My relationship with lipstick began, as many girls’ do, with Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. I was 14, and all my friends wore it: the Ashkenazi Jews, the Irish girls, the doe-eyed brunette of forgettable but super-pretty extraction. There was a reason we all wore it: It had just a touch of color, which made it less of a commitment than a real lipstick. It also meant you could apply it without a mirror, but most of all, it looked good on everyone. Like, everyone.
(Now, you are under strict orders not to go out and buy it, even though it’s kind of amazingly pretty. Clinique—which I emailed twice and live-chatted with to try to get an ingredient list for this lipstick, and which promised a response within 24 hours but never did—is not a clean brand by our standards.)
So anyway a couple of years later, all my friends graduated to Revlon’s Coffee Bean—another lipstick you should not go out and buy—and with that, my girls left me behind. No, it didn’t look good on pink-faced blondes, but neither did any other lipstick as far as I was concerned. Which means my love of lipstick crested when I was in the 8th grade. I proceeded to take about 15 years off until, as I’ve explained in the past, I decided to write a beauty book, which was going to mean trying on lipstick would become an occupational requirement—and I wasn’t terribly excited about that.
But then, something happened. You can read about my early a-ha moments here: it involved beautiful W3LL People, Living Nature, Lip Ink, and Vapour—all colors I still like. Since then, I have continued to experiment. I love RMS in Smile, which is a screamy kind of pink that somehow totally flatters, despite its bold hue and now, my new toy:
The ladies at Nubonau were raving about this stuff, and sent me a tube in carefully chosen Blossom Lady (good call, girls). It has less blue in it than appears in the picture, at least on me. It’s a soft, warm pink on my face, and it has everything you could ever want from a daytime lipstick: It’s semi-sheer for easy application on the go (and without a mirror), it is loaded with skin-friendly moisturizing oils, it feels amazing and isn’t sticky (personal pet peeve), and the ingredients are 85% organic according to the company—which is CANADIAN. From Vancouver, no less.
I’ve been wearing this for about a week every day and one application lasts an hour or two depending on how much water I’m drinking. I have also forced it on a couple of other women and I’m happy to say it looks great on lots of different complexions.
And best of all, for me anyway: It’s the kind of lipstick that I’m doesn’t read as lipstick, so much as just: pretty!
J’aime! Have you tried Ilia? And what was YOUR first lipstick?
The wonderful Sophie Uliano of Gorgeously Green has published her latest green beauty awards, folks, and we’re liking what we see. Like us, Sophie has spent a lot of time testing out the best products clean beauty has to offer. Among her makeup winners are RMS Beauty’s ‘un’cover up and living luminizer (love!), Living Nature’s lipstick (love!), Nvey’s eyeliner (need to try!), Alima’s bronzer (ditto!), Physician’s Formula 2-in-1 Bronzer (love!) and others.
Here’s what we want to know: If you were giving out a green beauty award, what would your makeup picks be?
We think Sophie really hit the mark on her choices, though a few of our favorite brands were notably missing from this list, like W3LL People and Dr. Hauschka. Though she did get us excited to try Organic Pharmacy’s makeup line, which we will. We’ve also been hearing great things about La Bella Donna. Reviews on those to come. For now, check out Sophie’s entire list here, and let us know what you love in the comments.
I used to hate makeup. From time to time I’d clumsily fiddle with shadows (ehn, being honest I still do), and lipstick was a zero-times-a-year thing. Aside from mascara and some powder or foundation for my sometimes-troubled skin, I stayed away from the stuff. Alexandra, meanwhile, was a pro—whipping together a perfect, colorful, sexy face in a flash. This is what made writing the makeup chapter so daunting: she was nervous about giving up her tried and trusted kit, and I was nervous about building one.
One time, I was given a makeup lesson as a birthday present (best gift ever, by the way) and I learned a thing or two about a thing or two. Still, I reserved my smoky-eye trick for nights out, and when the sassy makeup artist tried to get me to pick a lipstick, I looked at her like she had six heads. But writing about makeup means trying makeup, and lots of it. And so I did.
I’m pale with dark blonde hair which means that makeup screams on my face. Not a bad thing—we like bold makeup—but daunting, sure. Still, better I play with naturals than lead-contaminated mainstreams, right?
Last week, we discovered Living Nature out of NZ. Holy wow what a line. Besides the truly clean ingredients and the potent natural actives, Living Nature also makes great lipsticks—one of which is among my new favorites. It’s called Summer Rain, and the nets kind of ruin the color, but trust me, it’s a nice one. It’s bright blueish-pink, and I’m wearing it right now. In the daytime!
Other lipsticks I love are W3LL People’s peony-pink and true-red lip and cheek sticks, RMS’s lip-2-cheek in any color it comes in, Lip Ink in Rose for a long-lasting nontoxic stain (again, the color on the site doesn’t = the color on my lips, just FYI), and Vapour Beauty’s Torch (technically a blush, but that’s the great thing about naturals—they multitask).
Our book lists many more we love in all categories of makeup.
Do you wear lipstick? Does it scare you? Which ones do you wear?