31 days to a prettier 2017 : Choose your signature lip …

January 2, 2017By stephanie

Alright – so you’ve cleaned out your makeup bag and edited your stash. Now it’s time to determine your signature lipstick.


Day 2 : January 2

A signature lipstick is best defined as that one lip colour – whether it be a gloss, a stain or a modern matte formula – that makes you feel the most confident. Think Gwen Stefani’s bright red, or Jennifer Lopez’ effortless nude. It’s the shade that you always rely on to bring your whole look together and it should always be flattering whether you’re wearing a full face of makeup, or nothing but moisturizer. It’s the colour you get the most compliments on, and the colour that makes you smile when you apply it.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you to pick out your signature lipstick if its a colour or shade you’re constantly wearing.  Well, here’s the thing : you probably have several different variations of your signature shade. For example, I love a nice plum … but I have about 5 variations of it. Same goes with bold pinks … and don’t get me started on red.

Your job today is to nail it down to one specific tube or pot of everyday hotness.

First : Determine what shade it is – is it a dusty rose or an electric pink? A sweet mauve or a deep violet? Is it a subtle warm you up nude … or fire engine red? Whatever shade you choose in the end, it should be a charmeleon colour – you’ll feel just as proper wearing it at the grocery store as you would during a girls night out, and it never looks out of place on you!

Second : Get the right tone. Again, if you are a hoarder of lipsticks like I, chances are you have several versions of the same shade which simply vary in tone. For example, you might have reds that are a bit more brown, and others that are more orange or blue. A nude might have a little more pink or peach in it than the next one. It might be silly and you may be thinking “red is red and I can apply whichever one I grab first”, but tone makes a difference because it will make your lipstick look like its an extension of your look, style, and taste … not something you are simply wearing like an accessory.

Third : Choose your best formula. This step is somewhat optional since most of the time finding the right shade and tone ends up being one specific lip product from a brand, but sometimes you find the right colour but unfortunately the formula is all wrong for you. Or perhaps the brand and shade you have chosen DOES offer options of the same shade in different formulas. The best way to choose the formula is to determine what is easiest for you to wear. A minimalist might prefer a sheer glossy formula, whereas someone who loves to make a statement prefers a stain or matte. Choosing a formula that is friendly to you and your lifestyle is the difference between wearing out a tube over 3 months rather than 3 years.

So, you’ve nailed down shade, tone and formula in the form of a shiny tube of lipstick, what now?  Carry it with you everywhere. Build makeup looks around it. Replace it before you hit the bottom. This will forever be the shade that you use when you need anything.

Need to get ready in five minutes and you just got out of the shower? Apply it.

Need some courage before a big meeting at work? Apply it.

Need to look perfect when your crush unexpectedly asks you out? Apply it.

You’ll be super surprised at how a tube of lipstick can change your life.

TIP : If you love love love a lipstick, buy two. One for the vanity table and one for the purse.

HOMEWORK : Sometimes, and I know plenty of women whom this is happened to, a signature shade gets discontinued for no reason … and your world will feel like its crumbling all around you and you have nothing to live for. It’s like super tragic. So, keep your eye out for dupes (shades that are super similar) to your chosen lipstick and take note of the brand and name of the shade. Keep these handy in case of a lip-threatening emergency.

if you must : bite beauty …

March 4, 2016By stephanie

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting the people behind Bite Beauty, Canada’s very own lipstick mega brand. Little ol’ me was treated to a tour of the lab and offices, and had a behind the scenes look at how their incredible formulations, colours and products all come together. As a person who values their worth in the amount of lipstick I own … this was a BIG deal for me. Huge!


Since Bite Beauty’s new Amuse Bouche line becomes fully available at Sephora today … I thought I would share a couple of photos from my visit. I’d really like to thank the crew at Bite Beauty for their hospitality and couldn’t be more appreciative that they let me into their space. If you are a fan of all things Bite, you should know that every single product you purchase is carefully prepared, crafted, and packaged, and judging by what I saw yesterday, always made with a smile (or lots of laughs!).

bite1I didn’t take a selfie in my lab coat to prove I was there,
but if you look you can see my reflection taking this shot. Ha ha!
My first love about Bite – the minimalist+modern office layout,
and their own pieces on the walls!

bite2We all know by know that after 10 years of this blog …
photography IS NOT my strong suit.
Sure, the sign is cutoff, but I agree, Handmade IS better.
This is the sign that graces the hall before one goes into the lab!

bite3Tubes and tubes of gloss. Um. Yes please!

bite4My favourite shot of the day … not only were these ladies smiling
the entire time and dancing for my picture …
but when I say friendly and fun crew …
check out the wave and smile of the “photobombed” all the way in the back!

