Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Collection Inventory: Lipsticks, 2016

So. As part of the epic beauty low-buy of 2017, I've decided, for the purposes of record-keeping, reflection, and encouraging myself to be held accountable, to post some collection inventories. I fully accept that I'll get bored in some categories (base products, for example, where I have one of almost everything and therefore don't really need any policiing) and not post them (also mascara, of which I keep one open at a time and maybe have one or two sample sizes in my drawers that were GWP), so I'm starting with the categories that I'm more likely to buy and post about. I posted a perfume inventory last spring, which is mostly still accurate. I've since destashed a few of them listed there, and added a few more, but I'll leave it as my inventory for this year since not enough has changed to be interesting - though I've started to see some progress in using up some scents. Imagine that. 

My other major makeup vice as of late has been lipstick. I've included my lip glosses and lip tints, as well, since there aren't that many of them and I don't really wear them a different way - a lip colour is a lip colour! If you've been reading here long enough, you know I used to be all about the tinted balms, but have since graduated to lipstick. I've noticed that I accepted lipstick into my heart and on my lips on a full time basis once I wasn't allowed to wear jeans to work. These things are probably not directly related, but you never know. 

I'm also making use of this exercise to point out the obvious dupes, so that I can focus my energies on either destashing the less favourable formulas, or work on panning one of the dupes this upcoming year. And of course, the most obvious use is to have reference photos for when I'm lusting after whatever colour of the month so I can firmly tell myself that I have a similar colour, and the one I have has flattering enough undertones so I really don't need another one.

As I'm writing this beginning part, I'm not actually sure how many lip colours I have. I know it's TOO MANY.  (My guess is around 50, so let's see if I'm right. Yes, I could go to my vanity and count. That defeats the fun.) Some are colours that I keep because they make me happy to swatch or wear around my apartment like the giant chicken I am (but really, where do you wear navy blue lipstick in rural New Brunswick? I'd consider wearing it in Halifax, but up here it's a hard no), but there are definitely colours that are similar enough that I don't need both, or formulas that I'm less excited about than others. I do make an effort to wear a different lipstick every day, but there are definitely colours that I neglect more than others. 

I've broken them down into colour families (and then a catch-all for the strange and unusual colours). Some colours could have been in multiple categories, but I stuck them in my first instinct. At the end of each category, I'm going to give some thoughts on the colours and identify which ones might be going and which ones I might work on over the next year. I'd like to set a lofty goal of finishing X number of lipsticks, but since I don't think that will actually happen, I plan to play it by ear and pick a few to put a dent in.

I tried to take these all in daylight, but that's been hard to find lately, even on the weekend. So apologies for varying lighting - I have adjusted the colour on some to reflect the true colours more accurately. Every list accompanying a picture is from top to bottom. Links to reviews where applicable, and I plan to review those that have no full review.

Browns (7)

I never thought I was a brown lip person until sometime the last year. My first brown lipstick was Viva Glam VI, and it's a really great plummy brown that I should wear more often. Looking at the swatches here, Brioche is a lot closer to Fierce than I thought, though I think Brioche is more pink-toned. I probably don't need both, but I'll keep them for now. 

Destash: none (but I'll probably revisit the Fierce/Brioche thing later)
Pan: MAC Viva Glam VI. I've had this for about a year and a half and always overlook it.

Reds (8)

I've always said that I wasn't a red lipstick person. Obviously this isn't true. I'm trying to discard this idea, since I probably do wear red lipstick at least twice a week. The good thing about this category is that there are no obvious dupes. Bite Sour Cherry and Gazpacho are pretty similar, but since both are minis, I'm going to keep both for now. I was eyeing MAC Chili, but I think Bite Braised Maple should fill my burnt orange-red need.

Destash: none
Pan: Colourpop Lippie Stix in Peacocky. This is such a pretty sheer blue-red, but oxidizes to an insanely bright pink on me. Ehhhh. Colourpop doesn't put a lot of product in their...well, anything, so I feel pretty confident about using this one up by this time next year.

Oranges/Corals (4)

I already covered in my review of Bite Blood Orange that it, Tango Red, and Fashion Force are basically the same colour. The problem is that I like the formula of all three. I think I'm going to focus on panning Blood Orange this summer (be real, it's a summer colour) since it's a measly 1.56g to Tango Red's 3.4g. Fashion Force has a completely different texture and finish, but the other two are too similar to justify both.

Destash: none
Pan: Bite Blood Orange

Pinks (6)

The obvious pan here is Rose Gold. I really like this one and even prefer it over both versions of Rosy Lipped that have existed, but as I have shifted to wear tinted balms mainly on the weekend, I'm going to finish it up and say good-bye. I don't need more than a couple (or one, if I'm being perfectly honest). I'm also considering destashing Rosy Lipped, because I liked the original version best, when it was just a sheer wash of pink. Now it's more pigmented, redder and with a hint of gold in it. It has moved from not needing a mirror to apply to needing one, and that's kind of bummer. I'll stick it in my purgatory bin for a while before making a final decision, but right now I'm leaning toward getting rid of it, since I've barely used it this last year. It's probably about half-used in total. I'm going to stick Kiss Kiss Bang Bang on the pan list too, since it's small, easy to go through, and I have no strong feelings on it either way. 

MAC Mystical is my favourite of these. It was LE, but a friend who didn't like hers passed on her bullet, which I have lying in wait.

