It’s spring! (No matter what the weather is doing…) Here in New Orleans, the azaleas have finished blooming, but for a few weeks every spring, their riot of colors takes over landscapes all over the city.
What better way to celebrate spring than with fresh new lipstick?
OK, yeah, I can think of a ton of better ways to celebrate spring, too. But it’s sort of fun to emulate the feel of the season by wearing its colors one way or another, n’est-ce pas?
With that in mind, I ran over to Dillard’s to take advantage of their Clinique event. I ended up with Almost Lipstick in Luscious Honey, which looks practically florescent fuchsia in the tube, but goes on a lovely shade of rosey pink. (Definitely glad I tested the colors in person, because I would not have been happy with my first choice, Flirty Honey–too pale for me.) I’ve waxed poetic about Almost Lipstick before: it feels light but moisturizing, goes on sheer but with a nice amount of tint and shine. An application doesn’t last very long, but it doesn’t get all over everything, either, and even with frequent reapplications, one tube (of Black Honey) has lasted me over 8 months and counting. Highly recommended!
Part of the bonus package was a Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry, which I was very excited to try. The color is even more sheer than Almost Lipstick, and the texture is more of a balm, less shiny and even lighter weight. This is a good color, reddish but barely a tint at all. It doesn’t look like you have anything on your lips but gives a very natural, subtle glow. I like it. I have not yet figured out whether I can sharpen the pencil once I wear it down–it’s a good-sized pencil, but not if all I get out of it is the little nub on the end. [Oh, duh, it twists up. Bonus!]
The freebie kit also included Long Last Glosswear in Bamboo Pink. This is a true gloss, very, um, glossy with that sort of gooey-shiny feel to it. Not the worst I’ve tried, but I can definitely feel it on my lips (and when my hair blows into it). This color is extremely pale, which is not great on me; I like more color to wake up my face. But the shininess does look sexy, especially with dramatic eye makeup for evening. And it does seem to stay shiny for a long time. I can’t speak to the lasting color–it’s too pale on me to tell.
I have also recently tried Revlon’s Just Bitten in Gothic. I love the color, it is a true red with cool undertones on me. The problem I have is operating the marker-like applicator. You’re literally drawing the color on as if with a marker, and if you make a mistake (hello, clumsy!), it’s so hard to fix! And it’s such an intense color, it really needs precision to look good. It does not bleed into tiny lines around the lips, but it does stick to dry patches on your lips unevenly (gotta rub them smooth with a damp washcloth first). The balm is uncolored and exists to help keep lips from feeling dried out without wiping the color away (see CoverGirl Outlast, below)–you use it after the color has “set” and whenever you need a moisture boost. The color does last a long time, but after eating or drinking, it begins to wear away–leaving a ring around my lips. Which is then really hard to wipe off. And reapplying makes it look worse. Mmm, cute.
I had a similar problem with CoverGirl’s Outlast LipStain in…hm, seems to be 425. This is a really dark wine color on me and has the same kind of marker applicator as Just Bitten. I have the same issues with the ring-around-the-lips, too. It does not come with a balm and my lips feel dry wearing it–and regular balm wipes it off, little by little, except for that awful ring. And isn’t that the point of wearing a long-wearing stain, that you can talk/drink/etc and not worry about looking, um, crazy?
For long wear, I had the best luck with Clinique’s (I know, I sound like a shill, but I swear I’m not!) Different Lipstick in A Different Grape. The color is a bit too purple on me, but the feel is superlight, the color is opaque but not thick or goopy or too dry. For my cousin’s wedding last year, I applied it once, blotted, dusted powder over it, and applied it again. It lasted for hours, didn’t smear or smudge or get on my teeth, and when I did eat, it wore completely off instead of leaving weird rings or patches. Then I could reapply from scratch. Perfect.
So there you go! One woman’s opinion on which (recent) lipsticks worked and didn’t for me. I bought all of these myself and don’t work for any of these companies or get kickbacks or anything. I’ve just had consistently good luck with Clinique. Though they cost a bit more than drugstore brands, at about $15, they last a lot longer and give me more of what I look for in lip color, so that qualifies as a good deal to me.
[Update 3/29: Macy's is now having a Clinique event: freebies with $23 purchase. Yay!]
Lipstick aficionados, what do you swear by? Will you be hopping on the hot pink (or–gasp–orange) lip trend? What makeup makes you feel like celebrating spring?