It has taken me 32 years to discover the power of Lipstick.
Yet, I still have doubts. Is this the right colour for my skin tone? What are the best products out there for newbies? How can I ensure that my lips look more chic and less clown?
Like that perfect pair of jeans and a signature perfume, I am still looking for my lipstick soul mate (I am not opposed to a little polyamory) This is what I discovered in my quest for the perfect pout…
(All images in this post can be found here)
What you probably didn’t know about Lipstick (courtesy of Wikipedia)
> Throughout history traces of lipstick have been used to solve crime scenes. So behave yourself.
> Lipsticks with shimmering effects were initially made using a substance found in fish scales. Ew.
> In Medieval Europe, lipstick was banned by the church and was thought to be used as an ‘incarnation of Satan’, cosmetics being ‘reserved’ for prostitutes. Forgive me father, for I have sinned!
> Lip colouring started to gain some popularity in 16th century England. During the time of Queen Elizabeth I bright red lips and a stark white face became fashionable. Only upper class women and male actors wore makeup. Oh how times have changed.
> In 1770 a British law was proposed to the Parliament that a marriage should be annulled if the woman wore cosmetics before her wedding day. Not sure I would have found a husband with a bare face!
> Lipstick had been originally created at home. The first commercial lipstick was invented in 1884, in Paris, France. It was covered in silk paper and made from deer tallow, castor oil, and beeswax. Oh deer.
> In the 19th century, lipstick was colored with carmine dye, extracted from cochineal, scale insects native to Mexico and Central America. Cochineal insects produce carminic acid to deter predation by other insects. How Ironic.
> By 1912 fashionable American women had come to consider lipstick acceptable, though an article in the New York Times advised on the need to apply it cautiously. Timeless advice.
> Dark red lipstick was particularly popular in the 1920’s, with Flappers wearing lipstick to symbolize their independence. Lipstick was worn around the lips to form a “Cupid’s bow,” inspired by actress Clara Bow. At that time, it was acceptable to apply lipstick in public and during lunch, but never at dinner. Say what?
Last but not least (cue immature giggles)
> According to the British zoologist, Desmond Morris (The Naked Ape, 1967), the widespread practice of enhancing the red colour of the lips was due to a biological analogy with the labia, because these flush red and swell when women are aroused. I am speechless.
So what is the trick to finding the right shade? Beauty expert Rosie Reed gives us the low down.
“In regards to shades, a lot has to do with the undertones in your skin. Typically, a good indicator is to check the back of your wrist, what colors are your veins? if you have blue then usually cool colors (blue base) look best, if you see green then warm tones (yellow base) look best. When helping some of my clients, I usually consider their comfort level, hair color, and eye color too. Usually, you are able to wear different shades in pink, browns, reds etc as long as you stay with these undertones….Also, glosses are a great way to introduce color without the commitment;) Some brands that we love are: SweetPea & Fay, MAC Cosmetics & Motives” – Rosie Reed from Rosie Reed Beauty
Need a little more reassurance? Take this quick quiz over at Pop Sugar.
Lip service from my beautiful readers…
” M.A.C is flippin’ rad. I’m an olive Chinese and so I use ‘orange’ reds as opposed to ‘blue’ reds. Orange somehow compliments where as the blues wash me out. I wear M.A.C ‘Temperature ‘Rising’ lip pencil with Yves Saint Laurent ‘Rouge Pur’ over the top. Luscious and long stay pow 🙂 loving M.A.C ‘Magenta’ this European summer too. Try lippy ya’ll, its the best accessory to make any look pop x”. – Tracey Wong Too
Red has always been the favourite of woman around the world, and although a red lipped bride might be considered a bold yet beautiful move, it will always remain a classic look.
Lip service from the celebrities…
“If I’m feeling down in the dumps, or like I need a pop of colour, I’ll put on MAC’s Lipstick in Lady Danger.” – Chloe Sevigny
“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” – Gwyneth Paltrow
“I can’t see myself without pink lipstick. I can go without it for a couple days, but if there was no more pink lipstick in the world, I’d be useless. Seriously.” – Nicki Minaj
“You can’t keep changing men, so you settle for changing your lipstick.” – Heather Locklear
“If you wear lipstick and pluck your eyebrows, you could wear nothing else.” – Courteney Cox
Inspired by the 1920’s, Deep Berry Reds and Dark Plums are back. And just like the Flappers of the 1920’s we are still wearing strong hues to signify and celebrate our independence. Lipstick is Power!
New Zealand beauty expert Lillybeth Melmoth from A Beautiful Education shares a few of her favourites:
> Mary Kay Creme Lipstick (I love Frosted Rose)
> Maybelline Colour Sensationals (Faves are Pink Quartz, Mauve Me and Plaza Pink)
> Mary Kay Tru Dimensions Lipsticks (Current fave Pink Cherie).
These are all cool-toned, mostly muted pinks, plums and mauves.
More tips from the professionals…
“To make colour last (especially with darker lips), the best tip is to layer, blot and sweep it over lips with a touch of loose translucent powder. Then add one more layer of lip colour.” – Gucci Westman
“To avoid unsightly lipstick on teeth, try placing your forefinger into your mouth, then tighten your lips around your finger before pulling your finger out with a pop.” – Cassie Lomas
“If you’re just stepping into the bright lip look, I suggest a tinted gloss or lip stain, as it’ll give you great colour, but is not as bright as a lipstick. – Sue Devitt’s
Ultimately the best way to find your lippie soul mate is to seek help.
“It’s hard to pick which is which when you’re just starting out, so I encourage anyone wanting to know for sure, to book a consultation with a colour consultant/style coach who is trained in the colour ‘seasons’ and can determine whether you’re warm or cool, with no hesitation. Then the problem of colour choice is halved (or quartered!) when you know whether you’re warm or cool, and suit either bright/clear colours or muted tones.” – Lillybeth Melmoth from A Beautiful Education
Visit your local beauty counters or makeup artists and simply ask for advice. Booking a professional makeup artist for your wedding? Bring it up in the first meeting (now is your chance to find your lipstick soul mate!)
TIP: Colours can look different once applied. If hunting for a lipstick lover in a simple store, try it out on the tip of your finger as opposed to the back of your hand. The tip of your finger is a much closer match. Interesting huh.
Have a favourite colour or some sneaky tips and tricks you would like to share? Get lippy below in the comments section!
Night night beautiful people xox