So, picking favorites isn’t easy.  I get all crazy when magazines come out with their “Best in Beauty” issues each year and they list off what they’ve determined to be the best body lotion, best facial exfoliant, best taupe eyeshadow, best bright eyeshadow, best sexy fragrance (as compared to fruity, among others), and so on and so forth.  I guess what makes me go all batty when I read such things is the horrible itch that develops in my brain that says I need … to buy … all of it … now.  Seriously.  I will breach all of my own contracts I’ve made with myself about “Natural only!” and absolutely no parabens or mineral oil in my body products if Allure tells me that that big bottle of deliciously buttermilk-y thick-as-batter body cream that smells like Paula Deen’s house filled with cinnamon and sugar and the laughter of ten thousand happy children (for only $10!!) is uhhhhh-mazing, despite the 100% petrochemically-derived ingredients.  Give it to me.

It takes a lot of effort for me to sort out what my own favorite products really, really are. It’s difficult to sort through all the voices, suggestions, images, and reviews.  But we can start small.  We can start with … lipstick.

Now, I can really hang with all kinds of lip color.  This is only referring to lipstick, a kind of lip color that I probably wear the least.  I picked my favorites of four shades- red, pink, beige/nude, and dark.

MAC Lipstick in Russian Red–  I know their Ruby Woo shade is equally as popular, but it’s just too dry for me.  This gem of a red can be worn everyday with a decent amount of comfort, and it’s flattering on all skintones.  The “flattering” part is kind of big for me too, because I have this weird quirk of getting especially irritated at seeing the wrong shade of red on a girl.

CoverGirl LipPerfection Lipstick in Spellbound–  This is one hot shade of pink, and I love it paired with just black topliner and mascara.  It may seem scary in the tube, but just think of it as a happier alternative to red.  I like to wear it in the fall when it’s less expected, and it’s stunning against an all-black ensemble.

Yves Saint Laurent Volupte’ Sheer Candy in Lush Coconut–  I still haven’t nailed the beige/nude category to satisfaction. I feel that every kind I try is still just a little too pink, and I’m looking for that J.Lo beige that looks incredible on tan and olive skin.  For now, this one is sheer (more like a gloss stick) and smells like mango.  I wear it when I just want to add a little something to my lips besides balm.

L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Spice–  This stuff is just so … vampy.  I’ve been so inspired by Camilla Belle’s rich, daring lip color at the MET Gala this past year and this seems to get me pretty darn close to the look.  I like a slightly Twenties look with a dark lip, kind of costume-y.  And there’s no better season for color like this than autumn.

So tell me … any favorites of your own?  Brands you swear by?  Recommendations for me?  xo, MR

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