Friday Favorites: Battle of the Reds

I wear a lot of red lipstick.

Someone once said to me, “I could never wear red lipstick. It’s hard to match, and it’s so bold.”

To which I replied, “ANYONE can wear red lipstick!”

It’s true. I used to be terrified to wear red lipstick. I had no clue how to pick the right shade for my skin-tone let alone go out and buy the right color and formula without doing a ton of research ahead of time.

I am here to help you figure it out in three easy steps.

Step 1. Identify your skins undertone. There are three different categories of undertones:

Cool Tone.

Warm Tone.

Neutral…aka…those who are both.

There are also a few ways you can go about finding out what your undertones are:

  • The Vein Check. Look at the veins on your wrist – are they blue or green? Blue veins are typically cool undertones, whereas green veins are warm undertones. What if my veins look both blue and green? Then you’re likely a combination of cool and warm undertones. You can also have someone else look at your veins, since ya know, two sets of eyes are better than one.
  • The Paper Test. Hold up a piece of paper next to your skin. Do you look yellowish in comparison to the paper? This is an indicator of warm undertones. Do you look rosy, pink, bluish-red next to the paper? That is an indicator of cool undertones. If you look grayish next to the paper, you’re likely olive toned or neutral.
  • The Tan Test. Do you tan in the sun or do you burn? If you tan in the sun, you’re more likely to have warm or neutral undertones. Whereas, if you burn in the sun, you’re more likely to have cool undertones. That’s not to say that warm undertones can’t burn or cool undertone people can’t tan – keep in mind, this is just a general rule of thumb.

Step 2. Decide what you want from a red lipstick. What type of lipstick do you want, traditional creme lipstick or long-wear lipstick, or even a lip stain?

Step 3. BUY IT AND APPLY IT.

* Side note – Just because you have warm or cool or neutral undertones should not limit to you what color lipsticks you buy! The guides above are to help you venture into red lipsticks and will help you as you’re learning what to look for and pick for your preferences!

You should always buy and wear what makes YOU feel beautiful and fierce!


Now where would the fun be if I didn’t show off some reds in my own collection!?

These are the reds that I have tried over the years and are my top ten go-to shades and brands. I have neutral undertones, but I personally tend to favor more of the blue-toned reds versus the orange-toned reds.

Left: Brand Name Right: Color Name

#1. Rich Blood, Velvet Liquid Lipstick by Jeffree Star, $18.00

This is easily my favorite long-wear red lipstick. I bought it over the summer and have already replaced it because I ran out. The thing I love most about Jeffree’s products is the quality. I can put this red on in the morning and it will last me the majority of the day (depending on what I’m doing, eating, etc.) It holds up really well and has little to no transfer. Yes, the price for this lip is on the higher end of the spectrum, but when I do a lot of talking or I’m going to be in meetings all day – this is the one I reach for.

The liquid lips in his line are ultra-pigmented and don’t require a lot of product to make your lips pop. I also really enjoy the fact that he has a huge assortment of reds. This one is a blue-toned red with hints of micro glitter. It’s a matte lip, so it dries down completely and I love the added touch of the micro glitter to that combination.

The only downfall with this one is that when it goes out of stock, you could be waiting for a while before you get your hands on it again.

#2. Coeur D’Alene, Satin Lip Crayon by Fiona Stiles, $16.00

Be still my beating heart. This is a newer find, and currently one of my faves. It comes in at a slightly lower price than the Jeffree Star lips, but it is easier to get your hands on.

This is a traditional satin lip crayon that does not dry down matte. It has a beautiful finish that lasts surprisingly well. With most traditional satin/crème lips – there is transfer. But honestly, that is a price you’re going to pay with this formula. If you want something long wear, I highly recommend you go for a liquid lip, or a lip stain.

As far as the color – this is still a cool toned red – the blue tones just work best with my skin. There are a few classic reds that teeter between cool and warm and I have to be incredibly careful – if you get too warm of a red, it can end up looking more orangey-red when you put it on your lips. This is where knowing your skin tone and the under tones of your red will help you make a decision.

#3. Missy and Fierce, Megalast Liquid Catsuit by Wet N’ Wild, $8.17

Ah. A price point at half the price and all of the benefit. I had been hearing mumblings in the beauty world about this liquid lip saying that it would rival the most expensive, long-wearing products.

And you know what – they were right.

I finally found this at Walmart. There wasn’t a tester to swatch on my hand, so I had to eyeball the lip color in the bottle and hope for the best. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality and wearability of this lip. The color was SPOT on. It was a bright, classic red – and to be honest, I have found that those are sometimes harder to find, as the majority tend to lean towards a warm tone base.

But low and behold! I give this to you, my lovelies.

It has a great applicator, goes on seamlessly and feels amazing. One thing I was worried about was the drying effect. I have tried my hand at a few different drug-store liquid lips and ten minutes into wearing them I looked like I had been in the desert for two weeks.

