Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Convicted of Purgery

Convicted, rather, of truly painful punning. Sometimes I just can't help it.

Welcome to my very first purge post! It will probably also be my last in a while, since it saddens me so much to throw anything out. I'm both a sentimental hoarder and an incorrigible cheapskate--a deadly combination where makeup collecting is concerned. But after I came home from England last week, I embarked on a massive apartment-cleaning project, in the course of which I managed to fill a bag with makeup I should have thrown out long ago...

The condemned, in more or less chronological order:

1. Revlon Nail Polish in Silver Screen

Date of purchase: 2009 or 2010

Crime: I haven't used Silver Screen in about four years, though it was the first nail polish I really coveted, which gives it a special place in my heart. Throughout college, the idea of wearing nail polish made me uncomfortable. I didn't want to seem frivolous or childish (I was a Serious Intellectual, dontchaknow), and I also had a bizarre fear of drawing people's attention to my hands. I've spent the past two minutes trying to articulate the origin and nature of that fear, but it turns out that I can't. Anyway, in my first semester of graduate school, a girl in one of my classes had amazing silver robot nails. It occurred to me one day that I could have silver robot nails, too. I believe I initially bought another brand of silver polish, but I soon upgraded to Revlon. Eventually I realized that silver robot nails weren't really my style, but I kept the bottle of polish for sentiment's sake...and now I don't want to purge it after all. Damn it!

Replacement: None, though I'm reminded that I should wear Essie Good as Gold more often. Gold robot nails are slightly more my speed.

2. Revlon Perle Eyeshadows in Lilac Shimmer and Glistening Snow

Date of purchase: I don't even remember, which is a bad sign. Sometime in 2011? 

Crimes: Coarse texture, meh colors, general mediocrity. I'm not sure I've ever actually worn either of these, but here they are swatched on my arm. Glistening Snow is on the left and Lilac Shimmer on the right, not that it makes much difference--as you can see, they're almost identical.

Replacements: Kiko 251 for Lilac Shimmer. No replacement for Glistening Snow, because I don't really need a '90s-esque white frost with huge glitter particles.

3. Revlon Colorstay 12 Hour Eyeshadow Palette in 12 Sultry Smoke

Date of Purchase: 2011 

Crimes: It's pretty obvious, isn't it? My favorite shade in the palette, a shimmery gunmetal gray, crumbled and died long ago, leaving me with three colors I didn't really care for. (The second missing color was yet another lavender frost.) Then the lid fell off. Then I kept the palette for two more years, because I'm insane.

Replacements: Milani Bella Charcoal for the gray shimmer, despite its traitorous crumbling.

4. Revlon Moon Drops Lipsticks in Persian Melon and Orange Flip

Date of purchase: May 2011. 

Crimes: Advanced age, colors I'm not crazy about, headache-inducing floral smell that has only worsened with time. It saddens me to get rid of these, because I remember the thrill of buying them one bright spring afternoon early in my makeup-collecting life, but I don't think I've worn either of them in over two years.

Replacements: Wet n Wild Purty Persimmon is a similar color to Orange Flip, though more matte. No replacement for Persian Melon, since I've figured out that this particular shade of hot pink is not my color.

5. L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in True Red

Crime: Putrid L'Oreal smell. I can put up with most lipstick smells, but L'Oreal is beyond the pale for me. I also find the formula somewhat drying. I feel guilty getting rid of this one--it was a gift from my mother, a longtime L'Oreal devotee--but I just can't wear it.

Replacements: I don't often reach for satin-finish blue-reds (they seem more ~sexy than matte blue-reds, and it's rare that I aim to look ~sexy), but I do like wearing Maybelline On Fire Red now and then.

6. Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Bordeaux

Date of purchase: September 2012.

Crime: Tragic expiration. I opened the tube a few days ago, and found that the gloss smelled off and the pigment had separated from the rest of the formula. Bordeaux est mort. Vive...

Replacement: Revlon Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Embellished, which I bought during Ulta's sale on NYX and Revlon yesterday. Bordeaux wasn't available at Ulta, but Embellished looked similar, though a bit more purple. I bought six items in total; expect reviews when the package arrives!

7. Maybelline Color Tattoos in Audacious Asphalt and Electric Blue

Date of purchase: Summer 2013.

