Lipstick lust

I can’t help myself:  I am in a small love affair with lip color.  I guess it probably started about 4.5 years ago when I began teaching and realized I needed a quick way to set myself apart from the students (not that it’s fail-proof; I still sometimes get mistaken for a high school-er).  I did not ease in; I did not fear color.  All of the pinks, the reds, the corals, even the deep plums…I needed them.  I probably wear red most often, but like my shoes, I try to give all of my lipsticks some love.

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All of them.

I recently posted an Instagram selfie with Oliver, one of my two main men, and I got a lot of comments on my lipstick specifically.


To me it was just another day with my regular red, nothing special, and I thought, these people need to know!   There are certain questions that I get asked over and over again, from friends, family, students, colleagues, literally even strangers at the store or in the check out line:  What color is that?  How do you get it to stay on so long?  How do you put it on?  What brand is it?  I don’t say this to brag, but merely to prove that a n y o n e can wear the lipstick I wear, use the ‘tricks’ I use, and feel sassy and classy.  I think most of us are just sometimes afraid to take that leap into unfamiliar territory.  But today, my friends, I am here to answer your questions.  I am here to help you go boldly into the lipstick life.

There is no secret.  I will tell you everything I know.  I have known women who will not respond to questions about their clothes, shoes, purses, makeup, or even nail polish color.  As if the world would end if someone else had the same look as them.  Spread the joy, people!  We all deserve to feel lovely.  This is just a quick little post of my favorite brands and colors of lipsticks, as well as some important tips for making sure your lipstick stays put, which is key (no promises on it not coming off in a smooch situation – us single gals don’t have to worry about that too much).


  1. DO NOT LICK YOUR LIPS.  EVER.  And certainly, certainly not before you apply.

These are literally the only two “rules” I ever tell anyone and time and time again, they have a huge AHA moment because they realize they always do one or both of these things.  Just.  Don’t.  Do.  It.  If your lips are chapped, either take a couple of days off to moisturize, or you can exfoliate.  There are all kinds of scrubs out there for your lips, but I am a little bit of a plain Jane…I use a spare toothbrush and warm water and gently scrub my lips.  Gross?  Maybe it sounds gross to say it out loud, but in real life, it works like a charm and doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Plus, a toothbrush is free from the dentist and lip scrubs can get pricey.  Give it a whirl and then tell me I’m wrong.

Application Techniques

  1. Apply the lipstick to your lips.
  2. Stay in the lines.

Seriously.  I do not have time to do some of the things I have watched in makeup tutorials.  Who on earth does?!  I put my lipstick on my bare lips and I move on to my other true love, mascara.  I might use one of my three lip liners if I have a special occasion I need to look extra fly for.  In that case, I line the outside of my lips and do a little bit of messy coloring in on my lips, then apply as usual.  That’s it.  No blotting, no licking, no extra rubbing together.  Call me crazy.

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Brands:  I have a few trusty rusty brands when it comes to lipsticks.  Some of my favorites include MAC (they never let me down), the Maybelline Vivids collection, the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain, and Tarte.

My go-to red is a matte color by MAC called Ruby Woo (That’s the one I’m applying in the previous pictures).  I recently bought a matte Pink Pigeon by MAC as well – it is a bright pink perfect for when you need a pop of color or just because, and I also got a color I have coveted and gone back and forth on since last fall, Heroine.  Even I have my limits; it is pretty purple.  But…paired with all black everything and a nice chunky scarf, I think it has turned out to be a solid choice.

View More: Left to right:  Pink Pigeon, Ruby Woo, Heroine.

Another great matte red if you’re on a budget (who isn’t) is Pure Red by NYX (I’m glad I don’t have to say that out loud because I never know if it’s N.Y.X. or ‘nix’).  It’s a really close second to my Ruby Woo.

Other colors that I reach for over and over again are my nice vampy dark red Revlon Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion and the hot pink in Barcelona Nights.  They give a lot of shine at first, but when they dry they just have a hint of gloss.  On days when I feel like I have a lot going on and need to keep it simple, I go for a nice nude like MAC’s Creme D’nude or Tarte’s Angelic Nude and Sweet Peach.  The Tarte lipsticks are really moisturizing and go on so smooth.  Plus, they come in a beautiful little tube!  And finally, on days when I feel extra sassy, I’ll hit myself with my Maybelline Vivids in Hot Plum.  It’s bold and I love it.

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For those of you who are still not convinced you can pull it off, #1 – you can, and #2 – you can always start small.  They make tons of tinted lip balms out there.  NYX has a great one called butter balm (I have it in Lady Fingers, which is a nice neutral pink, and Red Velvet).  Obviously I am not the only one who knows the power of a bold lip – Pinterest has loads of proof:


Be bold.  Live out loud.  With anything you do, it is better to leap than to tiptoe.

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