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?
Part four of our foundation series is here, and we think you’ll like this one a lot. To recap: We’ve already told you about a stick foundation that wears like real skin, our favorite loose powder and a liquid we find truly dreamy. Now we’re going to tell you about a tinted moisturizer (everyone loves tinted moisturizer!) from a brand that’s been something of a mainstay in the naturals world for some time: Suki!
Suki Tinted Active Moisturizer
Tinted moisturizer is a pretty genius invention—the perfect product for a girl who, like me, doesn’t like to wear a lot of makeup, cares about sun protection (not that it’s enough on its own…), and loves hydration. Now, I’ve been eying Suki foundation at Whole Foods for a couple of years so I was happy to finally get my paws on a bottle of this SPF 15 tinted lotion.
One pump from the bottle is actually more than enough, so I try to do a half-pump onto the back of my hand, and then apply it on top of, or mixed together with, a moisturizer, with my fingers. It disappears into the skin more than any other liquid I’ve used, but still has an evening-out effect that I like—so I know it’s doing something. I never reapply foundation throughout the day (concealer? another story) but I do think that if you’re someone looking for a lot of coverage that lasts, this probably isn’t for you.
For people looking to just add a little glow of hydration and some color, you’ll love it! Also, it contains a touch of willowbark, which is great for clogged pores. Oh, and it’s clean, of course. Here’s the ingredient list:
organic roses (rosa centifolia) infused in filtered water (aqua/eau), organic sunflower seed (helianthus annuus) oil, 100% natural beeswax (cera alba), organic grapeseed (vitis vinifera), jojoba seed (simmondsia chinensis), hazelnut (corylus americano) & borage (borago officinalis) oils, cetearyl alcohol, organic fair trade shea butter (butyrospermum parkii), standardized white willow bark (salix alba) extract, food-grade non-gmo lecithin (lecithin), natural vitamin c (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) & retinol (polypeptide liposomes) polypeptide liposomes, organic rose (rosa caninca) extract, food-grade xanthan (xanthan) & arabic (acacia catechu) gums, aroma (pure steam distilled essential oils), geraniol, linalool [may contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides]
What’s your favorite tinted moisturizer?
Get excited! Part three of our series is here, and this one’s a little different. We’ve already told you about our favorite loose powder and a liquid introduced to us by a makeup artist and makeup maven—now we’re going to tell you about another high-performing foundation that we discovered while we were writing the book.
We first learned of this line more than a year ago, and I instantly fell in love with their peony-pink lip-and-cheek makeup (see comment for details!). I like to just kiss the tube a few times for a rich, layerable and always-flattering blast of color, or I’ll sweep a little on my cheeks and then blend with a finger.
(In case you hadn’t already guessed, we’re both pretty low-maintenance, preferring products we can apply using nature’s best makeup brushes: our digits. The Narcissist is no exception.)
Like the lipstick, I apply it either with a clean finger or by sweeping the tube itself onto my face—under my eyes, down my nose, in the middle of my forehead—and then blending it out gently. The creamy texture mimics the feel of moisturized skin, so it doesn’t create a makeuppy look at all, but thanks to the mineral pigments, the coverage is superb. And the ingredients? Squeaky clean, of course. There’s organic oils, plant extracts, mineral pigment and a little beeswax. It never cakes or slips or smears and offers a glowing, dewy look. As with all naturals, you’ll have to reapply if you’re wearing it all day or all night, but it beats putting silicone on your face, thank you very much.
Oh, and for $38, we’re not sure a better value exists as far as foundation is concerned. This tube lasts forever.
Have you tried any stick foundations you love?
Welcome to part two of a five-part series about our favorite foundations. Last week we told you about our current favorite minerals foundation. Now we’re onto a liquid. (Psst: There’s another liquid on the way! They’re both so nice we decided to do liquids…twice!)
Vapour Organic Beauty Soft Focus Foundation
I feel compelled to share the how-we-met part of my love story with Vapour’s foundation. Here goes: In late November I had the pleasure of speaking at a spectacular natural beauty event here in New York with a gaggle of inspiring women including Tata Harper, whose skincare we’re obsessed with, and Spirit Demerson, whose Spirit Beauty Lounge carries many of our favorite brands. Spirit had with her the lovely Anna Webber, a talented makeup artist who works with naturals and was on hand to help a roomful of women play with Spirit’s products at halftime.
I was feeling a little zonked and my skin was not exactly crystal clear (always awesome when you’re sitting in front of a roomful of people talking about beauty), so halfway through the day, I asked Anna to touch up my face. We chatted a little about color choice—even though I’m pink she advised me to try something neutral or with a little yellow in it, because pinks can look chalky after a while—then she reached for a frosted bottle of Vapour’s Soft Focus Foundation.
She gently padded it into the skin in the center of my face, under my eyes and on my forehead, then topped it off with something called the Instant Skin Perfector, presumably blending the two together. I say presumably because I had my eyes closed (a weird reflex for whenever anyone gets close to my face) but when I opened my eyes and looked in the mirror? Boom! A refreshed, dewy, even complexion.
I bought the product on the spot and wondered out loud if I’d be able to apply it as well as Anna had. I was delighted to find that it goes on like a dream and is pretty much idiot-proof! You need very, very little, and I just do the old apply-to-center-of-face-and-blend-outward thing, using my fingers.
And best of all? The ingredients are not only nontoxic, they’re also really skin-friendly, which means when you’re wearing it, your skin is being fed good-for-you ingredients, as opposed to being suffocated with silicone, mineral oil and other crap.
Have a look: Camellia Sinensis Oil Oil* infused with Boswellia Carteri (Frankincense)**, Ocimum Sanctum (Tulsi, Holy Basil)*, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus Flowers)*; Helianthus Annus ( Sunflower ) Oil*, Lecithin*, Cera Alba (Beeswax)*, Silica, Essential Oils and Natural Fruit Essences, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), [+/-: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Mica (CI 77019)]
You can get it from Vapour’s site, or from Spirit Beauty Lounge.
What’s your favorite liquid foundation?
Lately we’ve been on a bit of a makeup kick. A couple of weeks ago I got a little emo about my relationship with makeup, and your comments were deeply moving and thoughtful, then I told you about our favorite new blush (slash lipstick). Next, we challenged you to give us your best, glammest clean-cosmetics face, and then Alexandra asked you to share your makeup horror stories with our friend Melissa Dahl.
Now, we’d like to tackle the most basic basics—the stuff we use to hide our zits, even out our complexions, and fake a good night’s sleep. In a word: foundation.
We’re going to do this in five parts, and the first one might raise some eyebrows (or crossbows!). Be gentle with us, and hear us out, because numero uno in the series is….
“Huh? Laura Mercier? But her line isn’t natural or organic—is it?” Heck no, but her loose minerals contain the same ingredients as almost any other mineral powder on the market, and hers is our current favorite. In fact, it’s the only reason we ever go to Sephora anymore! (No offense, Sephora—it’s just that your stores confuse people about what’s truly natural and what isn’t. Also, the perfumes make us kind of heachachy.) Like many other minerals lines, this one does contain bismuth oxychloride, so if you react badly to it, then this one probably isn’t for you. What we like about LM minerals are the colors and how finely ground they are—it just makes for a nice light touch, but with the same strong coverage minerals provide. As always, you must be very careful not huff the stuff. (One solution? Mix it with your moisturizer or face oil.)
What’s your favorite loose minerals line?
Come back Tuesday for the next!
Image of a pretty girl putting on powder (CC) from Flickr