This one is great. My lips felt good, they weren’t sticky and I was impressed all around. Securing it a top-three spot.

#4. Rock Steady, Vice lipstick by Urban Decay, $17.00

This is another crème lipstick that I love. It’s a classic blue-toned red. With any traditional creme lip, again, there’s transfer, but it holds up well. I will note with this one that if you touch it and don’t realize it, you will get it everywhere. I’ve had it on my hands, cheeks, notebooks – so you do have to be careful with this one.

But the color is a non-contest. It’s beautiful on and looks really similar to the Rich Blood color I hold near and dear.

#5. Unicorn Blood, Velvet Liquid Lipstick by Jeffree Star, $18.00

Another favorite, and also a non-traditional red. This is more of a brownish/wine red. I love this one specifically for the fall, or for a fierce look on a night out. I won’t go into too much detail on the formula – because we all know how I feel about this particular brand.

#6. Red Revival, ColorSensational by Maybelline, $7.49

I was really surprised with this one for a few reasons. A. The price is amazeballs and B. I would venture to say that this one could be used as a dupe for the Rock Steady lipstick I mentioned above by Urban Decay. It’s not an exact match, because this shade is a little bit lighter, but the formulas are comparable and I would easily pick this one up at the grocery store versus making a trip to the makeup store to grab the other.

Also, while this is technically a blue-toned red, I find that it leans more towards a warmer red.

#7. Cherry Skies, Liquid Suede by NYX, $6.99

This is another non-traditional red, and again is a pretty close match to another color on this list – Unicorn Blood. This one has more red than brown – but it’s still a close runner up. This is also a matte lip and dries down.

The ONLY thing about this one that I’m not a fan of is the actual drying of it. I find that this shade tends to dry my lips out quicker than some of the other colors in this line.

#8. Poised, Epic Ink lip dye by NYX, $6.99

If you want a lip stain – this is it. I put this on and had to use a combination of coconut oil and makeup remover to get it off – so if you’re going to commit to this one, make sure you commit to an all day red lip.

It wears beautifully, and survived eating macaroni and cheese from Panera Bread…so that’s a win in my book.

#9. Red Chili, Color is Bae by Elizabeth Mott $20.00

This one has a disclaimer. I received this one in a subscription bag as a sample size and haven’t bought a full size bottle for myself.

It is a lip lacquer, and I think that means its going through an identity crisis.

It’s not exactly a matte liquid lip, but it’s not exactly a full gloss either.

I do like the color of this one though. It’s a pin-up red and it’s one of my few warmer-toned reds. So I tend to wear this one more in the summer when I’m tanned, than in the winter when I’m pinky and pale.

Unfortunately, I haven’t decided if I’m willing to restock it once I run out. The price is one of the highest on this list for a full size, and I have commitment issues. But for now, it’s sitting pretty in my top ten favorites.

#10. Lady Balls, Melted Matte by TooFaced $21.00

This one. *sigh* I honestly have a love hate relationship with this one, but the color is so classic red that I just cannot bring myself to not wear it.

First I’ll go through the love aspects. The color is amazing and the formula is long-wearing and matte with little transfer after wear time.

BUT.

It’s really pricey. This is the most expensive matte lip I have and there are other classic reds I own that are more affordable.

The second thing about this one is that I have found it requires a lot of prep work to wear. I have to do a lip scrub to make sure my lips are exfoliated because this one dries waaaay down. If you have even the slightest chapped patch on your lips, this lip will accentuate it big time.


There you have it lovelies! My current Top Ten Red Lipsticks! I am forever changing my lip colors and my brands so I would love to hear what colors and brands you’re wearing!

Now go out and wear that red lipstick and slay queens!

This post is not sponsored. The reviews and photos depicted here are based on personal, not professional, opinion only.

 

The Pre-Teen.

Ya’ll, I am not a perfect mother. Not even close. I can’t even pretend to think that I know all there is to know about parenting.

And parenting a pre-teen boy, or PTB as I like to call them? Well, buy stock in coffee, because at this rate – that’s all that keeps me from doing this on a regular basis –

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Let me give you some insight on what I’ve learned so far on this ‘raising pre-teen boys’ journey.

Showers.
While uninterrupted showers seem like an out-of-reach oasis to us – they’re not that important to pre-teen boys.

I’m convinced that the PTBs have evolved past the point of normal human smell detection, and can no longer compute their own odor.

However, the rest of us can, yet they are completely unapologetic about it.

Style.
Yes, I remember the days of wanting to shop at Deliah’s and Aeropostale for everything. But alas, I had boobs and an ass that could bounce a Toyota Camry into a ditch. So I shopped at more practical places, like Stage and Hot Topic.

