What does your lipstick color say about you?

Gone are the days when we were compelled to play matchy-matchy with our clothes and lipstick. Choosing the latter is now far more intuitive and we are more likely to pick a lip colour based on who we are… or what we want to be.

Bold red? Demure pink? Femme fatale brown? Or maybe an ironical shade of blue? What secrets are your lips spilling?

Here’s the scoop from the colour psychology geniuses over at Pantone, who decode what your choice of lipstick says about you. And conversely, which lipstick to reach for when you want to make a certain impression.

lipstick shadesRed lipstick

Red is bold, sensual and look-at-me… a confident big city girl who doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet. But you’re not really quite as badass as you’d like to be… after all, it’s the signature colour of all those ultra-chic French women for a reason. Classic red would not look out of place in a country club or a silk-and-pearls restaurant. It’s a colour that you can wear from the ballrooms of the Ritz to the bohemian seediness of Paris’ Montmartre. In short, it’s the colour of a woman who is fun loving, passionate, energetic, independent and extremely adaptable. With a hefty side of lady-like chic thrown in for good measure.

Baby pink lipstick

You are feminine and girly, love dressing up, are impeccably groomed and much prefer the candy floss world of dreams and cotton clouds more than the harsh realities of modern-day living.

Hot pink lipstick

More adventurous than classic red, hot pink lips are the domain of a woman who’s fun, flirt, bold and outgoing. You enjoy spending time with your girl gang and are not easily cowed down. And you keep an eye out for trends, transitioning from vintage chic to bohemian funkiness with equal élan.

Rosy lipstick

In between the baby soft pinks and the hot fuchsia versions, lies a rosy pout, which is primarily owned by she who loves nature and the outdoors. It’s the rosiness of glowing good health and fits the personality of a woman who is cool, calm, down to earth and confident in her own skin.

Orange lipstick

Even though orange looks fun and bouncy, it’s not really an easy colour to pull off for everyone. If you gravitate towards this palette, you’re likely to be carefree, wild, vivacious, whimsical, energetic and adventurous. You don’t mind standing out in a crowd and easily throw caution to the winds.

lipstick shades3Berry or wine-stained lipstick

You shy away from being pastel pretty and revel in the power of your sensuality. You also like drama and are an all-or-nothing kind of person… doing things halfway has never appealed to you.

Nude lipstick

Nude is simply not a look-at-me colour and hence it’s perfect for women who marry comfort with discreet chic. Yet, they are also very très fashion and keep an eye out for the latest trends while playing it safe with investment pieces, rather than one season wonders. This one is unlikely to rock the boat or loudly demand to be the centre of attention!

Burgundy or purple lipstick

It’s edgy with a hefty dose of badass, making purple perfect for women who women who are edgy and appreciate a good challenge. You don’t suffer fools too gladly and like to temper trends with your own individual flourish.

Purple lipstick

More layered than red, more mysterious than a bright pink, a purple lip is usually worn by a woman who revels in her power and femininity. She’s strong, confident, sexy, individualistic and a bit unapproachable… not someone who suffers fools gladly.

Brown or plum lipstick

Forget the image of racy reds and striking fuchsias, the true femme fatale wears brown. Or plum. Women who love these deep and moody shades are most likely to have a seriously adventurous streak. They’d rather play risky than safe, love challenges, are ambitious, driven and independent.

Blue or black lipstick

While many of us may push the envelope and experiment with black nail polish once in a while, black or blue lipstick is for the seriously daring. You don’t give a hoot about society and will, in fact, go out of your way to flout traditional norms. You are powerful, like to remain mysterious and unapproachable, and run as far away from “pretty” as possible. Your fashion statement is more ironic than trendy, and remain young at heart always.

No lipstick (or maybe just a clear lip gloss)!

You look like you don’t care… because you really don’t. You are fuss free, low maintenance and are cool without caring to be cool. You are a leader rather than a follower, and just want to get on with life!

Which is your favourite go-to lipstick shade?

Also read: What does your nail polish say about you?

October 2016: The 17 new beauty products I am obsessing over this month

The next time you pick up a magazine, do a little exercise: Just compare the editorial coverage given to that “hottest innovation in the history of the world” or the awards given to the year’s beauty winners and the number of advertising pages those brands have picked up in that or subsequent issues.

