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This is part one in the Winter series of posts, covering beauty, fashion and pretty things for your mind and body in the coldest months. Hopefully there will be something in this series to help you cruise through the remaining months of Winter!
I can always tell that winter is here because my lips are super, unbelievably dry. Since I wear lipstick on the regular, this is a real pain in the you-know-what. I know I’m not alone so this winter I went on a mission: winter-appropriate lip solutions.
The first step was a priming solution. So let’s start with a bit of a visit to the kitchen…
Do this last thing cheap auto insurance at night just before you get into bed. Grab an egg cup or small container. Put in 1 teaspoon of ordinary white sugar. Slowly add a very small amount of olive oil (or whatever cooking oil you have to hand) to make the mixture just a little bit runny. You can either rub this on your lips, or add just a single drop of strawberry food flavouring for a more delicious scrub. Don’t buy a lipscrub – this is just as effective and obviously super cheap. If you want, you can get a small plastic container and take this as you travel.
Once your lips have been gently rubbed with the scrub, get a good quality lipbalm and layer that sucker up. There will be no kissing in your evening; oh no, you want that lipbalm to soak in overnight. I love Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, but I also use Maybelline BabyLips in a pinch.
By the time you wake up, some healing and soothing should have occurred. After your morning shower/facewashing, take a dry towel and very gently rub your lips. This will remove any dry skin. Then apply a thin layer of balm to protect your lips.
It usually takes a few days to get my lips from dry disaster back to normal using this technique. In the meantime, I still want the option of wearing a pretty lip colour. This winter several brands have released super-moisturising lipsticks that have a big balm component, so I tactically purchased a few over the last few months and have been trying them out. Comparison review time!
I’ll be honest – these are all pretty much the same thing. The Za product was the only one I had a bad time with as it made my lips peel and wasn’t as smooth as the others. I would not recommend this lipstick even though it was less than $20.
The Revlon products are a little bit stickier than the L’Oreal and Maybelline, which didn’t bother me but is worth keeping in mind. The L’Oreal and Maybelline options reminded me of the lustre finish lipsticks from Mac – super shiny and smooth but they don’t last a particularly long time. The brighter colours in all of the brands did have more longevity because they colour your lips, but these are pretty much just a hyper-pigmented lipbalm or gloss.
This means that you use up the product much more quickly than a traditional lipstick. I also feel pretty confident that these would melt in the summer heat, so for me they are a winter-only option.
In terms of lip niceness, these are all great! I can use any of them (even the darker colours,
although several light layers works better than just slathering it on) on my dry lips and they melt in just like a balm. I don’t think they do much to heal the lips but they do keep them moisturised and prevent further drying. The lighter colours like Pretty Peach just add a nice tinted gloss and give you that finished look.
If forced to choose, I’d go with the L’Oreal option. I really like their packaging and they go on beautifully. However, these are kinda pricey* so if you do wear lipstick, and want a dry-lip-day option, I strongly suggest you wait for a deal.
Speaking of which, Farmers is currently doing buy 2 get 1 free on L’Oreal, so might be worth grabbing 2 friends and each getting a little treat (this deal extends to all of their cosmetics) so you can try this out at a significant discount! While you’re there, try the Infallible Eyes eyeshadows – they’re also a great product.
* (I got mine using vouchers, deals and the power of global purchasing via the Internet and so paid nowhere near full price – but it literally took months of spending $10 here and there to accumulate these for this review. This is why comparison reviews are rare!)
I’m a big fan of the Karen Murrell range of lipsticks. They feel lovely on, they’re a New
Zealand product, and the packaging is eco-friendly, with tubes made from PLA (polylactic acid), “a corn resin based material that will start to dissolve back into Mother Earth within 100 days”, and boxes from 100% recycled and renewable sources using New Zealand paper with soy inks.
Ever since the first four lipsticks were released a couple of years ago (I have all of them by the way) I’ve been hoping she would release some more colours, and at long last a new range has hit the stores.
