Post #8- Review by Request: ARBONNE

“Hey Temeka, do you think you could review some Arbonne lipsticks for your blog?”

Imagine my surprise and wonderment when I was approached by ARBONNE Consultant and friend Kalenea Johnson to review a couple lipsticks! I was elated to think that someone wanted my lip wear opinion. Now, I know that you all like hearing (or reading rather) what I might have to say, but to want my opinion? That’s kindness. I had never really tried any lip-wear made by ARBONNE, so I couldn’t wait. That being said, this post will be a little different because it will highlight the lippies I got to try instead of the goodies in the make up drawer. Please note: these goodies are now in the makeup drawer!💃🏾

I was sent the options of lipglosses and lipsticks and there were two in particular that caught my eye. The first one I chose got me with the title of the lipstick line. I love names found on the bottom of lipstick (or any make up really, but this is a lipstick blog, so let’s stick with that). It’s like the last creative element the company added for our lip-wearing pleasure. Smoothed Over Lipstick in Peony is this beautiful in-your-face-Pink. It is moisturizing with a hint of shine and true to it’s name it is smooth indeed! It goes on easy without any pull and lasts a lot longer than I initially thought it would. I decided to teach in it soon after receiving it.

While I teach, I often get hungry and need to wet my whistle while explaining the various sections of the English language to my beautiful students. I often munch on something small or drink a couple glasses of water here and there. Thus, I need the lippie of choice to last at least through the lesson, especially since we’re zooming everywhere and features online do not come across the way they do in person.

I was pleasantly surprised when Peony did wear off that it left a nice even stain across both of my lips. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. This, you’ve got to try!

My second choice was a fun cheat because it’s two in one. That’s right! I have two lip glosses in one hand. As you can see in the picture below, one side is a matte pinky mauve named Bloom and the other side is a gloss with the same name. What’s great about this one is that you can wear each side individually or pair them together. Let’s call them Matte Bloom and Glossy Bloom for now. I love options, especially when I have the option to choose both!☺️

Matte BLOOM Gloss

I found Matte Bloom to be rich in colour covering my two-toned canvas evenly the way I like, but a little drying. Not to worry though because once I added the gloss on top it added the needed moisture without stealing any of the Matte colour. Glossy Bloom is also a great moisturizing clear pinky-mauve-tinted gloss on its own. Another great option! They also come off easily with some warm water or your favourite remover. No fuss here.

Now for the best part. Mix it all up, baby! Yes, I added this Glossy Bloom to Peony and found a new ARBONNE favourite. I’d like to call her Glossy Peony and the combination of the intense colour with a hint of visible moisture has me feeling myself even in my teaching sweats and no-where-to-go-self.

Well, I pray this was enlightening and perhaps you’ll give your ARBONNE consultant (or Kalenea, @livoutloud) a call, to find your new favourite lip-wear. The catalogue they offer for lip-wear alone is a thing of beauty. So many to choose from! Thanks Kalenea and ARBONNE for letting me wear great lip-wear even indoors. No matter which colour you go with or what brand you buy, remember it’s confidence in knowing you are dressing up what was already wonderfully made. so #wearitlikeYOUmeanit and mean it when you do! 💋💄

P.s.

If there is a brand you think I should review, let me know by slipping into my DMs on the gram, @thelipstickblogger or by sending me a message here. Or maybe you don’t have your own brand, but you’d like my perspective anyway. Let me know which brand suits your fancy and we’ll see if it’s already in the make-up drawer. See you soon. muah!

Post #7 The New Nude

Nude but not the naked kind!

I’ve got a glam event to go to like a wedding or a celebratory girls night out. You know the kind, full eyelash application, a smoky eye, drama all over your face and all you need is a smooth nude to finish off the look. Not too yellow or your teeth will look like they’re crashing the party and not too dark or it’ll clash with the eye-work you just completed. Which nude is the right nude?

What is nude?

Well, according to Merriam-Webster, it is Devoid of natural or conventional covering or the appearance of nudity or having a colour that matches the wearer’s skin.

