Post #23- Colours of the Season: SPRING

Happy Spring Equinox, my Loves! I know you think this means that Winter is over and we can look forward to birds singing, and flowers blooming, and even weird Rain-wear, but what this actually means is that the count down to SUMMER is on!!! Can you read how excited I am?! 😁

I love that it is getting warmer and the days are longer and the air smells fresher. Sunshine helps with Zoom-filled days and makes me want to dress up my whole body and not just the virtually seen parts, especially now that going outside is more of a possibility.

I decided to be a little more intentional for this post and check out some of the Fashion trends predicted for the Spring/Summer 2021 season. Then Jilly, Bless her heart, sent me a link of an idea I used for inspiration to make them my own. A woman had chosen to use monochromatic schemes to showcase her new lippy collection. How cool!

Many fashion designers have taken into consideration that we are still in a pandemic and dressing for an occasion, any occasion is not what it used to be. It needs to deliver on comfort and style. It needs to be versatile and moldable so that beautiful curvy women like me can make it our own. There were monochromatic styles and a lot of incorporated loungewear. Isn’t this what we’ve always wanted fashion to be…stylish and comfortable?! Thank you God! Thankfully, two of my besties are also fashion designers. I asked one for her say on the idea of this fun back yard shoot and the other, Cherith Burke of Cherith B. Designs, I told would be featured for one of the looks here on this week’s blog post. Last year Cherith partnered with Hair stylist and owner of Hill Studio, Allison Griffith to create Restore Lounge Lear. Allison uses her studio and her influence to encourage Black women to embrace and participate in various Wellness practices and events. Because my schedule is usually bananas (outside of a pandemic), I try to support however I can. This past year I was able to support the Restore initiative by purchasing at least one thing from all of the collections. They are so comfortable and without any restrictive parts like a button or a zipper, I can slip in and out of any of the pieces easily. This has also been an added bonus since my size has shifted in good and not so good ways during the many lockdowns we’ve had here in Toronto. Check out their websites: https://www.cherithbdesigns.com https://www.hillstudioto.com/restore-1

Coral me:

This coral 2-piece is one of my favourites and is slightly too big for me…YAY! But I’ll take it anytime. I paired it here with a combination of liquid lipsticks. I used Anastasia’s Kathryn and Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in Self-starter. The perfect match for this outfit and it was so long lasting that my after-shoot Tuna sandwich didn’t stand a chance (but that was last week’s post). These colours seem to shine during this time of year. The not-quite orange-wannabe-pink-or-red shade still stands out without stealing the show. I even used it and a lower lid liner, what great fun lip wear can be! And even on a rainy Spring day, this colour palette will have just enough punch to brighten up the day.

Yellow:

Next I continued the monochromatic look that was inspired by the lipstick first. I looked at it and thought to myself, “you wore this for the holidays. Will this work?” And let me tell you, it absolutely works. I was giving myself some 80’s and 90’s vibes with this outfit. The top and bottom are both from BananaRepublic and were bought on separate trips in 2019, so yay me! I paired The LipBar’s Everything with this mellow mustard yellow outfit which happened to match my lips perfectly thanks to my natural undertones. This lipstick is so smooth and wearing it is so easy, but adding it to this look was so much fun. Yellow just screams Sunshine, so why not let my body say yellow!

Purple, but call me Lilac!

This one needs no introduction, but alas I will give it a try. I’ve mentioned it before and even in the Winter months, I thought of Easter when I first opened it. It is the perfect shade of a lilac easter-type-of-pastel purple. I thought of me going to church during the Easter season and how appreciative I am for everything Jesus did for me, so I got dressed up for church. I got dressed up because I haven’t done that in a while. I got dressed up because we’ve been inside for a really long time. I got dressed up because I’m still here and this is something to be grateful for. Still keeping it comfortable I went for Pat McGrath’s MatteTrance Faux Pas and paired it with a white t-shirt and a full a-line skirt with all sorts of pastel blues and lilacs in it. The green headband just reminded me of the blooms and the earth. I’m loving this comfy outfit and this purple pop on my lips. The Mothership and Pat McGrath can do no wrong when it comes to lipstick in my opinion. 

