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).

And in other top priority international news … mascara.

I can’t speak about mascara without first stating that I use three different kinds every time I apply.  Every. Time.  It probably takes me a solid five minutes or more to do mascara beginning with bare lashes, and it is by far the most exciting part of my makeup shenanigans.  You know how it is … you get the whole routine going on and then the mascara is the beautiful bow on the package to top it all off and pull it all together.  It adds that final one-two-punch of drama and seals the deal, and everyone seems to like it in a different way.  I get really mad when I see girls with what I don’t perceive to be enough mascara, or it’s clumpy, or whatever.  But what’s funny is that they probably do it that way everyday, and they probably think my own mascara job sucks.

But allow me to offer up one assertive opinion on the subject- I don’t really get people who can use just one kind of mascara.  I mean, one kind?  Do you eat just one kind of cheese, too?  Or do you watch just one movie you like on repeat and never watch any others?  You may argue that you’ve found your eternal favorite that you’re loyal to, but when there are so many kinds of mascara to choose from, you know there’s got to be even more out there that you’d enjoy and use just as much as your beloved one, perhaps along with it.  Maybelline New York probably cranks out about three new kinds of mascara every year alone (with 50% of them being useless, in my opinion … Great Lash can suck it), and I’d say every other makeup brand puts out perhaps at least one new kind of mascara per year, including drugstore and luxury brands.  The options really are veering on endless.  I mean, come on … they make ones that vibrate now, for crap’s sake.

Mascara’s also a particular pleasure of mine because it’s the one cosmetic item that I truly believe can deliver quality performance for under ten bucks.  Go ahead and buy the thirty-dollar kind, but I believe that the stuff you find at the drugstore is just as capable when it comes to mascara.  DiorShow?  Eh, not worth all the hype (and it’s got perfume in it … yuck and for why?).  BeneFit Bad Gal?  I’ve had way better.  I’m usually one to push for spending the extra bucks when it comes to makeup, but mascara is my true exception.

So, after trying countless kinds of mascara, I’ve finally found three kinds that I can truly place my faith in (or at least, when they’re all used together).  I usually find myself looking for volumizing formulas because my lashes aren’t particularly dense, and CoverGirl’s LashBlast Fusion has been a staple of mine for probably two years or so now.  That stuff is great.  If I had to use just one kind, I’d choose this.  However, I don’t apply this kind first.  I first apply just a couple coats of Revlons‘ Grow Luscious by Fabulash to lengthen my lashes and build a tacky base.  Next, I apply some of BeneFit’s They’re Real by wriggling the rubber brush at the base of my lashes a few times.  This creates the illusion of fullness, and because it’s an especially wet, inky formula it makes the lashes look much darker and dense, and it builds well on the tackiness of the Revlon.  A lot of formulas can suffice for this part of my process- L’Oreal’s Voluminous Carbon Black works well, too.  After this, I finally begin applying as many coats of LashBlast Fusion as I want until I’m satisfied.  This creates volume and separation, and because it’s another tacky formula it can just keep building and building.  Oh, and every kind I buy is in the blackest shade I can get, but I have heard that brown-black photographs better and that brown mascara on the bottom lashes looks much more natural.  And speaking of, I don’t do mascara on the bottom lashes.  I never have.  Things just start looking a little too spidery-smudgey for me when it’s on the bottom.  That green tube in the picture, by the way, is the newest mascara from CoverGirl called Clump Crusher.  Seriously.  But I’ve got to admit, I tried it just this morning for the first time and it’s ahhhhhhhh-mazing.  Might be the beginnings of a new favorite.

I’ve honestly got I-don’t-know-how-many kinds of this stuff in my current possession, but the item will be a forever staple of mine and so I’ve got no reason to stop trying all of them!  Cheers to spider-eyes!  xo, MR