Saturday, 25 May 2013

A Beginner's Guide to Red Lipstick.

In this first installment of 'Bel tries to be a beauty blogger' I'll be looking at something that I'd like to think I have a good amount of knowledge and experience with, and something that often seems to put people off due to lack of confidence or the very real fear of looking like you've got a bit over excited whilst eating a pot of Jam.
Red Lipstick has been understood over the years as an iconic image of female beauty. It suits pretty much everyone, but many people seem to shy away from it due to its 'in your face' nature and the assumption that many people seem to have that you're trying to get attention or trying extra hard to be sexy. What red lipstick can also do in equal measure is brighten up an outfit, and for me personally, enhances confidence. I avoided red lipstick for years, as it turned into a disaster everytime I tried to put it on, landing on my upper chin, my teeth, all over my makeup bag, and anywhere apart from my actual lips. The only reason it wasn't working for me however, was because I hadn't prepared properly. If you do the right things before you put your lipstick on you can be sure it's going to stay on extra longer and look especially amazing.
Of course, with the huge market of red lipsticks out there, it's hard to find the right colour. I tend to want to go for a intense pillarbox red, a shade I have been searching for for years. All the shades I bought seemed to be a little too pink or blue toned, and I genuinely found it impossible to channel my lipstick muses, namely Dita Von Teese and Alexa Chung with their rouge lips. With a bit of time I realised that what I really suited, and what really created that 'London bus' colour red, was an orange toned lipstick, something I've now decided to stick to.
With this in mind, I decided to share my favourite red lipsticks with you, as well as the process of putting them on and the different finishes avaliable out there, so next time you reach for your makeup bag, you won't shy away from a good ol' fire engine red.

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Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub, £5.25
Topshop Rio Rio Lipstick £8
MAC Ruby Woo £13
Sleek Pout Paint in Lava, £5
Kate Moss Lasting Finish Rimmel Lipstick in 1, £5.49
Lime Crime Velvetine Lipstick in Red Velvet, £11.50
Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip liner in 'Red Dynamite', £3

Preliminary steps:
1.Make sure your lips are exfoliated. This may seem a bit ridiculous but your lipstick just won't go on properly unless your lips are properly smooth and non flaky. I would recommend Lush's lip scrubs, though they're a little pricey, they taste absolutely wonderful, you can lick it off your lips after you've used it (this one tastes like mint chocolate!) My flatmate did make a good point the other day that this essentially means you're eating your own flaky dead skin cells but hey, it's probably worth it for proper red lips which aren't at danger of looking like you've only filled in the outsides.
2. A good tip I've learnt is to fill your entire lips in with lip liner. I've used the Rimmel one, and wore it as if I was applying lipstick. This gives your lipstick extra staying power and preps it so it lands on your lips an extra vivid red.
Note:Some people also find it useful to apply foundation onto their lips before their makeup, which I've tried but have now ceased to do as it often affects the shade of the lipstick. Just make sure your lips are smooth but completely dry and it should go on fine.

Mini Reviews

1. Lime Crime Velvetine Lipstick
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Lime Crime are a brand I've always wanted to try. So when I heard about their new brand of lipstick that promises to have maximum staying power,and with an extra bright and extra matte red, I had to give it a go. The packaging itself looks more like a lipgloss, but surprisingly it goes on with a very matte finish. Of course it's an odd way of applying lipstick (hence my uneven lips above) but it's something you can get used to. The pay off is this incredible matte shade that refuses to budge, and I found it comparable to Ruby Woo's shade. This is an ideal lipstick for going out, with a 50's Hollywood glamour feel to it.

2. Kate Moss Lasting Finish

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I'm a bit of a sucker for a celebrity endorsement. So when I saw Kate Moss's line of lipsticks for Rimmel, I was pretty keen to own one. It's default shade, number one, is a dark red with a relatively glossy sheen to it. As with a lot of Rimmel's other products, it smells absolutely gorgeous, always an incentive. It hasn't got the best staying power out of the lot, but it's surprisingly moisturising, and for £5.49, it's a pretty good bright red on a budget.

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3. Topshop Lipstick in Rio Rio, with Sleek Pout Paint over the top, applied with ELF lip brush.

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As far as Lipstick brands go, Topshop is my all time favourite. Their makeup line is varied, effective and reasonably priced, and I'm looking forward to collecting all the lipsticks I can get my hands on. The first one I ever bought (that's why the packaging into so chipped!) was Rio Rio, hoping that I might finally find the primary colour red I had been desperately looking for. It's pretty close to what I wanted, though you could say it is slightly more towards pink than orange. But Topshop lipsticks are amazingly durable, so it's a great day lipstick. If I want something a little brighter, I overlay it with Sleek Pout paint, which gives it a glossy look which wears off quicker but looks amazing when you first apply it.

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4. MAC Ruby Woo

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This is the most expensive of my lipstick collection. I usually couldn't justify spending over a tenner on a lipstick, but after a bit of research I read that a lot of people swear by this shade. It's super matte so a bit tricky to apply, but when you do then it's probably the most beautiful colour of the lot. It's dryness certainly helps its durability but means that you can be left with an unpleasant feeling on your lips, so it's important to wear balm over it (if you can stand removing the effect a little bit!)but as night lipsticks go this will inevitably pack the best punch.

I hope you found this useful! Do any of you have any other recommendations for stand out red lipsticks?

Thank you again to Luke for taking my pictures!

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Monday, 13 May 2013

'We must make do with what Rags of Love we find flapping on the scarecrow of humanity.'

My second year of University is over and done with, and I'm looking forward to new beginnings. It's been a tough academic year, but I'm looking towards the Summer with a lot of excitment about what is to come. I thought, whilst racking my brains for a post title, that I could talk about the name of this blog in relation to lil ol' me.
Being an English Literature student, I'm somewhat a fangirl over a certain author named Angela Carter. And my blog name derives from a quote of hers, basically talking about how we should make do with what we have. I mean, of course it doesn't just mean that. I'd like to certainly be ambitious and aim higher in life, as anybody would. But for me it means appreciating what I have, which is a lot, and starting to live my life a little better, and starting to accept that there are good things about myself as well as everything else in my life.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sure why this deep philosophical thought came alongside my first outfit post of two months, but we'll go with it. Otherwise it is all just me banging on about dresses. But yes, on with the 'banging on'...

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Top - Olive
Dress- Dahlia
Shoes - Clarks
Bag - Cambridge satchel Company

To accompany the occasional bursts of Sun that the unpredictable English weather has allowed for as well as my rather improved mood, I've decided to go a little more colourful. I recently stocked up on stripy tops from the lovely Cheltenham boutique Olive, a website I've been browsing a lot recently lusting after all their dresses. Alongside this I've been wearing my new Pinafore from Dahlia, as I'm a big fan of the scallop detailing, so much so that I demanded of my photographer Luke to take various pictures of my chest area so that you could see it in its full glory (see below!). One of the main differences about me from last time is my hair. I'm not a big fan of the cut at the moment, but redyeing it has definitely made a change to my outfits. Purple hair is clearly the way to go for me, I immediately feel a lot more colourful, and could even kid myself that I'm more interesting. Maybe.

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I of course paired the outfit with the Cambridge satchel I love so dearly. This never fails to give me a sunny disposition (yes, my moods are controlled by the colour of bags.)

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Lipstick - Rio Rio by Topshop

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Bow - Gift from a friend

Thank you to Luke for taking these pictures and for providing the soundtrack of 'Glamazon' by Ru Paul, which really got me pulling some blogger shapes. Please check out his blog for food based fun - ness. Go on, do it, or he'll refuse to take my pictures next time.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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