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).

Pre-Fall 2015 Lip Picks

Lipstick is probably the most popular, most familiar member of the makeup family.  I mean, think about it.  Your brother or boyfriend might make all those lame jokes about not knowing what mascara is, or they act like they don’t know what you’re talking about when you mention foundation (and I submit that they are all liars and most guys actually could pass a basic makeup identification test if needed; they just needlessly feign ignorance for fear of looking less than ‘dude’), but every person on the planet knows what lipstick is.  Without question.  I’d venture a guess that most any person, in any country, anywhere, would know exactly what to do with that bright red bullet in a Revlon tube.  Now, how many of those red bullets we come across in a lifetime will vary from person to person, but generally speaking, lipstick is a globally known thing.

Which is why I think it’s so well loved.  Some form of lip rouge has been around forever, and it seems that every year there is some new shade, some new formula that the public goes absolutely nuts for.  MAC has their annual Viva Glam lipstick shade that always debuts with great anticipation.  People go on rabid Google searches for a certain lip color seen on a celebrity, causing it to sell out everywhere.  New long-wear formulas like Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick and Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick have introduced a cult-like frenzy, garnering the praises of countless beauty bloggers and Instagram-ers.  The new trend of blue, lavender, and pink hair has seemed to inspire a breaking of boundaries in lip color as well with shades of deep purple and dark blue showing up on both the runways and on the streets.

You don’t just buy your friend one shade of lipstick for her birthday; you buy her four.  Many women don’t merely purchase one shade of lip color in a formula they love; they purchase multiples, if not the whole line.  We seem to treat lipstick like candy.  We want every flavor, every kind.  I believe if we could eat lipstick, we would.  And while this strikes me ultimately as bizarre and animalistic, I admit that I’m part of all this.  I’ve never seemed to develop a loyalty toward one brand or one formula, but I can certainly play the game.  And I would definitely eat MAC’s Candy Yum-Yum if I could.

I have two lipsticks that are inspiring me for the moment.  One you could consider an easy, wear-everyday-if-you-wanted kind of color, and the other could be taken as your way to play with this fall’s trends.

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Too Faced has had this line of Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick for a couple years, and I’d avoided them until now because anything with the words “long wear” tends to really scare me and make my lips turn reptilian.  I harken back to my high school days when CoverGirl first introduced Outlast All Day Lip Color, and I remember feeling like I was literally painting cement on my lips with the comfort and ease of a brillo pad.  That first go round at long-lasting lipstick was god awful, truly.  I mean, how dry does something have to be to the point where they feel the need to include another product with it, a “moisturizing topcoat”?!  Lord, no.  And does anyone remember trying to remove that stuff?  Might as well have used paint stripper!

But I feel that such formulas have improved over the years in comfort and practicality, with Too Faced having introduced one improved version.  I can’t say that the shine lasts especially long, but the feel of ‘Melted’ is very pillowy and buttery.  My lips appeared fuller as well, a result of glossy, light reflecting properties.  I purchased this in a shade called “Melted Chihuahua” (insert mental picture of the Taco Bell dog being thrown into a volcano here), and it’s an easy color for everyday, a warm, nude-ish rose that’s “my lips but better”.  The highly saturated pigment did linger for quite a while (through morning coffee, church, and brunch more or less), and the scent is tart and sweet.  I would love to go for a full-on vampy look with the dark, purple-blue Melted Villain shade, but I’m playing it slightly safer when it comes to this fall’s deep berry trend.

Which brings me to the nearly-black bullet pictured beside the Too Faced.  Revlon has a number of lipstick shades that have become cult classics over the decades.  You’ve got Fire And Ice, Love That Red, and the color pictured here, Black Cherry.  And no, the color doesn’t swatch as black but rather as a deep plum-berry stain.   I love this color.  I really, really love it.  Darker colors do make your lips appear smaller, but I don’t mind.  I like it when lips show a merlot tinge after a couple glasses, and I like how lips show all of their cracks and crevices when stained.  I actually don’t prefer perfectly smooth, plump lips- there’s not as much character in that look for me.  Even Angelina Jolie’s full lips have a lot of crevices and irregularities about them.  So anyhow, the Black Cherry is a fun find.  And for less than ten bucks at Walgreen’s, it’s nice to save a trip to Sephora and some cash that would otherwise have been blown on a lipstick I won’t wear super often.


Pictured here- Black Cherry while out and about in the Midwest suburbs of Illinois.  Maybe the city will provide a better opportunity- I’ve always wanted to look like a wicked city woman (though I’m about as intimidating as a bulldog puppy).  xo, MR