Pretty pink pout

Since mid-winter, I have been on the hunt for the perfect shade of pink lip. It doesn’t matter what form it comes in (gloss, lipstick, stain) but I have been searching for the color that can best be described as feminine and soft, natural with a little oomph. To me that means peony, blush, nude-pink, and demure. You would think with all the shades out there and with me Pinning on Pinterest like crazy, that this would be an easy task. Not so much. The colors I like on Instagram and  social media don’t look the same in the store. The girls in the pictures have skin darker than mine so the colors look ridiculous on me. After several unsuccessful trips to Ulta, I came across the perfect pink that I was looking for spring – at CVS!

Burt’s Bees has a few lip lines out from gloss to cream lipstick to balm and while on my search, I found the perfect shade of pink I was looking for in their Lip Shine in Blush. The texture if moisturizing, not sticky and smells/tastes like berries. There were other colors I wanted to try in the line as well, two being their muted nude-purple in Spontaneity and their juicy red berry in Pucker.

The best part? It was under $10 and better than all of the colors I was looking at in the $20s at Ulta! If you’re fair like me and looking for a pretty pink pout, try this one from Burt’s Bees out! (I didn’t mean that to rhyme I swear)

 

BB

Maureen

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Discounted Beauty

The only thing I love more than beauty products is finding a bargain on those beauty products (although if you ask my husband he will say it’s spending money).  I am a true bargain hunter –  my idea of the perfect Saturday afternoon is spending an hour perusing TJMaxx (my happy place), latte in hand, looking for the best deals on everything from clothing to shoes to jewelry to home items. Beauty was not an area that was always associated with discount in a pleasant manner – it used to imply used, old or imperfect products – ones that you wouldn’t actually want to use on your face, body or skin. Well the times they are a’changin for beauty and the off-price world is ALL over them. If you’re looking for beauty at a discount, check out my top picks for getting your favorite brands for a good deal.

Brick and Mortars:

TJMaxx and Marshalls – this family of brands under the TJX umbrella has managed to grow their beauty department to something of a marvel in the past few years. I once could never tell what I would be able to find there and now brands are consistently brought in on the regular and merchandised well in the store. You can almost expect to find liters of Biolage, Redken, Sexy Hair, and Biosilk hair products, Essie and OPI nail colors, along with brushes and hair tools from brands like Hot Tools, GHD, and T3. Skin and body products are merchandised by color and you can expect to find drugstore brands like Sally Hansen, Loreal, Aveeno and Neutrogena in the mix. If I am looking for a particular product, I often check here first before paying full price as these stores have been known to get obscure brands like Bliss and Ahava on occasion. Something you will also see :  clothing and accessory brands that you didn’t know had makeup lines. Did you know that Max Studio sold makeup? I didn’t either until I saw it in TJs.

Ocean State Job Lot – for my New England gals you might be shocked to know that I check this lower budget chain quite often (when we moved this fall we discovered we are down the street from one). I would not believe it either if I didn’t see it myself but if you have the time to look, you can find a good gem of a beauty product here. The chain gets loads of makeup and skin products on the regular from mostly drugstore brands like Maybelline, Loreal, Wet n Wild, Almay and Neutrogena. Some of the makeup is there due to packaging changes or discontinuation but there are plenty that are at your local drugstore being sold full price (so why pay it?). This is where I picked up my Essie growth treatment for $3.99 and love it! I have also found more Essie products as well as OPI shades. If you live near one of these stores, this is worth a look! Bonus: you can also pick up some cleaning products for your bathroom while you’re there.

Nordstrom Rack – although not an extensive beauty department, you can find some good options at this store, while your checking out the amazing clothing and shoe selection. The mix includes Sephora –type brands like Stila, Smashbox, Philosophy and drugstore brands like Loreal, NYX and Neutrogena. The store also includes nail polishes from Essie, OPI and Orly. Kind of a random mix, but not a bad one.