That last one hit the nail on the head! Let’s talk about what NUDE isn’t and no I’m not talking about that beach with the hairy overweight man that we shouldn’t have visited in the first place…eeewww! 😫

For as long as I can remember, nude was that peachy “flesh-tone” colour in my pencil crayon case that I was told to use if I was colouring in people during class. No one in the class was this colour but it was the colour used for White people and then somehow all representations of people whilst I was colouring. For some reason it was that way in the Cosmetics Industry as well. Nude meant wearing a colour that DID NOT translate as an “appearance of nudity” on any people of colour even if your colour was barely there. For people like me with a rich Mocha-Chocolate skin tone and yellow undertones, it meant that my lips looked ashy or dry if I decided to wear ‘nude’ and that I had to wear a brown something advertised as a brown something in order to find my nude. So let’s recap: Nude even for white people is NOT that peachy stuff that makes your lips look like they need hydration, it is  a colour that matches your natural colour to give the appearance of not wearing anything at all.

But NUDES have developed and come a long way since then, THANK GOD! For people with two-toned lips like me, this is a God-send and it makes finding a nude so much easier. Nudes are not just what matches your skin tone, but also shades in that colour spectrum that could. What a world of possibilities! See some of my discoveries from both drug store and luxurious brands below. 

First on the list was this beautiful coral brown by Juvia’s Place called Libra. It is a creamy matte that I thought may be wrong until I wore it with confidence, and isn’t confidence what we really need to wear anyway?

I decided to continue with lipsticks in the traditional sense, but make no mistake, these hippies only give the appearance of tradition. I applied Hot Cocoa by Bobbi Brown. This satin finish is one of my faves and I’m sad that it’s almost at its end. It is moisturizing and has a finish that is more of a shine than that greasy look one might obtain after biting into fried chicken.

This next one is the one I was really scared about. I have flashbacks of my school-age years every time I pick it up. But what is great to remember is that your lips are YOUR lips, so mix and match and see what happens. This next combo is a mix of L’Oréal’s Utmost Taupe in a matte finish on top of Bobbi Brown’s Hot Cocoa. The slight ombré effect makes the taupe much more attractive and because it’s lighter in colour whist being heavier in texture, I get my ombre look to last a little longer than it would have in just a satin finish.

This next one is very similar to the last two and yet seems to be different. L’Oréal created a colour in a satin finish called Toasted Almond. I love this colour for a quick and easy finish to a subtle look or to add to the smoky eye I’m playing with here. It is more of an Orange-Peachy shade, but it’s a shade I don’t mind reapplying and it looks great with my Summer glow as well as with my Winter fade.

This next one surprised me when it joined the drawer and me a few weeks ago. When the sun was still providing us here in Canada with warm rays and not just daylight indicators, I bought Somebody to Love by NARS. This is a liquid lipstick that is also mask-proof-take that pandemic! Instead of having to carry the lipstick and hope for a chance to apply before that zoom call, you can just appear ready. In the store, this was a match for my top lip, but as I tried it in different lighting I began to see the depth of the plum undertones in this brown. This one goes on easy and is not heavy nor does it crack the lips because it isn’t too drying even as it dries. This nude is a winner for me.

Lipli by NYX Lingerie is the closest match I have ever seen to my top lip. Now I told you in Post #1 that I have two-toned lips, well usually I’m just trying to find something that will make both lips agree on a look for the day, but I don’t usually find a match.It almost looks like my lips could disappear or be totally naked while being fully covered. This one also feels velvety. Win-win for me!

Did you know that pink is a nude?! It is on somebody and it is for my bottom lip. I get to have fun with this one because it’s kind of a cheat. Because I know that certain pinks are a match with my bottom lip, they get a pass as my nude. Which lippies help you cheat successfully? I love this one my Paba Cosmetics called Pout. And rightfully so!