I’m particularly excited about Coral Dawn, having not yet added an orange shade to my collection. Carnation Mist looks very pretty and wearable, Fuschia Shock I will have to try before I buy because from the photos it looks like it may be a wee bit blue-based for my colouring, and Sand Storm is likely to make me look like I have a bad case of Mannequin Face (not a good thing, if you were wondering) but would be a lovely neutral for other skin tones. So that’s two, and possibly three, out of the collection I’m lusting after. What about you?
I had been trying to wait until I got some decent pictures of me wearing the Karen Murrell lipstick range before I posted about them, but my lack of camera has ruined that idea, and since during March at Farmers you can get two for the price of one ($25!) I must tell you about them right now!
So, let’s talk lipsticks! Obviously, you need to try lipsticks on to see if they suit you, and not just on the back of your hand. We can’t recommend that you buy these without trying them on, but we absolutely confidently can recommend that you give them a go. The first thing that you’ll notice is the smell. Like all the rest of the Karen Murrell product range, these lipsticks smell amaaaaaaaaaaazing. In fact, ever since I got them, I have been shoving them under people’s noses going “here, smell this!”. There’s no aroma of crayons or chemicals like some brands (cough Revlon cough) give off. There’s a very good reason for that, if you’ll allow me to quote here:
A woman consumes an average of nearly two kilograms of lipstick during her lifetime through drinking, eating and kissing – so keep lipstick natural! KM Lipsticks are made totally of natural ingredients. They do not contain any mineral oils, animal based material, parabens or preservatives.
In fact, their active ingredients are Candelilla wax, Evening Primrose oil (so I like to pretend that wearing this lipstick will help my PMS) and castor oil. You probably don’t want to eat two kilos of Karen Murrell in a sitting, but I can’t imagine that you’d do that anyway. What these ingredients mean is that the lipstick goes on really smoothly, and doesn’t dry out your lips at all. You’ll want to top up every hour for optimum colour and coverage, especially if you’re eating or drinking, but that’s true of everything I’ve ever worn anyway. And because we’re truly hardcore here at Pretty Pretty Pretty (and not because I am an idiot or anything, honest!), I tested the lipsticks in EXTREME conditions. They held up to being put through the washing machine, being carted around in a hot bra and having their lid jammed on while still wound up just fine. You might want to avoid leaving them in the sun for days though or they’ll get a tiny bit out of shape. But now onto the colours themselves!
First up we have Cordovan Natural. This is a little bit brown. I find it’s the perfect lipstick to wear to job interviews, because it’s obvious that you’re actually wearing lipstick so you’ve made an effort, but, like the name says, it looks really natural. Of course, I have yet to actually get a job whilst wearing it, but I suspect that has more to do with the job market than my lipstick choice.
Next up is Red Shimmer. This one is my total fav. You might remember how Megan finally helped me fufil last year’s fashion goal of wearing red lipstick with her MAC expertise? I recommend beginners start with one instead! It’s a little orangey, so better for those with yellow skintones rather than blues though. I can apply it without needing a mirror because the shimmer is more forgiving than a matte, it looks softer and doesn’t bleed. Shortly after I got this lipstick I had already put a deep curve in it, so often did I wear it. And if you’re into what your lipstick shape says about you, you’ll see that means I’m “Creative, Enthusiastic, energetic, Talkative, Loves attention, Falls in love easily, Helpful”, all of which sum up this site quite nicely too, right?
Next up is the Pink Starlet. Apparently our red lipstick queen Megan is all about the Pink now, and this one got her seal of approval. I’m not entirely sure it’s the right colour for me, because I am yellowy, but pink lipstick is definitely hot right now, and this would be a lovely one to start with.
The Violet Mousse is another subtle one that’s good for job interviews, or for wearing during the day if you’re the sort of person who wears makeup during the day. Again, I’m not certain that it’s right for me, but I think it’s a lovely shade and I wish it was!
Great to use overnight as an intense lip treatment. Use over lipstick as a lip-gloss and lip plumper. Creates a protection barrier against harsh weather, hot or cold. Tame unruly eyebrows. Small in size and it will not spill. Take it anywhere!
I’m definitely a fan of this range, and I’m hopeful that one day there might be even more colours (I’d love a dark lipstick), but this is a great starter palate. They’re great value for money at $25 each, and getting two for $25 is insanely great, so please, do go to a Farmers during March, try them on, and if the colours are right for you, you should stock up!
