Lips Like Rose Petals

I blame my current infatuation with color on taking up embroidery after a long hiatus. As I play with fabric and thread and search for the right kind of ivory to sparkle against white linen, I give more thought to the colors around me, sometimes even too much. “Wouldn’t that be a great pairing!” I think as I walk over a chocolate brown grate that my Brussels commune stamps with its lemon yellow seal. When I’m not admiring the exquisite detail of local plumbing, I indulge my color obsession via my makeup kit.


Makeup is a natural way to explore color, because face products–lipstick, blush, eyeshadow, powders–allow for an infinite variation of shades and gradations of tones. Depending on the texture and transparency, the same hue can take a different cast, not to mention the effect provided by your own skin. Of course, it’s also an excuse for adding to my makeup wardrobe, because as I delve further into my embroidery and as the summer roses bloom with more abandon, my collection grows steadily. One pink is suddenly not enough. I want all of the roses on my lips.

But alas, roses proved to be a difficult case. While reds and berries suit my pale complexion well, roses and pinks can emphasize the yellowish cast of my skin and make me look as if I haven’t slept for days. The swatching exercise below was done chiefly to organize my stash. The result is a selection of mini-reviews. I prefer my cosmetics unscented, but some of my favorite formulas have a strong scent. I added short fragrance notes, in case you’re picky about this aspect of your lipstick.

swatch-pale pinks

Soft Pale Rose

Pale rose and pale pinks are difficult shades for me to wear; I instantly look washed out. All four lipsticks in this group were either blind purchases or optimistic acquisitions. I harp on about not buying perfume blindly, but I clearly don’t practice what I preach when it comes to lipsticks. They will be going to my mother who looks beautiful in pale pink. If you do as well, I have no qualms recommending these selections for their gorgeous formulas. Even more than with colors, I’m obsessed with textures.

Guerlain KissKiss Baby Rose 368 (#1 from the left)

Guerlain’s KissKiss Baby Rose 368 is tea rose petal pink, with a generous dose of golden microshimmer. Shimmer makes it appear much lighter on lips than it appears in the swatch. The formula is balmy and creamy, but the shimmer gives it a slight heft.

Scent: retro raspberry-rose, pleasant enough.

Lavshuca Moist Melting Rouge PK 5 (#2)

Lavshuca is a Japanese drugstore brand, owned by Kanebo, and  Moist Melting Rouge is very comfortable to wear if you have dry lips. PK5 is pink on a warm base, with a generous dose of silvery shimmer. On my lips, it’s pale, too much so, and the shimmer is pronounced. The texture is creamy and luscious.

Scent: none

Revlon Super Lustrous Matte Lipstick Sky Pink (not pictured)

A beautiful pale cool pink without too much white. Lustrous Matte formula can be a touch drying, so I wear it over a thin layer of balm. Revlon is consistently among my favorite lipsticks but mostly for its reds–Fire & Ice, Cherries in the Snow, Revlon Red.

Scent: none

Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick 03 Tsuyazakura (#3)

Tsuyazakura from the Japanese brand Suqqu is much cooler on me than it appears in my swatch, but it’s true to its name, which means “cherry blossoms”. I’ve succumbed to it, because I had an optimistic notion that it could work on my sallow, pale complexion and I’ve been coveting the cherry blossom tinted lips from Japanese beauty magazines. No cherry blossoms for me. On the other hand hand, the texture is gorgeous–creamy without heft; the lipstick glides on easily, doesn’t settle into fine lines and doesn’t bleed.

Scent: none

swatch-cool pink and ylbb

Cool Bright Pink

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Sheer Candy #4 Succulent Pomegranate (#1 from the left)

If pale roses are my most difficult shades, everything bright is second nature. Even with a strong eye, I look much better if there is a hint of color on my lips. Volupté Sheer Candy wears like a balm, but it packs enough hue to look more interesting than just a slick of moisturizer. A bright bougainvillea pink.

Scent: an accident at the flavor facility. Whoever at YSL thought of scenting their lip products with a plasticky berry?

Maybelline Color Elixir Captivating Carnation (not pictured)

I loved Maybelline Color Elixir in Captivating Carnation. An exact shade of rose de mai, it wears well and doesn’t feel overly sticky. But the smell was the reason I’ve given up my tube. Apparently I can handle mutant berries right under my nose but not sugary sweet vanilla. Neverthless, if you like bright pinks and don’t mind the scent, this option is wonderful. You can see swatches on Temptalia.

Scent: artificial vanilla

Red Pink

Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Sheer Candy #6 Luscious Cherry (#2)

A sheer red shot through with barely visible pink shimmer. If you like jelly-like textures, this is a great option. Looks beautiful with smoky eyes or on its own.

Scent: same above, berries on steroids.

Dior Addict Fluid Stick Wonderland (not pictured)

One of my favorite lipsticks for bright colors (sheer but vibrant strawberry jelly in this case) and lightweight formula.

The reason I need to organize my wardrobe is because I keep losing lipsticks, hence no swatch. Instead, I’ll direct you to Drivel About Frivol that has a great review with photos.

Scent: plastic and vanilla. Why, Dior, why? On the plus side, it doesn’t linger.

“My Lips But Better” Pink

Giorgio Armani Rouge d’Armani Sheer 9 (#3)

Raspberry pink with a delicate swirl of silvery shimmer. It may look like Guerlain on paper, but on lips it’s a perfect rose pink. Sparkle aside, it looks close to my natural lip color, so I find it effortless. The formula is light, moisturizing, but the color has just the right dose of vibrancy.

You can see by the tiny stub that this is one of my most worn lipsticks.

Scent: none

Clinique Chubby Stick 07 Super Strawberry (#4)

Dusty pink mixed with strawberry, but the result is an understated rose. Another “my lips but better shade.”

Scent: the base is unscented but it has its own pronounced oily scent. Much to the store staff’s chagrin, I insisted on sniffing the new package, because I was sure that my newly purchased lipstick was off. The whole batch had the same smell. The only thing that’s keeping me from buying more of these crayons.

swatch-coral and fuchsia

Pink Coral

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain #12 (#1 from the left)

Yves Saint Laurent’s Glossy Stain is my favorite lipstick formula, which is why I have three contenders in the pink/rose family. It’s shiny, long-lasting–which means surviving three meals and a whole day of tea drinking, and the color selection is impressive. Another plus is that Glossy Stain doesn’t dry out my lips and doesn’t feel heavy. #12 is coral mixed with pomegranate pink, and the result is a vivid warm hue.

Scent: fruity rosewater. I like it very much, but many reviewers complain about it being too strong.

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Saint #31 (#2)

#31 is the exact color of Ida Red apples, but a dose of warm peach lightens it to a soft shade. One of my most versatile lipsticks.

Scent: fruity rosewater.

Dark Pink/Fuchsia

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain #25 (#3)

Deep fuchsia that can be worn as a dark pink stain or layered for a dramatic effect.

Scent: fruity rosewater.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine 84 Dialogue (#4)

Although it looks like medium tone red in the tube, Dialogue has a cool pink base, which makes it more interesting. I also love the lipstick formula for its jelly like texture, moisturizing feel and shiny finish. The rose jam color matches a beautiful natural rose scent and makes me reach for a plush rose perfume like Annick Goutal Rose Absolute or Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose to be covered in roses head to toe.

Scent: natural rose

Do you have favorite pink and rose lipsticks? 

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, all taken in natural light.



  • Sandra: Since I have a 8 month old at home (and currently preggers again ) I only have time for lipstick and concealer in the mornings when I am headed off to work. When it comes to makeup in general- I steer clear of anything with shimmer unless I know exactly what the shimmer is made of. Most shimmer in makeup is from fish scales- and whatever you are putting on your mouth you ingesting that too.

    One of my favorite lip pallets is Harmonie LÈVRES, by Chanel. Nice matte rosy shades. Do check it out.
    I also love nudes- Dior rouge in 169
    For a brownish pink – mademoiselle from the coco rouge collection by Chanel. August 17, 2015 at 7:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Congratulations, Sandra! How exciting. 🙂

      I’d be very surprised if most shimmer came from fish scales, because that ingredient is really expensive. You’re much more likely to find mineral mica combined with titanium dioxide. Or bismuth oxychloride (although it’s less frequently used by the European brands). Since that stuff makes me skin itch like crazy, I’d rather go for fish scales.

      But I’m also not a huge fan of shimmer on my lips, and whatever shimmery, sparkly shades I had, I ended up giving them away. So your recommendations are up my alley. Thanks a lot. August 17, 2015 at 8:02am Reply

    • Ann: I thought you must not have your facts right about fish scales…but found these articles on Huffington Post and iO9. I’m not personally bothered by the usage of animal products in make-up (in this case from a species I eat, so long as the animals are not endangered, and are humanely killed, harvested by people who are not slave or prison labor, etc. etc. )–but it does make you wonder!

      Thanks for drawing my attention to this!

      and for more on the science of guanine: August 17, 2015 at 1:01pm Reply

      • Victoria: Opalescent ingredients from fish scales used to be a common ingredient until fish stocks started getting depleted further and further. Today there are many cheaper substitutes, so I doubt that fish scale derivates are as common as these articles claim they are. August 17, 2015 at 1:23pm Reply

        • Sandra: For my wedding over a year ago I used a very well known NYC make up artist (who was way over my budget) and she took a glimps into my makeup bag and pulled out a bunch of stuff and told me that these products (lipsticks, eye shadows etc) have fish scales in them- and wondered if I had asked before purchasing. She is in the industry- and travels world wide to do make up – but it was just her opinion and could be wrong. Who knows- but I now ask before purchasing or don’t purchase shimmer all together. August 17, 2015 at 4:36pm Reply

          • Victoria: I’m still skeptical at such claims, because while I’m not a makeup expert, I know enough of the cosmetic industry and the costs of ingredients (and also how much price cutting brands do). But unless you’re a principled vegan, ingredients made out of fish scales seem perfectly fine. They aren’t toxic, they’re a by-product of an existing industry (so likely to be sustainable) and they cause far fewer, if any, allergic reactions than the most popular ingredients for shimmery compounds like bismuth oxychloride. August 17, 2015 at 5:11pm Reply

            • Sandra: I am skeptical too- but it doesn’t hurt to ask before purchasing- and you have to the right as a consumer to know what you are buying August 17, 2015 at 5:45pm Reply

              • sandra: Anyways..its on to try Guerlain’s baby kiss!!! August 17, 2015 at 8:54pm Reply

              • Victoria: Of course! August 18, 2015 at 4:06am Reply

  • Austenfan: Somehow the desire to wear make up has always eluded me. (And even my mother used to wear some when she was younger, although I can’t remember her wearing any when I was growing up.) Anyhow, I always read make up posts with a sort of slight amazement, like looking at another culture that is somehow fascinating, but not necessarily one’s own.
    I love playing with colour in my garden (small), as I love growing plants and seeing some do well and others not so well. I have mostly shades of pink, pale blue, white, mauve and what have you and a couple of weeks ago bought a phlox in a gorgeous, slightly trashy, orangey pink shade called Flamingo. I hope it will get huge next year.

