Four Favorite Berry Lippies

You know that one makeup item you keep buying over and over?  For me, it used to be purple eyeshadow.  I’d find one at a drugstore or at Sephora thinking I’d stumbled upon something so unique and different for me, only to realize post-purchase that I’ve got five that are just similar enough to make me feel like a dummy.

But nowadays, it’s something different.  It’s any kind of berry-hued lippie.  I’ve never jumped on the red lip bandwagon the way I have the berry lip bandwagon.  I’ve always had this thought in my head that a red lip isn’t quite me, that I’m sort of playing dress up or pretending to be someone else when I wear one.  However, whether more purply or reddish, a berry-hued, wine-stained lip feels like me (in a dark, black turtleneck sort of way).  It’s just different enough from everyday to feel special, but it still feels a little to the left of your typical red lip.  And berry shades suit a wide variety of skintones.  I find it easier to pick out a great shade of berry for someone than a shade of red.

A couple favorite formulas for those interested in a roll in the berry patch:

Glossier Generation G lipstick in Jam – This is a great option for those who want only want to gently dip their toes into the wine vat.  Jam is a grape-y, sheer matte (so it’s shine free, like a stain) and is more like a balm than any of these.  No red in this one, just purply-pink.  They’ve changed the formula since I purchased this and I hear the new formula is much better, though I like the original enough.  Jam is easily worn everyday with just concealer and mascara, or alone.

Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Black Cherry – Such a classic.  This looks purple-black in the tube but wears as a yummy, juicy shade of cabernet.  It’s the perfect dramatic blend of red and purple, sort of magenta but not too bright.  It’s buildable enough to create a really vampy look, or you can blot it for a super flattering, more reddish stain.  If you’re into knocking out a list of drugstore must-haves, this one’s been famous for a long time.

Honest Truly Kissable Demi Matte Lip Crayon in Mulberry Kiss – It was when I bought this a week ago that I realized I have a problem.  I saw this shade on a picture of Jessica Alba at the opening of Laduree in Los Angeles, and I figured it had to be an Honest Beauty shade.  I had to have it!  And of course, I was certain I didn’t own anything like it …


This shade has much more of a rosy, innocent feel, and it’s so cheerful!  It’s one of those “in between” shades that I was so sure I didn’t own.  And while I don’t own anything exactly like Mulberry Kiss, it is in the berry family and I couldn’t help but shake my head at myself.  I love this formula though; it’s very moisturizing and comfortable.  It’s the kind of thing you like applying frequently.

Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Midnight Merlot – This is for when you want to get serious.  Midnight Merlot is a deep shade of red-burgundy that is not really glossy or matte; it’s somewhere in the middle.  It’s the most opaque of all these formulas, and is the longest lasting.  It’s quite bold, and the only thing I caution folks about when wearing colors like this is they can make your lips look smaller and drier if you don’t prep well.  You’ll want to exfoliate and moisturize your lips, and then blot and reapply once or twice.  If you just wear it straight out of the tube without any prep, dark colors like this can look sort of ruddy and can minimize your lips.

I swatched each formula in the following order from top to bottom: Glossier Jam, Revlon Black Cherry, Honest Beauty Mulberry Kiss, and Maybelline Midnight Merlot.


Aaaaaaand I tried them all in front of the same window!  However, the sun was going down at the time so the lighting got worse and worse.  I went sans filter for these, too, though I upped the exposure on the bottom right because the sunlight had all but left at that point.


You may think there’s no difference between a couple of these, but those who know makeup and color know putting two shades of any similarly colored lipstick still leaves quite the decision to make.  On the left is Honest Beauty Mulberry.  From the top down on the right we have Glossier Jam, Maybelline Midnight Merlot, and Revlon Black Cherry.

Do you have any favorite berry or wine-ish lippies that you love?  Fill me in, and let me know if you try any of these!  xo, MR

Photo of Jessica Alba credited to (public domain).

If you add one thing to your Fall 2012 beauty repertoire …

So, I realize it’s been quite a bit since I’ve posted (and by that I mean maybe a week) but I’m trying to space out my entries a little more. It may have something to do with the fact that I am about to enter into an extremely busy season consisting of the following: incessant research and writing for my Master’s thesis, a destination wedding and a couple makeup opportunities, two jobs with inconsistent schedules, and my husband’s ministry. Fall 2012 is going to be a blur, and it’s going to be over in a minute.

But while we’re at Fall of 2012, might I mention that it is September? August has always been one of my least favorite months for various personal reasons (although this past one was my best yet), and so each year I crave that stretch into September, when everything finally begins to transition ever-so-slowly. Out here in Orange County things really transition slowly (it pretty remains summer out here until mid-October), but I think that’s the reason why I love the transition into fall so much- we get so little of it here that I relish every crisp, chilly bit. I savor every red-orange leaf that I see falling off a tree and every evening I step out and feel the slight need for boots. But of course, what makes this seasonal transition even more delightful is advent of fall fashion and fall beauty.

This particular season’s offerings consist of the usual suspects when it comes to colder weather: red, matte lips, smokey eyes in earthen tones, burgundy nails, and flushed cheeks. But my personal favorite for this go-round of autumn is what I like to call the bold, bordeaux lip. It’s dark and mysterious yet still warm … ugh, just makes me drool for autumn even more. It’s like the perfect companion for a mug of hot tea on a November Saturday morning at some quaint sidewalk cafe … while wearing faux fur.

This is, by far, the season’s easiest beauty trend to try. You can spend six bucks at the drugstore or up to thirty at Nordstrom and come out with the same awesome results. I also love that it’s a small, subtle way to add just a touch of goth to your look. I’ve had this L’Oreal Colour Riche lipstick in Spice for some time and it’ll be yielding itself quite handy. It’s a deep wine shade with some hints of brick-red. I also love Laura Mercier‘s lip stain in Mulberry for a lighter, slightly more pink-infused take on the look. This shade would be better for my fair-skinned friends (because with colors like this, it’s wise to test out various shades on your skin before committing to one). Also, you don’t have to layer on the stuff- you can apply one layer and then blot for a stained effect.

Kate Bosworth’s look seen here from this year’s MET Gala has seemed to provide the most memorable piece of evidence for the trend (photo provided by InStyle magazine). If you aren’t into how this looks, remember that you can always choose a less dramatic shade (and don’t be giving Kate the face … it’s the MET Gala. You’re supposed to go bold or go home). xo, MR