Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Red Lipstick Swatches & The Battle of Blue vs Orange!

From left to right: Revlon Fire and Ice, Revlon Colorburst True Red, Revlon CB Raspberry, Guerlain Rouge 402

So, before I go on with the third installment of the Tokidoki robbery palette review, I wanted to get another entry posted on something that is near and dear to my heart:


Well, honestly, it's not like I wear it out all that much, having heard too many comments along the lines of, "So you caught a mouse and ate it raw or something?"

(You know what they say about choosing your words wisely and keeping your mouth shut if you've got nothing good to say? Well, you better follow those words because those people are no longer alive due to their flapping mouths...

Er, no, what I meant is, it's been such a long time that I don't know where they are and I failed to keep in touch with them.

No dead bodies here in my make up stash, no no.


I've since learned that the trick to red lipstick is that you better get the rest of your face as immaculate as you can (jeez, almost went on to write "immaculate conception" as those two words always run together in my mind, but anyways,) meaning evened-out complexion, eyebrows as neat and dainty as you can, just the right amount and color of blush, fluttery eyelashes, etc.

Never again shall I run out of my dorm in sweatpants and a threadbare T-shirt, hair uncombed and mouth rouged a bright red. It's really not an attractive sight, especially if you trip on your flip-flops and floppy flop flop onto the ground in front of that really attractive scholar-athlete. (Not bloody hell likely to anyways since I graduated already and it's been months since I've had an actual conversation with a man who is a) not my family b) single c) not ten years older than me.)

So, without further ado, I present to you my rather weak and paltry stash of red lipsticks:

Swatched on MAC NC20-25 skin

And though they say a picture is worth a thousand words, I think some description is necessary for a true makeup review, non? So I'll break it down for you:

Of the four, Revlon's Fire and Ice leans the most orange, meaning it has a warm base. And Guerlain Rouge 402 has a really blue base, and is on the extreme cool side of the red. Usually the makeup advice is to go with your skin's undertone in order to get a lipstick shade that flatters you--i.e. if your undertone is warm, as in golden, go with an orange-based or warm lipstick, and get a blue-based cool-toned lippy if your skin leans towards pink. (Karla Sugar has an excellent article on this topic that can explain the Warm/Cool red lipstick thing way better than I can, so do go visit her site via the link above.) Revlon's Colorburst True Red is just that, a "true" red; it doesn't lean cool or warm, it just is--red. Revlon CB Raspberry leans towards cool, but is so glossy in texture and sheer that the undertone is not as pronounced as it is in the Guerlain.

As for the pigment and texture, Guerlain Rouge 402 proved the most opaque in pigment; one swipe and I was good to go. It also lasted longer than other lipsticks do on me, probably because it is matte in texture. As with all mattes, be very careful with your application. Moisturize and scrub your lips like crazy to banish any flaking as mattes tend to emphasize imperfections in your lips. Use a lip liner in a similar shade or a lip brush so that you don't "paint outside the lines." Trust me, it is so easy to do, and it does not look good, even if you're a True Blood or Twilight fan and think slurping blood is, like, waaaay cool. Really, just don't.

Revlon Fire and Ice was almost as opaque, but having a creamier texture, tends to need some fiddling around with (such as blotting your lips and re-applying lipstick) in order to get the color to stay nicely. I found that this wore more comfortable than the Guerlain; and the color lasted me surprisingly well, considering the texture is creme rather than matte. Of course, after about four to five hours at work, lunch and a few snacks, it had faded away to more of a stain, but the nice thing is it faded evenly. I hate those lip-liner stains that happen sometimes when lipsticks wear away unevenly, don't you? It makes me feel like I've gone back to the 90's, and not in a good way. Anyways, I can see why this is a perennial favorite and has been around for what, 50 years or more? There's a reason why it's a best seller, gals. Go and try it sometimes if you like the shade you see.