Now I could not leave out the Superstay Matte Ink collection by Maybelline. For a few years now, these three colours have been my go-to teacher-appropriate-nudes. Just for the record, I am an appropriate teacher in any shade, thank you very much! As mentioned in previous posts, I have a lot of this collection because it proved itself in staying power and pigments. This will always have even coverage and will blend in or stand out in any look. The colours are Amazonian, a beautiful brown, Seductress, one I usually use to blend for ombre effects in the centre of my lips with either of these shades, and lastly, Fighter. Fighter is a burnt orange-brown that pops while being nude.

Last, but certainly, not least is Malt by Anastasia. This liquid lipstick is bold while being nude. There goes that confidence thing again. It calmly yet sure-footedly stands out without stealing the show. It is soft and has quite a bit of staying power. I couldn’t have picked a better way to end this post and I also can’t believe these were just some of the nudes in my lipstick drawer. Yes, I have more and I’m not ashamed, ha!

Well, how do you wear your not-so-naked nude? Let me know by tagging me on Instagram @thelipstickblogger I’d love to learn from you too! Whatever you wear, whether really in the nude or just the lip wear kind, #wearitlikeyoumeanit my love! Stay safe out there!

Post #6- I See Red!

Remember when red was the sinful colour and the only lipstick colour you could see everywhere at the same time?

One evening I was out for dinner with two of my girlfriends and red lipstick came up in conversation. One friend had just found out that she could wear a red lip any time of day with very little anywhere else on her face and was loving the revelation. My other friend, who is a little more reserved, thought that she didn’t need red and it was too bright. I found it my duty then as I do now to let her know that not all red is the same, nor is all lip wear created equal. Red can be transparent, glossy, bright, subtle, outrageous, fun, quirky, even downright naughty. But…

Red is more than just red and it took a while for me to adjust to the goodness of a confident red lip for any moment, not just for that night out in the little black dress! Red isn’t just that shade of danger or seduction, for me, it’s a celebration! The right red is important for the look you’re going for, your skin tone, and even your teeth colour. Undertones, baby! Orange, pink, and blue undertones will change the tone of your red! Which red are you wearing? 

Let’s take a look at the different kids of reds available in both drugstore and luxurious retail experiences found in my lipstick drawer.

My first real red was a NARS jumbo lip pencil called Cruella I bought a few years ago and still have. It was the first time I experienced matte lipstick gliding on like velvet! It had a blue undertone which made the red appear deeper and cooler in tone and helped my teeth look whiter. This lip was also great under a gloss or lip stain.

I received a sample size of a NARS lip stain that was a buildable red. This red was deceptive and I used it on top of my first Red mentioned here. It seemed to fill my lips with colour but as it dried it became darker giving the lips that blood colour as seen in the first picture on the left below. But in the rest of the pictures, it’s brighter as I only added a light amount to the Jumbo Lip Pencil. Either way, I’m game!

My third is one of my favourite reds ever and I’ll probably mention a 3B here since they are made by the same company. Pioneer and Dancer by Superstay Matte Ink are absolutely phenomenal colours. Pioneer has a blue undertone and Dancer has orange undertones and makes no joke about staying onto your lips all day and night if you let it.

Pioneer from SuperStay Matte Ink by Maybelline

A recent find of mine is this deep almost want to be burgundy Red by Milani’s Satin Matte liquid lipstick line called Elegant. It looks great while it’s wet but settles into your lips and dries without pulling all the while giving you lips you can still smack together knowing that the coverage of colour is still present, It’s a win for me. I found this one at the drugstore and I couldn’t be happier. This one also looks great on a Zoom call. (see it below wet and dry)

As you can probably tell, I love a solid matte lip, but I was recently blessed with a red by Bobbi Brown as a shiny lipgloss. Now, I have a confession to make. I was that girl in the 6th grade wearing that shiny oily roll-on lipgloss thing and if the teacher or the lesson were boring, I would sit there rolling it on over and over again. We had no devices or social media with which to fiddle in class, but by the end of the lesson I looked like I had kissed all of the fried chicken in the bucket and no one said a word, because it was what was popular in 6th grade. As I got older, I leaned into coloured glosses, also very oily in texture. Shine is not oil People! but let’s save that for another post. As I matured and came into knowledge about lipstick, I left the gloss behind because I was scarred by the pictures I had as proof of my oily lip failures and the stains left to my clothing and the memory of all of the sticky-ness. Then came this beautiful sample of “Red the News” in the Luxe Liquid Lip High Shine line by Bobbi Brown. It was absolutely fabulous and had me believing in shiny glosses again. It had full coverage and a yellow-blue undertone which I usually try to stay away from because of my own yellow undertones in my skin, but the colour was full and had really good staying power. I was impressed, to say the least. 