Crime: Excessive dryness. Audacious Asphalt was almost unusable when I first got it (I have no idea why I didn't return it), and now it's so dry that it's even developed a crack. Electric Blue has always been difficult to apply and blend, which is especially unforgivable in an eyeshadow this bold.

Replacements: Milani Bella Navy and Bella Charcoal.

8. Wet n Wild Megalast Lipstick in Bare It All

Date of purchase: September 2013. 

Crime: Ugliness, at least on me. I thought this would be a nice pinky-brown MLBB color, but it has a strong orangey undertone that doesn't play well with my complexion. Then there's the smell, simultaneously musty and metallic, and the thick, dry texture. My other two Wet n Wild lipsticks have perfect formulas, so I don't know why Bare It All is so unpleasant.

In my defense, I bought this while drunk. Bless American drugstores for staying open late enough to enable tequila-fueled lipstick purchases. It was the day of the first meeting of my dissertation seminar in Washington, DC, and because nerds who have just met each other can't converse normally without the help of alcohol, we'd all had a few. On our way back from a Salvadorean restaurant where we had capped the evening with an ill-advised margarita pitcher, we stopped into the CVS near Eastern Market so someone could pick up tampons. I took this as a sign from Party God that I should buy not one but two lipsticks. (The other one, Wet n Wild Stoplight Red, was a much better choice. I wore it to a Janelle Monáe concert last October!)

Replacement: NARS Cinematic Lipstick in Last Tango, shown here on the right.

9. NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadows in Burlesque, Dayclub, and After Party

Date of purchase: March 2014.

Crime: Utter shittiness. I've said it before: these are some of the worst eyeshadows I've ever tried. Coarsely milled, poorly pigmented even over primer, just terrible in every way. I was an idiot not to keep the receipt, but here we are.

Replacements: Kiko Infinity Eyeshadow in 250 (olive shimmer); Kiko Eyeshadow Stick in 16 (dark purple). No replacement for Dayclub, as I ordered it expecting the "dark gold pearl" promised on NYX's website and not a terracotta nightmare.

Writing these mini-reviews has made me nostalgic. I'm turning 27 in just over a month, and exploring makeup and beauty has been one of the defining activities of my mid-twenties. I bought most of these products before I really knew what I wanted makeup to do for me. I can't even recall the reasoning behind some of my purchases, which is frightening. They're the material remains of lost thought processes, faded magazine images, transient moods and whims. But I learned something from each one of my disappointments. I learned to avoid ordering makeup sight unseen. I learned that cool fuchsia lipsticks flatter me and warm hot pinks don't. I learned not to buy lip glosses I can't use up in two years. I learned that it's better to spend $30 on one really nice thing than on four indifferent things. Though these lessons seem trivial when I write them out, they helped me take control of how I presented myself to the world. The stakes of makeup may be low, but the rewards are incredibly high. So I can't hold a grudge against any of the products I'm throwing away--not even those appalling NYX eyeshadows. Ave atque vale.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beauty Abroad, Part 13: Topshop Matte Lip Bullet in Get Me Bodied


Ahem. On my previous trip to the UK, I limited my Topshop damage to two nail polishes and an eyeshadow. This time I was eager to try one of Topshop's many lip products, and I settled on the Matte Lip Bullet in Get Me Bodied (£8), a dark magenta-plum.

Topshop's Lip Bullets are thin twist-up lipsticks in matte black-and-white tubes with clear plastic caps. The white plastic looks sleek when new, but it can easily get messy if you remove or replace the cap too hastily. The testers in the Topshop store looked downright gory.

The Lip Bullets come in two finishes, satin and matte; slapdash Google research indicates that the satin bullets came out last year and the matte ones this summer. They’re not crayons, exactly, because the bullet has the slanted head of a traditional lipstick—and because Topshop has wasted no time in capitalizing on the lip-crayon trend with its own line of crayons, which I'm sure are totally different from the bullets. I swatched a few satin-finish Lip Bullets alongside Get Me Bodied, and they felt slippery and moisturizing; the darkest one, burgundy Wine Gum, applied a bit unevenly.  But Get Me Bodied was perfectly even and opaque with one swipe, so it came home with me. (I should note that although lip products were two for £12 at Topshop, I resisted buying a second. I'm prouder of this than I should be.)