    And I’m very glad that not even Belgian plumbing escapes your notice 🙂 My first giggle of the day! August 17, 2015 at 7:58am Reply

    • Victoria: I started out being interested in makeup as a ballet student, because it was an important part of performance. Now it’s an extension of my other interests. But at the core of it is pleasure. Just like with perfume. It starts from researching, discovering, comparing colors and tones. It can be a wonderfully geeky hobby or just something one does to make themselves feel better. There is nothing like sitting at home in an old yoga outfit and wearing a bright red lipstick. Or red eyeshadow. Yes, some aspect of makeup still remains a performance art for me.

      Phloxes are some of the best flowers to indulge one’s love for bright colors. My grandmother has one variety that’s an eye searing pink. Even I who loves bright shades was a bit startled when I saw it. Nature has its own sense of fun. August 17, 2015 at 8:14am Reply

      • Austenfan: I can see that ballet performances needed a lot of make up. My comment wasn’t intended as criticism about wearing make up by the way.

        I used to go horse riding as a girl…

        And phloxes come in such a variety of colours, most of mine are fairly muted in colour, except for Flamingo. The darker their colour the spicier their scent by the way. My white ones smell like slightly spicy hay; lovely. August 17, 2015 at 11:21am Reply

        • Victoria: I didn’t take it as such at all. Different strokes for different folks, of course. I resent the idea that one has to wear makeup “to look presentable” just as much as criticisms of makeup as “an unnecessary frivolity.”

          In ballet, you need to emphasize the features, because miming is an important part of a classical ballet, and an audience member sitting in the far row should be able to see the eyes. But in some modern ballets it’s the opposite. The makeup is kept low key to focus attention only on the movement and the line. August 17, 2015 at 12:15pm Reply

          • Austenfan: And too much make up would frighten the horses! 🙂

            It’s interesting about that difference between modern and classical ballet. I assumed that wearing it was mainly for what you explained about it’s purpose.

            I remember when I participated in a school play, decades ago, that we were made up as well. Frighteningly so. I quite enjoyed it but payed dearly the next day with completely red and swollen eyes! August 17, 2015 at 12:53pm Reply

            • Victoria: Would it really? Or because the horse wouldn’t recognize you? August 17, 2015 at 1:24pm Reply

              • Austenfan: I wonder! As I understand horses, like dogs, are mostly scent driven. So it shouldn’t really matter. They spook on odd things though, as I remember. But no, make up shouldn’t bother them.

                On another note isn’t sallow used to describe a skin tone that is slightly yellowish? Or is it one of those outdated words that has stuck in my brain after reading too much 19th century English literature. August 17, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

                • Victoria: But it’s more of a negative connotation, i.e. someone who has been ill and has an unhealthy cast to their skin. August 17, 2015 at 2:02pm Reply

                  • Figuier: Sorry to butt in, but that word’s quite interesting – in my experience, in Ireland people often use ‘sallow’ as a compliment, i.e. when you’ve just come back from holiday and your pasty white skin has acquired a bit of a tan. When I lived there it really startled me the first time someone told me my face was ‘really sallow’! But in most other places, yes, it usually implies ill-health or even lack of sun! August 18, 2015 at 4:55am Reply

                    • Victoria: I was thinking of that later, because the word surprised me when I was reading Irish magazines and kept coming across it as a compliment. But an English writer like Jane Austen would use this word in a somewhat different light: “She had a thin awkward figure, a sallow skin without colour, dark lank hair, and strong features” (Northanger Abbey). In Russian sallow is solovyj, which just means cream-colored, but it’s usually used to describe horses rather than humans. 🙂 August 18, 2015 at 5:26am

                    • Austenfan: I first read it in Pride and Prejudice (obviously), and I’m now trying to think of the character with sallow skin. In NA it is used for Catherine Morland.
                      Interesting to see that in Ireland it has such a different connotation August 18, 2015 at 9:33am

                    • Victoria: I finished Sense and Sensibility a few weeks ago, so I looked up another mention:
                      “Mrs. Ferrars was a little, thin woman, upright, even to formality, in her figure, and serious, even to sourness, in her aspect. Her complexion was sallow; and her features small, without beauty, and naturally without expression…” August 18, 2015 at 9:40am

      • Jackie: I’m with you, Victoria. I can spend hours in Sephora just fascinated by the endless possibility of colour. How many variations of pink alone!? Or red!? It’s like looking at paints in an art store (or embroidery thread), but with even greater variety (and texture and scent to boot! God, I love makeup!) August 18, 2015 at 3:00am Reply

        • Victoria: I went to the art supply store to get some white paper, and I couldn’t tear myself away from the display of colors. In the end I had to remind myself that I don’t paint. 🙂 August 18, 2015 at 5:14am Reply

  • Patricia: My latest lipstick obsessions are the Clinique Pop Lip Colour Lipsticks, which are thankfully scent free. Like you, I can’t wear light pinks, or blue pinks, but have found that Bare Pop, a medium brownish pink with shimmer, and Plum Pop, a medium plum, no shimmer, work very well indeed. These are supposed to contain primer right in the formula, but no matter, they are creamy and lovely on the lips. An added plus is that the base of the case is the color of the lipstick itself, which makes blind grabbing of cosmetics in the early morning much easier. (Not affiliated, just love the product!) August 17, 2015 at 8:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I will definitely check out Plum Pop, because plums are such favorite colors. I can do a blue pink if it’s dark, but if it’s too light, it’s challenging. By the way, Clinique and Lauder brands here are so much more expensive. August 17, 2015 at 9:23am Reply

      • Patricia: I own some of the other shades in the line, but sometimes need to mix shades to tone down, darken, etc. But I wear Bare Pop and Plum Pop right out of the tube! August 17, 2015 at 9:49am Reply

        • Victoria: Already checked it out! I passed by the counter today on my way from the post office, and yes, Plum Pop is gorgeous. I’ll wait for my US trip to get it, since I can’t bear to pay extra euros in the hefty import markups here. Thank you for a recommendation. August 17, 2015 at 11:58am Reply

          • Patricia: 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 12:48pm Reply

            • rainboweyes: Yes, Plum Pop is gorgeous! I tested Cola Pop at the airport and it turned out to be my favourite. I also loved After Party. I wish I could find a colour like this as organic lipstick… August 17, 2015 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: You never have enough lipsticks. The Ysl glossies are favourites, I have two of them: soft beige no. 106 and soft mauve no. 107. There are many wonderful lipsticks, Lancôme, Dior, Givenchy, Mac…but I prefer Chanel. Recently I bought No. 444 (Gabrielle) from the Rouge Coco range.
    As I have green eyes, mauve lipstick suites me, but on the other hand, my teeth are rather yellow. So, wearing mauve lipstick, I keep my mouth shut, doing a favour to this world.
    For a mauve lipstick, nothing beats YSL No. 19. August 17, 2015 at 8:37am Reply

    • Victoria: Mauve is such a beautiful color.
      I can’t wear MAC, because its lipsticks make my lips crack and bleed. This is such a shame, since they have many colors I love. August 17, 2015 at 9:25am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Chanel is good for your lips. Rouge Coco No. 444 is beautiful scarlet. August 17, 2015 at 12:11pm Reply

        • Victoria: I will check it out. Thank you. I have a gift certificate for ICI Paris XL, and they carry Chanel. August 17, 2015 at 12:18pm Reply

      • Karen: I think at some point MAC reformulated their lipsticks. I used to wear them (years ago!), loved the colors – then bought one a little while ago and noticed my lips were getting small blisters. At first I thought it was from food, but finally figured out it was the lipstick. August 17, 2015 at 1:32pm Reply

        • Victoria: They also changed their brushes. I noticed it when I went to repurchase my favorite #217, a perfect blending brush. Apparently, what I have is a rare, precious vintage. 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 1:42pm Reply

    • Hamamelis: Hi Cornelia, I wear exactly the same YSL glossies: 106 and 107! I have paler ones (19 and 06), but these are my favourites. August 17, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Hamamelis, what a coincidence! There are many colours, but 106 and 107 are really outstanding. August 17, 2015 at 12:13pm Reply

    • Karen: I love love love Chanel’s lipsticks. Their different formulas all work on me – Coco Shine, Rouge Allure regular and Velvet. Another really nice indie brand is Besame. I only have American Beauty – a gorgeous red.

      Somehow I’ve ended up with a couple of CK Ones from Calvin Klein (Ulta special prices) and they have a really nice texture. August 17, 2015 at 1:39pm Reply

    • AndreaR: YSL glossies are my absolute favorites too. I wear No. 5 and No. 20, but am off to check out some of the other colors recommended in today’s fun blog. August 17, 2015 at 3:14pm Reply

  • Jill S.: Beautiful article, Victoria. Do you know where to get Suqqu in the U.S.? also, what’s the best for very dry lips?
    Thanks so much. August 17, 2015 at 8:58am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m in Belgium, so I usually just order it from Selfridges or ask one of my friends to buy it for me. Selfridges might have international shipping, but I shudder to think what it might cost. My US friends ordered Suqqu from I don’t have any experience with that site, but I hear that it’s reliable.

      I have dry lips, and I find Dior, Chanel, Suqqu, YSL very comfortable. But skin is so variable. I moisturize my lips every night when I do my evening skincare routine, and it makes a big difference. August 17, 2015 at 9:31am Reply

      • Rowanhill: Selfridge’s delivery costs are outrageous. I ordered the Suqqu brow pencil (the felt tipped one) and expected it to be delivered on a silver plate with a delivery man in a frock coat. As for lipsticks, I cannot do pales nudes as they blend too well with my face and I look positively lifeless. The one that works is Chanel Rouge Coco Adrienne. On the my lips but better department my favourites are Chanel’s Mademoiselle and Tom Ford’s Indian Rose. On the lipgloss category Chanel Levres Scintillantes nr 46 Gossamer and the Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss nr 57 Insolence. The last one has the colour at the base. I wish it was available in more makeup. As soon as there are more than one of the same packaging it seems that I always pick the wrong one – looking at you Chanel blushes. Or else write the colour name with a larger font. August 18, 2015 at 5:26am Reply

        • Victoria: They really are! I usually order with another friend who likes Suqqu and then we split the shipping fees and it comes out much better. I just can’t understand why it’s so expensive to mail here.

