Spring Fling: Lip Color Love

Thank you to everyone who voted in the beauty experimentation poll. As it turns out, Love of Gloss readers like to play with their lips and eyes; lip color and mascara tied as the products you experiment with most often (eyeliner was not far behind). As promised, this week I’ve rounded up a collection of the best lip colors to play with this spring. (Note: there are no traditional lip glosses on this list. While I highly recommend each of the products listed below, die-hard gloss girls can find recommendations on the Glosses and Balms page!)


Maybelline Color Whisper: This lightweight gel lip color glides on oh-so-smoothly and leaves a sheer wash of color. It feels divine, comes in a variety of shades, and even its brightest hues are ultra-wearable.

I'll be sporting Maybelline Color Whisper in Orange Attitude straight through summer.

I’ll be sporting Maybelline Color Whisper in Orange Attitude straight through summer.

It leaves lips soft and with a subtle shine. This is a great pick for girls who typically wear balms but may be looking to sample a pop of color this season. I asked Maybelline via Twitter which shades they’d recommend for spring, and they suggested Who Wore it Red-der and Orange Attitude. I have to second their vote for Orange Attitude. I can see myself sporting the incredibly flattering red-orange straight through summer.

Tarte LipSurgence: I’ve been a fan of these for a while. The crayon-shaped lip tint comes in so many colors and finishes, it’s impossible not to find one that works for you. While they may look like big fat lip pencils, the lip liner similarities end there;

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tints in, from left to right, Elite, Exposed, Peaceful and Enchanted.

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tints in, from left to right, Elite, Exposed, Peaceful and Enchanted.

LipSurgence adds tons of moisture, is easy to apply, and makes you look like you were born with a gorgeous mouth. Again, there’s a shade for everyone, but the color I’m rocking this season is Exposed. This matte nude is a little darker than the pale shades that are prevalent this time of year. For some reason, I feel like a ’90s Gwyneth Paltrow when I wear this color. As a lifelong GP fan, this is a remarkable feat.

MAKE Lipstick: I’ve never been much of a lipstick gal, but that may be about to change thanks to MAKE. Never mind the fact that one third of all of the company’s sales go to the We See Beauty Foundation, MAKE’s creamy lipsticks look and feel so fantastic and un-lipsticky that even the most staunch gloss wearers may be tempted to switch.

MAKE lipstick in Putty.

MAKE lipstick in Putty.

They feature a creamy, moisturizing texture that is long lasting and not the least bit drying. I’m obsessed with Putty, a peachy nude that is very ladylike and feels just right for spring.

Maybelline Baby Lips: I feel like a bit of a groupie when it comes to these tinted balms. I blog, tweet and gush about them all the time. The reason is simple: I really don’t think you can find another lip product that does so much for such a ridiculously reasonable price. For approximately the price of three packs of gum, you can pick up a tube in one of several fun shades that feels silky smooth, softens lips, eradicates fine lines, and generally plumps and perfects your pout.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me (top) and Pink Punch.

Maybelline Baby Lips in Cherry Me (top) and Pink Punch.

I keep them everywhere – my purse, my makeup bag, my nightstand, my desk. Aside from the clear balm, which makes a great base under other glosses and tints, I keep coming back to Pink Punch, a youthful bright pink shade that I think is perfect year round.

Thanks again for voting in the latest Love of Gloss poll. Check back next week for a look at the best new mascaras!

Wedding Belles

Three weeks ago my twin sister married the man she loves. They had a lovely ceremony and an even lovelier reception, all white linens and peach roses and flickering candles. The chilly April air outside was no match for the love and warmth inside that day. And the pretty decor was no match for the radiant bride; I have never seen my sister look more beautiful.

While I remember the way everything looked, and the way we all felt that day – I, for one, was an emotional wreck – the wedding itself flew by in a blur of activity: ceremony-photos-speeches-dinner-drinks-cake-dancing-what-do-you-mean-it’s-over? What I remember clearly, though, are the hours leading up to the big event. I will never forget the time spent “behind the scenes,” helping my sister (the bride) and all of our friends (the bridesmaids) get ready for the beautiful day that awaited us.

It’s obviously no secret that I’m a bit of a beauty fiend. The morning of the wedding I packed my entire beauty arsenal and brought it with me to the suite where we were to get ready. My sister had hired a hairdresser to come to the suite – a long lost childhood friend, with whom it seemed like no time had passed as she joked and chatted and whipped our hair into intricate updos and cascades of curls. We drank mimosas and steamed our dresses and listened to favorite songs as we decided how to go about making ourselves beautiful.

