Friday, March 21, 2014

Lipstick feathering and lip pencils

Getting older is not for babies.  First it gets harder to read the names on the bottom of lipsticks.  Then the skin on your eyes gets looser, making it hard to draw a crisp line with your eyeliner.  If you're observant you'll notice fine lines on your wrists, and then the dreaded "jowls" start to happen.  And then, one of the most annoying things for me - lipstick doesn't stay in place anymore.  If you're wearing a glossy formula and/or dark lipstick, it starts to creep out from the edge of your lips in little lines.  And these are just the beauty issues caused by aging, I haven't even touched on the back pain, stiff joints, and all of that.
For this post, I'll stick to the beauty issues.  Specifically, the creeping lipstick.  Honestly, I probably wouldn't notice mine yet if it weren't for the pictures I take for this blog.  But since I love dark and bright colors, and I take such close-up photos, I can't ignore it.
The first step you can take is lip primer.  I have tried just two so far - one from Urban Decay and one from MAC.  I prefer the one from MAC.  The other thing that I'm beginning to do is to use lip pencils on a regular basis.  Years ago lip pencils were dry and hard to put on, at least for me.  Not the case anymore.  Both MAC and Urban Decay have great lip pencils.  Urban Decay's are it's 24/7 lip pencils, and my favorites from MAC are their Pro Longwear lip pencils.  Both of these go on as smoothly as a creme lipstick, and they last a very, very long time.  The benefit of using lip pencils is that you can draw a clean line around your lips and it helps to keep the lipstick from "leaking".  To avoid the dreaded dark outline with lighter lips that some women have, I fill in my lips with the pencil, and add my lipstick over that.
Also, there are great products that look like lip pencils, but they're clear and have a consistency like a waxy lip balm.  You draw an outline right outside of your lip line, and it acts like a blockade to keep your lipstick from creeping out.
If these 3 things don't stop it for you, you can try using a matte textured lipstick instead of a more creamy kind.  The drier the lipstick, the less it will spread.
So, the bad news is that the older we get, the more we have to work at looking the same as we did before.  The good news is the products that help us do this are better than ever.

Lining my lips with MAC Absolutely It Pro Longwear pencil

Absolutely It on 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Want to try ombre lips?

Ombre is everywhere.  A simple definition of the word is a gradual change from one color to another.  Ombre hair is the most popular beauty adaptation of the trend.  For that reason, and that I don't think blondes look as good with ombre, I've skipped it.  I don't really want to look like everyone else.  Ombre lips, however, is something that I can handle.  Originally I thought it would look too odd, but when I tried it, I liked it.  The key, in my opinion, is choosing colors that look good together, and that blend well.  My first experiment with it was something that not many women will like - light blue and purple lips.  Next I tried more acceptable colors - red and orange.   If that's too scary for you, use red and pink or pink and berry colors.  It looks best if you use the lighter color in the center of your lips, and the darker hue on the edges.  Then blend, blend, blend.  If it's not well-blended it will look unnatural (and in some circumstances, that's fine).  Just be careful when blending because it's easy to cover the lighter color with the darker one.  (If you press your lips together a lot, like I do, it will probably happen anyhow, but it will take longer.)

The finished ombre lip look
 First I used a lip brush to apply MAC's Lip Mix Orange to the center of my lips.  You can do the same with regular lipstick.

Next I used a brush to paint Lip Mix in Crimson to the outer edge of my lips.

Then I started to blend the red over the orange.  Alternatively you can brush the lighter color over the darker one.  And yes, I know that the red is bleeding on the edges.  Since I was just experimenting I didn't care.

More blending on the bottom.

The finished look.  It's subtle but different.

And just for fun, here's my blue and purple ombre lip.

There's also no reason that you can't use more than 2 colors if you want.  Just blend well and choose harmonious colors.  Have fun!