I am not saying anything. Just do the maths. And tell me what you think.

Blogs (most of us, anyway) are fortunately not so bound up with corporate balance sheets and marketing budgets. Which allows us to actually sift through the gazillion products that launch on a monthly basis (soon we’re going to be literally buried under a product avalanche) and pick out only the best, no-bullshit ones for your dressing table.

Here’s my list. It’s a larger one than usual because… you know… we have a brand new season on hand.

Hopefully, these new beauty launches will catch your fancy for all the right reasons – as they did mine!

besame-cake-mascaraBésame Cosmetics Cake Mascara, $25

#Major #Throwback

Why, you may ask, would one go cuckoo over a product that harks back to its very own infancy? Hasn’t the might of the makeup industry been dedicated to finding newer, cooler, easier, longer, curlier mascara formulations these past 101 years? So, why are we salivating over a mascara that’s no different from the very basic “cake” that a 19-year-old named Tom Lyle Williams mixed for his sister Maybel in 1915? I don’t know about you but for me it’s all about experiencing a formulation that changed the world. It’s about the lure of vintage, the power of a softer, slower, less tech-heavy world, where you pause to wet the cake and take your time spreading it through your lashes. And eyebrows. And the lash line. Because Bésame’s new/old cake mascara is not just super-cool, it’s also super-multipurpose.


penhaligons-portraitsPenhaligon’s Portraits

For someone who’s always been head over heels for Penhaligon’s (hello Juniper Sling!), the all-new bottle designs are icing on the cake. And what scrumptious icing, with each perfume having been inspired by animal characters in a Downton Abbey-esque take on the English spirit, “between establishment, humor and provocation”. My favorite is the Tragedy of Lord George, whose regal antlers top a blend of brandy and tonka beans. Not sure which one to pick? Take the Penhaligon’s Portrait quiz to find your perfume alter ego.

aerin-night-table-creamAerin Beauty Rose Night Table Cream & Overnight Mask, $80

Who doesn’t dream of a gorgeous bedside table, which holds everything that’s pretty and perfect for a good night’s sleep? Aerin’s Beauty Rose Night Table Cream & Overnight Mask might sound like a mouthful but that’s because it’s so many things wrapped into one gorgeous package: Moisturiser + sleeping mask + hand cream + aromatherapeutic stress relief. And it’s perfect for transforming even the blandest tables into a sexy, seductive, boudoir-esqe fantasy!

estee-lauder-ampoulesEstée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules, $110

I love all kinds of ampoules and pods that take the guesswork out of how much product I need to squeeze out for perfect efficacy. Which is why I’m kind of obsessed with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules (wow… is that a mouthful!), which are filled with “a treatment oil [that] includes ChronoluxAI technology to help reduce visible irritation and synchronize the look of skin”. What this means in English is that these mega-doses of skin strengthening serum help negate the effects of internal and external stress on your complexion and boost the skin barrier, making it healthy and more supple. And they slip in effortlessly into your travel case, sans fear of breakage or spillage. What is there not to love?

Detail of garden lavender flowersRodin Olio Lusso Lavender Face Oil, $170

My absolute favorite facial oil in a new avatar! The perfect blend of 11 essential oils, what distinguishes Rodin Olio Lusso Lavender one from the original is the addition of a lavender fragrance that is all about relaxation and beauty sleep vs the perfect pick-me-up of sultry jasmine. Otherwise, it’s just as smooth and luxurious, reiterating its reputation as the cult product that started the whole facial oils revolution 10 years back. My top tip? Mix a couple of drops in your foundation to make it go on seamlessly, with a beautiful sheen.

lancome-le-teintLancôme Le Teint Particulier Custom Made Makeup, $80

Remember a little brand called Prescriptives, which had these lovely, lab-like counters where you could get your makeup custom mixed? While Prescriptives has since then moved to only-online, taking away the whole personal connect that was a key part of its appeal, Lancôme is stepping in to fill the gap. Go up to one of the Lancôme counters (currently only at Nordstrom) and a machine will scan your face, then spit out the perfect recipe for your skin tone and needs. Lighter, darker, a tad more yellow, neutralize the redness, opacity, extra moisturizer for hydration… everything is covered with medical precision. The custom blend is then squirted into a bottle directly from the machine and labelled with an ID for easy refills. Though I would suggest doing a fresh custom match every time you go, since our skin tone and hydration levels change with the seasons. And when we finally have the technology, why not make full use of it?

