A beginner’s guide to lipsticks

Confession: I am a huge lipstick fan. I honestly don’t know how many I own but it’s bordering on ‘this chick may have a problem’. However, I am self-aware enough to recognise that just because I may be slightly lipstick-obsessed, doesn’t mean you are. In fact, a lot of people have an aversion to lipstick and associate it with something your grandma wears on her teeth. Not cute grandma, not cute.

That’s why I’m dedicating this post to all lipstick-phobes and hope by the end you will have seen the light and will feel comfortable wearing one occasionally and maybe even, gasp!, on a daily basis.

In my humble option, there are six types of lipsticks you need to start a versatile collection.

Scroll down to the end of this post to shop all the products I mention! 

CLASSIC RED

A true red lipstick is to your makeup collection what a little black dress is to your wardrobe. It’s essential to have, can transform any look and really is versatile AF. There is a shade of red out there for everybody. Adore Beauty have an excellent guide on how to choose the right shade for your complexion. My advice? Don’t be intimidated by the apparent boldness, you can always tap it onto the lips using your finger for a more subtle effect. My ‘holy grail, if I had to take only one on a desert island’ shade of red is Red Carpet Red by Charlotte Tilbury. It’s a true ruby red and made in her matte revolution formula, which means it’s so soft on the lips and has real lasting power.

THE LIQUID LIP

Liquid lipsticks have been having a beauty moment for a couple of years now, thanks Kylie Jenner!, and are an easy way to add a modern twist to your look. That being said, it’s very tricky to get the formula right. Too dry and it will crack off your lips, not enough pigment and you’ll end up with weird patchiness that I’m just not here for. In my experience, nude or lighter tones tend to be more consistent in terms of texture and payoff, and the formula from Smashbox is a delight. It’s very lightweight and contains a lip-smoothing primer oil for even application. I have the shade Stepping Out, which is a deep nude – more brown on me – with a matte finish.

A PERFECT NUDE

When it comes to lipstick, I think MAC Cosmetics still make some of the best. They have an insane shade range, have seriously nailed a variety of textures and their streamlined bullet is nothing short of iconic. For a nude lipstick, I wouldn’t look anywhere other than MAC and personally think a satin finish will give you the most comfortable and wearable result. Take yourself to a counter and find your shade of nude – just keep in mind that nude does not equal pale, so obviously this will be different for everyone depending on your skin tone. I have the shade Spirit which is a muted pinky-beige brown.

SUBTLE STAIN

This is probably a good place to start if you’re one of those people I mentioned who is a little apprehensive of lip colour. A stain will add a flush to your lips and give you a healthy, youthful look. A stain is especially excellent if you want to achieve a certain bee stung vibe for the purposes of making ex-boyfriends jealous or achieving French-girl levels of chic. Keep in mind, as this is a more subtle look, it won’t last you the whole day. In the past I’ve used the lip to cheek stain from The Base – read more of my thoughts about that here – but to be frank, you can take any old lipstick colour and pat it sparingly into the lips for a similar effect.

DARK & VAMPY

There are times in life when you want to exude a mysterious and, dare I say it, sexy attitude and nothing says this more than a dark, vampy lipstick. Once upon a time dark lipsticks lived exclusively in the handbags of goths and vampires but that time is long gone. In 2018 a dark lip says you’re a modern woman who absolutely under no circumstances plans on eating or drinking anything that evening #realtalk. A natural go-to for winter, a dark lip will instantly add a cool factor to your look. If you’re looking for something entry level, the Revlon Color Burst Matte balms pack a serious pigment punch and feel very creamy on the lips. My mum uses the shade Standout and I attempt to steal it off her almost weekly.

POP OF PINK

This is definitely a summer shade! Pink is another colour which I think has a bad rep, but it’s appropriate for more than just Elle Woods and Barbie. Paired with a more monochrome outfit, pink brings a fun, bright and youthful element to your look. It looks equally as beautiful against a tan as it does against a snow white complexion but do stay away if you have very pink undertones in your skin as it may give the appearance of a ruddy complexion. If you’re not a pink kind of lady (see what I did there?) a bright coral will also do the trick. The Clinique Pop formula is very vibrant and creamy and doubles up as a lip primer as well. The shade Graffiti Pop is the ultimate ‘Mattel’ shade of pink.

 

Which one of these is your go-to type of lipstick? Let me know if you have any favourite formulas or colours! 

 

Shop the post

Smashbox
MAC Cosmetics
Charlotte Tilbury
Revlon
Clinique
The Base
Smashbox
MAC Cosmetics
Charlotte Tilbury
Revlon
Clinique
The Base
Smashbox
MAC Cosmetics
Charlotte Tilbury
Revlon
Clinique
The Base

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6 Comments

  1. June 30, 2014 / 9:46 am

    Love that shade of red.

    • streethaus
      Author
      July 1, 2014 / 12:47 am

      Me too! Lancome do fantastic lipsticks also.

      Bx

  2. March 10, 2018 / 10:18 am

    Spirit looks so pretty! I mostly wear browns and nudes for everyday, but occasionally I love a nice bright pink!

    • Bianca
      Author
      March 10, 2018 / 10:31 am

      It’s great to have both options in your makeup kit! Bx

  3. Kerry
    March 10, 2018 / 11:29 am

    Very interested in the Smashbox liquid lip, my lips are so dry so if the formula is wrong it’s a nightmare!

    • Bianca
      Author
      March 11, 2018 / 12:31 pm

      Absolutely, I think that’s a big thing for a lot of ppl! I never had a problem
      With the smashbox formula x

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