Flash Sale sites:

Rue La La: Now I am partial to this first one, probably because I am employed by them but Rue La La’s beauty department has EXPLODED over the past year. It’s become a major category for the organization and is on track to be even bigger in 2016 (I’m just a LITTLE excited). We have many recognizable department store luxury brands such as La Mer, Dior, Shiseido, Oribe, Chanel and Kerastase. We also have tons of the same brands you would find in your nearest Sephora such as Too Faced, Clinique, Lancome, Clarins, Nars, Bumble and Bumble, bareMinerals, Clarisonic, L’Occitane, Davines, Living Proof and Philosophy. The items are sold in multi-day boutiques with names like Blowout Bar or Beauty Bar and encompass hundreds of high quality, discounted beauty finds.

Hautelook: I am a regular Hautelook shopper and really enjoy their jewelry department. They tend to have brands I have never heard of and that definitely translates into their beauty department as well.  This flash sale site, which is predominately driven by brand events, has two beauty events per day, ranging from hair and skin appliances to gel nail polish and obscure makeup brands. Brands you can expect to find on Hautelook are Kevyn Aucoin, theBalm, Crown Brush, Laura Gellar, Josie Maran, NYX, FHI Hair Tools, as well as ones that you have never heard of (but could easily become your newest find).  One franchise that I do miss – #mani Monday – a weekly nail event that would include lots of uv gel nail polishes and lamps that were affordable options to the nail salon.

MyHabit: Amazon’s flash sale site’s approach to beauty is much like Hautelook’s  – brand driven.  This is great – unless you don’t know the brand and just want to browse around. In that case, the website does have a Beauty tab in which you can click to see all products live on site at that time. Brand offerings are much like Rue La La’s and Hautelook and include Living Proof, Kerastase, Lancome, Borghese as well as UV nail polish brands.

If you are a beauty lover who doesn’t like to pay full price (like me), there are definitely options for you out there, as long as you don’t mind a little digging. For me, its half the fun.

Where are your favorite places to find discounted beauty products?

Maureen

My best of 2015 Winners

Everyone has else has posted their favorite 2015 items so its time I summed up all of my favorites as well! Here are the items that I found in 2015 that I love and think you should give a try as well! And unlike everyone else, I will also be posting a second part of this (which is hard for me to write but just as important)- my disappointments of 2015. Hopefully those will save you some time in purchasing if you were interested in those items. Ok, let’s get down to it! Here is who impressed me this year:

Face:

bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Gel Cream has been a big winner for me this year. I blogged about it at the beginning of the year and since then, it’s the only foundation I have used. The only change I have made is my application- I now apply it with a wet sponge instead of dabbing it my dry face with my fingers.

Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder – I found out about this product (along with the one below it) together in a video tutorial about the “baking” process. Although I don’t use this powder for that, I use it regularly when I don’t want a dewy finish, but a more matte look. Its invisible and a little goes a long way!

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer – I have been advised to use this on many Sephora trips as it’s a bestseller, but didn’t try it until this year (I’m a stubborn Taurus). It’s fabulous for under eye and along the nose coverage, as well as hiding any blemishes. This was a big find this year.

Cheeks:

benefit lollitint cheek & lip stain – I received this in a Sephora 500 perk set and honestly did not think I would use it. I have used the original Benetint Rose stain in the past and found it was just a bit too pigmented for me (given being pale), so I figured I would feel the same way about this color. This is more of a very pretty purpleish pink and looks feminine on both lips and cheeks. I liked it so much I even tried more colors when I went to Sephora  (on one of my MANY trips this year)!

benefit watt’s up! highlighter – this took me awhile to find! I was looking for a great champagny- gold highlighter to use on my cheekbones, nose and under my brows and after trying almost everything in the store, I stumbled on this. It’s the perfect color for someone with light skin tones, comes in a creamy/easy to apply formula and has a soft focus sponge on the other side for easy blending. SOLD.

