I was planning to do my summer picks for lips and nails first, but as some of you may know, I just got a new job! Since I’m still in my first few weeks at the new office, I thought it’d be more relevant to share my work-appropriate lip picks instead.
For those of you that have a more casual dress code or otherwise not-customer-facing position, you can probably get away with rocking the brightest bright colors. Since my new position is patient-facing (I’m in health administration “in real life”), I’m expected to be a bit more toned-down with my looks. I absolutely love playing with makeup, and I really wanted some fun options that were appropriate for work without the soul-sucking repetition of a sheer lipstick like Chanel Boy every day (don’t get me wrong, it’s a great product, it’s just not enough personality for me). So here are my top 12 lip picks for the “conservative business casual” office.
These are of course just shade suggestions and specific products that work for me. If the colors I’ve listed aren’t quite right for you, consider checking out other shades from the same product line to find what suits you best in a formula I can vouch for.
All of the products mentioned in this post are cruelty-free. Except for NARS Audacious lipstick in Anna, all other products mentioned in this post are vegan.
Kat VonDEverlasting liquid lipstick (Sephora, $20.00/0.22oz) – Easily my favorite formula of the “mainstream” liquid lipstick lot, the price is great for the amount of product you get too. I love the sleek packaging, and these opaque mattes are comfortable to wear for long periods of time without any cracking or crumbling. I think I own eight of these now, but these are my top three for the daytime professional:
Lovesick – One of my current favorites overall, this pale mauve-nude is just cool enough to mesh perfectly with my undertones. I love to pair it with pastel pinks and purples like Makeup Geek’s Cupcake and Unexpected, but it’s close enough to my natural lip shade that I think it could work with almost any daytime eye look. A slightly elevated MLBB (my lips but better), there are a few more of those in this list.
I have never done a tag post before, but lip products are some of my fave so I figured I’d have a little fun! I found this one deep in the archives of FleurdeForce’s channel so I assume it made the rounds quite a while ago, but I still plan on tagging a few bloggers who I am positive haven’t done this.
Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask is the best of the best! I use it before bed and after exfoliating my lips to keep them soft and moisturized.
2.Best eye-catching red?
Stila’s Stay All Day liquid lipstick in Besoor MAC Retro Matte in Feels So Grand. I definitely think a liquid to matte formula is the way to go with such a statement lip to keep it looking sharp all day (or night).
That said, to be completely honest, I actually reach for bright pinks way more often than red! My favorites include Kiss of Fire from Dose of Colors, Jeffree Star’s Prom Night, and Dragonfruit from Bite Beauty’s new Amuse Bouche line.
So the thing with makeup & glasses is that it’s not really about the frames – it’s about the lenses. The lenses are what alter the look of your eyes: prescriptions for nearsightedness or astigmatism can make your eyes seem smaller, while those for farsightedness can often make the eyes appear much larger. The goal then is to tweak your makeup in a way that provides a balance – if your eyes look smaller behind your frames, you should take steps to help them look bigger/more open and vice versa. I’m focusing on nearsightedness and astigmatism here because that is what I have the most personal experience with, but there will be tips for those of you who are farsighted throughout the post as well!
Makeup is of course very personal and you should do what you want, but you should know this by now and I’m not going to take any more time for disclaimers or preemptive apologies.
Brighter/Wider: One of the best ways to make your eyes appear larger and brighter is by applying a nude or flesh-toned eyeliner to the waterline. Alternatively, if your lenses magnify your eyes, reach for deeper shades like black, brown, or even navy to pull everything back into proportion.
Neons & Drama: Some sources may discourage this, but I definitely do not. One of my favorite things about wearing glasses is that they kind of “minimize” any look you decide to go for. For me, that means I can raise hell with neons, brights, and otherwise dramatic eyeshadows that might otherwise be “too much” without the frames. If you have particularly “loud” frames, it helps to use shades that complement rather than clash, but with a color wheel as your guide you can go as bright or dark as you like. Glasses do not relegate you to neutrals-only eyeshadows!
