Monday, February 1, 2016

Moderate Stash: Lipsticks and Glosses

Alright, it's time for me to start breathing heavily and sweating like crazy because I sometimes feel mildly embarrassed about this. I know having almost two dozen lip products is not the average person's idea of "moderate." But to be fair, this is not the mind-boggling 100+ collection I used to have, I'm finally at a place where I feel I love everything I own, and I hold firm in my belief that allowing yourself one "go crazy" area whilst you downsize is a good idea.

And I have a weakness for bold reds and bright pinks. I can't make excuses for that. :/

But before we get too engrossed, can we take a moment to appreciate how weirdly pretty these baby wipes looked after I removed some swatches?

The stupidest things excite me, I know. Moving right along!

For reference, I am not a gloss person, so there are only a few of those. Swatches are on the top of my hand, which is about NC10-15 on a MAC scale. For full reviews of some of these products, please check the product: lipstick, product: frankenlip, or product: gloss tags; for lip swatches and photos of me wearing these, try the FOTD and Lipstick Diaries tags. My ELF Gotta Glow Lip Tint is not pictured because my mother had it with her, but you can see it on my lips here.

plus my few glosses.

  • Lipstick Queen Jean Queen. A sheer, soft, glossy watermelon pink. Perfect for everyday wear and for work. Applicator is a brush tip. I often keep this in my briefcase.
  • Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Gloss. Completely clear, very glossy, and only a little sticky, with a minty smell and taste. This is my second tube. (Not swatched for obvious reasons!)
  • MAC Viva Glam Lady Gaga lipglass. A pastel pink with a creamy opaque formula. It's not as sticky as most MAC lipglasses. The sharpie line shows how far I am right now--I'm going to see how far I can get before I chuck this in to my Back 2 MAC pile in May.
  • MAC Faux. Midtone beige pink in a satin finish. It's a nice nude, but not my personal favorite; however, everybody seems to love it on me.
  • MAC Huggable Bare Hug. A shiny and supple gel formula that's very comfortable and smoothing on the lips. This shade looks bright coral in the tube, but it applies as a soft, slightly warm pink. 
  • Urban Decay Native. Super light and slightly pastel baby pink. This is one of my go-to shades if I'm wearing darker eye makeup.
  • Kismet Elope. A mid-tone beige with some hints of pink. This is a glossy liquid formula. It's probably not that flattering on me, but for some reason, I really like it.
 Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

these ones just aren't "nude."

  • Bite Beauty Velvet. The most perfect petal pink on the face of the planet, with a creamy finish. I think I've used about half of my current tube.
  • Bite Beauty Bouquet. Another "flowery" shade with a creamy finish and the perfect mix of pink and peach. One of the few "nudes" that I think looks really good on me, probably because it isn't really nude. Don't judge me.
  • Dior Kiss Me fluidstick. Funky gloss/lipstick hybrid with a cushiony texture, Kiss Me is a soft, cool-toned pink. I wasn't impressed with this formula the first time I tried it, but it's grown on me. Surprisingly good staying power for a glossy product!
  • NARS Audacious Anna. Looks like a cool, mid-tone pink on most people, but because I'm fairer skinned, it comes off quite mauve and plummy on me. Not 100% sure if it flatters me, but I do love it. Satin finish.
  • Hourglass Empress. Matte liquid lipstick that smells like paint and wears like it, too! I love this stuff, though. Empress is a perfect plum shade; I wear it a lot on nights out.
  • Kismet On Point. A great everyday shade with an equal balance of pink and plum; this is Kismet's shiny liquid formula.
Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

they are my weakness.

  • MAC Ruby Woo. The most traditional and chalky matte in the history of chalky mattes, Ruby Woo is a relatively neutral red (though some would say it leans a little blue). This is my second tube, so clearly it's been loved, but after I finish this one, I don't think I'll repurchase.
  • NARS Audacious Charlotte. Swatches weirdly purple on my hand, but in reality is the most perfect oxblood color with a satin finish. My current favorite red.
  • Stila Beso. A true red in a matte liquid formula. This stuff wears like a beast and I have next to no problems with smearing, so it's essentially replacing Ruby Woo in my collection.
  • MAC Scarlet Ibis. A warm red with a soft matte finish. Makes me feel very chic and grown-up when I wear it. Technically a limited-edition shade, but MAC re-releases it from time to time.
  • Bite Beauty Pomegranate. A blue-based red with a glossy finish. I purged a mini-pencil of this in the past because I had similar reds I preferred, but I got this one in a kit and I figure I'll try it out again.
  • Dior Pandore fluidstick. As mentioned, this is a frankenlip formula with a glossy finish. Though it swatches pinkish on my hands, it's a warm red on my lips. I like this shade, but I won't repurchase--I don't generally go for very shiny reds.
 Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

from fuchsia to purple to orange.

  • NARS Audacious Michiyo. A blue-based fuchsia with a satin finish. An excellent alternative to red if you want to try something a little different in your pin-up look.
  • MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus. A slightly warmer fuchsia with a bit of a glossy finish. This is a very comfortable and beautiful lipstick that seems to flatter me, but for some weird reason, I don't wear it a lot--I'll have to fix that!
  • Kismet Flamingo. A very glossy and bright orchid pink. My mother hates it, I love it, life goes on.
  • Bite Beauty Lingonberry. A creamy bright purple lipstick. I don't wear it often, but when I do, I adore it.
  • Bite Beauty Tangerine. Technically more of a coral, but close enough! Not my favorite color, to be honest, but it's half of the Lingonberry duo, and if you mix the two shades, you get a great bright pink.
  • Hourglass Riviera. As I mentioned, this stuff smells awful, feels thick, and wears for hours...and I love it. I think this is the only true orange I've found that I like on my skintone.

Natural light on top, flash on the bottom.

Natural Light vs. Flash Comparisons


  1. I think you have a really well curated collection, I wouldn't say it's too many products - there should be a different standard for us beauty junkies, right? I'm always trying to downsize mine, but I still haven't figured out what would be my ideal number. Work in progress.

    1. Very true; I know a lot of my non-drag queen friends have 2 or 3 lipsticks, but I can't see that working for me! I'm really at the point where I just want unique shades in formulas I love (hence why I probably won't repurchase Ruby Woo).

  2. Your lipstick collection is so beautiful! I love the variety of the shades, you have every base covered. I don't think your lipstick collection is too big, it looks about perfect. Lip products are my vice, and I know I have enough but I can't stop buying more. What's worse is that I have a love for a certain fuschia shade that I know looks bad on me, but I can't stop buying the similar shade! I'm always trying to downsize, but it's a work in progress, lol.

    1. Oh my God, I used to do that with those peachy-pink pastels! You know, things like Colourpop Cake and MAC Betty Bright, very 60s? They draw me for some reason, even though I rarely end up wearing them.

  3. I've been considering doing a lipstick inventory on my own blog, but I have...more than you. Like, a lot more. I'll have to do some destashing before my collection can see the light of day. D:

    I didn't realize you owned any of the Audacious lipsticks! Charlotte and Anna are such beautiful shades. I'd probably have bought Anna long ago if I liked the formula more.

    1. Um, did you ever see what my collection looked like in grad school? It was like a makeup counter, and that didn't include the glosses, liquid lipsticks, and stains. It was absurd.

      Would you believe I haven't written a review yet? I guess part of me feels like it would be redundant.