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Makeup Palette – so at this point at the end of the year, I had watched about a million contouring videos and tried about every contour product available at Sephora, including reading reviews. I tried all the fan favorites (Kat Von D creamy AND powder formulas, Nars, Clinique, etc) and finally got to this. It has four total colors (two browns, two highlighters) all named after chocolate, which by the way, it smells like. This is the first palette I have found that has a lighter brown for a pale girl like myself that was not ruddy brown/red, but a true brown to give you that real contour shading. The palette also comes with a guide to several different looks, depending on how dramatic you want.

Eyes:

bareMinerals 5 in 1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eye Shadow – I jumped on these so fast as soon as they came out, I can’t believe I didn’t do a blog post solely about them! I bought three colors – all of which are gorgeous. The formula goes on creamy and dries to a powder. This is the perfect product for someone who wants to swipe this one without too much work and look polished quickly- either with fingers or the applicator it comes with. The lighter colors I have really open up the eyes (Barely Nude and Candelit Peach ) and the Divine Wine is a nice crease color.

Urban Decay Naked2 Eye Shadow palette – I mean, do I even need to write anything here? Its 12 colors of absolutely gorgeous nude shadows, in which you can take the look from day to night to super drama depending on how much you want to add. The only thing I wish is that I had ALL the Naked pallettes, but that give me something to strive towards for this year.

benefit they’re real! lengthening mascara– I received this in the same 500 point perk gift that I got the lollitint and knew I would like this. I did have to apply at least two coats to get my desired drama look, but I was very happy with the result, which was wide-eyed, long and curled lashes. I would definitely consider purchasing this the next time I need a new mascara. Comes in three colors!

Lips:

Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss in Beso – this is GORGEOUS. A little pink, a little purple, it is ultra-feminine and makes me feel so pretty. Not sticky but shiny and you can feel the moisture.

Fresh Sugar Lip Shine Treatment in Rose – if you love any of the Fresh Sugar lip balms, you will love this. It’s a super nourishing lip gloss with a bit of color and the same light lemon scent as the rest of the Sugar line. I loved it so much I wore it on my wedding day!

 

What were your favorite finds of 2015?

Maureen

Out with the old (make space for the new)

As we approach the start of the new year, many of us take this time to purge the old so we can make room for the new, whether it be goals, attitude or just plain stuff. This is a time we tend to donate gently used clothing, furniture or anything else that would benefit someone else in need. We also tend to rid our closets (and life) of things we no longer need because they are used up or no good to us anymore. The same process applies to cosmetics and beauty products as these, like food, have a shelf life of their own. So when, you ask, is it time to say goodbye? Well it depends on the item. Now don’t be scared – let’s hold hands and do this together.

I know many of you are keeping old makeup or hair products around for the same reasons I am – one being money. You feel you spent x amount of dollars on a product and whether or not you used it, you feel you should keep it around, lingering in that linen closet, staring you down every time you open it. You need to think about cosmetics the same way you’re thinking about those clothes – if you haven’t worn that lipstick in a year – well the odds of you picking that up tomorrow are very low. There is something that doesn’t get you jazzed up about that item, whether it be the color, formula or maybe you just found something better. Why don’t you put it and yourself out of its misery and throw it away?

Most items that you use on your face should be gone within a year and a half (unless its mascara) but my rule of thumb is one year and you’re out. Seriously- why are you keeping it? For the one time you MIGHT use it? Odds are you won’t so get rid of it now. Any kind of lip product should be a year or less, especially if you were sick when you used it. Mascara that has been opened and used should only be kept around for three to four months. That’s usually no problem for me, because I love to change up my mascara often. Same goes for eyeliner. Think of all that bacteria its harboring! Hair products are much longer for obvious reasons but I still say if you have been looking at the bottle of hair serum for a year and are passing it over day after day, its taking up space. Time to say goodbye.