Orange Only

The Bite Beauty Lab has a colour I fell in love with the first time I visited the place. It’s a fun colour because it goes on the eyes, lips, and cheeks…naturally I use it for my lips. It is matte and creamy at the same time and is orange and tangerine with peach tones all rolled into one beauty called Praline. I always love it. Orange is my favourite colour, so I used it to create a messy combo by placing it on top of my custom colour also by Bite Lab in Orange You Ready? I paired this very Spring combo with a soft denim jumpsuit. The whole look is easy and fun and the oranges pop just enough to compliment the blue in the suit. Talk about style and leisure.

Nude please:

Juvia’s Place has made my favourite nude. I wear it often. It is very pigmented and is the right shade of nude for solo wear or combinations. Because of its opaque and creamy texture, it pairs well with just about any colour or texture. Libra is paired here with a black shirt and the only nude skirt I could find. And even though the skirt is the colour of bones, the scarf my bestie Vanessa gave me and my skin tones (the same ones longing for Summer sun) seem to be a great canvas for Libra to shine while contributing to the whole outfit. Nude (for lip wear) is always a good idea.

You know as I look over this short concise list, I realize that this Spring is really about us: You and me! Wear the monochromatic thing if you want to, because that could be cute or wear the jumpsuit. Pick the t-shirt to go with the PJ bottoms or the church skirt. Pick the lipstick that makes you happy and use it first and foremost to compliment who you are and let it inspire your outfit and maybe even your day. Imagine that, dressing from the lips down! Listen, even when I have an ugly day, I plan it. Not a big strategic thing, more of a settling in my spirit that there will be minimal effort today, but plan I do. I do it on purpose because whatever I wear, even if it’s just the lipstick that get’s added to my person today I wear it like I mean it. Jump into Spring time with me and mean it in any shade and any palette, monochromatic and otherwise. I’ll see you next week…Summer colours are loading…

Post #22- Will It Last? – part 2: Lip wear vs. Food!

Yes, you read that correctly! I ate for you…well, really for me, so that you and I will be prepared in any food related event in the future.

Don’t you just hate it when you are hungry and eat to your heart’s content and then you remember that your lip wear choice for the evening was not compatible? Was it even transfer-resistant? What other part of your face is also wearing your lipstick?

Now I am not one of those who plays coy when it comes to food choices when out on a date, for example, for that first meal across from whomever-you-are. If you’re paying then I’m getting what my heart desires and if we’re going Dutch, then I am definitely getting whatever is good on the menu. I don’t want to worry about my lipstick leaving when I eat or have to do this weird dance with my fork barely touching my lips while trying to drop morsels of food into my mouth like a crane carefully dangling over a construction site. Ain’t nobody got time for that! That being said, I spoke to my bestie, Jilly to hear her perspective on the meal choices for this experiment. She was very supportive and even tried some of them with me (but will not be shown here. Moral support counts, lol!) Together we decided on this list: Pasta, Salad (with a messy dressing), Fried Chicken, Pizza, and a Cheeseburger, and of course the drink. My other bestie Vanessa also suggested a dessert like licking ice cream off of the cone, but that may just have to be a sequel for this one. Dessert, anyone? My body will need a short break after this week’s test.

This food is greasy, oily, soul, fulfill-that-craving-for-that-time-of-the-month type of food. No judgment here, Baby! Sometimes these just hit differently. And yes, I usually have healthy options too, but oatmeal and bananas are hardly a threat to my lip wear. When I wear a very committed lip colour, I usually use some coconut oil or a makeup remover with some oil content to remove it. Thus the need for this experiment. And I know someone has probably written about this already, but I needed my two-toned palette to try it once and for all on purpose. The lippies of choice ranged from cream to matte. Sheer lipglosses were left out for this experiment since they would not last past the first few bites. I also wanted to revisit drugstore and luxury brands with a representation of both. Below you will see the lipstick choices and a short time lapse video of me eating…yes eating LOL! Also if you see me rocking from side to side, that is just the joy of flavour-filled food filling my bones. I dance when I eat yummy food. ☺️ It was awkward to have a camera focused on my mouth but anything for authenticity and for lip wear!