smashbox-insta-matteSmashbox Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer, $24

We’ve been talking much about matte lipsticks being the trend du jour and Smashbox’s Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer means you don’t need to dig deep into your wallet to be on fleek. This clear gel creates a filter of silicone polymers over your lipstick, mutating it from glossy to matte in a second. Added bonus: It makes lipstick wear longer.

cargo-essential-eyeshadow-paletteCargo Essential Eyeshadow Palette, $34

Another product that takes the guesswork out of your beauty routine, these sets of four graduated eye shadows come clearly embossed with their own function to make application a breeze. Now, all you need to do is work on your blending skills!

dior-5-couleurs-glowing-gardens-eyeshadow-paletteDior 5 Couleurs Glowing Gardens Eyeshadow Palette, $63

File this one under pure, utter gorgeousness. I would tell you how the colors are perfect for the coming season but then who can bring themselves to touch and smear this treasure trove of flowers inspired by Christian Dior’s own gardens at Granville, France? Not me, for sure… the 5 Couleurs Glowing Garden Eyeshadow Palette is going into the collection to be preserved for posterity in its blooming beauteousness. Because, remember, it’s a limited edition… so once it’s gone, it’s gone!

estee-lauder-double-wear-nude-cushion-stick-radiant-makeupEstée Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, $39.50

A makeup cushion innovation that’s not Korean? That’s sit-up-and-take-notice in itself. Then there is the fact that Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Nude Cushion Radiant Stick Makeup (what’s with Estée and crazy long names?) allows you to apply, blend and touch up your makeup without using your hands or needing to stock up on makeup brushes. It does this with a cushion compact style sponge tip that blends and buffs to perfection, and can be popped off to be washed when it starts looking too saturated or a bit grimy (all you need is a mild soap and water). The foundation itself is a buildable sheer-to-medium coverage and lasted me from morning till evening, without the need for touchups. That’s pretty impressive on oily skin in its own right.

mac-liptensityMAC Liptensity, $21

We will talk more about what’s billed as MAC’s most innovative launch in years. But till then, know that Liptensity is the brand’s most pigmented lipstick to date and it’s created with the help of tetrachromat Maureen Seaberg, whose unique genes allow her to see up to 100 million colors (most of us can see just over 1 million). What this brings to the table is colour fidelity, which means that the color you see in the tube is what you get on the lips. To enable this, MAC has also crafted a new lipstick formula that saturates the pigment in a clear (rather than opaque) base, which means the colors stay true without reacting to your body chemistry and reflexively tweaking themselves while on the lips. This has resulted in almost a 100-colour collection which runs the gamut from everyday wear colors like Toast and Butter (a warm cinnamon) to Stallion (night-sky black).

sara-happ-x-sprinkles-the-lip-scrub-red-velvetSara Happ x Sprinkles The Lip Scrub Red Velvet, $24

And this one’s to be filed under make-me-happy cheeriness. While salt and olive oil work just fine for smoothing our lips, my inner decadent diva simply can’t pass up on this deliciously chocolate and red-velvet-red-velvet-flavored scrub that Sarah Happ has crafted in collaboration with Sprinkles Cupcakes. Plus, 10% of all proceeds go to Baby2Baby, which provides essentials for needy children. Someone out there wants to buy me an early Christmas gift?

kendra-scott-gemstone-nail-lacquerKendra Scott Gemstone Nail Lacquer, $16

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a nail polish, despite there being a zillion launches a month. But jeweler Kendra Scott (yes, jeweler!) has really upped the bar with formulations inspired by her iconic use of natural stones and rough-hewn baubles. The 5-free collection comes with a base coat, rock-crystal top coat, and two transformative shades that give nails an iridescent, holographic sheen. My favorite? Iridescent Drusy, which makes your nails looks like they’ve dipped into a mine of rough dressy crystals.