So what about your unused items that you haven’t touched but know you won’t? What about all those little mini samples you won’t use but just can’t throw away? Well there a few options. My first thought is return it if you can. Sephora has changed their return policy so that you now need a receipt in order to return an item, but other than that you shouldn’t have a problem. Ulta and Nordstrom both have time-tables on their return policies and Ulta will only let you exchange your items, not giving you your full refund (you might want to note this when purchasing there). Returning not an option? Give it away. If you have something you know you won’t wear because its not your color choice, give it away. Chances are your sister/cousin/mom/coworker might love that color and you will be saving them dollars. Better yet, plan a beauty swap with your girlfriends where you all bring gently used (and acceptable) products that you don’t want anymore but can’t bear to throw in the trash. Same goes for curling/straightening irons, etc that you have too many of or didn’t work out.

Hopefully this gives you the push to throw away or donate some of those items you have been eyeing in your makeup bag. I will be doing it too so strength in numbers!

Maureen

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Holiday Beauty Loot

Merry day after Christmas! I was very lucky this year and received a lot of fabulous beauty products from my mother- all of which were a surprise. Check out my links below as to what I got!

Bobbi Brown Beach Collection

As I’ve written before in my favorite scents blog post, I have four scents that I wear regularly and Bobbi Brown Beach is one of them. Last year my mom also got me a collection gift like this one but it didn’t have the shower gel or body scrub that this one does. I can’t wait to use it! (Not pictured a bag of mini Bobbi treats from mascara, face oil and eye cream shadow).

Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Tenderheart

I’m going to be honest – I was surprised to see this as I haven’t worn Clinique in a while (although I think they are a great brand). I was recently eyeing their 100 point gift of a mini gloss in Black Honey at Sephora and was bummed that I didn’t have enough points to use it. My mother nailed it with the color choice for me – this pretty, natural but polished color looks like my lips just a little more pretty. Great job, Kathy!

Lollia hand cream in Wish

Best stocking gift ever. Like Beach perfume, this is one of my four regular scents and I have both a tube of this hand cream and the mini perfume at my desk. Every time I use it, two things happen. My coworker immediately asks if she can use it and I start hearing “Something smells like the beach” from several people. I love everything about this product, from the scent to the packaging, which is dainty and demure. It reminds me of the little boutique on the Cape where my mother bought it for me, which sells french-decor, jewelry and all the Lollia products. Whenever I’m out of my perfume or hand cream, I try and stop in there to buy it there. There is something about buying this type of product in a boutique rather than online that just makes it a special experience.

by Nature Coconut & Ocean Minerals Body Butter

I’ve actually never heard of this product or brand, but I’m a sucker for anything involving Coconut. I use pure coconut oil as my face moisturizer of choice and love to slather it on my hands before bed. This body butter smells like vacation and really sinks in to the skin nicely. I will be doing research on this brand once I start using it a bit more!

Moroccan Oil Light Oil Therapy

This is such a great product for smoothing hair as well as treating it. I have to use the Light version as I have fine hair and I’m so happy my mom remembered! I used to use this all the time as I love the way it smells and makes my hair feel – I’m glad to see this favorite back again! Once my Drybar products are out I may be shifting back to this…FullSizeRender

Cosmetic and beauty products are hard items to buy for someone but my mother did a fantastic job this year. She picked some really great items based on knowing what brands and scents I like along with my lip shade. She even got my husband some luxurious Sea Salt soap!

What beauty products did you get for the holidays?

Maureen

How to Choose a new Hairstylist

November 3, 2015

So as many of you may know, I have had a lot going on within the past several months. I got married in June and bought a house in early September, making the late summer and early fall a whirlwind that is just finally settling down now. Because we moved to a suburb about thirty minutes south of where we were living, everything is changing – my commute, gym, schedule and most importantly my hairstylist 🙂 I was going to someone in Boston that from my previous location was easy to get to but now its out of the question. So I found myself in the suburbs with grey hairs in need of a trim and a good stylist. What’s a girl to do when she is not familiar with the area? Research! I thought many of you might be in the same predicament (or could be in the future) so I wanted to share some of my favorite ways of setting out to find a new stylist.

