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Thursday, December 03, 2015

My lips are red, but so is everything else

Those who know me will know that I take a certain pride in my appearance, and unless I’m just dossing around the house or dashing out to get some shopping, it’s unlikely that you’ll see me in tracksuit pants, looking kind of crappy.

In general, I make an effort with how I look and I am a recent convert to wearing bold coloured and vibrant lipsticks or lip crayons.

I don’t wear much make-up, as my skin is quite good (thanks to my Mam, as my Da’s skin would have been more akin to used crepe paper for wrapping gifts – sorry Da), so unless I’m going all out with contouring, foundation, blush and everything else, I will often just wear the bare minimum, but go for maximum effect.

For instance, if I was going out for dinner or even to work and just wanted to look a little pretty, I would typically wear a tinted moisturiser or none at all, blusher, eye liner, a smokey coloured (grey or black depending on if it’s day or night with a splash of colour for the wow effect if I’m feeling adventurous) eyeshadow, mascara and a colour on my lips.

To be honest, if I had nothing else, I’d happily get by (and have done) when I’m rushing (that happens more often than you’d think for such an organised person) with just the eyeliner and lippy.

Anyway, I’m a fan of reds, pinks and corals and because my skin is so pale and my cheeks are prone to reddening (a curse I tell you), I tend to avoid paler nudes or light pinks.

I love using a bright red or vibrant pink to pick out a colour in an outfit or really just make my features pop, however I have yet to find a product that I really, really love and wouldn’t leave the house without. It is something that regularly irks me.

Just last week, I genuinely spent four days dipping in and out of the www.boots.ie website, searching arduously for a lipstick that is not only the right shade, but will also have the right shine or matt effect, doesn’t cost more than a week’s grocery shopping and most importantly will last so that the colour stays on my lips instead of tainting my glass and everything else that slightly grazes against my war painted lips.

I have tried a number of tricks and hacks, such as putting on concealer underneath as a primer (a pretty brilliant tip from the ever glamourous Nellie Fitzgerald from Mitchelstown, an older lady who has worn make-up every day since she was in her teens), then applying lip liner, then lip crayon and then the lipstick.

This lends itself to a different shade obviously, but it does last a while (three or four hours if I’m eating and drinking the whole time – ha that makes me sound like an alcoholic glutton).

While it’s the best thing I’ve mastered so far, it is still not ideal and I’d love to just put on one product and not have every single glass or mug branded by my scarlet harlot lips.

My late father used to say that the red lipstick looked nice, but he told me he did have to adjust to it and the first night I wore it, he told me that it looked very ‘lady of the night’ ish, so all reds are now my lady of the night lipstick (I even sported my Kate Moss red at his funeral).

I will spend money on a good make-up product, as I firmly believe that if it’s good, it will last and spending €20 on a high quality product that will last you years is better than spending €4 on a myriad of smaller items that don’t do what they are meant to and need to be replaced almost immediately.

On that note and as you might have guessed, I am currently on the hunt for ‘THE RED’ – the one, the only – the colour that is made for my lips and my luscious lips alone, without bleeding into every other facet of my life.

I have a Bourjois lipstick (in a nice burgundy or dark pink tone) and it lasts well, but it’s no brazen red. That was about €10 and it came with a cool gift of miniature items from Boots.

Another one that I’m a fan of is my Lancome Rouge (pricey at about €28) and it is AMAZING. I could put it on at 9am, have breakfast, two cups of tea, a bottle of water and a snack and by lunchtime, it would still be on and only then in need of the briefest of touch ups. I have my fingers crossed that Santa (via my boyfriend) will be putting one of those in a nice red shade under the tree this Christmas.

In the meantime, in an effort to stem the problem of losing my lip colour, I did buy a product by Lipcote for around €5-€7 I think in Boots again (you’d swear they were paying me for this, haha I wish) that is meant to seal the lip colour in, but it was genuinely dreadful.

Now it did keep the colour on, but at a price I didn’t like – the lipstick flakes off rather than gradually fading, which isn’t a nice feel and it completely dried out my lips.

Today, as my search continues in earnest, I heard a podcast on www.todayfm.com from the Dermot and Dave show about how using eyebrow wax underneath a lipstick acts as a great primer to keep it on. I tried this and while it looks quite weird (I used my Soap&Glory eyebrow shaping and highlighting crayon) it did seem to do the trick, though I used a lip liner as well – to be sure, to be sure.

For now, if you see me with faded lipstick, please keep in mind that when I applied it first, it probably looked lovely, so be gentle with your (hopefully) silent criticisms.


If you have any tips or brands that you would recommend, I’d love to hear them. 

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