But pre-teen boys? Who knows? Who knows what they want to wear?!

Seriously, I’m asking.

They’re at this stage of wanting to have their own style, but still not ready to commit to what that means. So you, as a parent, end up buying this hodge-podge of flannel shirts and things with emojis and obnoxious sayings on them alongside a TON of athletic shorts.

Honestly, I’m convinced that athletic shorts are the PTBs yoga pants.

Sass.
For the love of all that is holy, the sass level is real. Forget a teenage girls, because these pre-teen boys have a level of sass that would put Carson from Queer-Eye to shame.

This is mainly because in PTB world, their little bodies are starting to flood with testosterone and it comes out as pure unadulterated attitude…like Ironman.

And anything can send them into a tangent.

Hair is out of place? Forget it. The sock goes up too high on the left ankle? Nope, not today. Mom doesn’t know who a certain YouTuber is? Get out of their way ma’am, because you’re about to learn.

Girls.
Girls are now on the radar. They have been noticed. There are school dances happening and awkward first kisses, for some. All I can say about this one is this – beware of Axe.

Pre-teen boys equate love with excessive amounts of body spray.

“If I spray it, they will flock to me,” seems to be the going philosophy.

I have been awoken from a dead sleep by the smell of my own PTB bathing in an ungodly scent called “After Hours.” After hours?!? Young man, you are in bed by nine, you know nothing of what happens after hours, nor do you need to smell like it.

See, the body spray industry is partnered with the housing industry. This is because any sane person knows, if you let someone spray in the traditional “X” pattern they recommend on the bottle, you have to either move, or burn your house down. There’s just no coming back from it.

Appetite.
I have a board on Pinterest filled with zombie preparation stuff – not because I’m actually preparing for a zombie apocalypse, oh no. It’s because I’ve had to learn how to hoard food away from pre-teen boys.

They may as well be dinosaurs. Feed them an entire mammal – and in twenty minutes they’re looking for more.

As their legs are growing, they’re hollowing out. That’s the only explanation.
I bought a bag of Doritos once, gone. GONE. Devoured in one sitting by one, singular PTB. I’m vegetarian, and thought stupidly, “I’ll just buy more veggies for myself, because he would never eat those.”

Wrong. Nothing is safe.

And grocery shopping? I can help you with your resume because you’re going to need a second job and maybe even a second mortgage on the house to pay that tab.

Interests.
Ah, yes. Our pre-teen boys are starting to form their own taste in things. This can be anything really, and will absolutely change on a weekly basis, so don’t get too attached to the idea that they’re interested in guitar playing, skateboarding, etcetera.

For example, ‘Trap’ music (I’m still trying to figure out what it is EXACTLY) seems to be the “in” music right now among PTBs.

The always hilarious cat videos from days of yore will still pepper your internet search history, but you’ll notice new things starting to pop up, like ‘parkour’ and ‘how to be a YouTuber.’

This is where you ensure the insurance cards are easily accessible. Parkour never ends well for PTBs who have friends with video cameras.


Gone are the days of the sweet-smelling baby whose face I kissed, and who would hug me in front of his friends. I have entered the world of having a pre-teen boy, one who smells within ten minutes of stepping out of the shower and eats everything in plain sight, including some things I’m not even sure are edible.

But you know, I wouldn’t trade one stinky minute of it.

The journey is always interesting. Always. Enjoy it. Write about it. You’ll look back and laugh…even though right now you may be drowning in Axe body spray and crying into your box of chocolates.

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Why I Marched.

As I sit here this morning – I’m reflecting on the past twenty-four hours of my life.

Twenty-four exhausting and exhilarating hours that spun my entire world around.

I marched with the Women’s March on Washington yesterday from my town of Charlotte, NC.

I posted on our social media and used the hashtag #WhyIMarch countless times – none of which could even bring justice to the real reasons I marched.

I marched because I am a woman, daughter, sister, mother, friend, colleague – HUMAN.

I marched for you.

I marched so that everyone could experience fundamental human rights – regardless of anything you believe, your sexuality, your gender, the color of your skin. Because I believe everyone deserves to be treated equally.

I marched so that my children, and their children could look back and say – “My mom knew this was bigger than her present, and did it for our futures.”

I marched so that for one day, one breath, one moment in time – the hatred in our world was calmed by solidarity and love.

I marched, not for who I voted for or for who you voted for, but so that you could continue to vote.

I marched for my family and friends.

I marched for those who have benefited from affordable healthcare – and for those who could die without it.

I marched because I realize that the outpouring of love and intensity that I felt yesterday, standing shoulder to shoulder with others is a love that everyone should feel on a regular basis.

I marched because it’s more than politics – it’s about humanity and dignity.

I marched for a better world.

I marched because it was the right thing to do.

The New York Times is calling our protest one of the biggest in history. We are history in the making – and we will not be silenced.

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