Start with your close network first. If you know people in your new area (friends, family, old coworkers) who love their stylist (or you love their hair) ask them where they go and who they see. If you feel comfortable, ask generally how expensive the stylist/salon is because although you might have a styling budget cap, the person you may be asking may not. Not comfortable enough to ask? Call the salon and ask that particular stylist’s price range.

Hit the web. Yelp is a great resource for finding entertainment, restaurants and businesses in your new area and salons are no different. Often what is good about Yelp is they will mention a specific stylist’s name in the review. This is how I found my new salon and stylist and I have to give full credit to Yelp. The reviews on the salon were great and several mentioned my specific stylist by name (and included pictures of her work) so I called and made an appointment with her. It turned out to be a match made in Heaven 🙂

Googling salons in your area is also a good option but try hard to look for reviews. I also like to see pictures of the stylists themselves because they usually do their best work on themselves, as they know themselves best.

“Best of” issues. I am huge fan of these kind of lists and have used this method in the past to seek out new places to go. In Boston, Boston Magazine annually puts out a “Best of” issue and breaks it down among area in Massachusetts, not just inner cities of Boston. Allure magazine (aka the beauty Bible) also puts out an annual list by major city. Their website is another great resource to search on best of beauty businesses. Keep in mind usually these businesses are on the pricier side, so if you are on a budget be sure to check the salon’s website before you go in.

Ask a stranger. I know this sounds insane but it works and sometimes you will find someone you absolutely love – and make someone’s day at the same time. In a local coffee shop and see someone’s hair you just absolutely have to have? Ask her where she goes. Trust me – she might be shocked when you ask her but she will be 100% flattered. My mother found a stylist this way years ago and we ended up going to this woman for over ten years. Not so crazy, is it?

Still stumped? Ask me! I love to do this research because I’m crazy but I don’t mind at all. Even if you’re not in my area, let me know where you live and your budget and I will find you the perfect match.

Happy hunting!

Maureen

Product Review Time – Drybar!

October 4th, 2015

During the summer I was looking for a good shampoo and conditioner as my hair felt very damaged (I was growing it out for my wedding). I had never been to Drybar but knew the background of the company and how it got started so I was interested in reading more. Now that the line is sold at Sephora, I read up on my trust app about what customers had to say about it. Overall, it got great reviews so I decided to give it a try with their dry hair sample pack (no longer available). It included shampoo and conditioner, hair oil, cream and mask. I LOVED everything. First off, the scent is AMAZING and all the products in the entire line smell the same, which I love. Secondly, the packaging and design of all products is spot on – all items are named after alcoholic drinks since the salon is supposed to be a “bar”. Products I purchased were named Sake Bomb, Hot Toddy, 100% Proof, and Mudslide and everything is color coordinated back to the line and salon’s signature yellow and grey color scheme.

I immediately ran through the Sake Bomb shampoo and conditioner and had to purchase the full size at Sephora (I was there anyway 🙂 The Hot Toddy heat protection cream and the 100% Proof hair oil are small but last a long time because you only need a small amount. The Mudslide is a deep conditioning mask in a travel size but I still haven’t used all of mine yet. I was so impressed with the line I went to the Drybar salon near me and bought more products. I was thrilled to see how adorable and on brand the salon was designed – stylists were set up like bartenders behind a bar, there was a menu of choices at the receptionist table and all combs, clips, brushes and appliances were in the brands bright yellow color. How adorable! I purchased travel sizes of the Money Maker hair spray and the Southern Belle volumizing mousse as well as the yellow hairbrush named “Buttercup”. Later, I visited the brand’s website and watched the owner’s video tutorials on how to create the looks offered in the salon, such as the “Southern Belle” and the “Mai Tai”. The owner Alli actually starts with wet hair, the videos are short and she shows you how to get the look you want from start to finish using her products. I found this very clever and super relateable. I would definitely recommend this line if you are looking for a new (crazy amazing smelling) hair line and don’t mind spending a bit more on it. Seriously, I wish she made a perfume of this smell, it is that good.

