The good thing about owning this many red lipsticks is that I do wear red lipstick most days. It's become my thing, to the point that when I went without lipstick while working over the holidays, my manager introduced me to someone and quickly mentioned that it wasn't a true first impression, since normally I'm wearing red lipstick. Okay, true. But even I, queen of red lipstick, admit that this might be a little too much. The good thing is that this is by far the largest part of my makeup collection, and thus, the easiest to trim. I've done a little trimming in general of my makeup since I posted my overview, but that was more obvious items. At the end of this post, I'll share what will be placed into purgatory - if I miss it and want it back, great. If not, all of the things taken out of my collection this year will be given away, sold, or trashed.
If I wrote a review on it on the blog, it's linked.
L-R: NARS Starwoman, Bite Flag Red, NARS Annabella, Besame Victory Red, Besame Red Velvet, Besame Cherry Red, NARS Dragon Girl
NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl
NARS makes such great colours in general, and I've liked all of the lipstick formulas I've tried from them. Dragon Girl has been on my list for a while, and I made the plunge in October, picking it up while a coworker and I went shopping on our travels for a course we were taking. And I love it. I wish it didn't require sharpening, since I lose a tiny bit of product that way, but it's otherwise perfect. It's a beautiful, bright pink red, lightweight, matte but not drying, and it doesn't transfer too much. Of all of my reds, I think this one is among the most flattering.
Besame Lipstick in Red Velvet
Besame makes one of the best, long-lasting, non-drying, satin finish bullet lipsticks out there, in my humble opinion. They're also incredibly opaque but not too heavy. Red Velvet is one of their oldest and most classic shades, a neutral, more muted red. It's plush and easy to wear. I also don't think I'd repurchase this one once I'm done my mini, just because I have so many and this one doesn't feel as special to me as the others. But I do enjoy my mini!
Besame Lipstick in Cherry Red
This one actually looks like a cherry - so many things called cherry red don't look at all any kind of cherries, you know? This is the deep, rich, pink red of cherries, like the stain you get on your fingers, but opaque and in lipstick form. This is probably my favourite of the set of Besame minis I got in November 2017, and one that I would purchase the full size of once I'm done, whenever that may be.
Besame Lipstick in Victory Red
We all know that Besame can do reds, but with so many, there are inevitably some better than others. To me, Victory Red is the pinnacle of their reds. Bright, saturated, pure, vibrant red. I love it. It's so bold and striking, and with that tenacious Besame formula, it's pretty close to perfect for me.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Flag Red
The thing about Bite is that I like it in theory, and frequently in practice, but there's always something I like a little better. Flag Red (which, for the record, is not the actual red on the Canadian flag) was put out by Bite for Canada Day in 2017, and I picked it up then. It's a fun, warm tomato red, but it's also almost identical to NARS Annabella, which I like a lot more. Bite lipsticks also don't have the longest of shelf lives, due to the food grade ingredients, and I really don't expect this to last beyond the next year or so. The Amuse Bouche formula is also a little too smudgy for a bright colour like this.
NARS Audacious Lipstick in Annabella
My most recent lipstick purchase, picked up with my Christmas giftcards in January. Another warm, bold red, this is just a really fun red. I love it. The Audacious formula is one of my favourite lipstick formulas - it's plush, comfortable, tenacious, and has a satin finish, which is my preferred finish these days. A classic red is always good, but Annabella had the impact of red while being punchy and casual and a little more laid back. Or at least, that's how I feel about a warm red like this.
NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Starwoman
I swore off liquid matte lipsticks, but then Lena had to go and praise the Powermatte formula, and in particular, Starwoman. The second I saw it, I knew it was a red for me. I dithered for a little while - obviously I don't need any red lipsticks - but ultimately purchased it. Starwoman is all I thought it would be. The formula on these is not bulletproof or transferproof, but after snacking, drinking, talking, and even eating, Starwoman still looks perfect. The formula is very comfortable, and I think part of the swing away from the crazy dry mattes of the last few years. It's matte by not drying, and reads more velvety that flat.
L-R: MAC Mystical, Glossier Zip, Essence Deep Sea Lore, Bite Cherry On Top, Sephora After Hours, NYX In the Red, Pat McGrath Elson, Sephora Always Red, Peripera Sellout Red
MAC Alluring Aquatics Lipstick in Mystical
This limited edition came out in 2014, and while the packaging is beautiful, the lipstick itself is fine. It's a cremesheen finish, which means it's glossy and semi-sheer and slippery as hell. When I bought this, that was more my thing, since I wasn't sold on the lipstick thing yet. It's a sheer ruby on me. It doesn't really build up very well, since that makes it thicker and more slippery. This lipstick hasn't gone off yet, and I have used it loyally since purchase. A+ shelf life.