          I also wonder why so few brands sell eyeshadows in a completely opaque packaging. How can you tell which is which? So I finally started depotting all of my blushes and eyeshadows into a handy Z Palette. August 18, 2015 at 5:38am Reply

    • Caroline: Jill, haven’t found Suqqu is the U.S., but the site BonBon Cosmetics carries it, and they ship worldwide–have ordered successfully from them a couple of times. Bought my lipstick at Fenwicks in London last year…so much easier to choose in person. August 17, 2015 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Bonnie: I am an lipstick addict. I currently display 26 assorted reds & wines in my bathroom, with another 50 or so stashed in every nook and cranny in my bedroom. I have worn red lippy since I was 15. Maybe 14. Possible 13? I was born addicted to painting my face bright with colour. Today I am wearing what I call my “vampire” lip – a dark purple plum with brown undertones from cruelty-free Canadian cosmetics company Vasanti. The colour’s name is my favourite name ever. It’s called Drunk in Love. And yes, I’m at work in my cubicle. As far as I’m concerned there’s no lipstick that’s not suitable for work as long as the work gets done 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 9:28am Reply

    • Victoria: The color sounds amazing, Bonnie! I love plums and I love purples. Like you, I also believe that work and lipstick aren’t mutually exclusive. Depends on where you work, perhaps, but in my line of employment, everything goes. 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 11:47am Reply

    • Karen: The lipstick probably helps get the work done! August 17, 2015 at 1:40pm Reply

  • limegreen: Your writing and reviews are so delightful, Victoria, I really enjoyed reading this post even though I don’t wear lipstick very often (usually just light make-up). But now I do feel inspired to wear Lipstick Rose today! 🙂
    I tried Misia for the first time and I kinda enjoy LR more for that fun lipsticky vibe. I was surprised at how “light-leaning” many of the Exclusifs scents are. August 17, 2015 at 9:48am Reply

    • Victoria: Colors are fun, and nothing is more enjoyable than to sit with a bunch of them and examine nuances. Plus, different colors tell different stories. Far more than tempting than a lipstick display is a store selling DMC threads for embroidery. Just when I think I’ve seen all pinks or blues, I discover yet another shade in their collection.

      Les Exclusifs are much too light, with a couple of exceptions. Misia could definitely use a few more curves. August 17, 2015 at 11:52am Reply

      • limegreen: I love color, just not with makeup. Too much worry about facial skin sensitivity maybe. I have lots of color experimentation in my clothing (and bags!), and occasionally sandals/shoes. One of my favorite “dress up” shoes is a pair of Camper limegreen mary janes (with heel). 🙂

        I don’t know why I expected more from the Exclusifs — I did enjoy Coromandel more than I expected. August 17, 2015 at 6:45pm Reply

        • Victoria: Colorful shoes add so much to even the plainest outfit! I have a pair of red ballet slippers and a pair of high-heel acid-yellow sandals (with rhinestones and sequin paillettes!) for days when I need to spice up my frequent jeans and black top ensembles. August 18, 2015 at 4:16am Reply

        • Karen: Recently I bought a pair of light green shoes (T strap style by New Balance’s fashion shoe division so they are unbelievably comfortable). Guess they are the equivalent of La Fille as I’ve been complimented a lot while wearing them. The color is really really pretty and they add a nice note. No rhinestones, though! August 19, 2015 at 5:34am Reply

  • Aisha: I’m a YSL Glossy Stain junkie. I currently have four colors (Nos. 3, 7, 43 and 107), and will likely add more to the collection. I love how long-lasting they are and how “buildable” the colors can be. The glosses are also very low-maintenance. I don’t have time to constantly be worrying about touching up my lipstick. I have other lipsticks and glosses (both drugstore and higher end), but I always reach for a Glossy Stain –even when all I’m doing is staying home to clean the house.

    This was a fun article. We need to discuss eyeshadow palette obsessions next. 😉 August 17, 2015 at 9:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Same here. I’m terribly lazy when it comes to reapplying lipstick, and I just want something that will stay all day long. Or at least, wear gradually.

      Eyeshadow palettes would need several posts! 🙂 Eye makeup is definitely my favorite, starting from my ballet days. August 17, 2015 at 11:56am Reply

  • Elisa: I don’t usually gravitate toward rose pink lipsticks; I usually go for reds, corals, or brownish pink nudes. But my most reached for pink is the Revlon balm stain in Honey, a cool mauve-y pink. The formula is really good, moisturizing and lasts really well, also layers well under other lipsticks.

    I wish Clinique lipsticks smelled better! I threw away my Black Honey because I hated the smell. August 17, 2015 at 10:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, the scent is terrible. Actually, having had some experience at school scenting lipstick, I understand how complicated it can be, but still, I don’t understand how they decided on this choice of formula.

      Reds is my favorite category. I’m afraid that one post won’t do them all justice. August 17, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

      • Elisa: Whatever oils are in them seem to turn rancid quickly too. August 17, 2015 at 12:50pm Reply

    • AndreaR: Black Honey is such a wonderful color. I wore it when it came in a little pot. i wonder if it smelled differently back then? August 17, 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

      • Elisa: Oh, it used to be a gloss! I just found a picture online. The “Almost Lipsticks” were the first lipsticks I liked as a kid. August 18, 2015 at 10:35am Reply

    • Malmaison: Oh, too funny – I put it on this morning for the first time in months and remembered why I’d stopped wearing it … the scent! August 17, 2015 at 8:36pm Reply

      • Elisa: Yes, why can’t they make that color/formula with a better smell! August 18, 2015 at 10:32am Reply

  • Rebecca: Okay, I am currently on a crusade so I am going to have to sound like the language police! “yellowish”? That is a terrible word to use to describe your skin tone. We all do this, using words that have negative connotations to describe ourselves when we could pick nice ones instead. Your skin could be olive toned, naturally tan or (quick pause while I google synonyms of yellowish) even golden! I have been noticing that we often use quite unflattering words to describe ourselves and more flattering ones for other people. In a perfect world, yellowish would mean the same thing as golden, but it doesn’t does it? And it matters because we live in a world where women are constantly sent messages that they are ugly without expensive enhancements (though I am all for enhancement, baby). August 17, 2015 at 10:43am Reply

    • Elisa: It’s pretty standard in the beauty world to refer to skin as either having yellow or pink undertones; I don’t see yellow as having particularly negative connotations here. August 17, 2015 at 10:51am Reply

      • Rebecca: That is the exact point. I am not saying that Victoria is using unusual language and I am sure that the beauty industry uses yellow but pink is traditionally a more desirable color than yellow, isn’t it? If you had golden skin tone, it wouldn’t it be much harder to sell you something to correct it? It’s a detail, and I don’t feel that this is life or death stuff, just that there is room for reflection on women, their bodies and their self-image. August 17, 2015 at 11:00am Reply

      • rainboweyes: My skin has yellow undertones too and I don’t have any negative connotations here. Golden would imply a certain shimmer to me and I usually relate olive to medium skin tones, not very fair ones like mine. Reddish and yellow undertones is standard beauty speak in German too. August 17, 2015 at 11:19am Reply

    • Victoria: If the cosmetic industry believes that yellow is worse than pink, then maybe it explains why I can’t find the right foundation for my skin–they’re far too rosey! So, I’m missing on the substance of the “crusade” here, since natural yellow undertone is very common in skin, whatever its color. Pink is not as common. We can call yellow by another name, of course, but it won’t change the fact that my skin–not yours or someone else’s–has a natural yellowish undertone. I don’t see it as a negative, or heaven forbid, ugly, at all, and I don’t want to change it. The ironic thing is that my skin looks perfectly fine before I add “enhancements”, but some enhancements like the pinks I like in the tube can skew the natural color balance totally off. August 17, 2015 at 11:14am Reply

      • rainboweyes: I have that problem too, that’s the reason why I mostly use mineral foundation, the color palettes seem to cover more colour spectrums. August 17, 2015 at 11:23am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, those ranges are much better for colors. August 17, 2015 at 11:34am Reply

          • spe: Shisiedo for gold, peach, yellow undertones! August 17, 2015 at 3:19pm Reply

            • Victoria: Shiseido is fabulous for colors! I’m in love with their cheek colors, because they have such a wonderful variation of pinks, corals and reds and the texture of powders is fine and easy to blend. August 18, 2015 at 3:46am Reply

              • Rowanhill: Bobbi Brown colours are good as well. August 18, 2015 at 5:35am Reply

                • Victoria: I used to love her line, although I’ve been neglecting it lately in my love affair with Japanese makeup. I also like her perfume. August 18, 2015 at 5:48am Reply

                • Rowanhill: In particular I was thinking of the foundations with yellow undertone, albeit I am not averse to the other products either. 🙂 August 18, 2015 at 6:56am Reply

                  • Victoria: Oh, yes, you’re right. I just remembered that loose powder in a shade she calls “Pale Yellow” was my go-to powder for many years. August 18, 2015 at 8:45am Reply

      • Rebecca: Ah, then you are blessed. I know so many women who feel diminished because they do not fit the dominant model. As for the word itself, while yellowish and golden are, from a dictionary point of view, synonyms, it was my understanding that their usage is not identical in general culture. I take your point that in the context of beauty, the word is standard and does not have negative connotations and I stand corrected. August 17, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

        • Victoria: I don’t fit the dominant model in most ways, which is brought home to me whenever I shop for clothes. 🙂
          Yes, in the makeup color terminology, golden would be something else entirely (ie, warm). My undertone is yellow but cool. If I asked for gold at the counter, I’d come away with a terracotta colored face. August 17, 2015 at 12:27pm Reply

          • Austenfan: That would take some getting used to, I imagine 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 1:50pm Reply

            • Victoria: I prefer my skin au naturel. That’s one part of me where I don’t care for enhancements. Even the idea of a bronzer doesn’t sound appealing. August 17, 2015 at 2:08pm Reply

