Unflattering Lippies and What To Do With Them

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

About this time last year, I was starting to get intrigued, or more like seduced by color cosmetics, namely the lipstick. A bit unwisely, I started buying up some of the cult classics because I figured, they have to be good to be so highly esteemed right? Would Allure Magazine or that Youtube beauty guru with the millions of followers ever steer me wrong? The unfortunate short answer to this question is yes, yes they can for many reasons... but the number one reason was that I was taking inspiration from the wrong people/beauty editors. Each person has their own unique coloring that encompasses a tone, an undertone, a clarity factor, and contrast and we'd all be doing ourselves a favor by giving more weight to recommendations from people whose hues are most like our own. (In case you're wondering, I'm an NC20 with a muted and medium contrast coloring.)

There is a wonderful and enlightening blog post over at Beginner's Makeup that really helped me stop shooting from the hip when it came to buying lip colors and start picking the right ones.

But today, we're here to talk about what to do with the disappointing lip products you've already purchased and how best to squeeze some more wears out of them. There are five methods I'll discuss using two lipsticks I picked up from Revlon in the early days. They are the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks in Sky Pink and Cherries In The Snow and they retail for ~$5.00 - $8.00 at most drugstores, Target, Walmart, Ulta, and Amazon.

Revlon Sky Pink Cherries In The Snow
From Top: Revlon Sky Pink, Revlon Cherries In The Snow


(1) The most common (and common sense) way to salvage unflattering lip products is to layer the color with another lip product that is a touch cooler or a touch warmer depending on what you think works best with your skin tone. This could work with another lipstick, a lip liner, a gloss, whatever you have in your collection.

(2) Sheer it out. This is also one of the most common ways to try and make a color work for you. Apply a thin coat of the shade using a lip brush and see if you like the color, just at a lower volume. You can also mix the shade with a lip balm.

(3) Go full 90's and try out a reverse gradient lip. Inspired by the resurgence of the two-tone or ombre lip trend with products like these Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bars, this method basically colorblocks your lips with the darker shade around the edges of your lips and the lighter shade in the center. Though reminiscent of the visible lip liner trend of the 90's, oft sported by Pamela Anderson, you can bring this look up-to-date by using colors that have a lighter contrast, and by blending to get rid of any harsh edges.

(4) Go full Korean 'ulzzang' and try out a gradient lip. This look is the diametric opposite to the reverse gradient. It basically flips it and reverses it by featuring the darker shade in the center of the lips, blended out into the lighter shade around the edge of your lip.

(5) Take it off. Literally put the lipstick on, wait a minute for the color to seep in and leave a stain, and then wipe it off. I love how undone and casual this looks.

I've included a picture illustrating methods 3 thru 5. Each look was done using the two shades I discussed earlier. Please excuse the inconsistent lighting as the sun was extra flighty today.

You'll also be able to see why these two shades aren't my favorites as I've included swatches and lip swatches. Mini-review: Sky Pink is too Nicki Minaj and Cherries In The Snow is a bright magenta-red that looks too high-contrast for my coloring (high-contrast? or gaudy?). I think it'd look amazing on someone with a cool undertone. Anyways these two were such a shame since Revlon Super Lustrous Lipsticks have an amazing formula.

Revlon Sky Pink Cherries In The Snow
Experiments In Saving Unflattering Lipsticks
Do you have any tricks for saving your disappointing products that you'd like to share with me?



thedreamfactorynz said...

You could try mixing with lipbalm to create a tinted balm (OK, I know thats pretty much what you said in #1).
You could also try using a little as blush! Or destash/sell if you're really really not keen on it

Joan Lee said...

That sounds lovely! So would you depot the lipstick into a lip balm container with some of the balm itself? I think I might try that with the bright lippies that didn't work out. I've used the lipsticks as blush before but I found that my cheeks felt grimy and unpleasant but I know a lot of others do this. And there are the YSL Kiss & Blush's and all of those lip and cheek jelly products floating around so the market backs you up. :) Thanks for the ideas!

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