Get Me Bodied has a modern matte finish, softer and more luminous than, say, the NYX matte lipsticks. It glides on smoothly and wears off evenly; it also stands up remarkably well to food and drink. I don't find it unusually drying, but I do like to wear it over a thin layer of balm for added comfort. I've included two lip swatches because the color likes to shift from bright pinky-purple plum to muted reddish plum, depending on the light. The first photo was taken outside, the second in evening light indoors.

Now I'm going to level with you: I have several lipsticks that are very similar to Get Me Bodied. It's embarrassing. If I ever mention wanting another lipstick that can be described as "plum" or "dark fuchsia," please slap some sense into me. Left to right: Revlon Black Cherry, YSL Belle de Rose, Topshop Get Me Bodied, Milani Sangria, Revlon Plum Velour, & Other Stories Droguet Purple.

The closest matches are Black Cherry (slightly darker) and Belle de Rose (slightly lighter), though neither one is matte and Black Cherry, despite its cult status, has a criminally patchy formula. I was planning to get rid of it, but now I'm curious to see how it works over Barry M Plum liner...

I've been wearing Get Me Bodied constantly since I bought it, including on my transatlantic flight on Thursday. (AB's Law: if you try to apply a bold lipstick in an airplane lavatory, the plane is guaranteed to hit a patch of turbulence the second you touch bullet to lip.) I usually pair this color with a boring taupe eye, but today I decided to add a bit more color. I'm wearing Milani Bella Taupe all over my lids and smudged on the lower lashlines, and the mint shade from the NARS Habanera duo blended into the inner third of each lid. Blush is Illamasqua Zygomatic; mascara is CoverGirl LashBlast Length.

I discovered the pairing of plumberry lip and mint eye by accident, when I tried on NARS Audrey in a store while wearing Habanera. I should have thought of it before that, since Habanera is a duo composed of plum and mint, but hey. The mint half of Habanera has surprised me over and over with its versatility. It can hold its own against almost any color of lipstick, but it also blends easily into neutral shadows for an understated icy sheen.

All the Matte Lip Bullets seem to be named after pop songs ("Call Me Queen Bee" is lavender, which strikes me as a bit delicate for Lorde). The phrase "get me bodied" didn't ring a bell for me when I saw it in the store, but a quick Google that evening revealed it to be the title of a Beyoncé track from 2006. Back then, the most cutting-edge music I listened to was Simon and Garfunkel, so it's no wonder I first heard this song eight years later. I found it intensely annoying on first listen, but decided to give it another chance before this post went up. Approximately fifty plays later, I'm ready to recant. Thank you, Topshop, for introducing me to my next earworm/pre-conference motivational song. I'm not convinced that a matte plum lipstick is the best color to wear to "get bodied," i.e. pick up dudes at the club--but that's on Topshop, not Beyoncé. Beyoncé knows what's up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beauty Abroad, Part 12: Experiments with & Other Stories Droguet Purple and Barry M Lip Liner in Plum

As I've confessed elsewhere, I'm generally reluctant to buy extra tools to make a beauty product work. I delayed buying an eyeshadow primer and lip brush for ages, because "I shouldn't have to." A good eyeshadow or lipstick, I thought, wouldn't need extra help. My stubbornness in this matter has softened since I started this blog, but there was one thing I still refused to buy until last week: a lip liner. This is the inevitable result of reaching pop-cultural awareness in the late '90s, when the de rigueur lip combo was brown liner and lighter brown lipstick. The reign of MAC Spice has long since ended, but my wariness lingered--that is, until I bought & Other Stories Lip Colour in Droguet Purple, reviewed in my last post.

Droguet Purple, a dark blue-based purple lipstick with a shiny finish, presented me with two problems. First, its slippery formula prevented me from getting even coverage on my lips; second, oh god so dark so purple I look crazy how do I wear this without looking crazy. The first problem seemed easier to solve than the second; so, true to form, I tackled it first. (During a dissertation meeting last year, one of my advisers quoted another professor in our department: "All work is the avoidance of other work." That goes for makeup, too.)

What I needed, I decided, was a lip liner in roughly the same color as Droguet Purple. I scoured one Superdrug and two Boots for a dark purple liner, which proved harder to find than I'd anticipated. Finally, at Superdrug, I settled on Barry M Lip Liner #11 (Plum). I usually think of Barry M as a purveyor of cheap nail polish, but the brand makes quite a few lip products as well, including something hailed widely as a dupe for OCC's Lip Tars. The lip liner was £3, and I think it's remarkably attractive for a budget product. Look at that gold flourish!

