- current everyday lipstick: SILK NATURALS BIRTHDAY SUIT ♥ ♥ ♥
2-second swipe, could apply it without a mirror or indeed in the dark, foolproof and failsafe, YLBB in that all it does is enhance what’s already there and make you look tidied-up and well-groomed (somewhere between “a bit of spit and polish” and “polished”). Here’s what SN have to say about it:“the ultimate nude lippie […] the result of endless test batches. It’s not too yellow, not too pink, not too purple, not too brown- it’s just right. It took me almost 6 months to develop and test this color- I had to invent a new way of blending pigments to make it, but it was worth it. If you want to try one of our lip glosses this is probably the one to start with. It’s honestly looks good on every woman I’ve tried it on. Warm, cool, pale, dark- it just works.”
All true. (How rare is that in publicity spiels?) And yes, it’s magic. Here’s why:
Swatched on white paper = very sheer and subtle, a tawny shade verging on orange.
Swatched on skin of inner arm (nearly white, touches of pale blue) = similar, touches of pink, red, plum come through.
Applied to mouth (medium-light pink with lavender and peach undertones) = perfect. This is the part I don’t understand. That orange tone is gone (relief: lippies often go orange, pink, or purple on me). Melts into natural lip-colour, just more tidy-looking. Therefore: this is my usual everyday lippie. And, beyond being all “this is the logical choice” about it: I love this stuff.
The colour is such a good match that when it starts to come off and needs reapplication I don’t end up with that funny line around the outer portion of your lower lip. OK, maybe you spend less of your time than I do not just eating regular meals, but also munching and grazing and generally snacking between meals—healthy things like water, tea, fruit, nuts, and of course chocolate—and contemplating my next meal, recipes, plans for dining out, obsessing about food and thus probably drooling occasionally too. So: better still: could be worn by people who hate lipstick.
- very very like it, but with a different base formula (Black Label, richer without being greasy, next to no flavour; the Kisser Slickers have slightle more, but it’s subtle: hint of vanilla and mint, fades within 1-2 licks of the lips) and the barely-noticeable addition of a teensy smidge of a minuscule bit more pink:
SN ARIA ♥ ♥ ♥
“YLBB nude pink”
- sometimes in the mood for pinked up and perky, but in a subtle way: can’t figure out why for this one. Doesn’t go with hormonal cycles or weather. Or whether I’m ill, or feeling ill or sub-par, or generally peaky (or not, as the case may be). Or what I’m wearing. Try it at the wrong moment, though, and the result is lilac lips and skin looking slightly yellowed (natural state = pale blue).
- SN RAINDROPS ON ROSES (the brightest of this perky set):
“shimmering rose […] shimmery, slightly sheer pink with little hints of gold”
- SN SOFT:
“medium sheer pink […] very similar to Bobbi Brown’s limited edition/hard to find Clear Pink lip gloss. It’s a medium toned pink with just a little bit of coverage- and no shimmer. I love it for weekends, and more informal looks. It’s cool toned- but cute and wearable for just about anyone because it’s essentially a sheer wash of pink.”
- SN RAINDROPS ON ROSES (the brightest of this perky set):
- feeling more bold: a sheer wash of cool-toned pink-red that just always works, every time:
YLBB on this particular redhead (bear in mind we all vary…) = a delicate balancing-act:
- GOOD THINGS: some pink to liven me up and add glow and luminosity to skin, even going into red territory; enough berry and cool-blue-red tones to bring up blue tone in skin in a good way; the right amount of russet-peach to enhance freckles and hair; the right balance between shine and shimmer
- BAD THINGS: anything that’s too much and drains all the marvellous redness from your hair; too much berry goes fuchsia / hot pink and looks absurd; too bright; too sparkly; excessive lilac-purple conflicts with freckles and hair. The following all corpse-ify: too dark, too matte, too thick and heavy; and too much brown-beige-taupe, yellow, orange, or plum-purple with grey undertone.
All very difficult.
How to test:
- do you look ill?
→ NOT GOOD.
- do you look dead? does your skin look like it’s about to decompose and flake off? do you look undead or well-past-dead?
→ DEFINITELY NOT GOOD and don’t let anyone tell you that you look “pale and interesting,” r/Romantic, Goth/ic, consumptive like in Moulin Rouge, etc.
- does a lipstick look worse than no lipstick at all?
→ BIN IT.
- does it look like you’re not wearing any?
→ PROBABLY GOOD.
- do you look more alive than usual? but without looking feverish or manic?
→ PROBABLY GOOD.
- if in doubt or despairing?
GO RED. Poppy King is bang on right on this one. OK, not any red: I’d humbly suggest a cooler blueish-undertoned red. But still: RED.
Duly amended and upated MUA review:
Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool
Hair: Red, Other, Fine
Splendid and sumptuous lip sticks, including several dupes of hit hip shades (MAC etc.). Good flattering shades, a fine range to suit the whole range of the human rainbow. Decent staying-power, quality up to department-store standards.