My favorite memories of the big day – memories that I will certainly cherish for the rest of my life – are of the frantic questions my friends were throwing at me as show time drew closer and closer: Can you fix my eye brows? How do I apply this eye shadow trio? Which color looks best on me? Can you trim my hair? It was a whirlwind of beauty activity, and I was honored that my friends trusted me at such an important moment. So I trimmed hair, gave a tutorial on eye shadow application, helped select makeup shades and dusted everyone’s face with finishing powder (Make Up For Ever HD High Definition Powder) to help keep shine at bay in photos.

My favorite memory – and biggest honor – involved the bride herself. Time was running out, and the hairdresser – who was meant to do my sister’s makeup in addition to everybody’s hair – had to make a call. “Can you do your sister’s makeup?” she asked me, a little flustered. “I trust you.”

So, as my sister sat still, getting her hair curled and pinned and hairsprayed for that oh-so-important walk down the aisle, I sat across from her and made up her face, determined to make her look just the way she’d want to – fresh, glowing, flawless, but not to “done” – she’s not really the makeup-wearing type, and I knew she wanted her soon-to-be husband to recognize her as she approached him at the alter.

Not to toot my own horn, but (toot, toot) I have to admit I did a damn good job with her makeup that day. She looked exceptional. And just like herself. Herself with impossibly perfect skin, soft lips, and eyes that were even more dazzling than normal.

So, in case she wants to replicate her gorgeous bridal look, or in case any of you, loyal readers, are looking for a perfect wedding look, here’s what I used and how I used it:

First, I used a warm washcloth to clean her face and dampen you skin – I find moisturizer goes on more smoothly when the skin is slightly damp. She didn’t want a lot of heavy makeup (she, like me, is blessed with pretty darn good skin), so instead of foundation I smoothed on Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint in Pearl. It has a bit more coverage than a typical tinted moisturizer but still has a light feel, and it does give the complexion a luminous glow. I evened out dark circles and any random blemishes with Mineralogie Ultimate Cream Concealer in U2. This is hands down the best concealer I have ever used; it has long lasting coverage and it doesn’t settle into creases around the eyes.

We wanted her eyes to stand out but in a natural way, so we used brown shades instead of blacks. First I had her curl her lashes. Then I lined the outer corners of her eyes with Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Lionfish, a rich medium brown. Stila Smudge Sticks glide on ridiculously easily – I highly recommend them. I then lightly lined her lower lash line with the same liner, smudging out ever-so-slightly at the outer corners for just a hint of a cat eye.

After the liner I used a trio of Clinique shadows on her lids. I used Teddy Bear as a highlighting shade from lashes to brow bone. I used Buttered Bronze, a medium brown, as a wash of color from her lashes to her crease, and then finished with a thick swipe of Chocolate Chip, a dark brown, right along her lashes. I finished off her eyes with a generous swipe of L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Hydrofuge Mascara in Black Brown. Her eyes looked stunning.

To brighten her complexion and give her a soft flush, I used a fluffy brush to sweep Tarte Amazonian Clay Long-Wear Blush in Dollface on the apples of her cheeks and along her cheekbones.

The finishing touch, of course, had to be the perfect lip color – something plumping and moisturizing, natural-looking, and kissable – no sticky glosses or chalky lipsticks allowed. I used Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint in Peaceful, a nude peach. It was absolutely perfect. It’s long lasting, very moisturizing, and not sticky in the least – ideal for a bride.

And, of course, I gave her a dusting of finishing powder, just like everyone else. In the end, mission accomplished – she was flawless.

Here are some other products that proved popular (and effective) as we made ourselves up for the day:

L’Oreal Paris Infallible Lipgloss in Sangria. An ultra-flattering red that did not budge throughout the entire day. It also has a mini mirror on the cap – handy!

Sephora Nectar Shine Hydrating Care Lipgloss in Raspberry Shine. Several of the bridesmaids swiped this berry gloss on before the ceremony. The color is universally flattering and the shiny gloss lasts longer than most.

Too Faced Lock Down Ultimate Creaseless Cream Eye Shadow in Bedroom Eyes. A bronzey taupe, this shadow stayed put through tears and tissues.

Speaking of tear-proof, I picked up Maybelline The Classic Volume Express Waterproof Mascara in Very Black on my way to the wedding, knowing I’d be shedding a few tears throughout the day. Boy am I glad I did – even when I flat-out bawled during my Maid of Honor speech, my mascara didn’t smudge.

And honestly, at a wedding, what more can you ask for?