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.

 

Friday Favorites – Beauty Edition

It’s Friday, alright technically Sunday – minor details! But not just any Friday/Sunday combo, my lovelies. Oh no – it’s the Beauty edition of Friday Favorites! 

What does that even mean?! 

It means I am sharing three different beauty products that I absolutely cannot live without from the face, hair and nails categories!

NARSissist Palette by NARS

This is one of those beauty items that you don’t know you need, until you have it. 


My god it’s beautiful. The pans of product are huge and the formula is super light, but incredibly pigmented. I legitimately use this every single day – and have been for a month and you can barely tell I’ve touched it. 

So. 

Much. 

Product.

The price point on this is a little high, around $60, BUT I think it’s worth it for a couple of different reasons:

  • You actually get a lot of variety – two contour colors, two microglitter/shimmer highlighters, a huge pan of bronzer and two different blush colors. 
  • The versatility of this pallet is seemingly unmatched in my opinion. I can use this with only a primer and look put together and fresh. Or I can couple it with my full face routine with foundation and concealer and have it look equally flawless. 
  • Staying in the versatility bucket a bit longer – the tones of these colors are incredibly neutral with the exception of the contour color. Which leans a little more warm toned than cool. With neutrality, this pallet will work for several different skin tones. 
  • The sheer amount of product and the quality of product you get is insane for only sixty bucks. Especially when a full size NARS blush can go for close to $30 – that’s half the price of this palette for only one product – you get seven in this gem.

I could go on and on about this, because it’s something I love and use every day in some form or fashion. Go to Sephora and swatch this, you’ll see. 

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner

Damn that’s a mouthful. 

I wash my hair twice a week, sometimes more if I get particularly gross, and sometimes less if it’s winter time. 

I suffer from dry skin – so when the fall and winter months hit, it’s like someone took a sponge and sucked all the moisture out of my body and scalp. It’s horrendous.

But I found this product over the summer and fell in love with it. 


First of all – it smells delicious. I love when I spray products and don’t feel like my lungs will implode from chemical inhalation.

Secondly – it does wonders for my hair. Like I said, I shampoo maybe twice a week. I use this a couple of different ways:

  • When I’m not shampooing I will let warm water run through my hair, I’ll massage my scalp a bit and then spray this. 
  • On days when I don’t get my hair wet at all I’ll spray this and then use dry shampoo. 

Rarely do I ever use a true “conditioner” in the shower on days when I don’t shampoo. For me, they make my hair get oily more quickly and I end up having to wash more often. I just haven’t found a rinse out conditioner formula that I’m overly impressed with.

Also, and this product isn’t on here, but I use Moroccan oil after I shampoo as well to help my hair not flip out from losing its natural oils. 

I love that the Sexy products have become more affordable over the last few years. I think I paid $15 for this over the summer – but a lot of salons have sales where you buy one get one half. This is a product that I’ve also seen on the shelves at Walmart and Target – so you don’t even have to go into a salon to get it.

*hair flip*  

Essie Gel Coutour Nail Polish

Hold the phone. I love Essie nail polishes. I’ve been using them for years. So when I watched a YouTube video reviewing their new gel line, I was hooked!


I immediately went out the next day, tracked them down and bought the following colors (in order left to right) top coat, Spiked with Style, Bubbles Only, Hang Up the Heels.

They’re gel, but without the light that bakes it. How can that be?! 

I too was a skeptic, but let me tell you – IT IS! 

I don’t know how they work, but these polishes are amazeballs.

  • They have the shine like salon gel.
  • Once they’re dry, they don’t chip easily. I won’t say they won’t chip at all because the first day I painted them I slammed my finger in something and chipped it. To be fair, it hit right on the nail, up until then I had bumped and dug through things and not a budge, had it been regular nail polish it would’ve been everywhere. I’m so impatient. So I will standby my review that they don’t chip easily.
  • They dry quickly, albeit not as quick as salon gel, but not as long as regular polish takes. Which is great for me because – impatient. 
  • You get more than one manicure with it. I would pay $35 for one gel manicure that lasted me two weeks. I paid less than $25 for two bottles (color and top coat) and will get at least ten. 
  • It comes off easily without scraping or soaking. Which is nice so you don’t damage your nails.