Very moisturising, without being slick or sticky.
Shade descriptions and comments: I’ve only tried a small portion of all the shades available, and only those that are more pale-redhead-appropriate. Pale skin, lips pink with lavender undertone: so
1. more cooler pink and blue to the mix (but not too much purple or I look ill)
2. less warm orange
3. careful on beige-brown or else the dreaded Corpse Lips
4. not too light or lips disappear + further corpse-mimicking
5. not too dark, otherwise undead vampiric look, but the matt grey flat look: not the pretty shiny Twilighty-one, more The Master in Buffy
6. enough shine to perk me up, but not sparkly shimmery pearly etc.
Even being that pernickety, I’ve still managed to find some glorious favourites = *** in the list below:
*** BIRTHDAY SUIT: light pinked-nude gorgeous sheer YLBB perfection.
—CENTERFOLD: neutral nude, too beige on me.
—NECTAR: aaand another sheer YLBB; intended to be dupe of Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey; Nectar is slightly more reddish-brown. Less pink, warmer, and deeper than Birthday Suit.
—MAIDEN: similar idea to those above, more pink to it.
—SWEET NOTHING: sheer colour wash; less brown than those above, more blue-mauve in it, resulting in a burgundy-plum. Closer to Black Honey, IME. A proper coat produces a darker, matte, more gothy and/or 90s lip (too dark on me).
—BERRY NICE: sheer, plain cool berry (“Bobbi Brown Raspberry lip gloss clone”); brighter and more intense than Sweet Nothing.
—SEEDY: similar. Like Berry Nice, looked weird / unnatural on me.
*** SOFT: pinked YLBB, another clone of the BB everday pink basics
*** RAINDROPS ON ROSES: beautiful delicate cool reddish-pink, slight gold shimmer
*** BITTEN: sheer, similar depth; a red wash, like a less intense version of Lipstick Queen’s Medieval with a touch of Black Honey mixed in. One of my three favourites.
—BREATHLESS: more intense/opaque and pink, plus “satin shimmer” (not much but too much on me, i.e. it’s not plain cream).
*** ARIA: YLBB delicately-pinked YLBB, otherwise like BIRTHDAY SUIT but with a richer texture, slightly pinker, and zero flavour.
(Vegan Kisser Slickers)
—BOBBI: shimmery light pink-plum
—CULTURED: light pinked nude, very slight shimmer.
—MIRAGE: more of a sheer wash; less pink, more red-brown; close to Birthday Suit in shade, but denser and more shimmery.
—BISOU: richer more berry-tone, more shimmery.
—RAPTUROUS (pic at end of review): “gorgeous muted rose.” Does what it says on the tin. On me, this shows as a more intense, more pigmented version of Nectar.
—XXX is very nude. Too nude/beige on me. Might work for someone with a more golden-honeyed skintone trying a 1960s lip.
—NEGLIGEE is peachier, slightly lighter than Rapturous; described as “caramel MAC Velvet Teddy clone.” Warmer skin-tones?
—ETERNAL and FASHIONISTA: similar depth to the former two, but pinker; Eternal (“MAC Twig clone”) has a slight cyan-lilac undertone, Fashionista more berry, slight red, more shimmer.
—CRIMSON is a lovely lovely lovely red (“MAC Russian Red clone”): if you like Lipstick Queen’s reds, try this for size. Can be applied as a light wash or more solidly. It might be another of these suits-many-colourings magic lippies.
I tried the following too, but they pull too dark on me, so would be at least worth considering for anyone who’s, well, about a MAC NW15-20 and warmer and deeper…
—CAYENNE: deep more spiced red
—SULTRY: deeper, more plummy
—RAISIN: ditto, and deeper still
—BOMBSHELL: amazing really dark red. Very wow.
—CEYLON SPICE: chocolate. Lush and luscious.
Seasonal specials make appearances too, some of which may go on to become regulars (ex. Rapturous), some of which become collectors’ items…
Also cruelty-free, mostly organic and vegan (the Lip Sticks above all are, and many of the other lip colours are too)–worth knowing in case that’s a consideration for you the consumer. Mercifully cheap; cheap enough to play around experimenting with shades. As with other of their products, good and careful customer service, and providers and maintainers of one of the finest forums on the net.
INGREDIENTS (Kisser Slickers): Certified Organic Castor, Jojoba and Avocado Oils, Beeswax, Candillia Wax, Carnauba Wax, mica, flavor. Color contains Iron Oxide, FD&C Color
INGREDIENTS (Vegan Kisser Slickers): Organic Castor Oil, Avocado Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Candelilla Wax, Raspberry Oil, Passionfruit Oil, Organic Carnuaba Wax, natural vanilla flavor. Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide
INGREDIENTS (Vegan Lip Sticks): Certified Organic Castor and Jojoba Oils, Avocado Oil, Organic Candelilla Wax, Cranberry Oil, Raspberry Oil, Passionfruit Oil, Carnuaba Wax. Also contains: Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, FD&C color