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Reader Question: “What company makes a good lip stain,” asked Kathy.
Answer: While it’s easy to find a countless number of lip glosses and lipsticks that suit your every need, lip stains (or great ones, anyway) are a bit harder to come by. I’m personally not a huge fan of most stains. They can be drying to the point where your lips get flaky, which causes the stain to cling on to those dry skin flecks and results in an uneven finish. Ick. They’re also limited in their shade range, and often their intensity can be more than you bargain for. That all being said, they are the still the best way to coat your lips with seriously long-lasting color. Here are my current favorites, all of which are affordable and easy to pick up at your local Target or drugstore …
Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain — I have multiple shades of this balmy stain. It goes on feeling like a chapstick, but leaves your lips tinted long after the glossy feel fades. And with 10 shades to choose from, you’re sure to find one you like.
Pixie Lip Blush — Of all of the marker-style stains I’ve tried, this is the least drying. I still prefer to top it with a clear chapstick, but it’s not essential, especially if your lips aren’t already parched.
Wet n Wild Mega Slicks Lip Balm Stain — Like the Revlon version, this balm stain goes on like a moisturizing lipstick, but stays on like a tint long after the top layer wears off. The difference? This stain lasts a bit longer, and when you initially apply it, it gives you a bit of a cooling effect. One thing to be aware of: the initial color fades into one that’s slightly different. Not in a bad way, but just something to prepare yourself for.
I love a bright lip look. It’s a cinch to do — no fancy application techniques required. It’s low commitment in terms of cost. And, it can instantly make you look pulled together — even when in reality you’ve spent less than two minutes on your makeup.
That’s why I’m beyond thrilled that bright, in-your-face lips are a huge trend for spring. I’m embracing it for sure. When I wore the bold look last week, one of the girls in my office told me the bright shade should be my new go-to. I might just take her advice. Well, that’s if I can resist all of the other great products and shades on the shelves right now.
The bright lip color I’ve been using: Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stain in Smitten, $8.99. This fuchsia shade looks great on my fair skin tone. And, the formula is devine. The pigments are rich and long-lasting (similar to a stain), and the balmy texture hydrates your lips just enough so that they’re not totally parched (a feeling that often comes along with wearing a lip stain), but not so much that the color seeps into fine lines. I can slick it on in the morning and still have a decent amount of color left on my lips at night — without touchups.
It’s practically perfect.
Orly Flash Glam FX Hyper-Reflective Glitter Nail Lacquer in Watch it Glitter, $10 For the glamazon, gold glitter polish with extra- large flakes make any old manicure ultra-luxe.
Revlon Box O’ Files, $4 For the practical girl, these emery boards to-go are a chic way to always be prepared.
Jouer Sparkle and Pop, $12 For the party gal, a horn, champagne bubbles, confetti, and a beauty fortune is just the beginning. The surprise lip gloss, body butter or essential lip enhancer is an unexpected beauty treat.
Pinch Provisions Minimergency Glitter Kit, $15 For the girl on the go, this teeny, tiny pouch is filled with essentials like hairspray, clear nail polish and toothpaste.
Warren London Pawdicure Polish Pens, $9 Each For the pooch lover, these dog nail polishes will pamper any breed and make them the star of the dog park.
Avon Holiday Sweets Lip Balm, $1 Each For the lip balm addict, these adorable balms are as moisturizing as they are sweet.
Jane Tran Polka Dot Bobby Pin Set, $12 For the fashionista, small bobby pins with adorable patterns are just the right thing.
Claus Porto Musgo Real Men’s Body Soap, Classic Scent, $6 For the man in your life, a solid, rich smelling soap is super-decadent.
21 Drops Pick Up Fix Set, $14 For the fragrance lover, aromatherapy to-go is the perfect way to blend your own scents while getting benefits like calm and will power.
Here’s a confession: I’m an over-blusher. I always have been. I love the way blush makes me look awake and happy — especially in pictures — so I’m compelled to add just a touch more rouge on top of what I’m already sporting.