        • Jessicarus: Interesting! In my experience, in my part of the world, the word yellow as it pertains to skin would likely be seen as a pejorative. The words golden and sallow are used instead. When I buy foundation, I am often told how little gold I have in my skin, while my daughter, who is Asian, hears the opposite. I do *read* makeup descriptions containing the word yellow, but I don’t think I have heard anyone *say* it in my neck of the woods. August 18, 2015 at 12:20am Reply

      • Elisa: Yes, I read somewhere that most people have yellow undertones but for some reason a lot of foundations have pink undertones. Do they carry the L’Oreal True Match foundations where you are? The color range is really good; I use the lightest shade in the neutral range, but they also have a warm range. August 17, 2015 at 12:47pm Reply

        • Victoria: They must. L’Oreal is sold at most supermarkets here, and I will check it out. My other problem is that all foundations are too dark for my skintone. Or they don’t work over my favorite sunscreens. Right now I have a tube of Paula’s Choice tinted moisturizer and it works surprisingly well as a foundation (a pinenut amount on a brush blended well over the cheeks and around the nose.) August 17, 2015 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Liz S: One of my favourite pinky reds is ‘Manhunt’ by Nars. It looks red in the tube but goes on as a beautiful pinkish -red almost strawberry. It looks so pretty but as I have chronically dry lips, I have to wear a balm underneath or my lips start to crack. It just isn’t moisturising enough but when I wear it, it looks so fresh and pretty. It doesn’t pull orange so goes well with any fair skin tone. I also love the Lipstick Queen brand in Sinner Bright Rose. August 17, 2015 at 10:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds lovely! Pink-reds are some of my favorite colors. When I swatched my reds side by side, I realized that those dominate. But interestingly enough, the colors may look the same on paper or my arm, but on lips they differ so much. Well, to my eye at least. 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 12:30pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: I used to be a lipstick addict, after switching my skincare routine to organic, I started to research the ingredients of my makeup products. What I found was very desillusioning, I was particularly disappointed about my beloved Chanel lippies. Their ingredients turned out to be among the worst – petroleum as base, plus cancerogenic azo dyes, silicones, aromatic amines and parabens. Definitely nothing I want in a product which ends up in my stomach 🙁
    I’ve been searching for natural alternatives for a long time and built up my own organic lippy collection. I tend to wear nudes and rosés but I also have some reds and pinks in my wardrobe. My favourites are Perfect Day by Ilia Beauty, Attitude and Fundamental by Axiology, Wink by Afterglow, Precious by Nudus, Ravish by Vapour and Rouge Theatre by Absolution. August 17, 2015 at 11:10am Reply

    • Victoria: I know the most fascinating little brands! Are these all European? Bonnie mentioned an interesting Canadian brand earlier in the comment section (and a color that sounds out of this world amazing!) August 17, 2015 at 11:22am Reply

      • rainboweyes: Actually, only Absolution is European (French), Afterglow, Vapour and Axiology are American, I think Ilia is Canadian and Nudus is from Australia. August 17, 2015 at 11:35am Reply

        • Victoria: Ah, I suspected as much. The beauty movement in the US is heavily driven by the wellness and organic claims, and the offerings are much wider for organic and so-called green cosmetics.

          Do you order them online or is there a store near you that sells of these gems? 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 11:41am Reply

          • rainboweyes: I bought some of them at Colette in Paris, otherwise at (Germany), or (both UK). Nudus and Axiology only via their website.
            Amazingy has a great sample service btw, 5 samples of whatever product for 7(?) euros, it saved me a lot of money 😉 August 17, 2015 at 11:52am Reply

            • Victoria: I love stores with good sample programs, but they’re so rare. August 17, 2015 at 12:06pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: I have to check the Canadian brand she mentioned, it sounds good! August 17, 2015 at 11:54am Reply

    • Tammy: I totally agree with you. Ilia is the next brand I am going to try. August 17, 2015 at 11:22am Reply

    • Hamamelis: Great suggestions Rainboweyes, thank you! Organic wise I also like dr Hauscka, esp. the novum lipsticks (transparent with arganoil). August 17, 2015 at 11:30am Reply

      • rainboweyes: Yes, the Novum lipsticks are great on the go! They are pigmented lightly enough to be applied without a mirror. August 17, 2015 at 11:44am Reply

        • Hamamelis: Exactly! August 17, 2015 at 12:10pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: I also love UNE Beauty lippies, they specialise in muted “my lips but better” shades and the lipsticks are very casual. It’s a French brand (actually it’s the organic line of Bourjois) and it’s supposed to be available in Belgium and the Netherlands but somehow I get an errror message when I click on the points of sale in B or NL… August 17, 2015 at 1:06pm Reply

            • Hamamelis: Thank you Rainboweyes, I am going to check it out, sounds really good. August 17, 2015 at 1:58pm Reply

  • Tammy: I have abandoned the desire to collect expensive branded lipsticks and now opt for formulas conducive to healing and protecting the delicate skin so prone to peeling and chafing. I also do not care for artificial ingredients with no beneficial effect on my body, but possibly a less than beneficial impact in the long run.
    Since I am brunette, deep wines and reds are right up my alley.
    Recent acquisitions: Burt’s bees lip crayon in Napa Vineyard. $8
    100 percent pure lip glaze in Cherry. $25
    Lipsticks I still use even though they are not organic, which I am finishing of but not repurchasing:
    1. Guerlain rouge automatique 120 coque d’or
    2. Nars Audacious Marlene
    3. Serge Lutens couvre feu August 17, 2015 at 11:20am Reply

    • Victoria: You’re wise. 🙂 I fall easily for bright colors, and unfortunately, my access in Brussels to cool, organic brands is pretty much nonexistent. You guys in the US have many more choices in this regard. I love reading about them and picking up new ideas. August 17, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

      • Tammy: Access to European organic brands is so limited here! The only way I can purchase savon de Marseille from Marius Fabre is through eBay where a soap costing 2 euros is being sold for $15.
        I wonder if 100 percent pure ship worldwide. But if you want organic brands try: and August 17, 2015 at 11:47am Reply

        • Tammy: Also:
          I discovered CAP Beauty while taking a stroll in Chelsea. August 17, 2015 at 11:57am Reply

          • Victoria: Thank you so much, Tammy! I can’t order from the US, since Belgian customs levy such a hefty fee that Serge Lutens’s lipstick will seem like a bargain in comparison, but I’m taking notes for when I’m in the States. CAP Beauty at 238 W 10th St, New York? I would have to stop by there. August 17, 2015 at 12:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: I still think that in NYC I had much better access to brands, not to mention international shopping and lower shipping fees. Belgium is tiny, so you have to order pretty much everything from somewhere else. And I hear you, Marius Fabre is not worth $15. Whole Foods carries lots of small American soap brands, and they’re much better. I don’t remember the name of one line, but it had such good goat milk soaps with rose buds and lavender. August 17, 2015 at 12:10pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: It’s really funny, you buy Marius Fabre soaps from France and I order Chagrin Valley soaps in Ohio 😉 August 17, 2015 at 1:10pm Reply

  • MJ: Where were you when I was young and trying to wear pink lipsticks? From your photo I believe we have similar coloring. I was the teenage girl whose mother told her to put on “more” makeup when I came downstairs ready for a dance looking washed out in her soft pink lipstick. Lately I have standardized on Clinique’s “Angel Red,” a surprisingly versatile dark, but sheer berry red. August 17, 2015 at 11:32am Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 Your story really made me smile.

      I have photographic evidence of getting into my mom’s makeup stash at a young age. Nothing fascinated me as much as her mascara. It was a kind that came in an ink like slab, and you had to wet it and move a wand back and cross to pick up some color. It might have been the first makeup I tried on my face, but lipstick was up there too. August 17, 2015 at 12:41pm Reply

      • Karen: Was it in a red case? I remember that type of mascara, and believe that it’s being sold again – cake mascara? August 17, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

        • Victoria: I don’t remember the case, but it was some homegrown Soviet brand. I doubt it would get past the FDA today. 🙂
          Have you tried cake mascara? I’m now intrigued. August 17, 2015 at 1:58pm Reply

          • Karen: Not since junior high school! Now I’m intrigued, too! I just checked, Besame Cosmetics (I mentioned a lipstick in an another comment) sells a cake mascara that can also be used as an eye liner – it does not come with a brush, but they offer several different brushes.

            I’m sure that there are other brands since retro stuff is so popular right now. Will see what else is out there as putting it on seems somewhat glamorous, doesn’t it? August 17, 2015 at 2:13pm Reply

            • Victoria: Makeup trends are an interesting topic in itself, and to see what comes and goes is fascinating. I have been looking for a good book about the history of makeup, and if anyone has any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them. I know that Lisa Eldridge is coming out with a book soon, so that’s on my list. August 17, 2015 at 2:18pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

                I can recommend “The Face of the Century: 100 Years of Makeup and Style” by Kate De Castelbajac. This is a 1995 book that I bought years ago, and it is sumptuous. It is a large, hardback format book with many great photos, half of which are in colour. It covers all of last century up to 1995.

                I also have two other books that are specifically about lipstick. The first is “Read My Lips: A Cultural History of Lipstick” by Meg Cohen Ragas and Karen Kozlowski, from 1998. According to my inscription in the front, I bought my copy in November of that year. This is a smaller format hardback, once again with many photos and old advertisements, most in colour.

                The second one is “Lipstick: A Celebration of a Girl’s Best Friend” by Jessica Pallingston, from 1999. This is the smallest book of the three and is charming.

                I have just checked and all three books are available on Amazon. August 18, 2015 at 2:48am Reply

                • Victoria: Thank you so much! I’m adding them to my list. August 18, 2015 at 5:12am Reply

                • Karen: Adding my thanks, too! August 18, 2015 at 6:38am Reply

            • Jackie: Thank you, Karen! I will be looking that up! Maybe it won’t inflame my eyes.;) Besame is a reasonably natural brand, I believe. August 18, 2015 at 2:54am Reply

              • Karen: It’s a really cool company – although I’ve only ordered the one lipstick – and my “guess” is that ingredients are pretty basic. Shipping can add a lot to the cost, but I believe some of their products are now carried by Sephora, so if you have one near you perhaps they have the line.

                I have a lot of respect for any woman who creates a new make-up line! August 18, 2015 at 6:43am Reply

        • AndreaR: I think the brand in the red case was Maybelline and you could buy it at places like Woolworths. August 17, 2015 at 2:58pm Reply

          • Jackie: Ah yes, I believe it was Maybelline! August 18, 2015 at 2:49am Reply

        • Jackie: Gosh. Flashback! I suddenly remember my mom using a cake mascara that came in a red case! I’m seeing her next week :), and will ask her about it!

