My Go-To Spring/Summer “Lipsticks”



I really should know myself well enough by now that expecting to easily be able to narrow down my favourite lip products to five would be a arduous and somewhat impossible task but I led myself into the misguided belief that it would be easy. Five or six lists later, I’ve narrowed myself down to eight staple summer lip products and believe it or not, this required a good amount of contemplation and deliberation; at first I had ten bold shades as well as ten everyday shades so this is a pared-down list in my mind, regardless of how it may appear to others.

Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Demure ($9-10 CDN)


I figured I would start from the most muted and sheer of shades and work myself up in intensity and brightness and this one is the most muted and close to my natural lip colour. The forgiving hydrating balm crayon is almost a dead-ringer for my go-to sheer my-lips-but-better hue MAC Patisserie and I’ve been going for the more affordable option in its place. It may lean slightly more pink but it remains a sheer warm-pink glossy hue with some subtle brown undertones that keep it wearable. For me, this is that shade that I can slap on without a mirror and not have to worry about the state of my lips when I’m applying it — if you’re a sufferer of chapped lips, this formula is excellent. It’s balmy formula isn’t particularly long wearing, lasting on the lips for three hours or so but it’s low-fuss so I don’t tend to mind.

MAC Kinda Sexy Lipstick ($19 CDN)



I’ve you’ve read any of my posts in the last couple of days, I’m sure you are aware of the instant love that I felt for this flattering matte lipstick. Although I do tend to find the expression moderately off-putting, this is another my-lips-but-better shade on my pale lips but in comparison to the former the formula is much more opaque and leans much peachier and a little bit darker. The shade remains in the nude family but adds some colour to my lips and is just dark enough to stain my lips for hours on end without leaving any problems traditionally associated with matte lipsticks. This one has impressive longevity for such a muted shade and can withstand mild to moderate eating and drinking. This shade might be new to me but my love for it is so strong that I couldn’t leave it out.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment ($14-16 CDN)



When you’re someone who frequently suffers with irritated chapped lips, the word “stain” in the name of a lip product can easily leave you running for the hills but I’m pleased to report that this isn’t one to run from with it’s balmy formula. The neutral muted-tangerine hue first comes out sheer but is easily buildable, gliding over dry patches with a moisturizing feel but then after the non-sticky glossy sensation wears off, a subtle stain remains. Not only do I love the easy formula (and lovely applicator) of this one, the shade straddles the line of neutral and bright, adding some colour to the face without being overwhelming or dramatic in the slightest.

L’Oreal Colour Caresse in Sunset Angora ($11-12 CDN)



I’ve said it before and I’m sure countless others have done so before me but nevertheless, the formula of this one is an improved more-balmy-less-waxy version of the ever-popular Revlon Lip Butters. The shade is a flattering sheer-but-buildable pink-tinged coral that I find instantly brightens the complexion. The hydrating balmy formula is effortless but can still pack a punch of colour. The only thing that would improve this balm-lipstick hybrid product would be the elimination of that floral scent – and perhaps a slightly lower pricetag. I apologize for the state of the tube of this one, by the way.

MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick ($19 CDN)



I might not love the cremesheen formula of this one – but I don’t detest it either — but I adore this almost pastel-toned corally salmon pink hue. It’s not the most flattering colour if you’re trying to make your teeth look whiter and its not the most forgiving but this is one of those fun and exciting shades that are appropriate for everyday and it does last for a good amount of time without drying out the lips.

Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Cherry ($26 CDN)



There aren’t many “tinted balms” that actually serve to hydrate and nourish the lips whilst providing colour but this one does all that and a bag of chips. The true Cherry hue is flattering, starting out sheer but easily building in opacity and can work even on the driest of lips. This shade  is a perfect one for when you’re not wearing loads of makeup as it instantly makes it look like you tried- and doesn’t sweat off, either.