Glossier Generation G Lipstick in Zip
This is the second formulation of the Generation Gs, before they were reformulated in fall 2018 to have better packaging and a new awful drying formula. Way to go, Glossier. This formulation is lightly emollient going on, and the bright poppy red that is Zip builds up to opaque nicely, but also looks great as a semi-sheer matte. I said originally that the Colourpop Blotted Lips were very similar and a far better price. As it turns out, the Generation Gs age a lot better. My Blotted Lips all dried out and snapped, while Zip is exactly the same as the day I got it. I enjoy this for a more casual lip colour, but still want something bright and fun. It's not as tenacious as other lipsticks in terms of wear time, but it fades well and is easy to reapply.
Essence Cosmetics Water Kiss Glossy Lip Colour in Deep Sea Lore
I discovered this formula before Christmas from a comment on Reddit, and picked up one. I fell in love. And picked up another. They're super cheap and super unique. The Water Kiss formula is not a gloss, not a stain, and not a lip oil. It's a thin, watery formula, not quite opaque, and build easily. It has a glossy sheen, but that wears off over time and leaves the colour. But the colour doesn't stain. It's magic and comfortable and beautiful. Deep Sea Lore is my second one, and it's a bright pink red, almost coral, but not quite. I really love this colour, and I see it being a staple in the summer.
Bite Beauty Crystal Creme Shimmer Lip Crayon in Cherry On Top
This is tied with NARS Annabella for being my most recent lipstick acquisition, being part of that same order. I was mourning in December that I had to toss my favourite holiday lipstick, Colourpop Let's Play, because a bold lipstick with shimmer is something I feel I need. And then Bite released this new line! Of course I picked the red with red shimmer. Cherry On Top is a red with warm red shimmer, and fills that sparkly hole in my life. This is almost identical to the original creme matte lip crayon, except shimmery. The packaging is also shimmery plastic, which is more my speed than the usual matte grey of Bite's products. Cherry On Top isn't an everyday kind of red, more of a statement. I really enjoy it.
Sephora #Lipstories Lipstick in After Hours
The #Lipstories were all the rage when they were released last winter - a million colours and finishes and only $10 at Sephora! Score! And of course, now no one talks about them, me included. I picked up two and ended up only keeping this one. And while it's a beautiful brick red, the formula is a very strong meh after nearly a year. It is a demi-matte, and looks beautiful when first applied, but it highlights flakes if I'm not super careful.
NYX Super Cliquey Matte Lipstick in In the Red
A friend recommended this to me in the summer, and despite me thinking that NYX products are largely disappointing at best, I still picked it up when it was on sale, because the colour was just so beautiful. It's a red that verges on coral, though it never quite gets there. The formula is very good, being a cream to matte finish. It's got great staying power, and I like the small, teardrop applicator, though the idea that one click gives you enough of the bullet for your day's wear is laughable. Its main flaw is that you can't reapply over a worn layer without it starting to look a little flaky and weird by the end of the day. However, I've definitely gone without reapplying and that was fine too. Hats off, NYX. You made a formula I actually like.
Pat McGrath Labs MatteTrance Lipstick in Elson
I'm so conflicted by this lipstick. I got this as part of a trio of minis of Pat McGrath's lipsticks, because I wanted to try one, but the full sizes are $52 here in Canada. That is definitely over what I consider to be the top range of what an acceptable price for a tube of lipstick (which was $40, but NARS Audacious is over that now). And while I stand by my original statement that it's no especially unique in terms of colour, Elson is a treat to wear. It's lightweight, with a velvety finish, it's a beautiful darker red on me, and it applies beautifully. But no! It's not $52 worth of goodness. The mini is abysmally small, so I may actually finish it. I would consider using a giftcard to buy the full size. I would not use my own money, because $52. How many times can I say that? But it's really appalling as a price.
Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red
The original Cream Lip Stain, and generally agreed to be among the best, if not the best, of the formula, one of my coworkers gave this mini to me as part of my Christmas present this year. It's a great true red, and the formula is a little thinner than the others I've tried in the past. It dries to a matte finish, and lasts pretty well through meals. I'm glad I only have a mini, though, because this isn't especially unique in my sea of reds.
Peripera Peri's Ink Velvet in Sellout Red
Into purgatory: Flag Red (because it's too similar to Annabella, and I like Annabella a lot more), After Hours (because it's kind of meh and Starwoman fills the dark red niche for me), and Mystical (because it's almost five years old and good packaging is not going to outweigh an ancient, mostly finished lipstick that is starting to smell off...actually, I think I'm going to write this off and Back to MAC it sometime this year).
My makeup tastes and style has shifted wildly since I started this blog, and that's not terribly unsurprising, since I've undergone some major life shifts since I started it. It's only been in the last year that I've felt like I've finally fallen into a longer term style after exploring a bit, and so this is the time to really take a look at these. The rest of these posts shouldn't be quire as long!