          As for lipstick, I am obsessed. I have currently 14 in my purse, each indispensable (and probably 100 or more at home). Newest purchases: Smashbox lipstick in Shock Me Pink and Punch Drunk Love. Many compliments when i wear them together! Long-lasting bright colours that aren’t drying. I also love the clinique pop colours!

          Over the last few years I’ve developed a makeup-related psoriasis around my eyes so can’t wear eye makeup at all, so play with lip colour a lot! 🙂

          Foundation is my other obsession. Don’t even get me started. August 18, 2015 at 2:48am Reply

          • Karen: Gotta ask how you have them organized – color, brand, favorites? With such a huge selection you must have a good system. August 18, 2015 at 6:45am Reply

  • Hamamelis: It was interesting to read how your renewed embroidery sparks your interest in colours and make up. I love it about our senses that an increased activity in one area (perfume smelling) leads to unexpected results in another one (wine tasting, cooking). I have experienced this with movement, singing, writing…
    As far as rose and mauve lipsticks go, I share my favourite YSL glossy stains with Cornelia (106 and 107), I share my interest in organic make up with Rainboweyes.
    Two brands that have not been mentioned I think are budget Catrice, I wear the chubby stick clone no 10 Rose & Wood (lovely mauve and almost scentless) and the non budget (in EU) Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Envy in Irresistible(440) a very beautiful mauve/rosewood. August 17, 2015 at 11:39am Reply

    • Hamamelis: I forgot my most worn lipproduct this summer, colourless Clarins Eclat Minute Huile Confort Levres (01), a nourishing longlasting lipbalm with gloss effect. Lovely if you don’t want to wear lipstick or gloss but want to look and feel fresh. August 17, 2015 at 11:42am Reply

      • Victoria: Clarins is the line to which I switched here after Clinique proved to be more expensive than I anticipated, and I haven’t been happier. I love their face oils, toners and sunscreens. Slowly getting into their color cosmetics too. For now I tried an eye pencil in brown, and it was very good. August 17, 2015 at 12:38pm Reply

        • Hamamelis: One of my (very few) beauty secrets is Clarin’s Eclat Minute Base Illuminatrice de Teint, which I use as a highlighter on my cheeks (01 rose). No matter how tired I am, this lifts my skin, and it has some nourishing ingredients as well. August 17, 2015 at 1:43pm Reply

          • Victoria: Clarins is great for this–every product includes a cocktail of nourishing ingredients. August 17, 2015 at 1:46pm Reply

    • Victoria: Estee Lauder is so much expensive here, and I somehow resent paying the markup. But their lipsticks have lovely shades. I even like the dried fig scent.

      I’ve never seen Catrice here. In fact, makeup offerings in Brussels are so limited. I even had difficulty finding Revlon and had to ask a colleague visiting from the UK to pick a couple of tubes for me (Revlon Red and a replacement for my Fire and Ice). August 17, 2015 at 11:46am Reply

      • Hamamelis: I never would have thought that about Brussels, it seems so cosmopolitan! Please let me know if ever I can provide any lipstick wishes. August 17, 2015 at 12:08pm Reply

        • Victoria: Antwerp is much better for makeup. Brussels, of course, has lots of hidden gems and little boutiques, but some of the lines you’d expect to find aren’t featured. On the other hand, we have lots of perfume choices, so I’m not complaining. August 17, 2015 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Trudy: I enjoyed the topic today very much. I have made notes on everyone’s suggestions and plan on going lipstick shopping very soon. I am currently carrying three lip colors in my makeup bag: Nars Audacious Lipstick in Anita (a pretty neutral pink with a slight brownish undertone I believe). It provides deep pigmented color but, as would be expected, tends to be drying even with a balm under or a gloss over; Nars Lip Gloss in Dolce Vita (a deep rosy hue). Love the color but I find it bleeds on me; Hourglass Femme Rouge in Fresco (I see it as a very pretty rose pink with a slight coral tint). I like this one because it is smooth and moisturizing and I can quickly swish it on without even looking in a mirror if need be. All are very nice but not doing much for me lately. I have fair skin (even with the very light tan I’ve allowed myself during this hot Southern California summer) and as much as I want to be able to wear the pretty pale nudes and pinks, I find they leave me looking washed out. I really need a pop of color to put some life in me! It really is magical how just the right shade can make such a difference. Ive always liked the fragrance of a Chanel lipstick and I like the texture of Guerlain’s Kiss Kiss lipsticks. I look forward to checking out the YSL stains and some of the other suggestions. August 17, 2015 at 12:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your comment is full of great suggestions, and I loved how your described colors. It makes me want all of them. 🙂

      The very first lipstick I bought was Chanel Mink, and I bought it as much as for the pink-brown color as for the smell. It smelled the way I imagined lipsticks’s fragrance from reading French novels. I know that Chanel reformulated that particular range to be unscented, but Rouge Coco still has the classical rose perfume. August 17, 2015 at 12:52pm Reply

      • AndreaR: The first lipstick I bought was called, Oh Oh Orange. As the name might imply, it was a bright neon orange. I wore it the last two weeks of 7th grade. The girls at my public junior high school weren’t allowed to wear lipstick until then:-) The lipstick was made by Westmore. The Westmore brothers were famous as make up artists in the American film industry. You could buy this lipstick at the “five and dimes”. August 17, 2015 at 3:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: Love it! The color sounds like it was so much fun.

          I realized that I didn’t buy my first lipstick until I was 17 or so, mostly because until then I was happily plundering my mom’s makeup bag. She had lots of different colors, most of which she didn’t even wear. It was because in the Soviet times when the counters had makeup, not always a given, women would just stand in line and buy whatever they could get their hands on. No trying on colors and discerning fine nuances. In the end, you could swap with friends and mix colors to approximate whatever you had in mind. I even recall adding liquid from my ink pens to a pearly white nailpolish to achieve a lavender like effect. 🙂 August 18, 2015 at 3:42am Reply

  • Qwendy: Love this post! The whole idea of creative pursuits overlapping our daily care is so interesting …. I just got a few By Terry colored lip balms which are deliciously rose scented and come in a range of YLBB but not nude tints …. Normally I don’t love finger applications but I enjoy the cream gel consistency and find myself dipping in frequently. Sephora here in France often offers discounts but I don’t know if their system extends to Belgium. August 17, 2015 at 12:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: It really is! I suddenly found myself sensitive to colors in a way I haven’t been before.
      Sephora doesn’t ship here, as far as I know. And when I inquired of one French company about shipping, they quoted me a price of 30 euros. Which is more than the train fare from Brussels to Paris! On the plus side, I discover Ici Paris XL pretty much next door, and they keep having all sorts of promotions this summer–30% off on any product, etc. I just open my mail and discovered a 10euro coupon from them. I see a new lipstick in my future soon. August 17, 2015 at 1:14pm Reply

      • Qwendy: I am SUCH a color person, even now while I have abandoned wearing lime green on my eyes, I always have SOME color on my face. Children love me, they always want to touch where the color (or sparkle) is. American children that is :-). I recently came across a woman selling ribbons and threads and things at a local brocante who had a small chest full of thick silk embroidery threads from Liberty of London circa 1923 along with the letter that came with the order. The colors were so amazing I kept thinking of them and only bought two next time I saw her (pats self on back). I revisited embroidery myself here, living in Brittany where it is a local tradition. Must re revisit, as I moved on to something else …. I am such a dilettante!

        You will love the By Terry Baume de Rose I fear …. Paris XL has tons of stuff! I sent you a message about it. Xxx August 17, 2015 at 1:30pm Reply

        • Victoria: But why would you abandon lime green? 🙂

          What kind of embroidery is done in Brittany? I’d love to see your pieces. August 17, 2015 at 1:43pm Reply

          • Qwendy: ? actually since living in Europe I have toned down just a little bit and I am three years older …. But I do wear colored liners!

            Google Broderie Bretagne or Broderie bigouden to see the classics and I will send a few pics of what I did …..

            BTW Cult Beauty in the UK has interesting things and offers and ships natural everything everywhere very reasonably! August 17, 2015 at 5:29pm Reply

            • Victoria: Women don’t wear quite as much colorful makeup around Brussels, so it partially explains why I’m sometimes frustrated with the color choices. On the other hand, I like how laid-back the beauty culture is and not hung up on the idea of perfection. I’m sure I’m missing out on subtleties, being an outsider.

              Cult Beauty is a favorite, and I order skincare and my beloved Becca tints from them time to time. They also have free shopping. August 18, 2015 at 4:05am Reply

        • Karen: What an amazing find the embroidery thread was! And yes, keep wearing that bright eye shadow! You can always just use it more as a liner if you want to be a little more subtle. August 17, 2015 at 1:59pm Reply

          • Qwendy: That’s what I do! Like Victoria mentioned in her post, there is great pleasure in making up just for oneself (and cat and SO). August 17, 2015 at 5:32pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Sephora does ship to Germany, why not to Belgium? Strange… A friend of mine ordered Bite Beauty lipsticks from them (and the shipping rate was only 10$!) August 17, 2015 at 1:34pm Reply

        • Victoria: I will check again, although I guess my Ici Paris provides me with everything that Sephora does. I just like the browsing layout at Sephora better. August 17, 2015 at 1:37pm Reply

          • Illdone: You could hop over the border to Lille , France whenever your in the neighbourhood of Wevelgem’s treasury trove.