First up is a lip I received in the mail a few weeks ago. It is by HUDA and is my first lip from HUDA (yes, I know I’m late. Offer me some grace, please.) It is from their metallic lipstick collection in a wonderful purple colour named After Party that looks like it’s all decked out for the Oscars thanks to all of the shine, sparkle, and metallic within its composition. It isn’t a matte but it is a strong satin I was confident about wearing. I paired it with Pasta laden with ground beef and a dinner roll at lunch. Water to drink. See for yourself how this went.

Huda Metallic Lipstick “After Party” vs. Pasta

Second on the list happened for dinner on the first day I started this experiment and is the newly introduced Ultimatte by Maybelline in the colour More Magenta. This one was a surprise. It goes on so smooth and is nicely pigmented. I had meatless spaghetti with loads of tomato sauce and another dinner roll. More water to drink, check my glass. It lasted and the colour still popped! I’m sold and full!

Maybelline Ultimatte “More Magenta” vs. Spaghetti

Next on the list is a matte liquid lipstick by Anastasia in a colour I absolutely love named Poet. It is a light mauve that acts as a soft nude for me. It dries quickly but can be crumbly once it comes in contact with oil or even too much saliva. I had worn it for a while when this video was shot. It lasted very well under my mask so I thought it would do well during lunch. I picked up some breaded chicken breast at a local grocery store to accompany my kale version of a Caesar salad with all of the fixings. Unfortunately, the lip did not last when paired with this yummy meal. I still had enough for the top lip and the perimeter of my bottom lip, but the inside or butt of my lip was all gone, eaten by my food. I wasn’t mad, I was full. ☺️

Anastasia “Poet” vs. Chicken Caesar salad

This brings us to half way through this experiment. I picked a colour I was confident in because it does not disappoint in pigment or feel, but man alive I forgot about the transfer 😩. FentyBeauty’s Mattemoiselle in Gisele is beautiful if I am only teaching or speaking or posing for a picture, but it was not cheeseburger and fries ready. It ended up all over my chin and fingers and thankfully did not interfere with the taste of the yummy cheeseburger. What a pigmented beautiful mess! Fruit punch to drink.

Nearing the end I had to pull out the one I was saving and honestly thought would be the winner. It did not disappoint. I have so many of Maybelline’s Superstay Matte Ink Liquid lipsticks. They are long lasting and pigmented and go on easy. I decided on a bright red named Pioneer. It was Pizza day and I was trying to be healthier after almost a week of junk food so I ordered a thin crust pizza and then loaded it with 4 extra toppings that were falling off of the very thin crust. It was a sloppy hilarious mess that was so yummy 😊. I kept on eating until I saw some colour fade away. Thank God I ordered a medium, because it took 5 slices and I was still impressed. No wonder I need the good stuff when it’s time to remove this lipstick. See for yourself.

Maybelline Superstay Matte ink vs. Pizza
After Pizza…not bad!

Finally, at the suggestion of my bestie, Vanessa, I chose a luxury brand. YSL‘s Rouge Pur Couture in 52 has been mentioned here a few times, (and yes I’m making room for more luxury brands to be sent my way), but I had yet to pair it with fried chicken and honey-glazed biscuits. This colour goes on like a satin lip but has enough pigment in it to stain your lips creating a confident base that showcases the colour longer than expected. I was pleasantly surprised that there was still cream, shine, and satin goodness when the meal was over. This is what winners look like. Perhaps luxury is the way to eat comfort food…maybe.

Hopefully my cholesterol-filled week is helpful to you when it’s time to consider the perfect pairing. However, there are a few things to remember. My lips are not just two-toned but they are also two different textures. My bottom lip is a soft pink plump cushion while my top lip is more smooth and opaque. Both welcome colour and yet my top lip holds colour better and longer which is why I prefer matte colours. My suggestion to you is to try out your lipsticks, and try around people who love you regardless of how messy your face may get. Always carry your lip choice with you and if it’s a good night or a good choice, you won’t even have to use it. Try to think about your food choices ahead of time if you can help it. And lastly, choose a lippy that fits your life so that you don’t have to sacrifice nutrition for beauty. There is always room for both!

