Lip gloss is my thing. Every year, I wait anxiously for Christmastime when many of the high end cosmetic companies produce gift sets for many of their products. This means that I can get a package of 5 – 7 lip glosses for the cost of or a little bit more than one gloss. For the last two years, I purchased the Smashbox sets, which were 6 for $29. They were not something I would regularly choose as I like my lip gloss a bit more saturated. Nevertheless it was a good deal considering the cost of each gloss is around $20 separately.
However, the SmashBox sets didn’t have the same bang for the buck this year, so I moved on to Stila. This holiday set was seven glosses for the low, low price of $25. Plus I had a Sephora coupon. The biggest issue with the sets is that I am a brown person and many of the colors cater to paler complexions. Plus, I have full lips. Bright bubblegum pinks only (and kind of not really) work on folks like Nicki Minaj, who is going for the outrageous. As a brown person with full lips, I have to be careful that I don’t look like 1) a clown 2) someone who just enjoyed a really delicious Popsicle or 3) a person who thought that rubbing bacon grease on her mouth was a good idea.
To combat this, I use my arsenal of lip liners, tricks I learned from tv and tips that I learned from lovely department store make-up artists.
First, you need a really nice mauve with brown undertones as lip liner as these sets are heavy on the light pinks. Sephora made a great chubby that they discontinued, so I stick with MAC’s Plum. With bubblegum pinks, I do a “porno lip”. I learned this from a tv segment on how they keep color on soap stars’ lips during makeup scenes. Apply your mauve liner to 2/3 of your lips. Then cover with any of the pink shades. It gives depth and color so you don’t look like a clown.
I stated before that I am not a fan of the color of my lips. So with translucent neutrals, I buy a what I call a lip stick approximate, which is close to the color that I wish my lips were. I apply that, then layer over the lip gloss. For more saturated neutrals, I use an infamous and often maligned brown liner. Here are the rules for brown liner. It must match your skin tone. MAC’s Cork works for me. Nothing too dark. Chestnut I am looking at you. You must blend, blend and blend with a brush. Another brand I love is Dior. They have a liner with a built-in brush. Plus, it has a softer texture and is much easier to blend than MAC products.The Stila set came with a beautiful rust that looked amazing with a orange-brown lip liner by MAC that I swear by called Mahogany. Then was a lovely raspberry color that I used with a slightly darker liner. Finally, there was this fuchsia thing that was absolutely made for thinner lips. Unlined, popsicle effect. Lined, hooker effect. Then I remember how I saw a make-up artist layer fuchsia over a copper lip gloss. I have this wasted copper lipstick that I got for $2 or 3 at Ulta. I applied that and voila. The best look yet.
See below for the color, a plain before and after I worked some magic: