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Welcome to my blog! I share my misadventures with makeup, skin care and other 'beauty' products. 

Top Three: Lipstick Edition

Top Three: Lipstick Edition

In honor of #NationalLipstickDay (celebrated in true Kate fashion more than a week late), I thought I would share some shades and formulas that have captured my attention. I’m not too big a lipstick person (more of a sheer balm type) because I don’t like how it leaves marks on dishes. We had a neighbor growing up who had all these teenage daughters (they were part of a family, not some weird commune -- don’t get nervous) and whenever I’d go over all the glasses had pink and red semicircle stains on the rim. This intensely repulsive experience made me the obsessive dish cleaner I am today, and also cemented in a fledgling Kate two driving convictions: 1) dishwashers are a f$#king joke and 2) can be considered a way to weed out the immoral from the just. 

The BIG THREE

The BIG THREE

One worth the risk, though, is anything by Besame. They have a cool gimmick in which each shade is an 'exact' replica of a color from a specific year. This adds a nice narrative for each which, if you are like me and love a good story slash throw cash immediately in the direction of a compelling product description, is an added bonus. I've tried Portrait Pink and Red Velvet and really really want to try Red Hot Red. I don't even know if 'warm' reds suit me but it's a copy of Marilyn Monroe's favorite lip color!!! GOTTA HAVE IT!!!

The stories are what tempted me to buy, but the real winner here is the formula. Besame describes their lipstick as a 'bullet'*, but I think it looks more like a chisel. For a lipstick novice like me, this is a very helpful shape for application. You use the sharper edges to 'line' your lips and fill in afterwards. It's not exactly goof-proof (especially for a more dramatic shade like Red Velvet) but I use some insurance to stay in the lines. Portrait Pink is my favorite -- or at least, the one I feel most comfortable in. It's a nice pink pink.

I struggle with that bottom lip 

I struggle with that bottom lip 

Red Velvet is nice too, but I think a little out of my day-to-day comfort zone. It feels a little too dramatic for my skin tone though even on special occasions. 

And the bottom lip evades me again...

And the bottom lip evades me again...

On to staying power: Besame suggests the classic 'tissue bite' blot technique to prevent transfer, but I've found the best / most reliable method is one I read about a couple of years ago in which after application you (lightly) place a tissue on your lips and gently apply some translucent power (this one by Make Up For Ever is my favorite) through the tissue with a brush, ready to tackle some stemware with the confidence only set lips and lipstick-free teeth can inspire.

I've also found you also don't really need to re-apply these but if frequent eating and drinking are involved a touch up might be necessary (especially if someone wants to take a photo!). When I'm out and about, I tend to re-apply once every hour or so -- to be honest, however, I do this mostly because I'm bored.

Next is Make Up For Ever's Rogue Artist Natural in No. 9. I received a sample of this as part of a Sephora birthday promotion a few years back and immediately fell in love. It's described on the MUFE website as a 'Copper Pink', but I consider this more of a nude (for me). This promo also happened to coincide with my introduction and subsequent rabid consumption of the entire X-Files series (well, at least until Mulder left), which has closely associated this color in my mind with Skully. Like a darker rose lip on the browner-tone edge of the 90s, but not so strong as to be unwearable for a no-nonsense agent of the FBI.  

THIS  kind of lip

THIS kind of lip

I like No.9 a lot because it's pigmented enough to be noticeable but light enough to serve as a flexible addition to a variety of things going on with the other parts of your face. 

Rouge Artist Natural in No.9

Rouge Artist Natural in No.9

Rogue Artist Natural is a more forgiving formula than Besame. On the creamier side, it's easier to put on and smudge around so it looks like you know what you're doing (i.e. no messy bottom lip line), but this is a double-edged sword in that the low pigment that makes application a breeze necessitates doing it more often. That doesn't bother me though.

An added bonus of Rogue Artist is the smell. It has this classic lipstick smell / taste that I really like. It's probably something troubling like the olfactory byproduct of crushing bug shells for the color, but like snail mucin, another one of my favorite products, I just try not to think about it too much. 

Besame has a nice smell too, similar to Rogue Artist but a little more vanilla-y.

Swatches! From left to right: No.9; Portrait Pink and Red Velvet

Swatches! From left to right: No.9; Portrait Pink and Red Velvet

As seen from the swatches, Rogue Artist is the most sheer, with Besame Classic Color on the thicker, pigmented side. Even though Besame describes these as 'satin' finish, I consider them fairly matte, especially when compared to Rogue Artist which has a sheen nearing a gloss-like shine. Besame also has a more waxy texture that reminds me of spackle (in a good way).

Due to a discouraging lack of willpower and sense of reality, I keep trying new shades and formulas (yes I did just order that Red Hot Red), I think with the underlying aspiration to finally be a comfortable lipstick user. The scattered Sephora samples that inevitable get tossed after the requisite guilt-driven three month hold period may not attest to this, but I am trying. Either way, watch it with those dishes.  

*Update: I just realized this is referring to the tube itself, not the lipstick. **headdesk** 

REVIEW: Kjaer Weis Mascara

REVIEW: Kjaer Weis Mascara

We all scream for sunscreen!

We all scream for sunscreen!