True to its name, Plum is slightly redder than Droguet Purple. Still, it would be hard to find a better match at this price point, considering how many drugstore lip liners fall into the nude-mauve-rose category. Here's an arm swatch of Plum (left) next to Droguet Purple.

To give Droguet Purple a surface to cling to, I used Plum to outline and color in the entire surface of my lips. Plum is an old-fashioned lip liner, bone-dry and thoroughly matte, and it took a surprisingly long time to cover my lips with pigment. Plus, the liner tasted like a pencil. It tasted like first grade, in fact: I was a big pencil-chewer back in the day. Not exactly a luxury product, but it got the job done. Hey, I look insane!

See, this is why I didn't want a matte dark purple; my lips look so much smaller than usual. I've had a slight complex about this ever since someone I dated in college told me I had "thin lips." You don't say that sort of thing to a person, especially one as vain as I am; you just don't.

With a base of Plum, I needed only one coat of Droguet Purple. The liner changed the color of the lipstick, making it more of a blackened eggplant than a vivid blue-purple. Left, Droguet Purple without lip liner; right, layered over Plum. See how much more even the color looks?

Since buying Plum, I've worn Droguet Purple twice in public, with two different eye/cheek situations: one for night and one for day. I confess that there's not a tremendous difference between the two. No matter what you use to complement a lipstick this dark, your mouth will always be the star of the show.

For my first attempt, I took Belly's advice to add "something blackened and intense on your eyes." Real smoky eyes are still difficult for me (I have a lot of eyelid real estate to cover, and the extra fold in each lid makes it hard to get even color distribution), so I kept it simple with a base of NARS Lhasa and a smudgy overlay of Serious, the matte black shadow from theBalm's Nude 'tude palette. Serious layers beautifully; you can wear it semi-opaque or build it up to full opacity (none more black!). My models for this look were Edward Gorey's Interbellum-inspired illustrations of murderous vamps and recently deflowered girls.

I added Serious to the outer halves of my upper lids, blended an extra layer into the outer corners, and used my e.l.f. eyeliner brush to smudge Serious onto my lower lashlines. For blush, I swapped out Zygomatic for Sleek Flushed, a red-plum powder blush. I also added my new magenta scarf, purchased on Portobello Road on Thursday, so that the combination of black blazer and eggplant lips wouldn't wash me out. Other, less apparent, products: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla, Maybelline One by One Mascara, theBalm Sleek eyeshadow to define brows.

The result, complete with self-indulgent Theda Bara stare:

A better view of the eyes:

My second attempt, from today, involved warmer tones. Larie had suggested that I try bronzer with this lipstick; since I don't own any bronzer, I did the next best thing and used bronze eyeshadow! I applied Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze to my mobile lids and part of my browbones, lined my upper and lower lashlines with theBalm eyeshadow in Silly (warm brown with copper glitter), and used Illamasqua Zygomatic on my cheeks. The idea was to create a more casual look, though I'm not sure this lipstick is capable of conveying "casual."  I'm fine with that. Apologies for the washed-out photo--the watery English light just wouldn't cooperate with my vanity. The eye makeup was more pronounced IRL.

I wore this look on a tour of Aston Hall, a stunning 17th-century mansion outside Birmingham. Built between 1618 and 1635 for a man who had bought a baronetcy from the cash-strapped James I, the house is a beautifully preserved example of Jacobean architecture. It's also a nice background for awkward tourist photos...

The lipstick/liner combo lasted for a couple of hours before it began to fade. Droguet Purple is just not a low-maintenance color, and it's going to come off on coffee cups and surrender entirely to apples or sandwiches. Frankly, I don't mind. There's a lot of emphasis placed on effortless, low-maintenance makeup these days, and I think it's no coincidence that women themselves often feel pressured to be socially and emotionally low-maintenance. Sometimes I want to wear a lipstick that attests to the amount of effort I put into it. Sprezzatura is overrated.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Beauty Abroad, Part 11: & Other Stories Lip Colour in Droguet Purple

I've always heard great things about the makeup line from & Other Stories, an upscale offshoot of H&M that has somehow managed to acquire the URL stories.com. & Other Stories hasn't made it to the US yet, so I was excited to visit the store on Regent Street Wednesday evening. &OS skews toward an older audience than its parent does, which means that its stores and products have a cleaner, more understated look than you'd expect from H&M. The relationship of the two stores is similar to that of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie--which reminds me, I walked past the Anthropologie on Regent Street and can attest that British Anthros smell exactly like American ones. I don't know why I was surprised.

