Thursday, October 10, 2013

How To Buy a Lipstick

Welcome to my blog. I'm glad you've stopped by to discover the interestingness that happens here. After the overwhelming response on my "So You Wanna Go Nude?" posts about tan nudes and pink nudes.  I decided it was time to write this post. Some of it may seem like common sense; but I hope to provide you with a pointer or two for picking out your next favorite lippie. It doesn't matter if this the first or the thirtieth lipstick you have purchased hopefully everyone can find some tiny little nugget of wisdom about lipstick shopping.

For those of us that have a few lipsticks under our belt, we have all had some variation of the following story. You've just heard that this particular shade by a certain high end brand will make your lips look like they've just been kissed by angels. So we eagerly shuck out big bucks only to bring this beautiful tube home to discover it was all a mirage. Consider this post a Public Service Announcement, here to save you from disappointments.

Just the Facts, Ma'am.
Ask the stores at which you currently shop at for a copy of their return policy or print it out from their website. By learning which stores have a more liberal return policy on cosmetics, you'll be able to determine where your money is best spent. After all, who wants to keep a lipstick that makes us look like the walking dead?

Get Your Study On.
This new shade, Fire Ant Mound, is all the rage in the glossies this year; but you think it seems more like someone's been eating the backside out of a horse. Don't feel pressured to run out and buy it. Pay a visit to our friend Mr. Google to search 'Fire Ant Mound lipstick'. Once the results come up click the word 'IMAGE' between the Google search bar and the results. Take the time to see how it looks in a variety of lighting conditions, on women with your similar skin tone and on average women in average lighting who aren't being photoshopped. You can also search Mr.YouTube, he can also be really helpful. Also, you can perform a search of blogs on Mr. Google Blogsearch by visiting This is one of my favorite search tools as it searches just blogs. Blogs are written by all sorts of women (and men) from all walks of life and most don't hesitate to speak truthfully about products, unlike advertisements. Taking the time to make an informed purchase could save you money or a trip to return a product that just doesn't work for you.

Be a Cheapskate. 
Don't feel like you need to start off with YSL or, even, MAC. Don't overlook brands like Wet n Wild, ELF and Milani just because they don't carry a high price tag. There are plenty of great inexpensive lipsticks to be found at the drugstore and online. Actually there are so many shades available that many drugstore brands end up making colors that are exact matches of high end favorites. Visit our friend Mr. Google or Mr. Google Blogsearch to search for lipstick dupes. Below is a Google Blogsearch for images matching 'Rebel lipstick dupe.' Rebel is one of MAC's best selling lipstick. At a glance it's easy to determine that there is a Maybelline and a Wet n Wild dupe for Rebel. 

Grand Slams Don't Happen on the First Pitch. 
You might have visions of yourself looking fierce wearing a red hot lip but don't feel like you need to jump in the deep end first. Begin with a lipstick or two that is close to but slightly more pigmented than your own natural lip color. These are commonly referred to as a MLBB (My Lips But Better). Remember, lipsticks come in a variety of finishes such as cream (or creme), frost, matte, satin, lustre, and so on. Try a couple of different finishes to determine which one you prefer. Remember not all of lipsticks and finishes are created equal. Don't get discouraged if you find a few that aren't right for you. Not every lipstick looks great against every skin tone. This is why you have already checked the store's return policy.

Avoid Buyers Remorse.
You've bought and you HATE it. You've already checked your store's return policy so you know whether or not you can return a lipstick. If you can - return it. Get your money back, buy another color. If you can't - find a friend to gift it to. Several of my friends and my family are more than glad to receive a free lipstick. I always have them try it on and see if they like it. If not I pass it along to the next person. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT hang on to a lipstick that you don't like and won't wear! It's wasted space and a source of irritation.

Branch out
Don't make like a tree and leave your first lipsticks behind. Continue to enjoy them and use them! However, you should explore new shades, new formulas, and new brands. You will find that not all shades or all finishes suit your coloring or skin tone. You might find, like I did, that anything that leans toward orange looks awful on you. You may discover that you cannot stand how dry a matte lipstick feels sitting on your lips. This is why you should experiment with drugstore brands. They are now keeping up with the trends and your wallet won't sob if the latest matte grey trend looks horrendous on you.

So, You're Ready for the Big Leagues.
So you're finally ready for a big girl lipstick. Something chic and sexy that will make you feel like a Real Housewife when you pull the tube out of your purse.  Kindly remember, that just because a brand carries a hefty price tag doesn't mean that the product will feel luxurious. I have been let down by the best of them. So don't forget to do your homework and read those reviews before you buy. Go to a department store counter, Sephora, or Ulta and ask to try on a lipstick or two. By now you should know what finish you like and what color family best suits your skin tone. Build up a small collection of everyday lipsticks before you start purchasing more adventurous shades. Buying a bold lipstick for a special occasion is great; but, life's responsibilities can get in the way of enjoying the finer things in life on a regular basis. I mean, let's face it, a toddler will never appreciate a $35 gold tube of lipstick containing the most beautiful shade of orchid. They'd probably be just tempted to eat it and wearing a vampy lip to the grocery store could be a bit of a stretch, especially on days when you are feeling less than stellar. However, pulling out an elegant tube of fabulous lipstick in an everyday shade can make you feel glamorous, even if the little one has tossed cheerios in your hair. Since lipsticks have a shelf life you'd rather use it up then let it go to waste. You'll want to get every last morsel of luxuriousness out of that tube! 

I hope this post has inspired you to spend wisely and enjoy your collection. After all, we collect cosmetics to wear them. Do not to let them sit in a drawer or box unused; that's just sad. Makeup is meant to be enjoyed and to help us feel beautiful on the outside on the same way we feel beautiful on the inside. I hope that this post helps you when you go purchase a new shade of lipstick. If you found anything interesting or new please feel free to also follow me on  FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below.