You can purchase all products at Sephora, but if you have some time and want to check out her website, you won’t be disappointed. It is cleverly worded and designed and provides a lot of great information on her brand and products. In today’s post I’m going to provide links to the overall brand sites and not the direct products because honestly I loved them all!

Drybar

Sephora Drybar products

Drybar

Happy Styling!

Maureen

Back in Business

August 6th, 2015

Well, hello. It’s been awhile. A lot of has happened in the past several months which have taken me away from blogging. I was promoted into a new role, got married and most recently am in the process of purchasing our first home. All exciting things which have definitely kept me busy but I must admit I have missed my blog and plan to pay more attention to it going forward. Although this is not a post about actual beauty, here is a little peek of  topics you can expect to see in the near future:

  • Tips for choosing a hair and/or makeup artist for your wedding
  • Where to purchase discounted beauty online and in stores
  • When to get rid of makeup (and my tip for taking stock of what you have now)
  • Product reviews on my new favorite finds… as well as some disappointing ones

Be on the look out for these soon!

Maureen

My Final Four… Scents That Is

March 9, 2015

March is the time for spring renewal, cleaning out your closet and March Madness brackets. Me – I don’t watch basketball but I do participate in the former two activities mentioned. In terms of renewal,  this is the time of year most of us are thinking about changing our scent to something a little lighter. I myself wear the same scents no matter what the season, but I always come back to these four. Scents are personal and it will be hard to sway your opinion as you can’t smell these through a blog post, but still I wanted to share these with you because three out of the four of my favorites inspire compliments from passersby when I wear them. So if you are looking for a new scent to try, perhaps reading this post will sway you in that direction.

1. Bobbi Brown Beach

As you may remember in my post about the great Miss Bobbi Brown, I have been wearing this fragrance since I was 24 (a long time ago). It smells like summer, sun tan lotion and happiness, even in the midst of winter and makes me smile. It now also reminds me of my mother because she also became a Beach convert. Bobbi has expanded her Beach line to include body moisturizer, scrub, oil and hair conditioner.

Find out more about Bobbi Brown Beach here

2. Lollia Wish

I love everything about this fragrance, from the bottle to the font to the website to the scent itself. All Lollia products are gorgeous and look like they are out of a French boutique so they are guaranteed to look pretty on your nightstand or bureau. Honestly, if this brand had wall paper I would wrap my house in it when I buy one. Each scent has its own collection of bath salts, perfume, bath soak, candles, hand cream and body moisturizer. Wish is the most popular of all the Lollia fragrances and it smells light, airy and beachy (in a different way than Bobbi Brown’s beach). Whenever I wear this, someone comments on it (in a good way). I have a mini bottle at my desk at work for scent refreshers as well as at home. Once available only excuslively through Anthropologie, now you can get the fragrance online as well as small boutiques.

Find out more about Lollia Wish here

3. Auric Blends Egyptian Goddess

Ok, so I’m going to be straight out with you – this is one of those hippie oils that you find in shops that sells incense, crystals and posters with wolves on them but believe me when I tell you when I wear this I get compliments. I first smelled this when I was a teenager in a summer dance camp and when my favorite teacher would come over to correct my foot placement or posture, I would smell this amazing fragrance on her and wondered what it was. Years later I smelled the same fragrance in one of these shops and it brings back such wonderful memories, as well as smelling amazing. The scent itself is warm and musky, but not too intense. I have one coworker who couldn’t stand it any longer and had to purchase one of her own. Egyptian Goddess is the company’s number one selling perfume oil and is always sold out when I happened to come across it in a store. You however don’t have to search for it as you can go on Amazon to purchase it. The fragrance also comes in a perfume spray and soap form but I find the oil it more saturated and potent and a little goes a long way.

