Amy's Beauty Blog

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Archive for the tag “lipstick”

Besame Cosmetics Wild Orchid Lipstick and 1915 Rose Delicate Rouge

(Wearing both products)

I’ve been a fan of Besame’s vintage aesthetic for quite a while, and these products don’t disappoint.

The newly-released Wild Orchid lipstick is a slight departure from the brand’s mostly-matte offerings, as it contains a slight shimmer. It’s not glittery and is very flattering. The shade is balanced between red and purple, so it skews neutral in tone and would work on many skintones. The shade wore well on me for 6-8 hours.

I’ve tried Besame cream rouges in the past and been thrilled, and their powder is equally spectacular. It’s so pigmented I barely needed to touch brush to pan, and it provided a lovely and blendable natural rosy pink flush with a hint of plum. I also love that the top of the packaging is detachable from the product pan, which means you can apply with the mirror wherever needed. 

Besame continues to provide classic beauty at an affordable price tag, with packaging designed to make every wearer feel like a diva. These products are available at

(This Review was not sponsored & I bought these products with my own money.)


MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande 2 Lipstick

Feels good & is surprisingly wearable. I expected it to be too blue-based for my warm-leaning neutral skin, but there’s a lot of yellow to balance the blue. I recommend trying it on at a counter before purchasing because it’s one that looks really different depending on skintone. Not one I planned to purchase, but it was a pleasant surprise.

I also purchased the gloss, though it’s not on in the photo. It’s fairly sheer but is much more mauve than the lipstick and mutes down the brightness. It’s pretty and provides another wearable option on its own or overtop. 

Overall a Viva Glam winner, especially for those of us who found VG Ariana 1 a bit too extreme for our daily needs. 

Kailijumei Flower Lipstick

My beautiful new Kailijumei flower lipstick in Minutemaid. Imported from Asia. Looks clear, but goes on as a lovely pink.

Smells faintly citrusy–nice but not detectable once it’s on.

Took two weeks to arrive. Recommend for the beauty of the product itself, but also feels great on lips.

MAC Retro Matte Lipstick – Review, Photos, Swatches

Ah Ruby Woo, what a polarizing muse you are. Much like a spicy jalapeno pepper, MAC’s ubiquitous red lipstick is loved by many and loathed just as passionately by others. There’s one thing, though, that gets pretty universal agreement–once on, Ruby Woo lasts forever.

That’s why, along with MAC Cosmetics’s recent emphasis on long-wearing products, they chose to release a small collection of retro matte lipsticks–the same formula as Ruby Woo (supposedly, but more on that later). Before now, Ruby Woo has been the only permanent retro matte, and it was only recently joined by limited edition shades inspired by Rihanna. Information is somewhat conflicted at the moment, but supposedly this new collection is all permanent. (Even if this is true, my counter, at least so far, only has the amount of each shade that usually releases with LE collections, so hurry.)

Bottom line (if you’re in a rush): I really like this collection, and I believe it will more than satisfy all the matte finish lovers out there.

On to the goods:


L to R Fixed on Drama, Steady Going, Flat Out Fabulous, Runway Hit, Relentlessly Red, All Fired Up, Dangerous, Ruby Woo


I’m going to talk about the shades as they seemed to me. In my opinion, MAC’s website has some of the worst color distortion I’ve ever seen, and their shade descriptions are also a bit off sometimes.

Fixed on Drama is a deep, vampy shade with a lot of purple in it. I think this kind of color works particularly well as a matte, because the flat finish gives the feel of classic drama, but the wearer also has the option of more modern glam if she wants to top it with a lipgloss.

Steady Going is a light, blue pink, very vibrant and a bit like a mattified version of Viva Glam Gaga. This is a type of shade that I usually avoid because it makes me look dead, but if bubble gum pinks are your thing, it’s a nice shade with good pigmentation.

Flat Out Fabulous is a bright purple pink. It’s cool-toned, but with enough pink to keep it from being overly formal. To my eyes, it reads a lot like Catfight from the new Urban Decay lipstick collection.

Runway Hit is a peachy pink nude/neutral. I strongly considered a purchase, since it looked much better on my pale skin than a beige nude. I decided against, however, because of the matte finish. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE a matte finish, but there’s just something about a totally dimension-less nude that I found a little bit strange. It was like I’d painted tile grout onto my mouth. Granted, it could have been worse, but I realized that I prefer more sheen and dimension to anything that close to a nude lip. However, if you like matte nudes, it’s a very flattering one.

