Over three years ago, The Pioneer Woman blogged about some of her fave shades. I went out and bought every one of them.
Only the bottom shade works for me. The other three shades have languished in my makeup drawer ever since:
There are a lot of "What was I thinking?" relics in my collection. Like Mac Lipglass wands. The colors may be luscious, but the formula is too shiny, too sticky. It coats my lips like petroleum jelly. In a slight breeze, I am constantly peeling locks of hair off my face because the Lipglass has glued them to my mouth:
I purchased this Revlon "Lipstain" after seeing how lovely it looked on another woman. On me, it looked like I snacked on rose-colored food dye. Ugh:
This Bobbi Brown one had potential. A beautiful berry stain and a slim applicator for accuracy. But the formulation didn't work for me. The color slid around (and off) my lips as though I'd applied a layer of warm butter to my mouth first.
Where the heck did I get a lip pencil? I don't even USE lip pencils!
Burt's Bees. Nice stuff, one level up from your basic Chapstick. These two are worn to the nubs, and I'll buy Burt's again. But I'll opt for color-less next time, because usually I apply lip balm while I'm hiking or walking the dogs.
So, after tossing out all the mistakes (most of which were several years old and needed trashing, anyhow), I was left with three perfect shades:
"Nearly There" (on the left in the photo above) adds a subtle hint of color, just one tick more caramel than the natural shade of my lips. It's perfect for everyday wear (or on those dressy occasions when I'm doing a "smoky eye" and need a scaled-back lip color to balance out the eye makeup):
My two tubes of "Nearly There" are Nearly Gone. Time to buy a couple more. Luckily, they're cheap, and I can find Maybelline products at almost any drug or grocery store:
For a more polished, dressier daytime look, I love this lipstick from Prescriptives called "Café." It's in the same brown-tone family as "Nearly There," but it's a deeper, more intense version. The shade is probably obsolete, though, because this lipstick is several years old. I'm going to take it with me to the local department store and see if I can find its equivalent at the Prescriptives counter:
This is my wild card: "Wild Orchid" by Revlon. It's my version of a brilliant red lip (which used to look great on me when I had dark brown hair, but doesn't any more with my mostly-silver locks). This amazing fuchsia color now is my new go-to shade for a dramatic look:
To see the effect with silvery hair, look at some photos of one of my favorite models, Linda Rodin.
So, here are the winners: A barely-there shade for everyday use, a boffo shade for making an entrance, and a darker-than-daily-wear shade for looking polished for daytime events.
Three perfect shades, and I don't have to sift through a whole drawerful of duds to find them!
;;;Funny thing: I have far fewer lipsticks now, but feel richer for it!
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