Now, I'm rather mixed on the Revlon Colorburst line. Some of them are superstars, and re-introduced me to drugstore makeup, which I had just about given up on after high school. One of those stars was True Red, which I bought on a whim from to fill my $50 free shipping quota. Two swipes and I am good to go with this baby. It's creamy, it stays decently well, feels comfortable on the lips, and until I discovered Fire and Ice, it was the best red I'd ever had in my mind. Still, it's a close runner-up and a great lipstick to have if only for the fact that it leans neither cool nor warm and is all the more versatile for that reason.

The CB Raspberry, however, had me rather confounded--how in the world was this lipstick included in a lineup that is supposed to "burst with color"? It's super sheer and glossy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing per se, just more along the lines of false advertising. No matter how much you layer Raspberry, it is never going to be true-to-color, so you might as well take it as it is, or not at all. I think this would make a great "beginner's red"--not too bold, sheer, glossy, just lend some nice sexy wine red gloss to your puckers. But personally, if I want sheer and glossy, I'll just buy a tinted lip balm or a lip gloss, thank you very much.

Anyways, lipstick swatches and reviews are never complete without FOTDs, are they? At least I love seeing how lipsticks look on the whole face, and not just the lips themselves. So here are some pics of me (trying to) rock Fire and Ice:

Going for serious... for a second...

And then my resolve dissolves in a matter of seconds!
And then, the dreaded lip swatch! ROAR! Unfortunately I layered too much lip balm under the lipstick, so it seems more glossy on camera than it is in real life. In person it's a warm, creamy red without much sheen, not matte but not shiny either.

A somewhat glossy swatch of Revlon Colorburst Fire and Ice...

Ok, now: Let's move on to the opposite of the red spectrum, shall we? I'm gonna try to rock a blue based, cool toned red lippy, which is like totally taboo because I'm warm-toned (read, Asian yellow undertone) and it's my polar opposite! Kryptonite!!! But, anyways, I had to try it out in the interest to see if any blue-based reds would ever suit me, ever, and also because it's a GUERLAIN ROUGE.  

That's right, it is DAMN expensive. I won it in a giveaway contest sponsored by the lovely Charlestone Girl from Best Things in Beauty. Whee! Thank you so much, Charlestone Girl!!!

In all honesty, I will probably never buy any lipstick this expensive in the near future (though never say never) since I'm, like, broke. But it was such an awesome giveaway and I was so stoked to have won it! After having it locked up in my super secret make up stash only to be unlocked at night, taken out and fondled, with me whispering "Myyy prreecccioouuus" in the background, I finally mustered up the courage to actually put it on my lips! Gasp! It felt like sacrilege, but I had to do it; not even a Guerlain Rouge gets to stay pristine and virgin in my hands forever. For I am a makeup junkie, hear me roar!!!

So let's see how it looks on me. Will it turn out a travesty?

FOTD with the blue-based red diva that is Guerlain Rouge 402
Hmm, looking good so far...

Another FOTD, because, like I said, that Guerlain is a DIVA! She gets what she wants, including another FOTD!

Hey! That doesn't look half bad! I like the contrast of the super-duper bold red with my black hair. As a matter of fact, I think the contrast with my skin tone is making the red pop all the more. Of course, it is an attention getter so maybe not something I'd wear to work (even though it's a super-duper relaxed place where I can wear orange tights with pink socks just because I want to,) it could be a stunner if I were to, I don't know, actually go on a date. And doing some smooching, maybe.  :-D

Not likely to happen anytime soon. I know.

Normal lip swatch of Guerlain Rouge 402

Pucker up! Is that sexy yet? No? Hmph.

Well, I guess I'll just smile it off.. Wait, wasn't blue based red lipstick supposed to make your teeth whiter???

Hey, but who cares? I feel sexy just rocking it around mah house, doing the dishes and having all my makeup melt off in the steam of the kitchen while I prepare yet another day's meal for two. And though all shall abandon me, my Revlon Colorstay foundation straying and dripping into the stew, my Almay mascara smudging as I blearily try to find the tofu in our overstocked refrigerator, I am glad with the knowledge that at least my lipstick will stay put in the midst of the horror, like a totally luxe and fashionable warrior taking out a horde of zombies in killer style.

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