& Other Stories' extensive (and cruelty-free) makeup line contains lip, eye, and cheek products. Unfortunately, I had very little time to browse before we headed to dinner, so I narrowed my focus to the lipsticks, which were £12 each. Glancing over the ranks of tester bullets, I saw a color that I'd been pursuing since I compiled my fall wishlist: a dark purple with a satin finish. With (if I do say so myself) admirable focus, I swatched, sterilized, tried on, mulled over, and purchased Droguet Purple in the space of five minutes.

& Other Stories has named all its makeup products after textiles, a very cute touch. Droguet is a coarse woven fabric known in English as "drugget"--I can see why & Other Stories used the more alluring French moniker. I was familiar with drugget from eighteenth-century literature, where it often appears in discussions of poor people's clothes, though nowadays it seems more popular for carpets. I'm not sure what the cloth has to do with dark purple specifically, but I don't mind at all that my new lipstick has an etymological link to a Swift poem.

The lipstick comes in a gratifyingly hefty silver tube with "& other stories" written on the base. The smooth silver surface does collect fingerprints, but that's hardly a dealbreaker for me.

The lipstick itself is a dark eggplant--or should I say aubergine?--purple. It's similar to NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv, which I've guerrilla-swatched here, though it's a bit more blue-based. (By the way, my Audacious swatches have attracted almost twice as many pageviews as my second most popular post. Now I know how bloggers who can afford all the new releases must feel! It's a sadly addictive feeling, and one I must resist.) I'd say that NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Train Bleu, Revlon Matte Balm in Shameless, and MUFE Rouge Artist Intense #49 are closer color matches.

The bullet has a pointy tip that's perfect for outlining lips.

Like most dark purple lipsticks, especially non-matte dark purples, Droguet Purple is a bit tricky to work with. It's not entirely opaque on first or even second swipe, and the formula has a lot of slip, which can make the pigment look uneven on my lips if I'm not careful. Here's a one-swipe arm swatch:

And two swipes:

Isn't the color unusual? It's rare to find a dark blue-based purple that doesn't betray you and turn plummy red when swatched. I don't own another dark purple lip color, but for curiosity's sake I swatched Droguet Purple next to MAC Up the Amp, the only comparable lipstick I brought with me to England. Up the Amp is lighter, brighter, and pinker; I think of it as a true purple, so I was surprised at just how pink it looked next to Droguet Purple.

For my first lip swatch, I swiped on two coats straight from the tube. As you can see, the color isn't completely even, but it's less noticeable in person than it is when you're scrutinizing a photo of my disembodied mouth.

Next I tried using my lip brush, but that didn't work very well: the formula was so thin and slippery that when I applied a second layer with the brush, the first layer started rubbing off. It seems to me that the best application method for Droguet Purple is the old apply-blot-reapply strategy; a lipliner might also help, though I don't own one. I don't have a sense of Droguet Purple's wear time, since I haven't yet worked up the courage to wear it in public, which brings me to the central question of this post:

How the hell does one wear dark purple lipstick?

I know, I know: one puts it on one's face. But that's where the difficulty begins, especially for someone as pale as I am. (I'm also sick for the third time in four months, which doesn't help.) In my brief period of trial and error, I've found that I have to be exceedingly careful what I wear with Droguet Purple, both clothing- and makeup-wise. My favorite shirt color, gray, makes me look dead when I pair it with dark purple lips. Navy, my second-favorite shirt color, isn't much better. I've reached the conclusion that Droguet Purple demands a jewel-toned, white, or warm-neutral (e.g. camel) top.

As for ancillary makeup, I'm as infatuated as any other denizen of Pinterest with the clean-face-vampy-lips look, but I'm not sure I can pull it off. For my first attempt at a look featuring Droguet Purple, I used more blush than usual, to nudge my complexion out of Marceline the Vampire Queen territory. Here we have NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla to erase undereye circles; NARS Lhasa eyeshadow layered over Maybelline Tough as Taupe; Maybelline One by One mascara; Illamasqua cream blusher in Zygomatic.