Under Eye Correcting: Now this is a concern regardless of the types of lenses you wear. Glasses can often cast a shadow onto the lower part of your eyes, exaggerating any kind of darkness or discoloration in the under eye area. Concealer alone may not be enough to resolve this, but I’ve been really happy with the results of a peach toned color corrector. Don’t forget to set your under eye with a powder that prevents light reflection, this can bring more attention to the area.
It’s been a few months since my last Top 5 post, so I figured we were about due! You guys may have already seen a few of these in my spring haul posts recently (partI and partII), but I got some really great stuff so here it is again with a few other goodies I’ve been using non-stop.
NARSVelvet Matte Skin Tint in Terre-Neuve ($44.00/1.7oz) – This is a very very new addition to my makeup arsenal, but man I’m in love. I tried it a little while ago with mixed feelings, but decided to give it another shot because I just could not believe how nice my skin looked with this on. It’s the first foundation in my collection that isn’t just sheer coverage, which is surprising because that’s exactly how this is advertised. I find it to have more of a medium/buildable coverage that’s also super smoothing on the skin and looks absolutely flawless. It has an almost powder finish, but looks very natural and isn’t cakey at all. It’s also got SPF30 which I love, and there seems to be no flashback of any kind in photos which is even better. NARS products tends to run very warm/yellow, but the lightest shade in this range is a damn near perfect match for me and I am absolutely loving it. For best results, apply with a damp cosmetic sponge.
StilaAqua Glow Watercolor Blush in Rosewater ($26.00/0.21oz) – Also a new addition to my collection, this shade is stunning year-round. I fell in love with this formula last summer when I purchased the shade Water Blossom, but the iridescent blue-based pink is not always the most appropriate option. This neutral pink shade is gorgeous for more natural or professional looks, but still gives a very youthful dewy glow which makes it a perfect spring staple.
Usually when it comes to travel, I do not mess around with my makeup. I bring anything and everything I want to make sure all my bases are covered, especially when it’s a long trip or weddings are involved (more often than you can imagine these past few years). This time however, we were just off for a weekend in Seattle to hang out with Nick’s brother so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to share a much more reasonable “weekend edition” of what’s in my makeup bag.
For most “categories” of makeup, you should be able to get by with just one product. For me, that includes:
Face Primer – Just one here, the super moisturizing Too Faced Hangover RX to help prep skin and keep my makeup looking better, longer.
Eye Primer – My Holy Grail go-to, MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly, I love that it provides some coverage for any redness and veins on my eyelids (if you’re more warm-toned, the Soft Ochre shade is also really popular).
Foundation – I opted for the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua this time, my “special occasion foundation”. It leaves a nice, natural finish on the skin and the bottle is plastic, so it’s perfect for travel. I use the shade BR12.
Concealer – I’ve been favoring my MAC Pro Longwear a lot lately, but the Mineralize Concealer is in a plastic tube (and has a brush applicator) so that’s what came along. I use the shade NW15.
Setting Powder – The usual, MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light. It’s so finely milled that it doesn’t add any texture to my skin, and it doesn’t add any coverage either, just a sheer and light powder to prevent my makeup from creasing.
Contour – I don’t use it much, but it’s good to have on hand. Sometimes you just need to add a bit of dimension back to the face. I love the Sephora Collection Contour powder in Tranquil.
Mascara – Benefit’s They’re Real! Definitely in my top three all-time favorite mascaras, and the mini tube is perfect for travel. It’s volumizing, lengthening, and defining – an all-in-one that gets it all right.
Brow Product – Currently enjoying the ColourPop brow pencil in Dope Taupe. It’s small, affordable, easy to use, and has a built-in spoolie on the other end. (This “group” did get an extra in the form of brow gel – the packaging is so tiny that I brought along both Benefit’s Gimme Brow and a deluxe sample of the Anastasia Beverly Hills clear brow gel. I used them all.)
Setting Spray – MAC Fix+ always and forever, it helps meld all the products together so my skin looks natural, not cakey.