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Stellar ($8 CDN)



For such an easy comfortable formula that applies easily with the wand and lasts for ages on the lips — six hours! — whilst providing impressively opaque payoff, the colour range is rather disappointing in these, however my favourite bold non-red lip has to be this punchy pink-coral. It may not be a shade that I reach for the most frequently but Stellar is my favourite bold but flattering fun shade. This is one of those dramatic shades that instantly perks up my face, flattering my warm undertones and doesn’t require much effort – plus it’s flattering enough that I don’t feel that I have to work up the courage to wear it with any sort of confidence. I have been known to wear this one in the dead of winter as well and that shows some adoration on my part; punchy corals don’t exactly scream winter, if you catch my drift…

Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matte Lipstick in 110 Kiss of Life ($7-8 CDN)



I’m a red lipstick girl, through and through, so I couldn’t resist putting in a true vibrant one and this one has to be my favourite. It’s almost a neutral red, bright in the same way as the lovely-but-uber-drying MAC Ruby Woo, but with a slight hint of orange to it. It lasts a good five or six hours through moderate eating and drinking, ranking along with the best of the best but the formula is easier to apply and it neither highlights dry patches or wreaks any sort of havoc on my generally roughed-up lips. Speaking of Ruby Woo, it’s quite similar at a fraction of the price, if you’re asking me. This isn’t a strictly summer shade and eight staple products may seem a bit excessive but I couldn’t write this post without the inclusion of this one.

I’d love to know your favourite warm-weather lip products, so oblige me – PLEASE!
Maggie, x.


Unheard and Under-Appreciated #2: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry



blended out vs. standard application
blended out vs. standard application


It completely astounds me that I don’t hear much about these Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments as the tinted balm kind of products keep on increasing and increasing in popularity and these have got to be the best formula if this shade is anything to go by. After enjoying the sample of the regular lip balm and enjoying it tremendously for actually helping to heal and hydrate my chapped lips, I asked for a tinted one for Christmas and surely enough this one appeared underneath my tree and although it may not be a product I rave about frequently it’s one of those rare lip products that also has significant skincare properties as well – it performs well as a balm regardless of it’s pigmentation but it does well on that front too unlike the rest that I’ve tried.

The Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Cherry retails for $26 CDN at Sephora, contains SPF 15 (with avobenzone and octinoxate) and 4.3 grams of product while promising to be a hydrating and nourishing lip balm while still providing a tint of colour. I’m one who tends to be a skeptic about products achieving their outlandish claims but I think this tinted balm does more than it even claims to do. It nourishes damaged and sore lips very well in the way that an effective balm only can while providing medium-buildable colour payoff that actually sticks around on the lips for 3-4 hours with some eating and drinking here and there without smearing or wearing off unevenly.

I’m someone who suffers from uncomfortably sore dryness on any sort of skin and in the winter here, I’m slapping on the lip balm like my life depends on it (and using the good stuff) and my lips are still sore and a bit chapped. The formulas that promise to provide moisture and colour that everyone and their cat raves about (Revlon Lip Butters anyone?) are just not cutting it, as my lips have gotten to that point where even these comfortable formulas are not sitting nicely and they need intense nourishment to soothe the less than ideal bits and without sacrificing the longevity and pigmentation, the Fresh Cherry Sugar Lip Treatment delivers. The balm feeling on the lips lasts for the full duration that the product remains on the lips and even when the product has faded, my lips are left feeling nourished which is extremely rare for me. They feel heavenly on the lips, just like a lip balm but without the waxy feeling of the lip butters etc.

The Cherry shade is a fairly bright cherry-red (as the name would suggest) that seems to lean brick red on me with neutral-warm undertones. Although the treatment first applies somewhat sheerly, they quickly are built up to full on colour. This is everything that I had hoped that the Revlon Cherry Tart Lip Butter would be but wasn’t — much more saturated with pigment, without shimmer while being intensely more moisturizing and forgiving on sore lips. This seems like the perfect shade to wear to class as it provides the nice red tone that adds life to my face in the mornings, requiring no maintenance while still moisturizing the lips very effectively.

the Fresh on the top with a sheer layer, the Revlon on the bottom built-up
the Fresh on the top with a sheer layer, the Revlon on the bottom built-up

I’m afraid to say that this balm is worth the hefty price tag and I foresee myself picking up a few more shades in the foreseeable future. The only thing I can find to criticize in the product is the size of the bullet — as it does not taper to a tip, it can be difficult to apply due to its strong pigmentation – but I really can’t complain on any grounds.


What are some of your favourite under-appreciated products?

Maggie, x.