Some honourable mentions that I pull from the lipstick drawer every now and again are listed below. They are also fabulous but have not made it to pictures yet.

  1. Liquorice by Bite beauty if you want your red to be healthy and full of nutrients, this deep blood burgundy satin red is perfect for you.
  2. Guinevere by PatMcGrath in her MatteTrance lipstick line don’t play! This pout screams confidence and feels like decadence. Come on, Somebody!
  3. Elson also by Pat McGrath (see pictured at the top of the post)

Wherever you wear your red, wear it confidently. Wear it like you mean it. Red looks good on you boo, no matter your personal shade. 

💄P.s.

Feel free to tag me on IG @thelipstickblogger and let me know what your go-to reds are. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #wearitlikeyoumeanit. I’m so excited about adding to the Red part of my lipstick drawer. Are you? I also know there are some local and POC owned as well as Black Owned companies making some of the most gorgeous Reds out there. I can’t wait to try them all! 💋

Post #5 Colours that Scare My Mother!

My mother is a beautiful fiery Jamaican woman with a beautiful golden complexion and a ready witty mouth. This always makes for entertaining remarks and memorable moments. Therefore this post will definitely be the first in a series because Mama will have something to say and my love of colour isn’t going away any time soon. LOL!

1. I remember the first time I was wearing Visionary, a Superstay Matte ink by Maybelline and I tried to kiss my mother goodbye for the day. She ducked thinking something had gotten attached to my mouth and she thought it was still wet and would be left on her golden yellow perfect skin, LOL! I didn’t know she could move so fast. Once she saw it properly, she thought it looked alright. Visionary is a purple-grey matte colour that lasts and stays all day. I absolutely love this colour and usually pair it with some deep purple eye makeup as it adds a subtle weird nude for the look.

2. Dark purple! Royal Purple! Kind of sort of purple! I love, love, love purple anything on People of Colour. I have yet to see anyone wear it wrong. It’s so royal that it just looks great on all of us. I got Heroin by Mac and LM 04 from BlackUp and both are pigmented rich purples, not lilac or lavender, just straight purple. The one from MAC is a lipstick, while the one from BlackUp is a liquid lipgloss. Both have a blue undertone and last all day, giving me life! Mama wasn’t ready the first time, but I think she almost expects me to wear purple somewhere on my face now.

3. Lady Danger by MAC is Orange traffic cone Orange on my two tone lips. I remember trying this on in the store with my friend Justine. I thought I was going to tag along and get a nude, but when I saw that colour I had to try it on. The whole store stopped and the sales associates all seemed to quiet down at the same time as we all took notice of my huge orange lips. Pure joy! It was my favourite orange of all and it was on me. As soon as I got home and opened the door, my mother looked up and sad “wow what a lip” but in that shocked-you-walked-all-the-way-home-like-that kind of way. Hahahaha! I did not even consider her feelings. My lips and I were on cloud nine. I save this one for Summer days when my skin is glowing from extra sun kisses and the yellow undertone compliments the bronze glow of my skin. Whiten teeth before really wearing this one, because it’s pretty much a highlighter for all that is good lips!

4. Escapist Superstay Matte Ink by Maybelline wears as the deepest burgundy ever that it is easily mistaken for black! I wore it for a gig with two of my besties, ( Hey Nessa and Sulleyma) and had on this beautiful faux fur black vest and amazing black jeans. Simple black eyeliner and a great highlighted cheek with this colour had me feeling myself just a little. My brown skin was the perfect contrast to let this colour rock the night. I got home and my mother looked up and said, “your lip is black!” Like I didn’t know. HA! She shook her head and headed to her room. 