See you on the gram! Follow me @thelipstickblogger and tag me in some of your finds or shoot me a DM for any lip wear suggestions you think I should consider. Stay sweet my loves and #WearItLikeYouMeanIt 💋…the lipstick, not the food! 😅

Post #21- Will It Last- part 1: The War Between My Mask and My Lip Wear

I suppose this post is a bit late considering that we are officially one year into pandemic life. What I, and many others, thought would just last a few weeks (maybe a month at most) turned into a completely new way of living and dealing with routine. Part of the new routine was not just acquiring a mask and standing at a 6-foot distance from others, it also meant incorporating said mask into our outfit choices. Do we get cloth or medical grade masks? What about N95s or doubling up? As a city dweller, I am no stranger to harmless shoulder presses in a crowded train or light elbow bumps as we pass by on a crowded street. For the first time ever, passersby walked across the street or waited for me to clear a space not daring to share breathing room with me. This is all fine of course given the unknowns of this virus, but the absence of a friendly smile, a sense of community and colour was really wearing on my nerves. Now don’t get me wrong, this virus is real and I believe we ought to do everything in our power to stay safe and to keep others safe, but no lipstick?! Ugh! 

As life would have it, I had plenty of occasion to showcase my lip wear collection, given  the ambush of Zoom and virtual meetings I suddenly had for my job, gigs, church, the occasional meetup and even those two online group dating sessions I attended (don’t ask 🙄). But I also wanted to doll up my pout for other things like an outing with someone in my bubble or just a walk in the park. I’m known to carry at least two lippies on me at all times in addition to lip care and moisturizer products; PSA: ashy hands are never cute, but skin care is someone else’s issue. These accompanying lippies are for light touch ups, and not usually public application. Given the current circumstances, I was having to choose between no lip wear or accepting the fact that most of my lip colour would be eaten off by my mask.

I’m convinced the actual problem with masks, aside from causing occasional asphyxiation, is the moisture they capture. The breathing in and out in a concentrated area creates steam on the lips and skin surrounding them. There is nothing quite like a moist upper lip, not wet, just moist. YUCK! Depending on the texture of the lippie I’m wearing (satin, creme or gloss being the most susceptible) this will cause the colour to smudge and bleed and will also transfer to my mask of choice for the day. Having a compact nearby is necessary now more than ever to prepare oneself for what lies beneath…duh duh duh. So do we dare bare it all, all the time? Most lipsticks come with good hydration or SPF or even vitamins that actually lock in moisture all day…I’m thinking of PapaCosmetics Diva lipstick (see picture below) as I write this. Without proper ventilation and the good kind of moisture, I’ve noticed my lips will turn an interesting shade of pink as if they are exhausted from a long day’s journey. Obviously I had to do something. 

Diva by PabaCosmetics with SPF

The solution I found was to head for matte and liquid matte lippies instead of the other textures. This may mean buying all of your favourite colours in a different finish (lucky you 😉) or seeing what is already in your make up drawer that does the job. Here are a small faithful few that I’ve found to last even after the mask has been worn and removed. Pictured below are the before and after pictures with a few mask pictures in between.

