Une femme is an admitted lipstick/lipgloss junkie. It's the one bit of maquillage I rarely leave the house without.
Clear or light pink lip gloss (remember "Slicker"?) was the first bit of makeup I was allowed to wear at 14. Throughout my teen years, the trend was toward lighter, sheer colors and red lipstick was seen as something only worn by old movie stars and our grandmothers. Somewhere in my mid-20's, I decided that red lipstick was very sophisticated, and started my search for a shade of red I could wear without feeling either clownish or like my grandmother. I'm still searching.
There was a brief glimmer of hope around 1985 in a shade by Clinique, a gorgeous Chinese red that looked wonderful with my skin tone. But alas, the next time I went to buy it, they'd either discontinued it or changed the formula. I have yet to find another I can wear and feel that my lips belong to the rest of my face.
So in the meantime, I move around from one shade of brownish pink to another (with variations on pale or darker, browner to pinker to peachy/apricot, from very sheer gloss to more saturated sticks). It's hard to find lippies that don't have blue undertones, which make me look sallow, or that aren't the color of liver paté once applied. I have a shoebox-sized container under the bathroom sink of those that looked good in the store, or for a week or so, but ultimately didn't make the cut.
Some recent winners:
T. LeClerc Satin lipstick in Sauvage. This is a nice peachy/cinnamon color that goes on smoothly and isn't drying. Also looks good with a little bit of the T. LeClerc Lip Gloss in Caramel over the top.
Chanel "Le Crayon Levres" pencil in Nude over the entire lip with Glossimer in Glow on top is great for a very natural look.
Saturday I picked up some of the Chanel "Ultra Wear Lip Colour" to test drive. I've had terrible results with every "long-lasting" lip color product I've tried; either they're very drying or they look blotchy after an hour or two or both. This one has two chambers, one for color and the other for a clear gloss that can be re-applied over the color periodically to moisturize and freshen. I'm still getting the hang of it, but seem to get pretty good results if I use the Nude lip pencil, apply the color sparingly (I'm currently using Amber), and let the color set for an entire minute without touching or rubbing my lips together before applying the gloss. Even after eating and drinking, the color seems to mostly stay on (in fact, you need an oil-based cleanser to remove it). I'm going to keep playing with it for a few days before I render a final verdict.
MAC lipstick in "Charismatic". This is as close to a red that I've found recently that feels wearable.
Bobbi Brown lip glosses. These are pretty and stay on, but incredibly sticky any small particles of food, dust, dog hair, etc. will adhere to your lips so stubbornly that you need to remove the gloss completely to get rid of them.
MAC Lipglass. Really nice color and great saturation for a gloss, but I'm getting away from a glassy-glossy look.
MAC Viva Glam lipstick: just a little too purple for me.
Here's a question for you (and une femme's first poll): reapplying lipstick in public, oui ou non? My very prim-and-proper little grandmother used to pull our her compact and tube and reapply her lipstick while still at the table after a lunch or dinner out. I've never had a problem with (PDLA) Public Displays of Lipstick Application, but I've read recently that this is considered trés gauche. I've posted the poll over to the right, so here's your chance to weigh in on this critical issue for our time. ;-) And if you have recommendations for a warm based red lipstick that is moisturizing, let me know in the comments.