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 : 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.

recos from regina : NYC smooch proof lip stain

April 23, 2014By DJMC

Recently, we were given the chance to try out the NYC Smooch Proof 16HR Lip Stain, a product that claims to provide a sheer yet intense colour that lasts. With a day off and a few errands to run, I tried it out in Unstoppable Red to see if it stood the test of time.

When I first applied the lip stain at 8:00 am, I was impressed by how nice the colour was and how quickly it dried. Since this was my first time trying out a lip stain of any brand I didn’t know what to expect, but I did find myself applying lip balm as I felt my lips started to dry out during the day.

When I had my first meal (coffee and a muffin), I noticed & liked that the colour didn’t rub off on my mug. A few hours later, I met up with my husband for lunch at a buffet restaurant, and after 2 hours of eating, some of the lip stain started to come off but there was still visible product.

Afternoon snacks, dinner, dessert and more beverages came along and surprisingly, some of the product still remained! Not too bad for a product that retails around $5 at the drugstore.

By the end of the day, the stain lasted about 12 hours. I was impressed by it’s staying power, despite the fact it didn’t quite give me the full 16 hours of complete coverage.  The only advice that I would give is to keep lip balm on hand as it may start to dry out your lips. However, if you’re looking for a stain on a budget that comes in a variety of colours, we definitely think you should check it out!

Disclosure: These products were sent to BlushPretty.com for editorial consideration by the brand’s public relations team. 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!

musings from morgan : liquid lipstick lovin’

April 9, 2014By DJMC

I remember the first time I ever purchased red lipstick. I had to be about 16 when I walked into Sephora, overwhelmed by the store’s layout and selection of products (it was a lot to take in for someone who only knew drugstores as a place to buy makeup) and started to pick up various shades at the Sephora Collection section with a mission to find a budget-friendly yet statement-making red. Finally, I mustered up the courage to ask a sales rep for some recommendations and we landed on the Rouge Cream lipstick in Hot Tango.

I walked out one confident lady that day.

Fast forward a few years, and I’m back at Sephora getting a complimentary 45-minute VIB beauty session with an appreciation for lipstick that had really grown into a full-blown obsession. I couldn’t help but notice my artist’s red lips – a matte, scarlet red with crisp, clean lines (no bleeding in sight) that just popped on her porcelain face. She was about to apply an entirely different product to my lips when I politely asked her to show me what she was wearing. The product? Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in Always Red.

Since then, liquid lipstick has been a staple in my beauty bag and I’m forever on a hunt for new colours and brands to try out.

Liquid lipstick comes in a variety of names, but I often find a few keywords usually mean you’re looking at one – cream stain, lip cream and liquid lip colour are a few I’ve come across. You know it’s a liquid lipstick when it’s in gloss-like packaging with a doe-foot applicator, looks like an opaque gloss fresh out of the tube but dries matte. If it makes promises to last anywhere from 8 to 14 hours and beyond, that’s also a good indicator.

Why liquid lipstick? Let me see…

  • Lip liner = not necessary. Every single liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried has needed little to no priming (I’ll chat about this a little later on) or liner to stop bleeding. When it says it stays put, it stays put.
  • They REALLY last. Seriously – in some cases you need industrial strength makeup remover to it off, but if you ask me, this is a actually a benefit when you’re working 14 hour days or need to last through a messy meal.
  • What you see is what you get. If it’s a bold, hot pink colour in the tube, that’s what’s going to show up when you apply. Liquid lipstick, in my experience, is as opaque and true-to-colour as it gets.

I’ve got three to share with you today that have been in my rotation. Let’s begin with the one that started it all – Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain. At $16.00 CAD, it’s a mid-priced product that comes in both matte and satin finishes, however I’ve only ever tried the matte red. It doesn’t dry out my lips or settle too much, dries totally matte and is a true red that’s so versatile and can work for most skin types.

On the low-priced end of the spectrum, there’s Wet N Wild’s Mega Last Liquid Lip Colour, which retails in the neighbourhood of $5.00 to $7.00, depending on where you shop. The range of shades is much better in my opinion, and I’ve got Red My Mind and Back To The Fuschia (which I pretty much bought solely based on its name). This product definitely lasts as promised, however I find out of all three of these it dries out the most, almost to the point where it’s too dry – it can really settle into the lines on your lips and have a negative effect appearance-wise. I recommend using a balm or primer with this particular product for this reason, but if you’re looking for an entry-level liquid lipstick and don’t have issues with dry, chapped lips, I think this is a great one to pick up.

Finally, my most recent addition to my liquid lipstick family is my Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi. I can’t say for sure, but I do believe this product is being discontinued as it’s out of stock online and it’s slim pickings when I have come across it in store. All that said, I still would recommend trying it if you can find some in a shade you like! At $23.00 it’s the most expensive on my list, but realistically that’s still reasonable for quality lip colour. I find this product performs at about the same level as Sephora’s, but the colour range is absolutely the best – I would love to find one in Outlaw, but it’s looking like I won’t be so lucky. For now, I’ll have to enjoy my hot pink for the summer!

So there you have it – my passion for liquid lipstick explained. I think if you go in trying them with the expectation that they’re going to be drier than your typical lipstick and play around with colours and brands, you just might find something you like. Are there others you’ve tried you would add to this list? I’d love to hear more recommendations!