bmc-manicure-and-pedicure-nail-polish-protection-clipsBMC Manicure and Pedicure Nail Polish Protection Clips, $3

WHY HASN’T ANYONE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE? Clip these genius nail protectors on freshly painted nails and say goodbye to the accidental smudging that always happens the second you put down the bottle. (Doesn’t happen with you? Only me? Oh well, I hate you!)

glossier-the-supersGlossier The Supers, $28

Just when I pledge not to buy a single other “magic” serum that promises the world but does precisely nothing for my skin, here come Super Bounce, Super Glow and Super Pure. These “supplements for the face” counter the effects of dehydration, dullness and exhaustion, and toxic buildup respectively. Glossier recognizes that our skin’s needs change by the day (and by what we subject it to at any given time) and have helpfully created a box pack that gives us everything together. It currently sits on my bedside, right next to Aerin Lauder’s Rose Night Table Cream.

sonia-rykiel-x-lancomeSonia Rykiel X Lancôme, $29 upwards

It’s pretty. It’s practical. And it’s perfect for when you need a hefty dose of cheeriness to beat away the blues. Sonia Rykiel has put together a capsule collection for Lancôme that embodies Parisian chic in its most fun and fashionable iteration. How can you resist the playful stripes of the Parisian Lip Crayons?

ciate-london-mani-markerCiaté London Mani Marker, $12

These revolutionary (and I never use that word casually) markers allow you to apply nail polish precisely, within the lines and sans smudges in minutes. Shaped like those magic markers we all loved as kids (I still do!), these ingenious pens are filled with real, high coverage nail polish that goes on in a single stroke and dries super-quickly. Also perfect for changing up your nails while travelling!

What’s your favourite beauty find?

Beauty emergencies: How to fix a bad-everything day

We’ve all had them. No matter how well you maintain your beauty routine – and let’s face it, things can be erratic at times – nobody escapes a pre-party zit or hungover eyes. Or you could be like me and have it all at once at least four times a month! My skin ages 10 years, my make-up only makes matters worse and my lips look as if I’ve spent two weeks in the Arctic… forget bad hair days, these are paper-bag days. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to rescue a seemingly hopeless situation. Here’s how to cope when everything goes wrong.

beauty-emergency-2The bad hair day

Frizzy locks? Rub a bit of conditioner on your hands and work it through to the ends. This will tame flyaway strands. In a pinch, a drop of ordinary hand cream will do the trick.

Limp and lank strands? Put on a headband so that it lifts hair up off the face. Spray hair with a volumizer; wait 10 minutes and then remove the ‘band.

Greasy hair? Rub antibacterial gel over your hands, then rake your fingers through the hair before you brush and blast it dry. The gel’s high alcohol content will dissolve build-up.

The tired face

Skimped on sleep? Looking washed out? Skip the full face of makeup. When you’re tired, blood is circulated away from the skin to boost major organs like the lungs and liver, making the complexion look pasty. This means your usual make-up will not sit very well and shall possibly even make things worse. Instead, go for moisturiser, eye drops, a light brushing of face powder, lip gloss and, if possible, a pair of sunglasses.

Baggy eyes

Still carrying around last night’s baggage? Drink loads of water to flush out the toxins. Then, gently pat either aloe vera gel or an eye mask on those puffy zones to draw out remaining impurities. Or dab on some witch hazel – diluted with double the amount of water – as it’s wonderful at busting toxins.

Panda eyes

Global makeup authority Bobbi Brown has the cure: always apply your eye cream before your concealer to hydrate the delicate under-eye skin and make concealer go on smoothly. She also suggests choosing a concealer one shade lighter than your foundation. Work it from the under-eye area up to the lower lash line and, most importantly, the innermost corner. This is the most recessed area of the face and hence appears darkest.

Acne attack

If you notice a spot developing, wrap an ice cube in a thin handkerchief and gently massage it over the blemish for 10 seconds. Repeat every hour to bring down the swelling and reduce redness. Follow with a formulation that contains 2% salicylic acid and dab some concealer for on-the-spot camouflage.

beauty-emergenciesUnkissable lips

Olive oil is a terrific quick fix for lips, especially when you’ve forgotten your lip balm. It’s a terrific moisturiser and you can find it just about everywhere. Rub it into your lips, elbows, feet or anywhere else that needs a little TLC.