Find out more about Auric Blends Egyptian Goddess

4. Victoria’s Secret Sexy Little Things Noir

I have never been big on the fragrances from Victoria’s Secret as they are often too strong and powerful for my taste but one day a few years ago I stumbled across this fragrance and have been hooked ever since. When I started wearing it, my best friend smelled it, loved it and also started wearing it. The scent is warm and exotic and I think what I love most about it is the scent of amber. Unfortunately you can’t find the scent in every store now so if you are interested I would call before you made a trip to see if they had it. Larger stores should carry it, such as the Natick Collection store in Massachusetts. The company has come out with a lighter version called Noir Tease, but I still love the original. Also adorable is the old school bottle, which reminds me of a flapper putting on her perfume in her boudoir. Click below to view the bottle as the one I have in my post is the spray mist.

Find out more about Victoria’s Secret Noir

 

Blog Pic Perfume 3

What is your favorite scent? Have you tried any of the above fragrances and loved them?

Maureen

How to turn a bold lipstick nightmare into an everyday dream

February 8, 2015

Have you ever wanted to try a brave lipstick trend like a classic red lip or a dark wine pout? I’ve been there too.  Sometimes you get just the right color and you think “I am so glad I did this-it’s exactly the change I needed”. More often than not though your response is “Why did I think I could pull this off?” or “Where would I wear this?”. Yep, been there too. This holiday season I was determined to rock the bold classic red lip that was featured in Bobbi Brown’s email. The model was fair, like me so I thought if she could pull it off, I could too. When I actually tried the look out, it didn’t look bad but it just wasn’t me. I’m a more natural but polished kind of girl and I just felt uncomfortable. Before I went to return it, however I tried some tricks in order to make it more “me” and voila, I salvaged the lipstick and now I have a new rosy lip look. If you have had the same sort of experience with a lip color that just didn’t turn out how you wanted, before you return it, try the below tricks to see if you can make it fit into your lifestyle.

1. First make sure your lips are nice and smooth to start with. The cold has reeked havoc on everyone’s skin, especially our lips. Try exfoliating them and then applying a nice balm after on a regular basis (nightly if you like). You can buy lip exfoliants from brands like Fresh and Sara Hipp but its really easy to make it at home. Mix a little oil and sugar in your hand and then rub over lips after wetting them with warm water for about 30 seconds. Wash off with warm water and then apply your balm. Don’t have any sugar? An old toothbrush will also work. This step is important because the more chapped your lips are the more they will stand out (in a bad way) when you apply a statement color lip.

2. Apply a muted lipstick. I have one that I like from Maybelline that I wear on its own called Raw Reveal. If you don’t have a muted lipstick that’s ok (but consider getting one-they are really great when you want to create a feminine look. I love big lashes and muted lips) you can use a cream or liquid foundation or a concealer. This purpose of this step is to tone down your color but it will also help your color adhere to your lips. Bonus!

3. Apply your color choice. I like to apply with a lip brush as you have more control in putting the color exactly where you want it. If you don’t have one, you can apply right from the tube but GO EASY. Do not put a lot of pressure on the lip as you did with your muted lipstick. Apply until you feel comfortable with the color depth and then finish by rubbing your lips together to blend step 2 and 3 together. Your color should resemble the one in the tube but should be a softer, less aggressive version.

4. If you like your look feel free to call it a day and be done. I personally love to end the look with a pearly, brightening lip gloss. The gloss does a few things for this look. It makes it less “I’m on the way to the Oscars” and more “I’m running to a meeting and look pretty” which makes it appropriate to wear in everyday situations. It also brightens the look up with a white color and it gives it sheen. My favorite (surprise, surprise) is Bobbi Brown’s Brightening Lip Gloss in White. It lasts forever, is applied with a lip brush and smells like vanilla. I wear this over almost anything as well as on its own.

So what do you think-want to give it a go? Hopefully this helps you feel a little bit more comfortable about going out of your lip comfort zone.

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