And the price is amazing. If you’ve used Essie polishes in the past you know that a regular polish goes for around $8. These are $11.50. And they’re gel! Real gel. 

I will say you have to buy the top coat or it won’t work, but come on. I’ve had my color on for nearly a week now and they still look great. 

So there you have it! Three of the beauty products I cannot live without. 

Let’s be real there’s more than just these but you’ll have to wait to see those for another beauty edition of Friday Favorites! 

If you love these things let me know! If there is something you want me to try or think could be a Friday Favorite leave a comment down below!

Friday Favorites #3

Hello Lovelies! Happy weekend eve!

The three things I’m about to share with you are my current addictions. I’ve been using and wearing them for weeks now and will continue to do so throughout the fall and winter.

Pashmina Blanket Scarf

Let me start by saying – I’m so glad that it is finally cold enough in North Carolina to pull of boots and scarves. Not that it was stopping me, I was sweating it out as soon as October first hit. I was pinning fall outfits, cider recipes and cute pumpkin carving ideas and kept coming across blanket scarves. I skipped buying one last year and knew this was the year I had to have it.

This scarf. Oh my.

First of all, its pashmina so it’s basically made with the softest things on the planet – clouds, teddy bears…Vince Gills voice. All balled into this beaut.

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It’s so large that I’ve actually used it as a blanket. It’s my go to travel scarf because even though it’s big, it’s also light enough to throw on with a t-shirt and skinny jeans to pull a look together. Not to mention the fact that you can unfold it on the plane and cover up with it.

Winning.

The price point was also decent. I’ve seen blanket scarves on Etsy go for upwards of $40, this one was on Amazon for $18, so I call that a win. There is a very similar one at Walmart that I looked at for $10 – they were cute, but the fabric was different and not quite as soft. Still, the price point tempted me and I’m going to go back tomorrow and pick up the black and white one.

I’m weak.

Too Faced Melted Lip – Chihuahua 

Okay, so I’ve gotta be up front, I’m not sold on the Too Faced line, yet. I’ve just not been overly impressed with some of their eye shadows or their formulas. But this lipstick is to die for.

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I say lipstick, because although it’s technically a long wear lip, it doesn’t dry down completely, thus it transfers and isn’t super long wearing. It stays fairly glossy, which in the winter is great. Everything is so dry that full matte lips, for me, come with A LOT of work – exfoliating, moisturizing and priming.

img_9933I actually love that it doesn’t dry completely because it keeps a nice light gloss without looking like full wet lips, which I appreciate.

I even threw in a shameful selfie so you could see the color in action.

See what I mean?!

These are a bit pricey, at $21 each, but well worth it. I actually bought two different formulas of the Melted line, and this one is by far my favorite. The applicator is soft and you don’t have to take multiple swipes for application or even use a lot of product.

 

642 Things to Write About, by the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto

It’s coming into November, which is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), so I’ve been getting all of the blogs lined out for that – Yay!

Meanwhile, I have a novel that I’m trying desperately to finish. Anyone who’s ever needed to write ANYTHING can relate to writer’s block. It’s a cruel, cruel part of the job.

I actually received this as a Christmas present one year and I’ve been using it ever since to help break through bouts of writer’s block and it’s always within arm’s reach during NaNoWriMo.

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It’s pretty self explanatory – there are 642 different writing prompts. They range from lists to letters to different scenarios.

What I love most is that they’re all incredibly simple to think through and I can usually hammer a few prompts out in a sitting. It’s a great thing to thumb through on a break.

Even if you aren’t writing a novel, suffering massive amounts of writer’s block, like I am, it’s a fun little book to play around with!

If you love these things let me know! If there is something you want me to try or think could be a Friday Favorite leave a comment down below!

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