Confessions of a Beauty Junkie

Monday, April 5, 2010

Take This Year and Shove It

Yeah, 2010, you heard me. I'm just about fed up with your ass. So far, you've thrown some serious drama at me, and I don't appreciate that one little bit. (And you know how much my skin hates drama. Zits! Wrinkles! Eye bags! Fanfreakingtastic!) If it weren't for my sister having a baby, I'd totally quit you. The kicker, at least as far as beauty is concerned? My getting braces last month.*  

*- Yes, I realize that my teeth are, for the most part, straight. Yes, I did have braces for three-plus years when I was a teenager. My bite has apparently shifted dramatically over the past twenty years, resulting in a deceptively jacked-up grill. So jacked, in fact, that I ended up with a hellacious abcess (requiring an emergency root canal, antibiotics, Lortab, and a Defcon Five-level round of cursing) a few weeks ago. Yes, they hurt. Yes, they're awkward. Yes, I look like an oddly old-looking twelve year-old. Shut it:


So, for the next year or so, I am the proud new owner of this here hardware. Nonetheless, I decided to write about lipstick and gloss for this month's issue of Vip Williamson County. When I wrote it last month, I hadn't yet appreciated the fact that loading up on gloss when rocking orthodontics is not unlike rigging up a giant flashing arrow to the side of one's head that says, "HEY! LOOK! HEY LOOK! THESE SHINY-ASSED LIPS HIDE A MONSTER GRILL! AS IF THIS WASN'T AWKWARD ENOUGH!" So, I'm still trying to figure out how to continue to indulge my deepest-rooted beauty product addiction without calling further undue attention to the nonsense shown above. In the meantime, read this crap:

“Gimme Some Lip”

This month marks my first full year that I’ve been writing this column that I love so dearly. Happy first anniversary to me! With that, I feel it’s time to face the music. I’ve neglected to tackle one of the most talked-about and ever-frustrating products in all of beauty. I guess it’s time to be a big girl. Okay, deep breath. Here we go, ladies...let’s talk about lips.  
     You laugh, but think about it: have any of you actually managed to find THE lipstick, or the gloss that makes you weep with joy every time you wear it? If so, I’m very jealous. For me, the search for perfect lip products is never-ending, like the Beauty Junkie’s Holy Grail. There are plenty of good choices out there, but not any to which I eschew all others and pledge my loyalty (at least not yet). I’ll keep searching until I find it, and when I do, you’ll hear about it.  
    So my lips, like my skin, are typically dry. Beacuse of that, I typically use a moisturizing gloss, and avoid long-wearing lipsticks, which can be drying. I don’t mind regular lipsticks, as long as they’re creamy and not matte in finish. I’ve tried lip glosses by Nars, Bobbi Brown, Tarte, Stila, Lancome, Bare Escentuals, Lorac, Clinique, and The Balm in recent history (and you thought I was kidding when I called myself a “beauty junkie!”), and they’re all pretty good. I love the consistency and color selection of Nars glosses, and Bobbi Brown’s Lip Shimmers are fabulous. I wish that the Bobbi glosses came with an applicator different from the little brush they currently have, which is hard to reinsert into the tube without bending back its outside bristles. Tarte and Bare Escentuals glosses are okay, and I do like the fact that the Tarte gloss is vitamin-infused, but the color selection was a bit lacking. My latest foray into Lancome lip gloss was their La Laque Fever (how very serious-sounding!). I love the idea of a long-wearing gloss that doesn’t dry out lips, and Lancome aaaaaalmost has it nailed. The Plum Savvy shade was very pretty for winter, but the finish, after some time, becomes a bit dry and cakey. Ditto the Lip Enamel Luxe Gloss from Stila, but to an even higher degree. Additionally, the dial-up brush applicator makes a big ol’ mess. Stila once made a kick-butt gloss called, appropriately, It Gloss. I loved it. They quit making it. Of course they did.  
    Clinique has the best product going out of any of these. Its Colour Surge Butter Shine lipstick is a gorgeous, shiny gloss in a stick format, meaning less mess. It glides on like a lipstick, but has the finish (and moisturizing properties) of a gloss. I love it, I really do. My favorite shade is Baby Baby, a darling peachy-pink. The price is reasonable, at fifteen bucks. So what’s the problem? The tube lasts me about four weeks, which is just inconvenient. If the stick-gloss had a formula just a tiny bit denser, this probably wouldn’t be the case. If you don’t mind buying two at a time to save a trip to the department store, feel free.  
    With that said, my latest lip product purchases were courtesy of the MAC store in the Mall at Green Hills. Like all its other offerings, MAC’s array of lip products is truly staggering, as is its color range, from the demure to the dramatically outrageous. Pale, whitish pink is all the rage for Spring, but I’m just not cool enough to carry it off. Instead, I opted for the ever-fabulous Viva Glam VI lipstick (which, unlike other MAC lipsticks, isn’t too drying), Tinted Lipglass in Viva Glam V and Viva Glam VI, and lip pencil in Whirl. Pretty, wearable, interchangeable shades, all of them. Viva Glam V is the company’s best-selling lipstick and gloss, and for good reason: it’s the perfect neutral pink that’s shimmery without being glittery. (If you want glittery, MAC has that in spades too.) Like the Bobbi Brown counter at Belk in Cool Springs, the MAC store artists are pros at helping you find your shade. I love my new purchases to death...until I find the next best thing.  
    One final note: don’t even think of putting anything on your lips without using Tarte FRXtion (pronounced “friction”) first. This split stick is half emollient balm and half sugar scrub. Your lips will think they’ve died and gone to heaven! Pucker up, Williamson County!

Buying Guide
Nars, Tarte, Stila, Lancome, Bare Escentuals, Clinique, The Balm: Sephora