            Lille is a city I fell in love with many years ago and you can find very well stocked Sephora’s there (Urban decay,Benefit,…)
            Do make sure to take a credit card along, I go over once every 2 months and always seem to get a lot more then I anticipated. Vieux Lille is the district to see.
            Shops like “Ombre porteé” or “Le soleil d’Or” owned by perfumer H. Maes are very nice too.
            There are little shops in the old city center that only sell buttons or ribbons might be interesting for the needlecraft hobby. Don’t blame me if you go overboard on purchases;) August 18, 2015 at 2:52am Reply

            • Victoria: Ah, thank you for reminding me to visit Lille. I haven’t been there yet, can you believe it? Now hearing of the craft shops in the old city, I must go. That is even more interesting than Sephora (although you bet, I’ll be hitting that Sephora too). August 18, 2015 at 5:13am Reply

        • Qwendy: BITE Beauty is a line I like, although the sheers are a bit too sheer and the other formulas can be very opaque …. The chubby pencils look interesting and the scents are OK ….. I had a custom color made at BITE NY and scented it with Violette! August 17, 2015 at 5:35pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: Are Bite Beauty lipsticks available in France? I’ve just discovered their Frozen Berries LE and don’t mind ordering from Sephora US but avoiding the customs procedure would make things easier… August 18, 2015 at 4:32am Reply

  • Natalie: It sounds like you should be looking for cool or blue undertones to your lip colors and avoid warm or yellow undertones in your pinks and roses. All rose, pink, red lipsticks have undertones that are warm, cool, and rarely neutral. I have been more of a lip balm girl lately, but I still use lip colors from time to time. I really like the Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry which I have had since it came out. I don’t notice a scent to it, but maybe I am just used to fragrance free products. I highly recommend the new Clinique Color Pop lipsticks too. August 17, 2015 at 1:33pm Reply

  • Figuier: Lip colour is definitely my most-purchased make-up product – for most other products I’m happy to own just one item at a time. And I know what you mean about nuances of colours; I’ve spent years looking for the right shade of caramel nude (no luck yet). Your selection is lovely – I’m particularly keen on the YSL ones, which I’ve been admiring at the local counters ever since you first mentioned them on the blog.

    Conveniently, the colours you favour are mine too – I’m relatively pale, with yellow rather than pink undertones also. I love brights – corals and pillar box reds patted down, berry shades of all kinds, and bright or dark pinks, even brown-toned colours – but pale pink tends to be pretty unsuccessful on me, and cool-toned nudes make me look like corpse!

    My favourites: I like Clinique lip products despite the uninspiring scents – I have blushing nude (brown-pink) long last lipstick, which doesn’t last, but that’s ok by me, and the orange, tomato & raisin chubby sticks. And NARS colours are lovely, although the lipsticks tend to be rather drying so require careful prep – my favourite is Jungle Red (semi matte) and I’ve got my eye on a fuchsia lip pencil also. For drama I have an ancient and definitely slightly gone-off Chanel matte lipstick in a shade deep crimson called dragon or something; it must be 10 years old at least, but the colour’s so intense it take hardly any to fill a lip and they’ve stopped making it so I’m hanging on…

    My other most-used are the Bobbi Brown pots rouge in raspberry and calypso coral – they’re just slippy enough for lips, without being too shiny for cheeks. And then I have a whole collection of clear or barely coloured lip balms… August 17, 2015 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: I took copious notes after reading your comment. 🙂 Cool toned nudes are the worst for me. Even worse than pale pinks. I can’t put them on my lips without thinking that something is just not right. On the other hand, our complexion lends itself to the bright and rich tones, and I haven’t found one color family that didn’t work at all, as long as it was saturated. I realized it when I was shopping for my wedding saris in India–pastels were ok, but deep jewel tones really made my heart beat faster. 🙂

      YSL’s Glossy stain #25 is my latest wardrobe addition, and if you like fuchsia, I can’t recommend it enough. #24 is another beautiful shade, violet-fuchsia, on my wishlist. I also have #9, 10, 11–all in the red family, from orange-red (9) to pink-red (11). August 17, 2015 at 1:57pm Reply

      • Figuier: Glad to be able to contribute 🙂 Saturated colours work best for me as well – my wardrobe’s full of what the fashion magazines call ‘jewel tones’. Fuchsia is a such brilliant colour, pretty without being twee. I’m currently searching for a billowy silk shirt in the perfect shade of fuchsia, as well as the lip colour. I’ll definitely test out the YSL Glossies in 24 & 25 – I was actually eyeing the 25 in your picture, it looked like my kind of thing… August 18, 2015 at 5:14am Reply

        • Victoria: Pretty without being tween is my new favorite expression thanks to you. I was racking my brain how to describe that effect. 🙂

          Karen mentioned in another thread how Carolina Herrera paired a red shirt with a fuchsia skirt (or vice versa, I don’t recall), and that sounds amazing to me. I also imagine a rich iris-purple somewhere there as a small accent. August 18, 2015 at 5:29am Reply

          • Karen: Yes to fuschia and red! And I was recalling a favorite fuschia top that I’d wear over a purple high-neck tee (this is like over 30 years ago, funny isn’t it how certain clothes remain in our minds, a testament to their power) another great combination. August 18, 2015 at 6:49am Reply

            • Figuier: That sounds gorgeous, Karen! I have a rust/bordeaux-red v-neck jumper I wear over an orange high-neck t-shirt – same kind of effect, I guess, pairing colours that sit on the the line between complementing and clashing with each other. August 18, 2015 at 7:20am Reply

              • Karen: It’s funny because I remember certain fashion “rules” – don’t wear this and that together, avoid this if you’re that, and so on. Now combinations like brown and red, fuschia and purple, or your rust with orange are just beautiful and stunning.

                And it’s funny, because I believe anyone can wear any color clothing that they love. I know certain colors may look better because of your skin tone, hair color etc., but with jewelry or a scarf you can add the right note. August 19, 2015 at 6:00am Reply

            • Victoria: Definitely! I still remember buying a fuchsia scarf in college and wearing it till it fell apart. How I loved it! August 18, 2015 at 8:38am Reply

    • Karen: Chanel’s La Raffinée, #34 in the Rouge Allure Velvet line may work as a caramely nude although it tests with a pinkish/reddish/caramel on my skin. August 17, 2015 at 2:03pm Reply

      • Figuier: Thanks for this Karen, it’s always useful to get recommendations – Chanel counters especially overwhelm me, there are so many different lip products & shades! My lips are pretty pale, so colours usually stay true when I apply them, I’ll definitely try out the Raffinee when I’m next in town. August 18, 2015 at 5:08am Reply

        • Karen: It is a lot, plus you can realistically only test a couple before colors start to bleed. One tip a SA gave me is to make a fist then apply the tester to your fingertips once the red fades – don’t know if it really works but does allow you to try out more colors!

          Hope La Rafinée works for you – I’ve gone through countless tubes of it and worry it will be discontinued. Although it doesn’t look like anything too special, I’ve yet to find anything that matches it and it’s a great anytime, anywhere color for me. Keep us posted! August 18, 2015 at 6:56am Reply

  • Aurora: A very comprehensive guide and beautiful and useful photos!

    I’ll add 1 lipbalm/stain which works well for me this summer: Bareminerals Pop of Passion lip-oil balms are soft textured and the one I use called ‘Punch’ a coral rose has no shimmer/sparkling ingredients, I didn’t check to see if some others in the line do contain shiny particles – the ones I tried didn’t – and this balm feels truly moisturising, with a rich colour, although sheer of course, and last reasonably well for a balm and I like that it comes in a stick not a pot for a more precise application. August 17, 2015 at 2:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: It sounds lovely, and you had me at coral rose! August 17, 2015 at 2:13pm Reply

  • Karen: After reading everyone’s comments, I’m feeling slightly less embarrassed by my lipstick collection! In going through my stash, it seems that I’ve got just about every angle covered – i love them all! August 17, 2015 at 2:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: If that’s the only thing this thread has achieved, it has done its job. I will be relying on your lipstick knowledge in the future then, because as I discovered via my exercise, some gaps remain. 🙂 August 17, 2015 at 2:15pm Reply

  • The Scented Salon: Guerlain’s Roselips is great. Much more moisturizing than most others I’ve tried. The white case is awesome for summer. August 17, 2015 at 2:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: Is it like a tinted balm? August 17, 2015 at 2:19pm Reply

      • The Scented Salon: Yes, exactly. Super smooth with a hint of color. I love Guerlain! August 18, 2015 at 8:35am Reply

        • Victoria: Will be sure to check it out! August 18, 2015 at 8:46am Reply

  • kayliz: A lipstick post, wonderful! I’ve recently discovered Lush’s “fresh handmade colour” range and am delighted to have a chance to enthuse about its gorgeous texture, long long staying power and blessedly short lists of ingredients.
    Since it isn’t solid and consists mainly of oil and wax, it demands “proper” application with foundation / concealer and lipliner — try whacking it on ninety seconds before you have to run for the bus and you’ll be sorry (I was). And the colour range is nothing like as wide as the competition.
    But I’m well & truly hooked:) The baby pink one is called Charm. My favourite so far is Passionate: deep pink with a purply shimmer.
    Comes with zero fish guarantee. August 17, 2015 at 5:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds very pretty. I had no idea that Lush also has color cosmetics. You’ve described my usual lipstick application though–whacking it on ninety seconds before I have to run for the bus (or subway, in my case), and now I’m worried that this range may not be for me. August 18, 2015 at 4:12am Reply

      • kayliz: I suspect your “whack it on” may be my “do it properly” — I don’t usually use a base or lip liner. Also, I’m over 50. The first time I used Lush lip colour, it bled into the vertical lines around my mouth that up until then I didn’t realise I had. That sent me scuttling off to the Internet to find out how to prevent it, and now there’s no problem as long as I, erm, judiciously apply concealer beforehand and use lipliner.

        (Rebecca is so right — I found myself about to mention plastering and Polyfilla just then.) August 18, 2015 at 7:42am Reply

        • Victoria: LOL! I had to google Polyfilla. 🙂 August 18, 2015 at 8:24am Reply

  • Caroline: Great post, and thanks for providing swatches. We have similar lipstick color go-tos: a great YSL Glossy stain is #33. For those who don’t mind splurging, I highly recommend Tatcha’s Kyoto Red–great color that lasts, doesn’t taste, and is completely non-irritating. Another lovely shade is Diorific’s Mysterious Shock–don’t be fooled by how it looks in the tube–it’s a true blue-red (but the Diors do have a taste/smell).
    My all time faves are Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique (prefer them to the Kiss Kiss line). Recently pounced on an ebay listing for another tube of Samsara, my discontinued preciousss. For those looking for fewer chemicals, I believe the Bite Beauty lipsticks are supposed to be “purer.” August 17, 2015 at 7:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Kyoto red looks like my favorite and long discontinued Chanel Starlet. It was the most ideal red I found so far, and I was sad I didn’t have a chance to repurchase it before the line was tweaked and edited.

