My Quest For The Perfect Nude Lipstick

Beauty

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, first of all, thank you, and secondly, you are well aware of my quest for the perfect wedding lipstick. I really should document my journey for makeup more thoroughly, but sometimes I get caught up in the quest and forget the picture taking part (which is also totally okay – not everything has to be a blog post).

One of my most sought after beauty products is the nude lipstick, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Partly, the struggle to find the perfect nude shade, is that we all have a different natural shade, so what is nude for me is not nude for you, which means while we can all gather information or inspiration from our online beauty communities, in the end we all must conduct some beauty experimenting. This, of course, is complicated by the fact that often our our skin tones deepen and lighten along with the changing seasons. I feel like it can be especially tough for me at times, because of my freckles, as well. And while all of this adds to our trials, if you love makeup, then you also realize that sometimes the difficulties are the best part because you always get to keep trying new products, even if you find one you like, because you can never be sure when the brand might stop producing it.

Besides dealing with the complexity of our skin tones, when looking for lipstick you must also decide what kind of “nude” you want. Do you want a nude red, pink, tan, or maybe one with a hint of gray-purple? Plus, you have to consider what kind of finish you want. Do you want a matte, gloss, semi-gloss, or something in-between? There are no easy answers when it comes to lipstick, which is probably why I own so many tubes of nude-ish shades that all are just slight variations from each other.

My go-to shades are still the same as my wedding trials: BareMinerals Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick in Heaven, Urban Decay Vice Sheer Lipstick in Liar, and MAC Lipstick Plum in Soar. These are all creamy or sheer lipsticks, so even the plum is more of a deep nude (it’s the one I ended up wearing in my wedding and I’m so glad I did because it looked perfect in the pictures). My favorite matte shade is Tarte’s Birthday Suit in their Creamy Matte Lip Paint (I’ve also covered this lip shade before in a previous post). I’ll be honest, I love the look of matte lipsticks, but I wear them rarely because of the drying effect on my lips. I probably own another three shades of true matte nudes, but I wouldn’t ever call them my favorites because of how drying they can be. However, Tarte’s line of Creamy Matte Lip Paint isn’t drying at all. I’m dependent on this line for my matte looks.

As you can see, my quest for the perfect “nude” lip is well documented, and I have found plenty of great products that I still wear today, but true to my word, I also continually look for new products. And over the weekend, I think I found another nude favorite to add to my shelf – the Josie Maran Argan Lip Sting Plumping Butter in Honey. I ordered it as a sample, it came over the weekend, where I tested it out, and I was pleasantly surprised.

img_8454.jpg

Let’s first talk about the whole “Lip Sting Plumping” thing. It worked for me. It definitely stung and it even plumped. Of course, with any lipstick, this is an effect that wears off. If you want the plumped look continually – you’ll need to reapply this often (or get fillers). While plumper lips were a nice bonus, that’s not why I was interested in this product. It was actually for the color, and I was happily surprised. It looked soo good on that even my husband complimented me, and he had no idea I was trying a new lipstick shade.

Also, I should mention that I already love a lot of products from Josie Maran’s line, and the fact that the line falls under “clean beauty” is a huge plus for me. Honestly, I usually stay away from lip plumping products because I’m afraid I’ll have another allergic reaction and have to be rushed to the emergency room – one lipstick related allergic reaction is enough to last a lifetime if you ask me. I was willing to try this line knowing that Josie Maran products fall into the clean beauty category.

Sephora’s website says the active ingredients are “100 Percent Pure Argan Oil, Volulip™ (a natural peptide and plant extract), Manuka Honey, Moringa Butter, and Konjac Root Ultra-filling spheres. These ingredients do a variety of things, and cover everything from soothing and smoothing to plumping and improving elasticity. While I personally did not find this lip butter especially hydrating, I also didn’t find it especially drying. The product is something I can use regularly, it’s a pretty “nude” color, and it does what it says it does. Overall, I think it’s a win. Plus if you like the way things look (like I do), even the casing looks super pretty.

sign off

My Favorite Matte Lipstick

Beauty

In the past, I told you how my sweet husband gave me his Sephora Birthday Gift. Well, today I’m going to tell you about my Sephora Birthday Gift.

This year, I chose the Tarte Birthday Gift, complete with blush and matte lip paint. Truth be told, I haven’t tried the blush yet. I lay off a lot of my makeup layers in the summer, and when I do dip into my blush, I tend to stick with my go-to. So I guess here’s to fall and getting to try new blush.

The blush comes in the shade Paaarty and the lip paint comes in the shade of Birthday Suit (very purpose appropriate names, am I right?!). Unfortunately, Birthday Suit is currently out of stock at Sephora, but you can still find it at Ulta. If you’re truly loyal to Sephora you can sign up to receive an email when it’s back in-stock.

The blush feels a little expensive to me at $29 for a full size. However, I’m sure it lasts awhile, and honestly, since I rarely wear blush, I also rarely buy it which means I don’t have the best understanding of the blush market. I do think that if I’m going to buy this blush ever, I’m going to have to really like the sample (I’ll update you all in the fall).

The matte lip paint comes in at $20 full size. This is a pretty average price for a lip product of this quality, but it’s still quite a bit more than an average, drugstore lipstick. So is it worth it?