Thanks again Bite Beauty Crew! And beauty junkies, if you must … get to Sephora today and check out Bite’s new Amuse Bouche Lipsticks!
I mean – it’s the weekend – just do it!


p.s. for pics of some of the shades of the Amuse Bouche Line,
please click over to our Instagram page for my LOTD pics!

musings from morgan : glide-on glosses

November 6, 2014By DJMC

If there’s one thing that never goes out of season or style, it’s easy makeup that’s made to transition well from day to night. As much as I love my bold matte lipsticks, there’s a special place in my purse for light lip glosses that lean a little more neutral in shade – some days I just need an effortless look to pull together, especially when I’m headed to client meetings or going to be out and about for hours on end.

Two new glosses have landed on my radar in the last few weeks I thought were worth sharing – Stila’s All Day Vinyl Lip Gloss in Terracotta Vinyl, and Almay Color + Care Liquid Lip Balm in Cataloupe Cream.

I’ve previously reviewed Stila’s gloss and wrote about its formula here, so today I’ll focus merely on the colour – it’s a muted rosy brown that’s totally reminiscent of a classic 90s lip, a trend that’s made a surprising return this year. It’s an easy way to make a bold lip statement with a light, neutral feel and the product itself is highly pigmented and long-wearing. Yes, a little sticky, but I find with this particular product a quick blotting of the lips after applying helps reduce that.

The second shade worth checking out is Almay’s liquid lip balm in Cantaloupe Cream. It’s a peachy pink shade that’s very light in pigment but really comfortable on the lips. It’s not a long-wearing product, but given the temperature is dropping and we could all use a bit of extra moisture on the lips this time of year, it’s a nice way to add a hint of colour while keeping your pout hydrated.

The Stila gloss comes in at $32.00 at Sephora.ca, and Almay’s gloss can be found for $8.99 at Well.ca.

Disclosure: Press samples featured.

musings from morgan : stila vinyl lip gloss

August 13, 2014By DJMC

I’m always up for trying a new long-wear lip product, since as much as I love putting lipstick or gloss on I hate having to constantly check and make sure it’s still in place, not bleeding, rubbing off, and so on. When I can put something on and know for sure it’s not going to budge, I’m a happy lady.

Having not tried Stila’s lip products before, I was anxious to give the Vinyl Lip Gloss a whirl as it’s one of their Stay All Day products (a key phrase for me) and I usually stay away from gloss since it tends to move around and rub off quite quickly. I was able to try the product in a totally fitting shade for me, Merlot Vinyl, since I looove a deep & vampy red, especially with fall on the way.

The first thing I noticed was how seriously opaque this product was! Don’t let the fact that it’s a gloss fool you into thinking this is a light, sheer product – it packs a ton of pigment, which allows it to leave behind a bold stained effect even after the glossiness has faded.

It glides on smooth, and given that it’s so pigmented you do have to be careful about where you’re putting product. Stay inside the lines! It’s super moisturizing thanks to ingredients like seaweed extract and organic green coffee oil, a major selling point for fans of this product.

From a long-wear perspective, this gloss definitely leaves colour on your lips for extended periods of time but the glossiness itself seems to fade much like a typical lip gloss. If you want the high-shine effect to last, keep it with you and touch up throughout the day, but if you like the stain effect and the touch of colour sans shine, this will absolutely stay put. I tried both looks by applying as intended, then blotting the shine away – I think I prefer the blotted finish myself.

Overall, the gloss delivers on pigmentation and longevity, but don’t expect the high-shine to last all day without any touch ups. It’s available at Sephora and Murale for $32.00 CAD.

Disclosure: This product was shared with me for review on behalf of BlushPretty.com as a press sample for editorial consideration.

musings from morgan : pure color lip shine

June 24, 2014By DJMC 1 Comment

I’ve always been a bit intimidated by orange and coral lip colours, although I’m not exactly sure why. I have no problem trying on bright purples, pinks and reds, but I tend to tread carefully with anything of the orange variety. I think one of the reasons is because it seems too easy to mess up – I really think it’s trickier to find an orange that complements your skin tone than any other colour. Maybe I’m over-thinking it.

My trepidations aside, I gave Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Lip Shine in Mandarine a shot all in the name of beauty blogging. That, and the fact it was a sheer lip product more like a balm than a lipstick made me feel like I was merely dipping my toes into orange-lip territory versus cannon-balling.

It goes on buttery smooth, and really does provide a sheer, tinted layer of colour you can build as you like. It finishes with a subtle shine that’s perfect for summer, and to be honest – I really loved how it wore! I think because it’s a tinted product instead of something more pigmented, it’s more likely to suit many skin tones and give all of us a chance to try some orange on our lips. It also leans more towards the red end of the orange spectrum, so it’s not too far out there if you’re hesitant to try a shade like this.

Since it’s lightweight and sheer, it’s perfect to take with you wherever you go this summer to add a splash of colour and moisture – I’m thinking beach trips, days at the flea market and patio drinks with friends. It also comes in a deep plum shade, Luscious Plum, which looks like it could be a great transitional colour for Fall come late August. Find it for $24.00 CAD online.

Disclosure: These products were sent to BlushPretty.com for editorial consideration. We tested and reviewed the product to share our honest opinion with you (our fabulous readers) and would only ever recommend or review products we truly believe in!