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What A Lovely Pout You Have (and Other Lipstick Woes)

by nicole posted April 11, 2012 category beauty, nicole

Dear Friends,

I’ve been conducting some research.

Serious research.

It’s called In Search of the Perfect Lipstick Veritus Magna Cum Laude Et Um.

Now, I am conducting this in-depth research because I’ve recently been contemplating a change in my look, by way of lipstick. As an avid blog reader, I’ve noticed that many of my favorite bloggers, like rockstar diaries and nat the fat rat, have perfected the pop-of-color pout.

And so, inspired by the effortless look of their lipsticked lips, I’ve started to reconsider my lipstick-only-on-special-occasions mentality.

But, outside of weddings and the occasional 1920’s party, I rarely wear it, and therefore am a lipstick novice.

I don’t dislike lipstick, per se, but every time I wear it, I start self-doubting.

“This shade actually looks horrible, doesn’t it? And everything is staring at my lips and do I need to exfoliate them? Are they flaking? Are they chapped? Oh wait, NO, oh man, it’s on my teeth. I KNOW it’s on my teeth and everyone is staring and they can’t stop.”

Let’s be serious: it’s impossible, impossible, I tell you, not to stare at someone’s teeth when there’s bright pink lipstick smeared across their pearly whites. Outside of trying to look inconspicuous when you pas gas in public, it’s, like, one of the hardest things to do. I dare you to try it (and I’m sorry for mentioning gas).

That’s why Chapstick’s my go-to. In cherry, please.

Anywhoo, the other day, I ventured into Sephora, determined to walk out with a tube with which to paint my pout.

Now, not only does Sephora contain air that is laden with perfume and countless cosmetics promising flawless! gleaming! radiant!, but they also have a hyperventilating number of lipsticks and glosses and stains and lip pencils.

Slightly overwhelmed, I lurked, yes, lurked, near a sales associate until she was free.

“Um, excuse me,” I said, marching up to her before someone snatched her away.

“Yes?” she asked, eyebrows raised, looking at me inquisitively.

“Well, I’m just looking for a lipstick. You see, I never wear it and I just wanted to try it out and was wondering if you have any recommendations,” I said in a desperate, sort of rambling way.

“Well, what color do you want?” she asked.

I paused, unsure. “Well, I’m not sure, I was hoping you could recommend one,” I repeated.

“Weellll,” she said curtly, “Pink, peach, neutral or red?” she asked.

“I mean, I guess more pinkish?” I replied, uncertainly, but thinking in my head, “Help?! Help?!”

After showing me a bunch of Laura Mercier lipsticks and telling me fifteen times that any of them would look fine because they’re all neutral, she said, in a frank tone, “Well, I supposed you want me to recommend one?

Finally! Direction! Hallelujah!

She proceeded to guide me towards a wine color that made me think of  the 90’s and Rachel from Friends and Outdated with a capital “O.”

I nodded politely at the mirror, hoping the passerbys would know that this pout was not my doing.

“Ohhh,” I said, in an unnaturally high voice, the kind you use when you don’t like the Christmas gift. “It’s…nice! Um. Ahhh. Hmmm. Do you think it’s a little brown or something?”

Slightly exasperated, she pointed me back to Laura Mercier, reminding me of their neutral hues.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love me some Laura Mercier.

But I was hoping for the sales associate to take one look at my face and guide me to a shade that she knew would make the angels sing and my friends say “wowee.” A magical lipstick, both au natural, yet oh-so-mod.

And then the associate would ooh and ahh over my perfect pout and I would smile and we’d hug and I’d thank her for her help and she would be my person, my go-to gal ever time I ventured back to Sephora.

Instead, smiling politely and thanking her for her time, I pretended to go look at more lipsticks, but actually grabbed a tissue to wipe off my lips and high-tailed it out of there when she wasn’t looking, lipstick-free and slightly discouraged.

No hugs and definitely no oohing and ahhing.

But, then I had a marvelous thought: “The best recommendations come from people I trust.”

For example, my friend Erin recommended Bare Minerals foundation. Love.

Breah recommended Stay Don’t Stray. Make-up don’t budge, yo.

So, I ask you, dear readers…have any knock-out lipstick shades? Any brands you stand by?

I’d love to hear.

 

57 Responses to What A Lovely Pout You Have (and Other Lipstick Woes)

  1. You forgot to put that I absolutely adore Tarte’s “Enchanted” natural lip stain. A sales associate actually gasped out loud and demanded to know the color I was wearing. Then she stared at me until I walked out – true story.

  2. I use blistex when my lips get chapped. It’s pretty good. Not great though. But pretty good. If I put too much on, my lips get really shiny and I have to remember to wipe some off before I go out in public. I don’t want people to think I am wearing lip gloss.

    • haha! that’s the same reason tim doesn’t wear chapstick. he thinks they put glass in it to make your lips more chapped and, thus, addict you.

  3. well…the best blush and lipgloss color is one that makes me blush to write…so I’ll type it quietly. It is Nars “orgasm”. Both the blush and gloss are divine. I also really adore Clinique “tenderheart” lipstick. It’s super creamy and right now if you go to Macy’s and spend 24.50 on clinique, you get a fre kit full of stuff and the neutral kit has a sample of “tenderheart”.

    • ooooh nice! ha – one time, a sales associate told me that “orgasm” (blush – in more ways than one) is too light for me, so i got “deep throat” blush. then i lost it. i love me some nars (but not the price tag).

  4. ps, I went to Sephora last week looking for a lip stain and I also lurked until a sales associate took pity on me and pointed me to a lip stain that smelled like toxic poison and I slinked out of the store when she walked away :)

  5. I dislike lipstick almost as much as I dislike unhelpful Sephora sales people. I actually own nearly every Revlon “Bitten” lip stain (I blame the CVS two blocks away from work). Lasts nearly all day. I put one over the other if I want something different. It comes with a chapstick like top coat but I use an uber shinny gloss.

    • lip stain seems to be a common theme – and you always have a great lip. maybe you were actually the inspiration and not those blogs. trend-setter, you. :)

  6. Okay, so I totally identify with not wearing lipstick but feeling like I should (save for the fact that Chris hates it when I wear lipstick b/c it means he will end up having sparkly lips, too). BUT… my favorite bar none is Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer. It is maybe $5 at most drug stores. I feel like it is a good daily one for me, and even the “dark” colors don’t go on that dark. I wouldn’t go with light pinks for your complexion. :-)

    • rae, i remember trying on light pink when i like about ten years old and it was so bad, i even realized then it was a bad color for me. haha! i’ve heard good things about burt’s lip shimmer. i’ll need to try that out!

      • Yeah, I am not sure whose complexion works well with light pink, but it isn’t mine either! I wear their “fig” a good amount. The color of the lid looks so dark, but it goes on as a more medium tone. Good luck!

  7. I’d march yourself to the MAC counter. It would be less overwhelming, and you can see all the colors in one place. Or I can come to Philly and pick a color for you. Yeah, let’s do that. xoxox

  8. Nars “seniorita” is the best all around everyday lipstick, especially for a wee novice scared to step out into the sunlight. still a pop of color, but not in your face and it looks great on nearly every skin tone. plus nars is super moisturizing. win.

  9. Laura Mercier has beautiful sheers that have a high level of emmolients — meaning your teeth get smeared. Their Seduction is my favorite color but it changes once you blot with powder to keep it from migraating to your teeth. Trish McEvoy has an even worse problem — I’ve seen lipsticks melt in the store.

    You would think these companies would make a buck selling consumers an item that would keep the lipstick there but not change the color.

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