5. Explorer Superstay Matte Ink by Maybelline was a shocker for me too. A rich royal deep blue. Both of our eyes bulged a little. I was excited and she was afraid. “Where are you going in that?”  “I don’t know, but who cares! This is fabulous”, I replied…still her eyes were wide open in disbelief.

6. Finally Amazing Raine by ColouredRaine Cosmetics is the sweetest pastel pink, except it is the pinkest pink there ever was and because it is so pigmented and matte, it stays in the Bold category. It gained an “Oh dear, that’s loud!” from Mama. hahaha. This of course meant, it is perfect. 

7. I’m hoping to add a yellow to this mix and I can hardly wait to hear and see my mother’s reaction. LOL! I’ll keep you posted!

What is the greatest reaction that you’ve had to an unsuspecting lip colour choice? Share and comment here or on Instagram and don’t forget to tag @thelipstickblogger with your response. Whatever colour you choose, it’s the confidence it’s accessorizing, so #WearItLikeYouMeanIt 💋.

Post #4- Black Owned and Local (Part 2)

As mentioned in my previous post, my quest for Black Owned beauty brands has become a wonderful side project as I explore rich pigments and hues and textures and services from my people. People who understand the struggle of finding that perfect colour you’ve been looking for and what you want it to look like on your black skin, whatever shade of Black you are. I was even happier to find out that some of these brands were local to me. Hallelujah! Black-Owned Beauty Brands in my own backyard (by backyard, I mean all of Canada…that’s a big yard). After I posted a pic on the gram of myself smiling in a new colour from The LipBar, a friend of mine messaged me complimenting me and then suggested I look at local offerings. She suggested a brand and then I took it a step further to keep on looking. I’m still looking, but here is what I’ve found so far.

Crown Me by The LipBar
  1. PabaCosmetics are a brand I came across through searching on Instagram. They are a cruelty-free brand that creates makeup for women of diverse backgrounds. They are located in the Greater Toronto Area and are quite active online and in-store. They also have locations in Ottawa, Montreal and Ghana, Africa! They are so friendly and offer lipstick with SPF already in it. That’s right you can look fabulous and protect your melanin. Yes, Girl, lip-melanin needs protection too. I already feel like I know the women who run the GTA store since we’ve had wonderful interactions online and I have already been back to the store to acquire more lippies and become a PabaLady. I own Diva, a rich purple that has become one of my favourite on-the-go colours, Pout and Go Girl from the Liquid Lipstick collection. Check them out here https://pabacosmetics.com

2. MakeUpForMelaninGirls or MFMG is the brand that my friend suggested to me. They are located in Canada, so I’m thankful that I don’t have to think about the currency exchange.  They have strong affirmations on their site that encourage you before you even shop, I.e., You are Not an afterthought!…Come on Somebody! That there is good preaching! And for the girl with melanin anywhere in her skin, especially deep rich skin, this is the brand for you. They specialize in the perfect version of colours, not a whole lot of reds and pinks but rather the perfect red or pink or brown or orange for beautiful black skin. I love their Raw Liquid Lipstick as it dries to a soft velvet type feel on my lips. I own Rust and Naked, which is my perfect nude. Check them out here https://makeupformelaningirls.com/?currency=CAD

3. NagiCosmetics as mentioned before in Part 1 of this post. Still great, go get yours now! They also offer makeup courses for those who are interested. https://nagicosmetics.com/collections/all/face?sort_by=title-ascending

I have since found a few more very local brands that I will be trying out over the next few weeks. Some of them are Bourgie Cosmetics, Shades the Collection, Purim Cosmetics, and Secrets by Danika B., just to name a few. So stay tuned for the next Black-Owned Post as I discover the world of wonderful lip wear. Oh and I plan to #WearItLikeIMeanIt always!

💄 p.s.

If you have any names of Black Owned brands you’d love my opinion on, then please don’t hesitate to share. See you here or on the gram and tag @thelipstickblogger 💋

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