Relentlessly Red is…not red. In fact, on me it was a matte dupe for the limited (but frequently repromoted) Amplified shade Watch Me Simmer. I didn’t swatch them together, but this one looked very close when I tried it on at the counter. It’s a BRIGHT neon coral pink. I adore bright colors, but as with Runway Hit, I felt like the matte texture didn’t do this one any favors on me. It’s rare that I ever think a lipstick is too bright for me, but something about the combo of neon and matte just didn’t work on my face. I looked like my entire head was a mouth. If you have darker skin (or different toned skin) than mine, I’m sure your mileage will vary, and it’s worth giving it a shot.

Dangerous is an orange red, somewhere between Lady Danger and So Chaud, and similar to Nars’s Heatwave and Jungle Red. It has a beautiful burnt mutedness to it that makes it very wearable. This is one where I think the matte shade really took it to the next level of awesomeness. The only reason I didn’t purchase is because I have too many similar shades in matte and semi-matte textures.

Ruby Woo is a classic red that skews both cool and warm, depending on lighting and wearer. It’s been reviewed approximately 3 million times. It’s the shade that inspired this collection, and if you’re reading this, you most likely know all about it.

All Fired Up is a true raspberry pink that is bright but muted enough to be day-wearable (at least for me) and has a rosy red undertone (definitely warm). I saved this one for last because it’s the shade I purchased.

New Image


I’ve worn this for two days, so here are some thoughts on product usage:

* These lipsticks supposedly have the same retro matte formula as Ruby Woo, but I’m pretty convinced MAC has actually improved it. I have a tube of Ruby Woo from a past purchase, and it’s much drier and more difficult to apply than any of these colors were when I swatched them, including the Ruby Woo from this collection. All this to say, if you haven’t enjoyed the formula in the past, you might consider giving it another try.

*These lipsticks wear a long time. I have a medical issue that means I have to drink water constantly, and these last through that and even through meals. I get several hours of wear time, and even when I touch up, I usually still have pretty good color. For me, this makes them great for work.

*I definitely recommend trying these in store before buying if at all possible. As I mentioned above, the matte finish does different things to different shades.

*Are these drying? MAC retro mattes contain Kaolin Clay. Much like the Tarte Amazonian Clay lipsticks (at least, they’re similar on me), they tend to form a clay-like layer over the lips that dries quickly and lasts a long time. For me, they’re neither moisturizing nor drying. When the beauty world has things like Revlon Lip Butters and Chanel Rouge Coco Shines available, it’s easy to label anything “drying” that isn’t incredibly emollient. My own standard is that drying means visible and feel-able unpleasant dryness and/or peeling on my lips, not just the absence of moisture. These do not feel moisturizing, but even after several hours, I do not find the sensation on my lips unpleasant. (I do recommend conditioning lips beforehand, a good idea with any matte formula.)

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. Have you or do you plan to pick up any shades?


10 Favorite Lipsticks Review

(Click photo for a bigger picture)

L-R Romantic, Russian Red, Mellowarm, Ravishing, Watch Me Simmer, Pink Pout, Las Vegas, San Paulo, Till Tomorrow, Shy Girl

Favorite Lipsticks

Just like it says, this post is all about favorite lippies. I have a pretty big lipstick (and gloss) collection, so I might do another one in the future, but for now, these are some of my very favorites.

Bear in mind, I’m super fair skinned. You can see my skin color in my arm swatch, and it’s definitely on the very pale side. I’ll describe my experience with these colors, but it will, of course, vary according to your skin tone.

I’ve decided to organize the lipsticks by color, just to make things easier.


I love a red lip, both for everyday and evening.

My current favorite daily red is Revlon’s Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic, which is a true tomato red with more orange than blue in it. It’s a good red for day because it’s long wearing (I find the KBS to be that way in general), and it can be applied sheer or built up for more coverage. It’s definitely not a red that will shock people you meet.

My all-time favorite statement red is Russian Red by MAC Cosmetics. It’s a matte texture, which is my favorite, and it’s a true, blue-based red that is long-lasting and very glamorous. On my fair skin, it stands out, but it’s also very flattering, especially when balanced with a darkly-lined eye. (I have been known to wear this red during the day, but it’s definitely a statement to do so.)


