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Current Favourite Reds

If someone was to ask me what my "signature" makeup look/product was, a red lip would probably be my first thought and the most accurate. Many friends have dubbed me with the nickname Snow White and I don't take that as anything else but a compliment so I can't complain! But with my pale skin, black hair and soft-spot for ladies like the likes of Dita Von Teese, its kind of obvious that a red lip would be my top makeup *look*.

So as I'm such an advocate of the true vampy lip, I thought I'd run through some of my top shades, brands and formulas. I tend to sway more towards the "classic" reds or orangey reds because I worry the deeper dark reds are too dark for someone so pale and dark haired. I also chose not to include any Mac shades because well, there's too many favourites from Mac that they need a whole post to themselves. But anyway, on to these favourites for now.

For those matte lips that don't budge, I turn to my Lime Crime Velvetines and MUA Luxe matte glosses. From opposite price ranges, the two don't compare in quality, but the colours are insanely similar. The Velvetines are great for dates if you're planning to eat food because those babies don't budge - I've ate a lot of Chinese food and drank many a cocktail in one evening and it hasn't really flaked or moved on my lips. On the other hand, the MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Laquers are less than a quarter of the price of the Velvetines,(and don't have the *drama* surrounding the brand and this particular liquid lipstick type), but the formula isn't as impressive. They're best for an evening out with the girls or worn for just a few hours as they will begin to flake and dry out your pout quick-sharp. At around £3 though, you can't grumble as they're highly pigmented and extremely matte in finish. As I mentioned, MUA dupe Lime Crime perfectly and both red shades both brands sell are some of my all-time favourite reds.

I also love lip liners to get a matte finish but really, you can get a great red from almost any brand as liners tend to stain and stay on the lips pretty well no matter whether they cost you £2 or £20, so I don't have any true favourites. I have recently been using the Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in Pleasure Me Red though, as it is one of the few darker reds I have and it's really comfortable on the lips with a long lasting effect. But my favourite is probably the L'Oréal Paris Les Lipliner Couture by Colour Riche in the shade Perfect Red. This isn't an exact match for my fave L'Oréal Colour Riche Exclusive Reds shade as the liner steers more towards the orangey side, but it is really creamy and therefore really comfortable to wear. It does lack a little in staying power, but regardless of the slight colour difference, I team it with the Julianne Red which makes a nice wearable daily lip that can be topped up and maintained throughout the day. That brings me onto Lóreal's Julianne Red - I love this shade. It's a brighter bluey pinky red (I'm so good at describing colours, I know) and great for us paler girls. It looks fab in both the summer and winter and although it is supposed to be matte, I find it more satin and creamy in finish and this is perfect for a red lip that you want to wear on a long busy day. I also love the smell of this product.

I've left two of my budget loves 'til last. First up is a Sleek True Colour lippy in the shade Vixen. This is your classic 1950s red and is a glossier almost lustre finish which isn't something I usually like, but it works well for this formula. Sleek lipsticks are great for those that don't want to pay the price for Mac but want full pigmentation, a good finish, and pretty good longevity. They may not be completely transfer-proof, but these lipsticks are an absolute steal for how great they are. The packaging is a winner for me too and if you're looking for a more matte red, check out their shades Stiletto and Russian Roulette which are fantastic too. My ultimate bargain bullet however is the Collection Lasting Colour Lipstick in the shade Red Carpet. This lipstick costs around £3 and it is so rich in colour, no one would ever know it was so cheap. Of course the need to check your pout is "on fleek" is a more regular occurrence with such a cheap product as it transfers like crazy, but the colour pay off, the price tag, and wear-ability of this lippy makes the few extra mirror checks worth it. These lipsticks are quite creamy and almost balmy making it easy to forget that you're wearing anything on your lips at all and that's a great relief sometimes for a girl who lives and swears by a matte lip 24/7.

- A.
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