Stained teeth

If red wine and coffee (or cigarettes!) have stained your teeth, avoid lipsticks with orange, yellow or beige hues. The key to making teeth look whiter is contrast. So, choose bright reds or reds with a blue base instead.

Nails not up to scratch

Mix a bit of coconut oil or olive oil with salt and baking powder. Rub this mixture all over your hands, on the palms, up to the wrists and particularly on the nails. The oil acts as a moisturiser and the baking powder releases oxygen into the skin to plump out any fine lines and increase the circulation. The salt, in the meantime, acts as a gentle exfoliant to bust dead skin and soften the cuticles.

Smelly, grungy feet

This one needs a 3-part solution:

Rather than removing chipped polish on your toes and starting again, mask it with a coat of darker colour.

If you have a pearly eyeshadow that’s all broken up and is ready for the bin, break it down even further and mix it with a little moisturiser. Rub the mixed-up lotion into your feet for soft skin that has a sexy sheen.

If you get smelly feet, crush fresh mint in a bowl of warm water. Submerging your feet in this concoction will remove any unpleasant odours.

Streaky fake tan

Ah, the joys of the self-tan. For those who’ve been well and truly tangoed, try these tips:

If it’s really disastrous, go swimming. Local pools are notorious for having lots of chlorine and this will bleach away the tan.

If you have darker knees and ankles, rub a little whitening toothpaste into the area using a circular motion. The toothpaste will gently exfoliate and the whitening agent will remove colour.

What’s your secret beauty quick-fix? Share with us in the comments box below!

Makeup trend: Is matte lipstick the new black?

Lip glosses have had their moment and the next few months completely belong to matte lipstick. But fear not, the matte formulas of 2016 bear no resemblance to the chalky, dry lips of the 1990s. This time round, matte lipsticks are flattering, velvety and feel super-comfortable on the lips.

And while they might not be quite as easy to apply as a slick of gloss, matte lipsticks last longer, suit all skin tones and look super-gorgeous. This look is for girls who are all grown up!

Why matte lipstick rocks!

  • Matte lipsticks have more pigment than other formulas, which means strong colour straight from the bullet.
  • Matte lipstick lasts for ages and tends not to feather into creases around your mouth unlike a gloss or cream formula.
  • While there is a lot of pink gloss, matte lipstick comes in a medley of strong colours, ranging from berry pinks to scarlet reds to caramel browns and back again.
  • Matte lipstick is less girly than gloss and instantly creates a sophisticated aura.

matte lipstickHow to wear a matte lip

There is no room for sloppy application with matte lipstick. This one both draws and holds attention, so you have to apply it right.

  • The key to pulling off matte lipstick is to make sure it’s impactful. A neutral shade or one close to your skin tone can make you look sickly pale. Instead, opt for a strong pop of tangerine, red or fuchsia – especially since, like matte lipstick itself, they’re vintage-inspired and completely on-trend.
  • Skip the lip balm before applying a matte lipstick as it adds sheen, thereby diluting the effect. Instead use a lip primer – like MAC Prep + Prime for Lips – for hydration without the added shine.
  • Line your lips with a shade that matches your lipstick perfectly to avoid the dreaded, ’90s-inspired two-tone look. Even better, fill in your entire lips with the liner and then apply the lipstick on top.
  • For a softer look, fill your entire lip with liner, then pat lipstick on using your fingertip.
  • A matte lipstick usually takes longer to wear off around the outside of your lips (due to lack of moisture), so you’ll be tempted to re-apply. Don’t do that: since coats will only sit on top of each other, you’ll get an uneven look. Instead, wipe off the existing lipstick and then apply a fresh coat.
  • One single texture across your face looks dull and ageing, so contrast a matte lip with dewy foundation, highlighter on the cheeks, or shimmer on the eyes.

Convert any lipstick to matte

Rather than buying a new lipstick, simply matte out your current stock with translucent powder. It’s easy: after applying the lipstick, blot your lips with a tissue. Then use your fingertips to dab a translucent face powder on your lips to eliminate the shine.

For added effect, double up on the powder application in the centre of your lower lip – this play on centre sheen will create a more fashion forward pout.