For me, it’s one hundred percent worth it! Unlike most of my other matte lipsticks, this one isn’t super drying and actually feels like it stays creamy (the product description describes the feeling as velvety and I agree with this and can totally get behind it). It also stays put extremely well, and let me tell you, I couldn’t have received a better color shade! I absolutely love the way this shade looks on me. It’s pretty neutral, and only a step darker than my nude lips, but the full-coverage formula keeps my lips standing out and looking great. I also love it’s incredibly light, but pleasant scent.

Overall thoughts? I was pleasantly surprised with the lip paint, like to the point where I thought that this might be the lipstick that converts me to a daily lipstick wearer. It seems so perfect for so many different occasions, and I truly love its versatility. It also has me super excited to try the blush. I’m hoping it’s as good as the lip paint!

sign off

My Wedding Lipstick And How I Found My Perfect Color

Beauty, Lifestyle

Hello everyone! I’m so glad to be back writing to you. Don’t get me wrong, my wedding and honeymoon were a blast, but if there was one thing I looked forward to after my wedding, it was getting back to my writing.

I owe you all an in-depth wedding post, but guys, I just got back and I am not organized enough for that right now. So instead, I’m going to talk about my wedding lipstick, plus you’ll get a sneak peek of my wedding photos.

For starters, you should know that early into planning my wedding (we had about a year and a half engagement) I decided I would do my own wedding makeup. In the wedding world this is apparently a controversial decision, but I did this because 1. I wanted good coverage, but I didn’t want my freckles to be covered and since I had a destination wedding there  couldn’t be a makeup trial. 2. I feel comfortable with makeup and have lots of experience. 3. I already buy lots of high quality, long-lasting makeup so I didn’t have to worry about buying a ton of new makeup.

As far as my decision goes, I was also nervous about a couple things: 1. I don’t wear lipstick all the time so I needed to spend some time finding the perfect lip color for my wedding day and 2. The darn false eyelashes.

Luckily, the lipstick came through, and I’ll do another post about my full wedding makeup in the future, but the false eyelashes were stressful.

So let’s dive into my lipstick journey:

About a month out from my wedding, I really wanted to start experimenting with finding the perfect color. I waited until that late in the game because my skin tone changes drastically in the summer once my freckles come into their full glory. One day, after a run with Eric, I had him drive me to Macy’s so I could try on some lip colors at the MAC counter.

I knew from spending countless hours on the web that I wanted a berry colored lip, but not too dark to fit perfectly with my mid-summer wedding. I also knew that although I love the matte look, I was something shiny for my wedding. So that’s where I started at the MAC counter. I ended up walking out with lip liner in Soar and a satin lipstick in Captive (technically a plum).

My face was a little rosy from my run still,  but I thought the color was just what I was looking for.

IMG_1250

Later, I did a full trial of wedding makeup with split reviews from my family when I sent pictures. A couple of sisters thought the lipstick was too dark, a couple of my sisters and my mom thought it looked good.

After that, I started looking at more wedding makeup looks and watching wedding makeup videos. A lot of ladies were rocking nude lips so I decided to experiment a little with that so I headed to Ulta. After lots of help and testing out about fifteen colors, I walked out with two more lipsticks: a BARE MINERALS Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick in Heaven and an Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Sheer Liar.

I couldn’t decide which of these I liked better. I kept going back between the two. I tested the Bare Minerals first and I loved the color, but it seemed so light.

IMG_1251

I’ve read so much on wedding makeup that I knew that you were supposed to wear a stronger color so that I would show up better in pictures (cameras take some of the color off apparently). This basically means that you need to find a color that will look good both in person and in pictures. I was convinced Heaven would show up well so I decided I’d wear Sheer Liar.

IMG_1252

I also realized I wanted a little more shine so I ended up purchasing Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipgloss in Sunset Strip. When I was looking at all the colors, at first I thought Sunset Strip would be way too orange, but when I tested it out, it was perfect.

Heading into my wedding, I thought I had everything figured out. I’d wear my Soar lip liner with my Sheer Liar lipstick and my Sunset Strip lipgloss. However, that all changed the day of my wedding.

When the time came to start getting ready, I started on my makeup while the hairstylists did my bridesmaids’ hair (Southern Belle Beauty, they’re fabulous). Then, right before I put on my final makeup touches, it was my turn for hair. The hairstylist put in my flower crown when she finished and I went back to finish my makeup. It was time to do my lips and staring in the mirror at the purple flowers paired with the peach ones, I knew I needed to go with that original light berry. So I lined my lips, patted on the MAC Captive and finished my lips off with the gloss.

The finished product was perfect. It was a long journey, but in the end, I found the perfect fit, and surprisingly it was all in the flowers.

IMG_1249

I learned a few things on my lipstick journey. 1. Inspiration pictures are great but lipstick looks different on each individual so sometimes you just have to experiment. 2. My lipstick didn’t just need to go with my skin tone and in the end, my flowers helped me make my final decision. 3. Doing your wedding makeup can be stressful so keep that in mind when making your decision (my decision was the right one for me).

PS- the amazing wedding photos are by Jessica Lee McIntosh ❤️