Destash: Haus of Gloi Rosy Lipped
Pan: Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Haus of Gloi Rose Gold

Nudes/MLBBs (7)

There's a surprisingly great variety in this category. I was surprised. I prefer a pink-leaning nude if I'm going to wear one, with the exception of Cava, which is just unusual. I just got the MUFE Plexi-Gloss as a sample, and while it's a nude gloss on my lips, it looks straight up orange here, which is interesting. I'd like to work on panning Twisted Beige - I like the colour and the formula, but it's the exact same shade as my lips, and I want a little more interest in my MLBBs. My Lips But Slightly More Tinted.

Destash: none
Pan: Lancôme Twisted Beige

Berries/Fuschias (10)

Right off the bat, Kir Royale and Beetroot are basically the same colour. Kir Royale has a tendency to wear off the inside of my lips faster and is a slicker formula than the Amuse Bouche, so I'm going to get rid of Kir Royale. 

They look noticeably different in the picture, but don't read all that different from each other on my face: Olly Olly Oxen Free and Audrey. I'm going to get rid of Olly Olly Oxen Free and keep Audrey - I like the redder tone of Audrey and the packaging is much, much better. Liquorice is also pretty close to those two, but since it's a mini, I'll just attempt to put a dent in it. My other pan from this set is going to be the Kiko balm. I mentioned in my review about how fast I've been going through it, so it won't be much of an effort.

Destash: Limnit Olly Olly Oxen Free, Bite Kir Royale
Pan: Bite Liquorice, Kiko Blackberry

Purples (3)

I picked up the ABH lip gloss as a point perk and HATE it. Let this be my review, because I'm not keeping it. The formula is decent, but the colour is patchy as fuck and wears off weirdly. Nope. It's going. I should probably not keep both Mauvembers, but they do look quite different on me. I think I'll try to pan the 2015 version.

Destash: ABH Potion
Pan: Bite Mauvember

Unusual Colours (6)

Opal is impossible to see, but let me assure you that it's the prettiest iridescent blue. Let me also assure you that I have no intention of destashing any of these and nor do I think that I'll pan any of them (maybe Opal). I'd like to make some visible dents in at least a few of these. And I'm definitely not buying ANY unusual colours in 2017 since I don't wear them all that often and I bought all of these, with the exception of of Goodness Graycious, in 2016.

Destash: none
Pan: none


Bonus: I have two clear liners, the Bite Prep and Prime and one from the now-defunct Kae Q. They're clear liners. There's nothing to write home about here. They extend longevity and keep things sticking to my lips a little better. The end.

Totals (without liners)

Total lip colours (before): 51
Total destashes: 4 (so this was not the most fruitful exercise ever)
Total pans: 10 for 2017
Total lip colours (after): 47

I am missing one lip colour. I ordered a gloss from Dreamworld Cosmetics on Black Friday and it should be here this week, so I'll add it later. It's not counted here, but for full accountability purposes, I have 48. Which is kind of a lot. I am pleased with the variety I have - not as many obvious dupes as I thought there might be - and I'm not going to wantonly weed to reach a magical number. I'd like to reduce this by using things up organically. I probably won't pan all 10 of the ones I've picked out, but I think having some goals like this will help direct me, and hopefully keep me from creating a dragon-style hoard of lipstick.


  1. I loved reading this post and seeing all your comparison swatches! You make me regret not being fast enough to snag one of the Bite Liquorice 100 pt perks. Also I was surprised by how different Beetroot looks on you! It's very magenta/fuchsia-y, vs. on me it's way more of a purple berry.

    1. I'm rarely so lucky with 100 perks. I always miss the good ones!

      Yes, it's definitely not purple on me. I find true purples to look odd on me, but I also find that anything purple-toned won't read as such on my skintone.

  2. We have about the same number of lipsticks. I think it's a bit too many to realistically use them all often (for me) but not a crazy amount. I'd like to destash some and use some up too, but I'm okay...ish with where I'm at currently. And I totally always thought I wasn't a red lipstick person either - I like a lot of colours and red isn't my favourite. Then I was going through my Facebook profile pictures and realized I was wearing Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red in like 65% of them, so I've had to rethink that too.

    1. It's not totally insane, but probably a little more variety than I realistically need.

      Red is such a sneaky colour that way. I started with reds that weren't pure red until I finally picked up a true red, which is probably how many people transition into it and then you find out that red is a classic lipstick colour for a reason.

  3. I was going to say that I love Beetroot and Liquorice--they've slowly become two of my favorite lipsticks. I thought it was funny that the first comment mentioned them too. It was really enjoyable to look at this, always a fan of lipstick related posts!

    1. It was so satisfying to write and photograph this post! Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. We have almost exactly the same number of lip colors! (Though only three overlaps, which speaks to the sheer variety of lip products out there.) I need to do another count when I get back to my apartment next week, but I think my number is hovering around 50.

    I should also resolve not to buy any weird color (or, frankly, any lipstick at all) in 2017, but who knows when my inner goth will demand a black lipstick? I think it's almost inevitable that she will. Are you liking Oil Slick?

    1. I have a few more, since I ended up with Colourpop Let's Play and NARS Audacious in Apoline, and I left my Dreamworld gloss at home, so haven't added it here. So I'm up to exactly 50. However, I've been using up HoG Rose Gold so it will be done with pretty soon.

      I love Oil Slick. It walks the edge of being unusual but also wearable. I wore it to work and felt really rebellious. Though there's no rule against any lipstick colours, unlike heel height.


Collection Inventory: Red Lip Products

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