Beauty Series: Favorite Lipsticks

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Balms

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Balms | Writing Between Pauses

It's here: the final part of my beauty series on my favorite lipsticks. (To read all the past posts, click here.) 

When I first started planning this series, I knew I wanted to include lip balms. Balm, to me, is a crucial part of wearing lipstick, especially liquid lips: You have to put moisture back in, especially if you're wearing a more drying formula. 

I am somewhat naturally suspicious of most lip balms. Not to throw out a conspiracy theory, but I genuinely believe many popular lip balms actually dry your lips. Standard Chapstick? DRYING. Carmex? Extremely DRYING! Traditional Burt's Bees? Drying. Why? All of these usually contain peppermint oil of some form. Have you ever seen peppermint oil? It's drying; it's a drying agent; it dries out your lips! There is a difference between a sealant and moisturizer; things like Carmex provide a physical seal on your lips, but contain ingredients that further dry out the skin, forcing you to put it on more regularly to feel like your lips have any moisture at all. 

I'm just saying: read ingredients carefully. And if you feel like you need lip balm to have any moisture in your lips, then stop using whatever you're using. I have noticed this in particular with EOS lip balms as well. This is my PSA and the hill I will die on! 

When it comes to these lip balms, these are just my favorites; they are moisturizing without having drying agents to trick me; they smell good; and they feel good. That's my list of criteria! Let's dive in. 

Favorite Lip Balms

1. Burt's Bees Ginger Spice

This is technically a limited edition, Christmas scent... but it's my absolute favorite. (You can see all the flavors of Burt's Bees here, but be warned: check the ingredients for peppermint!) I keep this lip balm in my kitchen to use as I'm cooking or tending to Forrest. Burt's Bees is one of the most used lip balms out there and they've definitely diversified in recent years. This scent is spicy and sweet (without being cloying). Forrest especially enjoys getting some put on! 

2. Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm

I use this lip balm every morning before I put on my make up. I rinse my face and then take my face brush to my lips to lightly exfoliate, then put on a thick layer of Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm. As I do my makeup, it sinks in and I wipe off the excess before putting on lipstick for the day. It smells so good and feels so nice on. It is lightly rosy too, so if I wear it plain, it gives a little bit of color. A little tub is quite expensive ($7!), but it has lasted me well over 18 months. 

3. Ulta Beauty Glossy Balm

I received this Glossy Balm in the Ulta Beauty 12 Days of Calendar (read my review here) and, as I said at the time, finding a similar or comparative product was difficult. And such a bummer because I love this balm. It's one of my favorites for when I'm just as home, working and taking photos, and need to look good... but don't want to go all out. It's a lovely, sheer berry color. The Ulta Beauty Butter Balm Glossy in Poppsy is similar, and Ulta does have an SPF lip balm here. I'm on the hunt for dupes! 

4. Skyn Iceland Berry Lip Fix

Skyn recently rebranded, so the tube no longer looks like the one I have. (I have to say, it's a great rebrand.) Skyn is a vegan, cruelty-free company, which makes me love it even more. This berry lip fix is my go to right before bed; a thick layer after my skincare routine and I'm snuggling up in bed. It feels so good on the lips and doesn't leave a cast (my nemesis), plus it smells really refreshing. I received it in my November Ipsy bag, but plan to repurchase soon! 

5. Preventative Measures 101 After Hours Lip Balm

I received this lip balm in my January Ipsy bag and it's recently become one of my fast favorites. I tend to think of my lip balms by where I store them; this is my "work" lip balm because I keep it right beside my keyboard! I love that it smells of passionfruit (without being too strong) and contains ingredients like jojoba and fruit antioxidants. 

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Glosses

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Glosses

When I was around 12 or 13, I had a lip gloss selection to be envious of. My particular favorite was this one from Bonne Belle; it was in a curvy little container with a long brush, and it was swirled white gloss with darker pink gloss. It smelled like strawberry shortcake. My sister always said it looked really good on me. 

Lip gloss remained my staple lip product through high school and into college. But when lip gloss when out of fashion a few years ago, it went hard. It was no swan dive; it was a cannonball. Suddenly, everyone wanted matte, matte, matte. I would say that started when I had just graduated college, around 2011, but I was still deep in love with traditional lipsticks then. 

I haven't touched a lip gloss since, easily, but since this summer, I've been seeing more glossy looks. It's definitely the influence of 90s fashion; teenagers are putting on mom jeans and baggy sweatshirts, just like my sister and her friends wore in the mid to late-90s, so it's impossible to see the influence. Of course minimal face makeup and lip gloss would follow. 