My hair has grown out to resemble Wendy's from A Fish Called Wanda. Send help.

Today I used most of the same products, but eliminated Tough as Taupe, applied Lhasa as a sheer wash, and cut back on the Zygomatic. I also defined my brows with theBalm eyeshadow in Sleek. I think I like this version better; sorry about the odd greenish cast in the photo.

I suspect that the lipstick would look better with a warmer or bolder color on the eyes--I'm thinking bronze, gold, pink, or mint. But I'm also not convinced that Droguet Purple suits me. Maybe it's just that I've never worn a lip color this dark before, and my brain has yet to recognize me-with-dark-purple-lips as me. I'll keep experimenting, and report back with further conclusions.

I haven't been able to find many reviews of & Other Stories' lipstick online, so I hope this one has been informative! I'm tempted to go back and replace every "and" in this post with an ampersand, but I'll restrain myself.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Beauty Abroad, Part 10: Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips

I have a very specific packaging fetish: I like things in small round tins. But really, could you resist this particular tin?

Vaseline Lip Therapy in Rosy Lips is only the latest in a series of Tins I Have Loved. My first makeup products, when I was a young teenager, were Perfumeria Gal redcurrant and violet lip balms in domed Art Nouveau tins:

One of my most vivid memories from my first semester of college is of eating Les Anis de Flavigny rose- and violet-flavored pastilles in my dorm room overlooking the campus lake (I was a foppish 17-year-old):


So it's no wonder that the little discs of Vaseline Lip Therapy caught my eye at a grocery store the other day. There were three colors: blue (original), green (aloe vera), and coral-pink (rose). I'd never seen them in the States, so I barely hesitated before buying a tin of Rosy Lips for £2.19, despite my misgivings about the formula: I've been known to smear Vaseline on my lips on especially dry winter days, and it's never pleasant.

But as it turns out, Lip Therapy lacks that thick, squidgy Vaseline texture. It's thin and emollient, with a strong but natural rose fragrance and, at least in the tin, a warm pink color. Though suspiciously similar to Smith's Rosebud Salve, Rosy Lips is more heavily perfumed and colored. It looks and smells like liquefied Turkish delight--a confection much on my mind since last week, when I encountered (and plundered) this shop at the Borough Market:

 If you don't like tasting roses for several minutes after you apply your lip balm, you shouldn't buy this; my own tolerance for good rose scents, however, is limitless. (Which explains why I bought both rose-walnut and rose-pistachio Turkish delight.)

Ah, that jelly-smooth coral surface! Make no mistake, though, this is a practically clear lip balm. There's little point in posting an arm swatch, but never let it be said I'm not a completist:

Bare vs. rosy lips--as this low-budget diptych shows, the real difference is in the shine, not the color.

I do see a very slight pink cast, but despite the tin's promise that Rosy Lips "gently tints and cares for lips," it shouldn't be mistaken for a genuinely tinted balm like the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. (That said, I'd rather have Rosy Lips, as I find the Fresh balms to be melty and ineffective and generally overrated--but that's a subject for another post, or not.)

Finally, here's the tin in my hand for scale, plus the ingredients list:

I've been using Rosy Lips for a few days now, both in the morning before I put on makeup and at night before I go to bed. I'm reluctant to take it with me on my London adventures, as the city grit always makes my fingers feel dirty, and the thought of sticking them into a pot of lip balm and transferring the particles to my mouth is unbearable. Victorian London would have made me a hermit. I've noticed a definite improvement in the softness and smoothness of my chronically dry lips, but I've had similar success with other brands of lip balm. The real difference with Rosy Lips is that the cuteness of the tin and the fragrance of the balm help me remember to apply it regularly. Who said packaging was merely decorative?

Rosy Lips has potential for other uses, too. It would make a decent, if one-note, solid perfume in a pinch. And after reading this interview with model Ashley Smith, who likes to use Rosebud Salve as luminizer after a flight, I wondered if Rosy Lips would have a similar effect. So I tried it on both lips and cheeks after my lipstick and most of my blush had worn off:

It works, sort of! Though I confess I need very little help looking sweaty ethereal on a daily basis.

Finally, I've had to add a sad footnote to my recent review of Milani's Bella Charcoal and Bella Navy eyeshadows. Not even my fetish for disc-shaped things will tempt me to buy another product from that range...