  • First up is More Magenta from the new Ultimatte collection by Maybelline. It is a creamy matte that has some staying power without the dryness that usually comes with colours that are more matte or dry to the touch. This also makes the removal process easier. Unfortunately we can see my no-filter reaction after my walk was through. My mask is wearing more than I am but my lips are still covered in a nice tint of this magenta colour.
  • From the same company is one of my go-to colours from the Superstay Matte Ink collection in Self Starter. I’ve noticed that this particular collection has varying degrees of staying power and consistency. For example, the brighter colours seem to be thinner requiring more layers during the application process and almost dry to a chalky feel. This colour was thicker and was easy to apply but also took a little longer to dry. Knowing that it would last a long time anyway, I took a chance and put it on. As we can see, My mask mostly ate my foundation colour and left me with a moist upper lip and my full lip colour. This one is a winner!
  • This next one is a combination made up of a Black-owned, Canadian, female-owned brand named Pop of Love in the colour Sweet Talk used as a topper for another Black owned, Female-owned brand favourite of mine, ColouredRaine’s Amazing Raine for this amazing pink magic! Because both of these colours dry to a complete matte, I added a little bit of Fenty Beauty’s Gloss bomb in FU$$Y for some moisture throughout the morning while I taught. I was interested to see how the combo would fare in a mask, but I have no doubts that either of the pinks on their own would beat the mask. Unfortunately, the combo did not!
  • One of my favourites from this experiment was a surprise to me. Unfortunately, I do not have the picture of the mask to show but Naked by Makeup For Melanin Girls (MFMG) is one of my perfect nude mattes. It goes one easy and dries really fast. It also feels velvety instead of chalky, which my lips appreciate. I wore it to a socially distanced gig last week and when I got there I noticed that it was still there in full force. For some nude dramatic effect and some depth, I added Mauve Wive$ by Fenty Beauty as a topper when it was time to sing. I love this combo. On the way home in the uber, where a mask is till required, I was aware that once again my mask would be eating my colour combo, but it only ate the creamy topping and left my lips fully covered! Well done, MFMG!
  • And Last but certainly not least is another local company that my makeup drawer cannot do without. Also by PabaCosmetics is a beautiful liquid lipstick in 201 Pout. Another nude with peachy undertones that did not move when I wore it on my way to the post office that required a brisk walk which of course, generated the dreaded moist upper lip. The mask only stole my foundation and a hint of the lipstick, but the colour stayed! Well Done PabaCosmetics, well done!

Hopefully, this little experiment brought you some encouragement and inspired you to wear your lippies during these unprecedented times. I suggest a couple tricks such as lip liner, spraying your finished face before and after your lipstick application with your setting spray, and making sure your lip care choice has already absorbed into your lips before applying your colour to eliminate any extra slip. Find the colours that make you happy and textures that will not bow to the porous whims of your mask. Keep your head held high and your compact ready and go about your socially-distanced way with a lip colour where you can #wearitlikeyoumeanit .

Post #20-Black History…still! Plans and then some…

Last week’s post included moments of Black Joy and with Black History just two days behind us and the on-going celebration of the contributions of past and current people within the Black community, I thought I’d start this post with a list of Black contributors to my lipstick collection. I’ve learned quite a bit, and yes I know you’re thinking, “Temeka, isn’t this supposed to go on the list for The Black Owned Part 3 post?” and My answer to that is ‘Love, stay tuned and hold tight’, I’m building that list slowly and surely. Firstly, here is the current list you too can also frequent. I know you’ll enjoy them too. In no particular order.

Black Owned List

PAT McGRATH, FentyBeauty, PabaCosmetics, Juvia’s Place, ColouredRaine, Secrets by Danika Battieste, Bourgie Cosmetics, Pop of Love Beauty, Nagi Cosmetics, Black Up, The LipBar, MFMG (MakeUp For Melanin Girls)

As you can see, I sooooo need to add to this list, so school me and share some of your favourite Black Owned Lippy Creators with me please. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences with you.

PLANS! and then some…

Well I’m excited for the next couple of posts. I will be conducting a couple of experiments for a short series called Will It Last? and I can’t wait to show you. Because we seemed to be stuck in this pandemic world, I think it will be beneficial to have the mask-talk🙄…we will be alright (just keep saying this to yourself. We’re going to be alright, we’re going to be alright…). And if you’re like me, you’ve put on and taken off the pounds more times that you’ve changed out of your lounge clothing. I’ve been cooking, baking, ordering in, snacking, and trying to drink way more water than ever so I’ve also counted all of the tiles in my bathroom too since I’m so acquainted with it…being healthy and hydrated is a whole job in itself😫. So it’s also time we brought lipstick into the equation. And just because we’re in pyjama bottoms for all of those virtual calls, that doesn’t mean we’re not dressing up our pouts and video time gives us an opportunity to use everything in our makeup drawers or bags, or whatever you store your goodies in or at least try to act like you still get to dress up for…something. Will It Last part 2 will let me eat and show you what works and what doesn’t.

