. The first time around, Stila Patina looked absolutely awful – my lips literally resembled an elephant’s backside. They looked super cracked and dry, it was probably the worst finish I’ve ever seen. Although it feels smooth to the touch, it’s the only lip product I’ve tried that feels genuinely uncomfortable on. I didn’t include photos of it at its worse as it would simply be too graphic. Trying again after exfoliating with a sugar scrub and moisturising with Nuxe Reve de Miel overnight improved the situation a little bit but it still didn’t look great.I’ve found the only way to make this wearable is to intensely exfoliate and moisturise beforehand, then patting on a tiny amount, using it as more of a lip stain.
These are described on the Stila website as being ‘enriched with Vitamin E and avocado oil’ which I feel might be a bit of an exaggeration. Unless you have lips made of butter and the patience of a saint, I really don’t recommend this. Other reviewers seems to like Stila liquid lipsticks in other colours so maybe some of them fare a bit better than Patina. If anyone has had any experience with these lipsticks do let me know, I want to find away to love them!
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina is available here for £15 but honestly, you’re better off not bothering.
Is anyone else really struggling with life at the mo? The festive period was a month ago and I still feel like I’m recovering from the relentless food, drink and forced socialising.
I spent 90% of December sporting a smokey eye so I wanted something neutral yet festive for my lips. I was looking for some inspiration from the gods and saw a photo of Kim Kardashian from a few years ago (before she messed up her face and appeared to feed her arse with Miracle-Gro). She looked flawless but I was bowled over by her lipgloss, a kind of pale pink with gold shimmer…and that’s when I knew.
I didn’t want to spend money on the MAC or Chantecaille versions so I hurled myself down to Boots and made a bee-line towards the Revlon stand as their lip product releases are never ending. For once, I found what I was looking for in mere seconds. So I took it to the till, paid my £6.99 and left. I WISH. I spent an hour in there and left with a light wallet and a heavy heart.
Anyway the chosen lipgloss was Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Snow Pink (a pale nude/pink with gold shimmer), and I can confirm, as far as lipglosses go, it is quite delightful. Nice, inoffensive packaging and a sufficient amount of sparkle. It comes with a doe-foot applicator, making it pretty fool-proof to apply. The neutral colour also means you can do this on a wobbly bus with no mirror and not end up looking like a clown (tried and tested).
In terms of staying power, whoever said it lasts a good few hours is a downright liar. When does lipgloss ever last that long? I got maybe 30 minutes’ wear. I didn’t mind reapplying this though as it requires minimal concentration and effort. I didn’t find it to be too sticky either (that accolade goes to Soap & Glory Sexy Motherpucker) but do be prepared for a hair-stuck-to-lips moment if you experience windy conditions.
I’m going to be honest and say that although I do like Snow Pink, I think it would look better on fairer complexions. Darker skin means darker lips and certain products just don’t pack as much punch. I’ll be layering this on top of a pink lipstick next time as that could be the answer to all my lipgloss dreams.
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Snow Pink is available at Boots and Superdrug and costs £6.99.
You know me, I’m a nude lip girl at heart. So much so that most of the time I don’t bother with any lipstick at all. You don’t get much nuder than that. But recently I’ve been trying to smarten up my act and give my lips some attention.
I knew I wasn’t ready for this season’s dark berry lips (I’ve tried – goth gone wrong) so I thought red would be easier to handle. I do own some red lipsticks but never wear them. They always look fine swatched on my hand but when they’re on my face, they just look awful. I can’t really explain, they just wash me out and make me feel like a drag queen who hasn’t had much sleep recently. Then I realised what I was doing wrong. I was buying the wrong tone. I’m still trying to get to grips with the whole tone thing (blue-toned red? I don’t see any damn blue!) but after some digging, I had an epiphany. Because of my yellow/golden skin tone, I’m apparently advised to choose an orange-based red. So, armed with this new-found knowledge I scurried to Superdrug and picked up Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Lipstick in Neon Red. I don’t know if it’s just me but I find orange-based reds much easier to identify than blue-based reds so I was thrilled to find this little guy with relative ease.
It looks significantly more orange on the lips than it does in the barrel but not so orange that it’s not red any more, but an orangey red. Apologies, I’ll give you a moment for your brain to process that.
Now. I’m the worst lipstick user in the world. I always go outside the lines (I’m much worse at colouring in now than when I was four years old) and end up looking like a sorry clown. Plus, I’m wary of colours that aren’t nude and will draw attention to my tiny mouth (my lips aren’t particularly thin, but the mouth itself is tiny, either it’s not wide enough or my chin/jaw area is far too spacious). But I found this lipstick surprisingly easy to apply. Creamy, pigmented and pretty much opaque. It looks nice and neat without the need for lip liner and I love the juicy, shiny but not overly glossy finish.
Sadly, at the moment, I can’t comment too much about longevity. I’ve not been brave enough to leave the house with this lipstick on, let alone let Mr TBL see it, he’ll think I’m having a quarter (third?) life crisis. Anyway, I’ve heard it lasts most of the work day and leaves quite a nice stain when it comes off (I can confirm this).
I took all these photos a couple of weeks ago and had forgotten I’d taken them, but after finding them on my laptop I was pleasantly reminded of how much I like the colour – it really goes with my skin tone without causing too much offence. Personally, I can’t wait to acclimatise to these exciting colours and wear them on a regular basis and stop being a negative (nude) nelly. All in all, a really good buy which I have promised myself to start wearing more often.
I believe the Vivids range comes in five colours (Shocking Coral looks amazing too) although in the States I think there are ten.
Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Lipstick in Neon Red costs £7.19 at Superdrug and Boots.
I type this while trying not to explode in rage at the floor-thumping coming from upstairs. I’m convinced the new residents don’t have a sofa and choose instead to relentlessly do laps round their flat. I can’t bring myself to go and complain and have stopped Mr TBL from going up there. So, in the meantime I’ll just politely smile at them when I bump into them and simmer in my passive aggressive state.
Anyway, today I’m talking about the Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm which I’ve been using in a bid to rescue my poor wind-beaten lips. I’ve always been a bit rubbish with lip balms but I’ve been using the pink sheer tint version of this lip balm all week with ease.
The colour looks very pink in the applicator but as you can see, it really sheers out on the lips and gives a subtle colour and shine which makes it perfect for low-key looks. When it’s on, you feel a slight tingle, reminiscent of lip-plumping products. It feels buttery and smooth but isn’t sticky, brilliant for those who hate the hair-stuck-to-lips look. It’s got quite a pleasant shea buttery taste which isn’t too obtrusive. I also really like lip balms that are in a lipstick form rather than in a pot because I really hate sticky fingers. The SPF15 is also a bonus, making this perfect all year round. Longevity is pretty standard, and needs applying every few hours. Lips are left soft and hydrated, making lipstick much easier to apply.
The lip balm is also available in other shades, I think Berry, Peach and Clear so there’s something for every taste. All in all, a great little budget lip balm to have in your handbag.
Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm costs £4.49 from Boots or for those watching the pennies, £4.29 from Superdrug.