      I also prefer Rouge Automatique to Kiss Kiss. Chamade was a beautiful pink red, but I can’t find it anymore. But wait, Samsara is discontinued?! That’s one of my favorites. August 18, 2015 at 4:18am Reply

  • Tourmaline: “Lips like rose petals” – this lovely image is so appropriate, because of course rose petals have a beautiful velvety matte texture, which is my favourite lipstick texture, and, I think, the most flattering. When I consider the type of make-up colours and textures that help a woman to look her best, I think about what make-up artists would use on an actress playing the role of Tess from “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”, set in the 1870s. There would be no blue or green eye shadow, no frosted textures emphasizing wrinkles, no pearlescent cheekbones and no gloss. Everything would be flattering matte textures and colours to emphasize the blush of rosy cheeks and bitten lips. Pale matte powders, a discreet touch of dark mascara and eyebrow powder; in my opinion this is the style of make-up that provides the most ravishing, timeless look on any woman.

    Having very pale skin, I learned years ago that pale or muted lipstick colours do nothing for me, either. These days I liken painting my face to decorating a kitchen or bathroom that has shiny white tiles as splash-back surfaces on the walls. A designer wouldn’t add pale or muted pink tiles as accents, for these colours would do nothing for the white tiles. Brightness needs brightness to balance it, so they would use a bright red or a fresh aqua to make the white appear whiter and cleaner.

    I think that the same thing applies with white skin. Bright pinks and reds are the most flattering lipstick colours, helping skin to look whiter and clearer (as long as you don’t mind the obvious make-up look). Any blemishes or redness will be less apparent. And of course matte textures of powder are the way to go. Glowing pearlescent cheekbones might look great on golden skin, but shiny white skin is not becoming! I prefer matte lipstick (especially during the hot Australian summers, when the firmer texture stays put for longer and is therefore more practical) and colours with no frost, although a “colour-frost” – where the frost is coloured a rosy pink or subtle gold shade, can sometimes be attractive.

    I say this whilst recalling that my original lipstick Holy Grail, as a child of 12 or 13, was a heavily frosted light purply-pink. I was really in love with the colour in the tube; on my lips it was not the least bit flattering. Unfortunately this reality didn’t dawn on me for several years, and when my mother finally allowed me to wear make-up, at about the age of 14, I wore the colour in blissful ignorance for a couple of years. For those who might recall the colour, my favourite was Cutex “Magenta”, which had a matching nail polish. (Not surprisingly, my corresponding nail polish Holy Grail was the same colour!) A soft coral pink without frost would have been so much more flattering on a pale-skinned blonde of that age.

    I also like bright corals and the occasional deep burgundy (on the pink side, like rhodolite garnet gemstones) for a touch of Gothic drama. There is a place in my lipstick repertoire for an “almost my lips but better” raspberry pink, mainly for those times when I haven’t yet applied any lipstick and am just ducking downstairs to do some washing or check the mailbox. I might encounter fellow unit dwellers, so I want to be wearing some lipstick, but I’m not prepared to spend the time it takes to apply red. Of course, applying bright lipstick properly takes a little time, because every mistake shows up.

    On most days, though, even if I am just spending the day on my own, I like to apply at least a dusting of powder and a flattering bright lipstick. The truth is that I have so much lipstick (including multiple spare tubes of my favourite colours stored in the fridge along with my best perfume stock) that if I don’t wear it every day then my supply will go rancid before it is all used. I wear it for my own pleasure, as I do fine perfume, and I love the feeling of glamour and cheer that it brings.

    I have to confess that I have lipsticks that I bought over 20 years ago that I have stored in the fridge and they smell as delicious as the day I bought them. Some lipsticks don’t last more than a few years without going rancid, but the best ones I ever found were from Revlon’s “Living Lipstick” range. These left a strong stain on lips (a genuine stain, not just the tint that tends to be mentioned these days) and were therefore fabulous for wearing during meals, because when the actual lipstick wore off, the peachy-pink stain colour remained. These were lipsticks that really worked for a woman. Unfortunately the formula seems to have changed during recent years, and the wonderful stain has gone from many of the colours, e.g. the classic true red, “Fire and Ice”.

    These days I rarely buy a lipstick that doesn’t have a stain, unless the colour is exactly what I have been searching for and is difficult to find. In such cases I use the closest colour I have that contains a stain as a base coat before applying the stainless colour. My modus operandi within the store is to put a sample of the colour on the back of my hand and then wander around browsing for ten minutes or so. In my experience, that will be long enough for any lipstick with a decent stain to leave its mark. I then carefully wipe away the colour with a tissue. If a stain is left, then I rejoice and might buy the lipstick. As far as I’m concerned, the stronger the stain, the better.

    Occasionally over the years I have heard that the ingredients that create stains might be carcinogenic. However I know that staining lipsticks have been around since early last century, when women bought the “Tangee” colour-change lipsticks in their hundreds. I have never heard of women getting lip cancer from lipstick, and nearly 100 years on, women still generally outlive men, so I’m not worried!

    I’ll list my favourite lipstick colours, but emphasize that many are now discontinued. Whenever I find a lipstick colour that I love and that has a good stain, I buy at least three spares as soon as I can afford to do so, and store them in the fridge. Most of the time they last long enough for me to use them, and when the colour is discontinued (or, like perfume, reformulated), I am glad that I have my spares and do not need to spend time searching for that particular colour all over again.

    My favourites are Maybelline Colorsensational “5th Ave Fuchsia” (dark blue-pink) Bourjois Sweet Kiss “Fuchsia Class” (light purple-red), Revlon Living Lipstick “Love That Pink” (medium true-pink), Revlon Moondrops Lipstick “Love That Red” or Revlon Living Lipstick “Fire and Ice (both true reds, the former with more purple), and Revlon Living Lipstick “One Perfect Coral” (bright coral).

    For a touch of Gothic glamour against my pale skin, I like a lipstick that only came out last year – L’Oreal Moisture Matte Lipstick in “Glamor Fuchsia” (medium raspberry), or a discontinued shade from Revlon, their Super Lustrous Lipstick in “Raspberry Bite” (raspberry wine).

    My current “almost my lips but better” lipstick is Avon’s Color Trend Lipstick in “Plum”. Sadly, I think that this colour has been discontinued now as well, but I have two spares in the fridge. I might add that a lipstick that I found at the chemist (our equivalent of the American “drugstore”, I believe) that has a colour that is identical to the true pink of Revlon’s “Love That Pink” mentioned above, is Artmatic’s “Harem Pink Matte”. I swear that it is the very same colour, but with a fabulous matte texture and a stain, and it costs only one fifth of the price of the Revlon lipstick. I think that it is still available. All of the lipsticks that I’ve mentioned are frost free.

    I like to wear matching nail polish along with most of my lipsticks, for that Hollywood-style glamour. Long live the art of make-up, along with matte textures and rosy colours! August 17, 2015 at 9:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for such a detailed and thoughtful comment. Lots of think about and to experiment with. Of course, makeup is not only about enhancing one’s features. It’s also about playing and having fun. I find that I look best with minimal makeup, but it would mean that I’d have to give up colorful eyeshadows, red lipstick, smoky eye and all sorts of sparkly, shimmering things. Since I wear makeup mostly for myself, and working in the lab or by my computer I’m not bound by the need to be “polished and presentable” (working in the beauty industry there is that pressure), I can do as I please. Or not even wear any makeup at all.

      I wrote down all of your colors, because I love the way they sound, and I will give them a try. Revlon is consistently one of my favorite brands for lipsticks, so I’m a little peeved I can’t find it as easily here. Bourjois, Maybelline and L’Oreal are sold at most beauty stores and supermarket, so that’s easy to find. August 18, 2015 at 4:29am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thanks, Victoria.

        I hope that I didn’t give the impression of disliking experimentation with makeup. I’m all for playing with colour and texture and having fun; I just know what suits me and what look is the most flattering, in case that’s the way I want to go on a particular day. Some might consider my Gothic look to be a little over-done, for example, but I like to wear it occasionally, particularly with black clothes and jet or onyx jewellery.

        I also hope that you can find some of the colours that I’ve listed. I fear that a few of them have been discontinued. As well as the Avon one that I mentioned, Revlon’s “Raspberry Bite”, “Love That Red” and “One Perfect Coral” have all been discontinued, as far as I am aware. But then one thing I have noticed repeatedly is that some colours bloggers mention as being available in the USA are not available in Australia, or perhaps they are just sold under different names. So maybe some of my discontinued colours might still be available elsewhere. August 18, 2015 at 6:23pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh no, not at all! I was only musing out loud, as your comment was very interesting and gave me many ideas. I bet your Gothic look is stunning. I’m such a fan of vampy lipsticks.

          Revlon also had a wonderful color called Strawberry Suede, but it is gone. August 19, 2015 at 3:22am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

            I have one of those! It was from their matte range and, yes, it is beautiful. I also have “Pink About It”, which is slightly more coral, from the same range. They always seem to discontinue their matte offerings – such a shame.

            I agree that vampy lipstick can look stunning. August 19, 2015 at 3:41am Reply

            • Victoria: Isn’t it beautiful? I don’t have anything quite like it. August 19, 2015 at 4:04am Reply

    • Karen: You’ve inspired me to check out the Revlon selection! August 18, 2015 at 7:01am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Karen,

        Thanks, I’m glad! I’ve found that Revlon always tends to have one of the widest colour ranges available in lipstick. Also, if they discontinue a colour, then they’re likely to bring out something similar before too long. August 18, 2015 at 6:24pm Reply

  • Heather H: I love lipsticks . My favorite lipsticks are Tom Ford Casablanca- a rosy pink and Indian rose- a lighter daytime pink. Yes they are expensive but they are my favorite and I wear them all the time. August 18, 2015 at 12:15am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried any Tom Fords, but I know that his line is very popular in the only boutique where it’s sold in Brussels–lipsticks, contouring powders, blushes, and of course, perfume. August 18, 2015 at 4:31am Reply

  • katherine: My only make up for several decades was foundation and a bronze-colored lipstick. That was until last year, when I played with my daughter’s make-up, and found to my amusement that very dark (smudgy) eyeliner makes my eyes “pop.” My appearance was more or less transformed. I added very pale pink/peach lipsticks to my repertoire (speaking of which – love your Lavshuca PK5). And everyone noticed (they liked it – wasn’t because I looked weird – I think). Since I didn’t want to feel enslaved by the look I intentionally take a break from make up quite frequently. My best friend at work doesn’t like the breaks. She thinks I command more respect because people treat me differently. She may be right. But I’ve taken a break for most of the summer nonetheless.