And lastly, don’t forget to follow me here for the Colours of the Season- Spring. I cannot wait for Spring and maybe because it means patios could be a thing again and warmer weather means I can stay outside without the faux fur hood and thick boots and maybe I can see people in person and wear amazing lipstick…just maybe. And even though I really miss the heat of the sunshine, you can miss me with the bugs. It’s the brightness and the anticipation of Summer that I’m really excited about.

Yes this was a shorter post, but I wanted to keep it real while keeping you the loop. It’s an in between week and I wanted to finish up the work needed to report back to you, my loves. Any who, I’ll see you right back here next Tuesday. Tell everyone you know and don’t forget to share your Black Owned list with me too. I doubt that I know it all. I’ll see you on the gram @thelipstickblogger you can DM or tag me there or follow me here. Don’t forget to #wearitlikeyoumeanit and mean it when you do.💋

Post #19- Moments of Black Joy and Lipstick!

February has a lot going on; Valentine’s Day, a bunch of Film festivals, and it’s Black History Month. A month to celebrate all the beauty of the Black Community at large whether that be through music or visual art or recognition of past and on-going activism. And while there is a plethora of historic figures we frequent at this time, there is also current moments of Blackness to celebrate.

In 2020, there were so many moments of trauma and hurt and misconduct towards the Black community worldwide, especially after the viewings and knowledge of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and even Regis Korchinski-Paquet in our own backyard, and many many…too many others. After tears, stress, moments in therapy that are still in process, my family and I decided to smile and enjoy us. It wasn’t an official meeting kind of decision, it was just us knowing we needed to smile again…or still…despite the continual barrage of negativity…so we smiled.

We continued with our walks, walks we took on the weekends after church when the sun was shining. We started them in the Spring soon after the first lockdown and they became a moment of solace for us and family connection. We headed down to the river to rediscover our own neighbourhood. We found beautiful moments of sunshine and flowers and creep-crawly bugs we didn’t know existed near our street. Ha! Imagine that!

We took pictures of ourselves and the deer we happened upon and let our melanin shine in the midst of pain, because God is still good and because our Blackness needed no apology, rather it was cause to celebrate. And yes we were just going to the Humber River surrounded by lush foliage, but Baby, any outing in the midst of a pandemic riddled with stress and trauma, is time for lipstick.

I encourage you to consider your moments of lip wear as celebration for the wonderful form of your body, the celebration of life, and the encouragement of joyful-on-purpose-FUN! These moments of joy did not stop because Summer ended and Winter came, nor should it stop when February leaves us and becomes March. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and worthy of love and celebration. Your lips deserve to wear that colour, you know, the one that you think is too bold or too red or something for you, wear that one! #WEARITLIKEYOUMEANIT.

Black History Month is intentionally celebrated during the month of February, but we can intentionally celebrate Black contributions all year-round. I do it by learning about Black Owned businesses and mentioning at least one lippy per post that comes from such a place. I do it by learning about my Black Culture here in Canada and the one from my Jamaican parents and those of my friends…no, we’re not all the same! We can celebrate and stand up against injustices especially when we spend our hard earned dollars and choose to support companies and initiatives that build up and celebrate how far we’ve come as a people group and as citizens of the world.

Below are moments of Black Joy I got to experience with my family, with loved ones, in the sunshine, in the city, in the forests, all while wearing great lippies. Some matte, some shiny, some transparent, all necessary! I pray they make you smile in the midst of your version of this current life we lead. I pray you learn about different aspects of Black History this year… all year. I hope you enjoy the notion that you and I will make history one day and that we might be the subject of study for future generations. My Love, Enjoy my version (and everyone else’s version) of Black Joy! xoxo!

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