I only picked one lipstick for this color because it’s not generally one of my most flattering.

My choice is Mellowarm, which was part of the MAC holiday collection 2011  and might still be snaggable at a Cosmetics Company Outlet. It’s a good brown for me because it has a bit of red and a bit of coral to it. It’s an all-around unusual color, but it’s one of the most flattering I own on my lips, I think because it adds some warmth to my pale face.


I’m a huge fan of orange lip products for everyday, and I own many, but these are two of my most used.

My favorite all-time daily orange is Ravishing by MAC Cosmetics. I went to my local MAC counter when the orange lip rage first hit, and I tried on Morange, which caused me to nearly faint dead away. It’s a beautiful color, but it’s so pigmented and bright that I felt like a traffic cone. Nowadays, I might be more inclined to buy it, but at the time, I was just getting into lipstick, and it was too much. I’m super glad that happened because one of the MAC artists suggested Ravishing instead, which is a Cremesheen (sort of a cross between matte and glossy) light, bright orange that applies opaquely, lasts a long time, and gives me the look of a 1960s Barbie, which I love.

A recent purchase from the Shop MAC/Cook MAC collection, Watch Me Simmer is fast becoming my holy grail statement coral lipstick. The texture is Amplified, which means it’s basically a Cremesheen on steroids. It’s pinker than Ravishing, and it sits dead between a very bright orange and a very bright pink. Remember what I said earlier about my phobia of uber-bright lipstick? You can tell from this purchase that I had come a long way when this collection came out.

(I knew I was going to have to work the day Shop MAC/Cook MAC arrived on counter, so I reserved the products I wanted early, including Watch Me Simmer. I was SO glad I did when I heard that that particular shade sold out by 11:00 a.m. on the launch morning!)


I’ve picked three lipsticks in this color range, not because I necessarily like pink more than other colors, but because it’s a common one for lip products and spans a very broad spectrum of shade intensity.

Pink Pout is a fairly recent purchase for me and the first purchase I made from the Revlon matte lipstick collection. It’s what I would call my “barely there” pink lipstick. It’s pretty, and it’s opaque, but it’s totally not a color that distracts in any way from a bold eye or cheek look. It’s pinker than a nude, but the effect is similar to a nude lip in the sense that it’s a very, very unobtrusive look. I love the texture and highly recommend the Revlon mattes because they last well, and the formula is more moisturizing than other mattes I’ve tried.

A great everyday pink that I just purchased is Buxom’s Big and Healthy Lipstick in Las Vegas. It’s a creamy matte that is bright enough to show up but not overpowering. As I said, it’s very new to me, but I’m ready to call this my perfect pink because of how well it suits my complexion. Pink is a color I stayed away from for a while because I couldn’t seem to find the right one, but this one is ideal for me, and I love the matte texture and the tingly feeling on lips.

San Paulo by Nyx Cosmetics is a very deep pink (almost violet), and it’s a liquid lipstick that applies like a gloss, has a totally matte texture, and dries almost like a stain. It was very affordable (like all Nyx products) and has incredible staying power. The only reason I tried the color was because of the low price, but I ended up loving it for days when I want to go less dramatic on eyes and get a good pop of color on my lips.


Neither lipstick I’m describing here is a classic nude. I look ill in most of the beige or brown-toned nude shades, so these are what works better for me.

Till Tomorrow by MAC Cosmetics is an unusual mauve shade. I’d never have tried it if someone hadn’t recommended it, but once I put it on, I realized it’s closer to my natural lipcolor than almost anything I’ve ever worn. I have very non-pigmented lips, and this lipstick deepens my natural shade and gives me a sophisticated natural look that I like. It’s from the Pro Longwear collection and really does have great staying power.

I got MAC’s Shy Girl (Cremesheen) for free as part of the Back to MAC program (I brought back six finished containers for recycling), and it’s another one I wouldn’t necessarily have picked up for myself without someone showing it to me. It’s in the same family as a classic nude, but there’s something about the very slight warm coral tinge to it that makes it incredibly wearable. It’s a nude-ish shade that isn’t much like my natural lips, but it looks very flattering on and complements any number of eye looks. I really like to wear it for work when I’m doing all neutrals, but it also goes will with more extreme eye makeup.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at some of my favorite lipsticks. Stay tuned for more posts about makeup and beauty!


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