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.
Here ye, friends.
I was supposed to get my October favourites up for you today but I stupidly forgot to take the damn photographs. I did however make 2kg of chilli last night which will see me through the next five years’ dinners, leaving me more time for blogging and photo-taking. Three cheers for bulk beef!
Anyway, today I bring you a recent Maybelline haul from when Boots had a 3 for 2 on (which seems suspiciously permanent). Two items were blogger-enabled (can you guess which ones?!) and the other I managed to choose using my own free will which is becoming incredibly rare these days.
Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Black Drama, £7.99
Whatever you think of Tanya Burr, you have to admit her lashes look fabulous. The Falsies from Maybelline is her weapon of choice so I had to try. On first impressions, I’m pleased to see this is a fibre wand rather than plastic which is becoming a rarity in these plastic-y times. The formula seems very wet too which makes me think it won’t be too clumpy – particularly good for the lower lashes.
Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer Nude, £7.99
My on-going battle with dark circles is driving me mad. After hearing the whole world and his horse rave about this, I had to try it. On first impressions, I like it. It’s not as heavy duty as I expected but it’s pleasant enough to use. People have complained about the applicator being a bit unsavoury but my gross-threshold is fairly high and it doesn’t bother me. I’m finding that the spongy tip is quite comforting and does a good job of blending.
Maybelline Colorsensational Lipstick Tantalizing Taupe, £6.99
‘The Buffs’ lipstick collection as our US friends know it, caught my eye when I was looking for a brown-nude lipstick. I thought this would be a good match but as usual, the colour I was interested in had no tester in Superdrug. I took the risk anyway. Having quickly tried this out, ‘Tantalizing Taupe’ is more ‘Tantalizing NOPE’. I’m going to play around with it some more, but worn alone, it’s way too light for me. Great colour though if you’re paler than me.
It took me a while to get into gel liners but ever since giving Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner a proper go, I haven’t looked back.
It comes in a little glass pot and you get a brush too (people seem to like this brush but quite frankly I can’t stand it for applying eyeliner. It’s better used as a lip brush). The texture is creamy, matte and super black, apparently a dupe for Bobbi Brown. Because it’s thick and almost a solid, I find it much easier to work with than a liquid, and it seems to create less mess. I wrote about my favourite method of applying this here. A little unconventional for some but it works like a dream. The gel liner really glides along the skin, creating a smooth line and doesn’t drag.
It’s waterproof so wear time is great and stays pretty much perfect until I take it off. It even works in the waterline without stinging (however, the feeling of it will most probably make you feel queasy). I love this stuff, and can’t fault it. I was even stopped in John Lewis recently by a girl who was gagging to know what it was. Do you instantly like a product more when you get complimented on it? I know I do.
Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner is available at Boots and Superdrug for £7.99
How now friends? Today I’m talking about matte brown eyeshadows. WAIT! Before you click off in a fit of boredom and rage, let me fill you in on this seemingly dull product.
Personally, I love me a matte mid-brown eyeshadow and I have no shortage of them but there is also no shortage of uses! I use matte brown eyeshadow on my eyes (obviously), I use it to fill in my eyebrows and if I’m feeling especially bold, I use it to contour. I would be lost and ugly without it.
Depending on which way you’re inclined, there is a matte brown eyeshadow to suit every budget, here are my top picks.
SAVE: The unimaginatively named MUA Shade 19 is a mind boggling £1. ONE POUND. In all honesty, I was expecting this to be utter pants but it wasn’t. I’m not going to claim it’s the most pigmented eyeshadow on our sacred globe but it is one of my favourite things to use to fill in my eyebrows. It’s smooth, easy to work with, isn’t too heavy and the grey-ish tinge is the perfect hairy colour. Buy it, it’s ONE POUND.
SPEND: For mid-range budgets, I’d recommend Maybelline Eyestudio Mono Eyeshadow in Chocolate Chic. I swatched this in Boots and was taken aback by how smooth and buttery it was. At £4.09, it’s pretty pigmented and is the perfect shade for a brown smokey eye. I’ll definitely be picking up more colours.
SPLURGE: I never really hear many people talking about MAC Handwritten (probably because it’s the least exciting thing in the shop) BUT as you can see it’s by far the most pigmented, buttery and smooth of the bunch. It also hangs around on my eyelids longer which is a bonus but at £10 for the refill I would bloody expect so.
Left to right: MUA, Maybelline, MAC
Well, looks like Spring is having a longer snooze and we’re set to be battered by depressing freezing weather. My dry, dry lips have been weeping from the effects of less-than-desirable temperatures and I’ve been giving them some much needed attention. Colourless lip balms are all well and good but I like the excitement of a tint, so here’s my round-up of various pink and red toned lip balms I’ve been hoarding over the past few months.Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Pink Sheer Tint
I did a full review on this here, and I am still bumming it. Good colour pay-off, easy application and tantalising tingling – I love this stuff. It has quite a slippery texture which may not be for everyone. It’s not the longest lasting and it gets used up quite quickly but at less than a fiver, I’m not complaining.
Maybelline Baby Lips Cherry Me
It took me a while but I finally jumped onto the Baby Lips bandwagon. Pleasant enough, and the smell is to die for. Disappointing colour pay-off but does add a little. Can’t help but think these Baby Lips are just glorified Chapsticks. If you’re after an everyday lip balm this does the job, especially if you don’t like the slippery feeling.
Blistex Lip Brilliance Blushing
I’ve had this unassuming little guy for ages and always forget to use it. However, it has re-entered my life recently as it ticks all the boxes. Good colour, very moisturising and some delightful subtle sparkle to make things a bit more exciting.
Lanolips Lip Ointment Rose
Coming in at over £8, this might seem a bit extravagant for the humble lip balm but if you’re after luxury, this is the one. The tube is a bit of a faff as the lip ointment comes out thick but get your warm fingers involved, and it melts into a silky concoction. I like the colour but it might suit a fairer complexion better. It’s not sticky but it does have that slippery texture, which gives it a nice glossy finish.
Vaseline Lip Balm Paint the Town Red Lip Tint
I adore the smell of this and the colour in the tin is mesmerising. Unfortunately, as the photographic evidence shows, not so mesmerising on the lips. Everyone and his dog has at least one version of a Vaseline pot and in terms of added colour benefits, I can’t see a difference. But it looks so intense in the tin?! Not a lip tint at all but a good no-nonsense lip balm that won’t cause too much upset if you end up losing it despite its limited edition status.
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.