Beauty · Make-up

My top romantic reds and perfect pinks for Valentine’s Day lips…

I’m a huge fan of bold lipsticks (this post is not for the faint hearted!) and I never need an excuse to slick on my favorite shade (I’m often the only mum at the school gates sporting such a look!); I think it just gives you a lift… it says ‘I’m feeling a little bit fancy today!’. So it’ll come as no surprise that I actually have a rather large collection of red/pink lipsticks and a recent sort through my make up case surprised me with a few shades that I’d completely forgot all about. I had a lot of fun sitting on the floor trying them all on, wiping them off again and trying on another one! My husband wondered exactly what I’d been up to when I came downstairs with my lips stained in all sorts of shades…
The sort out meant I could hook out some firm favourites and it was a nice excuse to mix up what I wear again in the lead up to Valentine’s Day (does that give the impression I’ll have a hot date? It’s a school night…). So in today’s blog I have a selection of my top Valentine’s worthy lipsticks, which will suit a range of skin tones (I buy a range of shades for my professional work, as well as personal use).

Now I like to think I have my personal favourite but it just keeps changing every time I discover something new! There’s a whole world out there… A good lipstick makes you feel really special when you wear it, it can co-ordinate with an outfit, accessories, nail varnish, etc. and finish you off, making an overall look feel considerately thought out. First up are my two top shades from Lipfinity by Max Factor: Frivolous and Vivacious.

Max Factor Lipfinity in shade 108: Frivolous
Max Factor Lipfinity in shade: 040 Vivacious

This a is a great drugstore brand, which means it’s widely available and quite affordable. Something that makes them even more economical is that they are so well pigmented, there’s no need for a lip liner as well. Lipfinifty has been around for a while now and they’re certainly nothing new but they’re still a firm favourite of mine, performing consistently well (despite how long I’ve now had them for!). Originally they were marketed for their longevity, which really appealed to my bridal work, so I grabbed quite a few shades! Now I’m really not a ‘selfie’ kind of person (in fact it takes me forever to take one, because I just feel plain awkward!) but in this business of blogging and vlogging, there really is no avoiding it if you want to show off a product, so here I am wearing both shades:

Frivolous: a seriously vampy shade!

Vivacious: a pretty, fresh pop of pink, also ideal for the upcoming Spring season!

I will always be really honest in my comments about a product and I think these have just two downfalls: if you layer the colour too much on your lips, you will get a ‘cakey’ look (as with anything, you have to play first to get to know it.  It’s not a problem though, because they are so well pigmented, you can afford to go sparingly to avoid the caked look) and, if you intend to wear these all day, you will get colour fade towards the inner lip (caused by the usual: eating, licking your lips, etc. and when I say ‘fade’, I mean complete disappearance of, which looks a little odd).  So the way I would get around this is to either have the product with you for a top up during the day or just keep it to evening wear (and then it lasts beautifully).

The Lipfinity lipsticks are in liquid form and in the packaging you also get a clear balm stick (not pigmented at all). The idea is that you apply the liquid colour and allow to dry (which takes just seconds, no waiting around here) and then add a coat of the balm over the top to help you feel moisturised. The lip colour is VERY matte and without the balm you might feel quite dry but with it, it’s just great. I take the balm stick out with me in my handbag and reapply as I want to throughout the day to keep me feeling nourished. Normally, for someone who has dry lips in the first place, I would recommend applying a balm under the lip colour but this is the only case I’ve come across where I would NOT recommend that. This is because it would stop the lip colour from adhering to the lip, which in turn would affect its ability to last. So the balm they provide you with, over the top of the colour is perfect!

Next I have my super red: a favourite with so many people and, being a neutral red, it’s such a wearable shade, it suits almost everyone (colouring wise).  Ruby Woo by MAC is just one of those shades that, when you wear it, you actually have people come up to you and say “ooh I love Ruby Woo”!  They just know what it is, it’s such an iconic shade. 

Ruby Woo Retro Matte lipstick and Cherry Lip Pencil by MAC

This was a bold purchase for me and it’s about as bold as I get (as it’s very bright against my colouring); this one feels really special when you wear it but my husband (and my favourite coffee mug) all go running for cover!

It has fantastic staying power and I really don’t need to reapply it during the day, although I would if I was wearing it on into the evening, just to keep it punchy and with clean lines. If you have quite dry lips, I would recommend prepping the lips first with a balm, as this is VERY matte but be careful not to apply too thick a layer of lip balm, as too much slip and glide would affect the transfer and lasting power of this lipstick. I used this shade on all the bridesmaids at a wedding I did last summer and it was the perfect shade for them all and (happily) suited their dresses perfectly.

My most recent purchase (and my new favourite pink!) is Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk and I wear this with the matching Lip Cheat Lip Liner, also in Pillow Talk.  This is absolutely perfect for Valentine’s Day; it’s a really sophisticated, soft and romantic shade and one that’s in the current favourite matte formulation but that is equally creamy and comforting, as opposed to dry.

Matte Revolution Lipstick and Lip Cheat Lip Liner both in shade: Pillow Talk by Charlotte Tilbury

This is a such a ladylike shade and the only word for it is sophisticated. I have never bought a pink like this before and, as I bought it online, I was putting a lot of faith into the shade accuracy of the photos! When I opened it I’ll admit I was a little unsure, as I thought it would be lighter but having applied it, I couldn’t be more happy.

It’s almost a nude pink and, for me, it’s like my natural lips but bitten, richer and also a little fuller feeling (as the formulation is so comforting and creamy). As lipsticks go, this one’s pretty pricey (£23 just for the lipstick) but I’m not disappointed to have parted with my cash for this (and that’s saying something, because I’m not easily impressed!). If you like a softer, more romantic look, I think this is the perfect pink for Valentine’s Day but one that’s so timeless, it’ll see you through a multitude of wears after. I bought a few things from Charlotte Tilbury recently (to see what all the hype was about) and will be reviewing them all in much greater depth soon, so watch this space!

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Thanks for reading and happy Friday! x

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