Enter Revlon PhotoReady Cream Blush in Flushed, $13. Yes, it’s hot pink. But on the skin that translates into a pretty, rosy flush (it’s also a trend that was all over the fall 2012 runways). My favorite way to apply it is on the apples of my cheeks to give myself a fairly natural look. Since this product is ultra-sheer, it’s totally buildable, so I can add just a touch or layer it for a more dramatic effect.
What product do you over-do?
– Carrie Stern Kleiner
I always knew my kid’s babysitter, Shelby, was a diamond in the rough. But when she started showing up with inspired nail art, whoa. I realized she was a girl after my own heart. Her creative handiwork over the last few weeks has been freaking awesome. Here’s my favorite to date: this multi-colored neon diagonal design. And it’s actually pretty easy to do yourself — if you have the patience to let it dry.
Step 1: Apply one layer of basecoat to give your painting some longevity. Try China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat, $6.
Step 2: Pick four of five bright colors to mix and match. Try fun neons like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Nail Color in Vigorous Violet, $5, L’Oreal Colour Riche Nail Color in Tweet Me, $6, Sinful Colors Professional Nail Enamel in Innocent, $2, Orly Nail Lacquer in Melt Your Popsicle, $8, and Revlon Nail Enamel in Strawberry Electric, $4.
Step 3: Apply two coats of the base color of your choice. You don’t need one color per nail, but variety looks best. It’s really important to let the base dry completely before you do the top slash — otherwise the colors can blur and look messy.
Step 4: To speed up dry-time, apply a swipe of quick dry topcoat after you finish the base color. This keeps the colors from smearing so they stay crisp and bright. Try Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat, $10.
Step 5: Next, carefully paint a contrasting color from the middle of your nail bed to the outer corner of the opposite side. If your hands aren’t steady, put a piece of tape across your nail to create that sharp line. Paint on one or two coats, depending on the saturation of the shade.
Step 6: Finish off your nails with a protective topcoat like Sally Hansen Dries Instantly Top Coat, $5. And seriously folks, let this dry completely. There are a lot of layers of paint and it will take a while before you can move around without destroying your pretty paint.
– Carrie Stern Kleiner
When Olivia Wilde wanted to rock a “badass eye” for her Baseball in the Time of Cholera premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last week she called on badass New York City-based makeup artist Tina Turnbow. Using Wilde’s almond shaped eyes as a guide, Turnbow created this glamorous yet rock ‘n’ roll makeup look. Follow her steps to recreate the look on your pretty face:
Step 1: Even out your skin tone and camouflage spots or redness by applying a power foundation. Use a smaller brush to cover areas around your eyes. Try the foundation Turnbow calls her “favorite product right now”, the Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Powder Foundation SPF 20, $34. Turnbow digs the fact that it’s “brightening, but matte at the same time.”
Step 2: Sculpt your cheeks and forehead using a neutral honey-brown tone. Try Revlon Photoready Sculpting Blush Palette in Neutral, $10.49. Use a bit of each shade in the palette and blend it on your forehead and cheekbones.
Step 1: After prepping lids with primer or a flesh-colored shadow, blend a light brown shade in your creases. Try Smashbox Shades of Fame Eye Palette and Brush, $48. Turnbow used the Nude shade from this palette.
Step 2: Blend a honey-colored shadow on the inner corners of your eyes. Turnbow used the Honey shade from the aforementioned palette.
Step 3: Following the natural shape of your eyes (something Turnbow thinks is key to getting an eye makeup look that really works), line your lashlines with black liquid liner. Try Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eye Pen in Blackest Black, $8.99.
Step 4: Line your inner rims with black pencil liner (try Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black, $6.79) then, using a smudge brush like Make Up For Ever Smudge Brush 14S, $32, smudge the pencil liner into the liquid to soften it and to extend the lines at your outer corners for a fierce finish.