Sometimes all a woman needs to freshen up her look is two different shades of lipstick in her bag. I reviewed six. If you’re like me and hate lugging around a full makeup bag with eyelash curler, powder, lipstick brush and whatnot and spending too much time touching up in between appointments, it pays to keep your canvas versatile, ie, clean face and groomed eyes. This means defined eye brows (with eye brow powder or pencil where needed) and finished with a touch of waterproof mascara on your lashes. I’d also recommend liquid-lined eyes for additional polish. If your skin isn’t too oily and you’re using a good brand with long-staying pigment, then one application should be more than enough to take you through the day.
With this clean canvas, all you really need is two shades of your lipstick in your handbag to transition your look from day to night.
The first is a versatile shade of peach or pink-brown that you could apply in the cab without looking in the mirror and the other is a more dramatic shade of plum, red, fuschia or deep brown. Although I adore some high-end brands, I’d much rather keep to drugstore brands for the more neutral shades. I finish them more quickly plus these shades sell very well, so brands tend to make more varieties of them. It’s also more than likely that you’ll find something you like and would wear regularly regardless of the brand. However, it’s the deeper more dramatic shades that you’ll need to get just right in terms of colour, texture and formula (you’d want one that doesn’t bleed), which is I why I tend to be more forgiving of myself when purchasing a $50 burgundy lipstick than a pink-brown one.
Everyday: SilkyGirl Moisture Boost Lip Colour Balm in Rose
SilkyGirl Moisture Boost Lip Colour Balm
The boon and bane of moisturising lipsticks with a creamy or glossy finish, especially if they are in neutral tones, is that they are likely to wear off much more easily than those which are not. This shade of rose is just the right balance of pink and brown that suits almost everybody; wear it with smoky, precisely-lined eyes or nothing; it looks perfect either way. It comes in the form of a pencil with a swivel just like your traditional lipstick, so don’t make the mistake of trying to sharpen it like I almost did!
Drama: Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate
Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate
Chanel certainly delivers in terms of pigment and texture. Chanel’s reds are legendary; it gives your face instant polish, especially if your eyes are already precisely liquid-lined. It has a good texture that does not bleed, but rather, fades, and while the texture looks matte, it does not look or feel dry upon application. It’s also not perfumed, which is unusual for a French cosmetics brand, but suits me great! Its beautiful sleek packaging is a plus too.
Everyday: LÓREAL Color Riche Lip Colour in Peachy Brown
LÓREAL Color Riche Lip Colour in Peachy Brown
The colour looks really good in the tube and the finished look is decent if you like a matte or creamy look. However the texture leaves more to be desired; it’s not recommended for particularly dry lips and if you slick on a balm before applying the colour you get a sheerer result, which is not unpleasant or difficult to wear. I occasionally wear this in place of my regular everyday pink-browns.
Drama: Dior Diorific Lipstick number 002
Dior Diorific Lipstick in Star
Red lips have become predictable for me and I’ve been looking for an occasion to wear a deep purple and silver outfit that I haven’t worn in a while, so was pleasantly surprised when I found this shade of plum. It’s a colour that’s easy to layer to desired intensity; the first application looks semi-sheer and you get a deep plum upon the second application which has a good balance of blue and red undertones which probably suits most skin tones. The cream texture is delicious and looks moisturising on the lips, although it is also slightly scented. A tip when wearing deep plums: make sure you look for a creamy finish; a too-glossy or a too-matte plum tends to end up looking too Gothic for most tastes.
Everyday: Revlon Fuschia Shock
Revlon in Fuschia Shock
I thought that this is going to be a loud, intense creamy fuschia like its namesake, just like my other Nyx Lip Cream which I have recently lost (but thankfully used over a couple of years), but it’s hardly the case. The first application gives a pretty and sheer shade you can wear as an everyday pink, but three layers make for a pleasant creamy fuschia that would look like it belongs with metallic slate or bronze smoky eyes when you feel like expressing your inner rock princess!
Drama: Nyx Lip Cream in Addis Ababa (Scroll to the bottom of the page for the review.)