You might recall a little while back me talking about the launch of Ellis Faas makeup at Mecca Cosmetica.
I visited Mecca recently and swatched Ellis Faas’ range of Milky and Creamy lip colours. The Milky range is subtle, with just more than a hint of pretty colour that you can tone up or down with more or less product.
But the real stand-out is the Creamy range. These are highly pigmented colours that just look stunning. If you’re serious about lip stick then you should definitely check these out (and the serious price tag $65 to go with it).
All of the Ellis Faas products are liquid, including the eye colours and blushes. They all come in the same pen-like packaging, which I think may be a bit annoying because if I were rummaging through my makeup bag I couldn’t easily tell all the products apart. But then, I think I’d be quite happy owning even just one of these beautiful cosmetics.
Ellis Faas is a famous make-up artist who has launched an interesting range of cosmetics. What’s interesting about the range is that the colours across the whole range are based on colours that occur naturally in the human body. The idea is that these colours suit every skin tone and fashion trend. And so they’ll never go out of style and all the current colours will always remain in her collection (i.e. they’re not seasonal so you’ll never be without your fave colours). That’s the idea anyway.
All the products are in liquid form too, dispensed in felt-tip pens type things.
On 23rd and 24th September, Mecca Cosmetica at Kirk’s in Welly will be having an Ellis Faas event. It costs $50 redeemable on products.
Chapped lips are a pain. And with the southerlies a blowin’ in the captial this time of year, you’d better get used to dry, cracked lips. A good slathering of balm (especially before you go to bed) can soften you up. But if you’re beyond the point when balm can help, and you really want that ruby red lipstick to look its best, then this product will save you. It’s a gentle scrub for your lips that instantly and gently buffs away all the roughness.
I’ve been using the Mary Kay Lip Mask for a while, usually for special occasions (you need to leave it on for a mintue or so, so not an everyday kind of thing, I mean who has a minute to spare every day?). But today my boyfriend was complaining of chapped lips, so I made him try the Lip Mask. He’s not very receptive to me dousing his face in products (ever since a false eyelash incident where I accidentally glued his eyelids shut.) He was pleasantly surprised that the Mask was harmless, and even worked a treat. He is currently sporting satin-smooth lips without the stickiness and shininess of using a balm.
The scrub can take a bit of getting used to. It does feel a bit weird but well worth the results. And it is pricey – NZ$36.50. That’s more than I’d pay for a lip balm, and even a lipstick. But if you’re a lipstick junkie maybe it’s worth it to ensure your fave lippie looks its best on smooth lips.
So recently, I’ve had a hankering to have blue lips. Dark, glossy, blue lips. I don’t mean in a gothy kind of way, I just think it would be great to have something really different going on with normal eyeshadow and clothes, to make people do a double-take. The trouble is, blue lip gloss is pretty much impossible to find. So I settled for ordering Lancome Juicy Gelee in Casiss thinking it looked good and dark. I should have gone into Kirk’s and tried it out in real life first though, because in reality, it looks like this:
So you can clearly see how clear that gel is, and how little colour there is in it. But! Next to it you can see the stage makeup that I bought for $3.50 from the Life Pharmacy at the James Smith Corner. It’s a tiny little amount, but I figured I’d try it out first. How well did the trial of mixing the two together go? Judge for yourself. First I put on the blue lipstick:
It was rather difficult to put on, as it went squish, and had a dry, waxy consistency, not unlike crayons. I applied it with my fingers, because I’m not clever and well-stocked with brushes like Amy, and it really dragged. I think in the future, I should cut it half’n half with chapstick, then apply it with a brush. But in this case, putting the lipgloss on top made it feel a little better:
That felt a lot better, but didn’t help keep the blue crayon taste and look off my teeth. I’m very not used to wearing lipstick, obviously, I am all about the gloss.
I put the blue lipstick on with slummy weekend clothes and went to the supermarket. People gave me strange looks. I suspect it would go down a lot better with more makeup (but not over the top eyeshadow), and some fancy clothes somewhere like Mighty Mighty. In fact, I look forward to trying that idea out sometime soon. Now, tell me about some interesting makeup that you’ve done lately, please!