Beauty: Work Appropriate Reds

I’m not a huge fan of nude lips, my skin tone just isn’t right for it. I’ve yet to find my perfect nude lipstick shade (I got close, but the lustre finish is just a little frosty for my liking), I much prefer to go down the bolder route. Yet sometimes red just doesn’t feel quite appropriate for a busy day at the office – I feel as though I stand out too much. I still adore my Matte Balm in Standout but it’s a little too bold for everyday wear. These alternatives are slightly muted, adding confidence without feeling too out there.

Work Appropriate Red Lipstick and Nail Polish photo 832aea16-1820-4704-8bcc-9af29793092d_zpsdi08roxg.jpgI adore red nails, but find they can look a little cheap. For my perfect look, a bright pillarbox red nail has to be short, square and perfectly manicured. My hands are never in that state, so I’m never happy with a red nail. This Barry M offering in Paprika has a slight burnt-orange tone which means it looks a little softer. I just wish these polishes wouldn’t chip so easily – I seem to be an aggressive typist and lose the edges virtually immediately!

MAC Hot Tahiti - Work Appropriate Red photo 78b362fe-b801-468b-a219-0beb826f0a65_zpswhckyfv5.jpgFrom tips to lips, and I’m in love with this MAC lipstick. Hot Tahiti is a glaze finish which I don’t hear that much about, but I can honestly say I’d look for more of them. Hydrating and extremely comfortable to wear, they are sheer without lacking pigment and (if this shade is anything to go by) leave a slight stain when they wear off. This shade is a darker toned red, warm and I find it looks wonderful against my paleness. It can easily be vamped up with a lip liner too (Max Factor are my choice), or blotted down to stay put for hours. I go through phases as to which shades are my favourite, but for a red lipstick, I don’t think this can be beaten!

Do you prefer bold or neutral makeup for work? Would you rock a red lip everyday?

Beauty: Spend or Save on Lip Crayons

I’m a bold lip person. I love a neutral defined eye and an outfit-matching lip; I’ve even been known to plan my clothes around what lipstick I feel like wearing. I read other lip-product posts on blogs and I have probably a tenth of the products, but what I do have I tend to use and love. The past year I’ve completely fallen in love with lip crayons, but do I think you should splurge or save your pennies on these? Read and find out!

 photo 0e6c7df6-8045-495a-92be-03ec6a876b84_zps6f03fea4.jpg photo 637f69c9-3ca1-47aa-9656-c2182556c6d0_zps7008c76a.jpgSorry about the pretty stereotypical blogger photos – I couldn’t have flowers in my room (thanks to my lovely boyfriend!) and not include them! Also apologies about the obviously fading light as you go through these. I clearly took longer setting up than I anticipated!

 photo 8bdf7634-f7a0-44ba-a05d-6901bd4b1354_zpsf81f2cef.jpgOn the cheap-as-chips front we have the Power Pouts by MUA. I’m in two minds about these – sometimes I love them, sometimes I am not so keen! I find the shade range is a bit odd, and they can also go a bit melty in your bag (though strangely stay put on the lips). Sometimes they also really dry my lips out and make them peel; I think these kind-of react to office air conditioning as I enjoy them a lot more at home! I have three shades; the darker purple I haven’t touched yet as I’ve been storing it up for Autumn since a 3-for-2; I loved the pink for summer but the brown, always overlooked shade is my favourite. It actually comes off a coral-toned pink on me, livening up my face and being the perfect subtle colour. At £3 they certainly aren’t a waste of your money and I’d definitely recommend them!

 photo 608fa725-c645-4375-a963-3accc8151a1b_zps4319ecde.jpgNext up are the blog-famous Revlon Matte Balms. These are my favourites, apart from the Elusive shade. All the others are smooth, pigmented and moisturising; lasting for ages without any dodgy fading. Elusive not so much. It’s too bright and barbie pink on me (so many bloggers say its a neutral-toned pink – I don’t get it?!), it feels drying, and it fades away in patches. With the right outfit and a silly amount of lip-prep I can get away with it, but that much effort means I rarely wear this. Sultry on the other hand is something I’m thinking of getting a handbag backup of. The perfect anyday lip, this really, really compliments my skin tone. I lusted after the shade for so long (I can’t buy a non-sealed lip product) and I wore it pretty much everyday for a fortnight when I finally got hold of it. Striking is my other shade of choice, and this bold, dark red is stunning all year round. I have a similar tone to Jenny Purr, and she loves both these shades – I’m just trying to ignore her love for certain Nars products now!

 photo 2014-08-03154057_zps0866fcd5.jpgAnother famous product next, but one with a slightly higher price tag! You guessed it, the Clinique Chubby Sticks. I was so, so excited with Glamour announced these as magazine freebies. I, quite literally, scoured the country for them as their release coincided with my Devon holiday. No luck. I resigned myself to the fact that I’d never own these. Then I moved to Surrey, grabbed some stuff in Waitrose, and the two shades were sitting on the magazine rack by the till. I grabbed them, proudly instagrammed them, and now have them thrown into a satchel each. They are pretty similar to the MUA offerings, perhaps a little more pigmented, more moisturising, and a little more reliable. These definitely don’t melt over my satchel! I’m not a huge fan of Woppin’ Watermelon, again a little too barbie pink, but Super Strawberry is my end-of-the day throw on. You never know who you might bump into on the way home from the office! Some of the other shades look gorgeous, but at £17 I’d sooner stick to MUA. I could almost buy a Power Pout and a MAC lipstick (my other love) for that!

 photo a5364e73-ed5f-481e-8caa-003ac14021f1_zps38b33ee4.jpgAs an addition, I also have the CID Lip & Cheek tint, free in Cosmopolitan the same month as Glamour offered the clinique products. Yep, I did see this as a bit of a booby prize! I have to say I love the colour – its more orange-toned and a little fresher than my Revlon red. However the glossy finish means it does slip down off your lips. Blotting solves this, making it more matte, which I actually prefer, but its something to bear in mind. I would say these are no higher quality than the MUA offerings though, I certainly wouldn’t part with £15!

So, would I recommend you splurge or save on lip crayons? My best bet is to go with Revlon; a mid-price point, quite often on offer, and the best quality out of all the lip crayons I’ve tried. Having said that, if I need to break into a note, I’d happily go pick up a Power Pout!

What lip products do you recommend?