    Some of your readers had noted in other threads that they began to feel invisible as they grew older. I noticed the same. People were not looking at me in the eye (or otherwise) anymore. I don’t mean seductive looks – I just mean everyday- regular noticing.. Men, women, old, young – no one noticed me – until the make up! I think it may be natural. So now I make a conscious effort to make eye contact with everyone I pass because I don’t want anyone else to feel invisible like I did and sometimes do. It’s a small, nearly effortless gift. August 18, 2015 at 12:56am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Katherine,

      What a wonderful practice – looking people in the eye, and thereby validating them, as you walk by. We could all do this more often! August 18, 2015 at 1:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Lavshuca would look great on you. In fact, if you do like those kind of pale pinks and peaches, Japanese and Korean lines will spoil you for choice. There are lines with almost nothing but those shades explores in their finest nuances!

      I love your gesture, and I now try to do the same. Mostly because I noticed over the summer how much people do it in Ukraine. There is a very different way people interact with each other there, because the society is still much less individual-based than in the States or here. So people think nothing of starting up a chat with you on public transportation (good) or commenting on things I’d consider too personal to be discussed with a stranger or even offer unsolicited advice (occasionally odd for my American-raised self). August 18, 2015 at 5:11am Reply

      • kayliz: I love the (good) above! I don’t know whether it’s a west vs east thing. I seem to remember it being quite normal to chat with strangers on buses in Spain, and it’s a common occurrence where I come from in (northern) England.
        France was different in my experience, and so is Germany — here, by the way, strangers often look each other in the eye, but without smiling, which my socially challenged English soul found very difficult when I first came here. (Twenty-five years later, I’ve gone native & have to keep reminding myself to smile whenever I go back to the UK.) August 18, 2015 at 7:33am Reply

        • Victoria: We visited Limburg the other day, and everyone was so nice and friendly and went out of the way to help us with directions to the lavender farm and with suggestions on what we could try and see. We ended up chatting with a guy selling jenever in Hasselt for a couple of hours in a mixture of Dutch and English. And then there are less warm interactions, but that’s a given anywhere. Overall, I find Belgium a very nice, polite and comfortable place. We also had the best of experiences in Germany, where a couple we met at a bar not only picked up our tab but also invited us to their house for Sunday dinner. We still keep in touch with them. August 18, 2015 at 8:37am Reply

          • kayliz: That’s great to hear! I still find German public spaces in general a little cool, but I also enjoy the advantages of separating the public and the private. I’m very happy here overall — too many good things to mention:) August 18, 2015 at 9:05am Reply

            • Victoria: I have a French friend living in Hamburg and she really likes it. We have been enjoying our forays into Germany, and next on my childhood dream list is Schwarzwald. I read too many fairy tales set in the Black Forest. 🙂 August 18, 2015 at 11:36am Reply

              • kayliz: Oh, the Black Forest, lovely!

                Mum and I had our traditional Baden-Baden bathing day just before she went back to GB — luxurious bliss. If you like that sort of thing and don’t mind nakedness, the Friedrichsbad with soap and brush massage is quite something:) August 18, 2015 at 8:14pm Reply

                • Victoria: Baden Baden is a place name I’ve seen so much in the 19th century memoirs that I’m tempted to visit just for that reason alone. 🙂 August 19, 2015 at 3:34am Reply

        • katherine: Thanks Kayliz. So I made a mental note today (I’m in the Mid-Atlantic US) and gauged the receptiveness of the people I made eye contact with… I would say it was 50-50 positive and neutral (never glaring thank goodness). So I’m thinking it’s a gift to some and potential irritant to others! lol. I won’t stop though – since I would like it and I don’t see the harm to others. August 18, 2015 at 8:11pm Reply

          • kayliz: I think we were writing at the same time, Katherine!

            I haven’t yet experienced the invisible thing, at least not any more than in younger years, but then I usually have a dog in tow, which is a real ice-breaker. August 18, 2015 at 8:19pm Reply

            • katherine: Yes, we were writing at the same time! Funny. And lucky you – to not have experienced invisibility – it’s no fun.

              Funny thing – at least in the past – many Americans thought of the UK as proper and buttoned up. I never had this impression. Traditional? Maybe, but buttoned up? No. Nearly all of the people I met or knew were warm and ready for a good laugh.

              I have never been to the Ukraine – but I think I would fit in very nicely thank you, since I’m a bit chatty. That said, when I lived in NYC you wouldn’t have known it since I wore emotional armor in public. I was young and didn’t want to appear vulnerable. Exhausting… Whereas I have friends who thrive in this type of atmosphere. All good – since it would be a bore if we were all the same! August 18, 2015 at 9:30pm Reply

              • Victoria: In Ukraine too, it depends on a city, with Kyiv, the capital, being more energetic and the smaller towns quite laid-back. Another favorite is Lviv, which is large but full of small charming squares. I visited for the first time this year, and I can’t wait to return. August 19, 2015 at 3:40am Reply

                • Katherine: So interesting. My grandmother was from Lviv when it was part of Poland. My father remembers vacationing at my great grandfather’s home there. My great grandfather was an industrialist – a geologist who discovered oil/gas on horseback. August 19, 2015 at 3:45pm Reply

                  • Victoria: Such a rich family history! Lviv is well worth a visit, although many historical towns around it are also fascinating. Remarkably it has been spared the Soviet brand of dreariness, and you can see Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance and romantic era monuments around the city. Great food too, and of course, coffee. August 20, 2015 at 3:38am Reply

                    • Katherine: Thanks Victoria! Fortunately and unfortunately my life is fairly ordinary, but good. My father says his family loved the area, and the forests there. Your comments about echo that sentiment. Glad to hear it was spared the Soviet stamp of dreariness. August 20, 2015 at 8:20am

                    • Victoria: Mine too. It’s always interesting to know where one came from. In words of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, “Now, who are we? Whose children? Of what fathers born?” This was my summer quest as I worked in the archives. August 20, 2015 at 12:30pm

  • Rowanhill: Speaking of embroidery, I have fallen under the spell of Marie-Thérèse Saint-Aubin’s beautiful peonies. I even bought the “book”, which has big A4 size picture cards of all the patterns and instructions on the revers. I am considering embarking on a new hobby just for these. The thread colours are so pretty. August 18, 2015 at 6:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Beautiful! It would be a fantastic project. August 18, 2015 at 8:39am Reply

  • Anne: I love brights and colour … nudes wash me out and real pinks end up being nudes (my lips are quite dark) for me. With my glasses I can pretty much wear them for any eye, the joy kf being dreadfully shirt sighted means my eye shrinks.

    The YSL Fuschia is lovely – I have no. 11 which is more of a pink fuschia. August 18, 2015 at 6:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: I realized that I forgot to swatch #11, which is one of my most worn colors lately. It would fit well in the fuchsia family too.

      Pinks do that to me for the same reason. A color that would look like vivid pink on a friend, on me becomes pastel. It’s really uncanny. So, yes, I go for brights or saturated colors or colors that leave a bright stain. I find that a darker shade is more versatile, because you can tone it down easily or wear it in two layers for more effect.

      Same here on glasses. I wear mine time to time, and it’s a chance to pull off the brightest lipstick I have. 🙂 August 19, 2015 at 3:30am Reply

  • Neva: I’m a bit shy with strong lip colors and I love your “my lips but better” category. I promise I will test the two suggestions. I have some Helena Rubinstein lipsticks that fit into this category.
    The only lip color I wear beside the “my lips but better” is a coral red for special occasions from the Dior Addict Fluid Lipstick line, No 639 I think. August 18, 2015 at 6:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: If you don’t mind the smell of Clinique, their crayons are great. They don’t even look like you have anything on your lips, apart from the color, of course.

      Will check out #639 next. I don’t remember if I tried it or not. August 19, 2015 at 3:31am Reply

  • Neyon: I like Clarins’ ‘pink berry’ lipstick; it has a perfect creamy texture, botantical ingredients and the shade of pink is lovely – quite unusual, warm and natural yet radiant…it’s nice on more medium skin tones too August 19, 2015 at 4:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: Clarins has such a great range, and I need to try more of their lipsticks. Anything that has a pink berry in the name is up my alley. August 20, 2015 at 12:09pm Reply

  • Danaki: l love cosmetics myself, having just come back from Lebanon from a two-week trip, my mother couldn’t help but point out that I packed more makeup than clothes!

    I am not a fan of lipgloss, except Benefit’s Hoola. Clinique’s Super Strawberry, Roomiest Rose, Mega Melon, chunky cherry and chunkiest chilli. Graped up when I’m in a mauve mood.

    My recent discovery is Givenchy Le Rouge, in Vintage Brun. Lovely vintage-y classical pink, but probably would looked washed out on Victoria.

    I’m lucky in that when it comes to my face, my darker skin color is matched with neutral to cool undertone, which makes quite a lot of make up colours work for me, but not all, of course. August 20, 2015 at 12:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Le Rouge formula is excellent, and it includes natural mimosa essence, by the way. I will still take a look at Vintage Brun, just because I can’t resist your description. 🙂 August 21, 2015 at 4:13am Reply

  • Sophie: This was extremely helpful to me, since I also have yellow undertones and struggle to find suitable colors! Thanks! March 15, 2016 at 4:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to help. Pink can be surprisingly difficult for people with our complexion. March 16, 2016 at 12:08pm Reply

  • Fcappy: Hello dearest V!

    I hope I am not too late but I love Pink lippies second only to Reds. Just like any Pink the correct one is the key to success. I am more yellow based except for my face which is very red hence my foundation choice but that is another story for another time. I highly recommend you look up the incomparable Lisa Eldridge who lives in Britain and has a website and YouTube Chanel and like you loves to share the cultural and historical meaning of makeup/colors. One of her most recent tutorials was on Pink! All different types of Pink from the White Pinks of the 60s to the Cyclamen pinks. She discussed formulas skin tones etc and thanks to her I think I have bought at least 25 variations/price ranges of pink. Her knowledge of makeup I liken to yours and Tanias. She is worth a visit for the pink and best nude tutorials are fantastic.

    Yeah have quite a collection and from Wet and Wild, yep Wet and Wild to Tom Ford (my favorite with Chanel/Nars a close second). Tom Ford makes lovely Lippies but many brands do. I love pink in the cold of winter so I suggest you seek her out.

    I miss you and hope all is well.

    F September 12, 2016 at 10:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! I’m going to take a look, because the right kind of pink can be so uplifting and beautiful. Like you, I prefer pink in winter. I crave colors then. September 13, 2016 at 7:55am Reply

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