For my lipstick series, I knew I wanted to include some lip glosses. Even though I love a full color, pigmented lipstick... sometimes, you just want something simple. More and more lately, I've been wearing monochromatic looks with one eyeshadow and one lip color--really simple, but really fresh looking in comparison to other make up. To read about my other favorite lipsticks in this series, click here

Now, let's jump into my favorite glosses. 

Top to Bottom: Ulta Beauty Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia; Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in Eclair; Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Sunkissed Melon; Sephora Gel Gloss in 04 Perfect Nude.

Top to Bottom: Ulta Beauty Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia; Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in Eclair; Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Sunkissed Melon; Sephora Gel Gloss in 04 Perfect Nude.

1. Ulta Beauty Color Rush Lip Gloss in Olivia 

Olivia is described, on Ulta's website, as a medium nude blue-pink... which, as convoluted as it sounds, is pretty accurate. This is one of the first glosses I really got "into" a few months ago--and because it's so highly pigmented, it's a nice middle ground between a standard lipstick and a plain gloss. It's a really nice your-lips-but-better color and wears comfortably. But like all glosses, it's not super long lasting. It's available from Ulta for $9.00.

2. Bite Beauty Liquified Lipstick in Eclair

I reviewed this Bite Beauty liquified lipsticks back in August; I liked them then, but they've definitely grown on me since. (You can read my review here.) And Eclair is definitely a fan favorite. Described as a "soft rose," it's definitely the most "me" of all the colors I own from Bite Beauty now. This is definitely a gloss, despite being advertised as a liquid lipstick; it's shiny and definitely not long-wearing, but does leave a nice wash of color behind. They are available, in a ton of pretty colors, from Sephora for $24. As a small warning, these lipsticks do smell strongly of gummy warms. 

3. Aveda Rehydrating Lip Glaze in Sunkissed Melon

I've owned this lip gloss since I got married. That's right: I wore it at my wedding. My makeup artist layered this long-lasting, moisturizing gloss over my lipstick color of choice (a dark, blue-red)... at first, I was unsure, but my lipstick stayed the entire day and looked great. This lipgloss is described as a coral with shine; its definitely "melon-y", giving a faint coral color. Of all the glosses I've chosen, it's definitely the more "traditional" idea of gloss! It smells, however, like peppermint, ginger, and vanilla, which I find so soothing and lovely. These lip glosses are available from the Aveda website for $19.

4. Sephora Gel Gloss in 04 Perfect Nude

I received this lip gloss as a sneaky extra in Sephora on my birthday. The sales associate who rang up my purchases (I had a 20% off family & friends coupon) asked if it was my birthday that day, so she took a huge handful of their samples and put them in my bag. In that selection was this gloss. It has a tiny smidgen of color, but not much; it's definitely great for just doing a glossy lip for the day or layering over a liquid lip color I love, but dries out my lips too much. And at $12 for a full size from Sephora, it's super affordable. 

Beauty Series: My Favorite Nude Lipsticks

Beauty Series: My Favorite Nude Lipsticks | Writing Between Pauses

Welcome to my 3rd part of my beauty series about my favorite lipsticks; you can read my past pieces here

Today, it's all about nudes. This was hard for me to narrow down, for different reasons than my past two posts. What is a nude lipstick? Many of what I consider "nudes", when I swatched them, just looked, well, pink. They looked no different than my favorite pink lipsticks. I started to panic a little bit internally, wondering if this would work... but finally, I narrowed it down to 3 contenders and had to decide if nude was a different designation than pink. 

Ultimately, I think it depends on your skin tone! Nude lipsticks tend to fall into the taupe-brown family; they might have some pink, or orange, or red undertones, but primarily, they will wear as brown, beige, or anything in that family and match your skin tone pretty closely. That's what makes them nude!

One of the biggest battles as beauty bloggers that we face is dealing with problematic attitudes towards make up, one of which is the terms "nude" and "flesh tone." These are old ways of describing makeup that we don't really have new terminology for yet; it harkens back to a time when makeup was only marketed to people who are white, so "nude" and "flesh tone" are primarily thought to be pale, beige skin tones. (The recent dust-up about Tarte's Face Tape foundation is proof that even large makeup brands are still struggling with this one-sided approach to makeup and beauty.) So it goes without saying that, when I talk about nude lipsticks in this blog post, I'm basing that on what I would consider a nude for my skin tone. Hopefully, in the future, we'll have better terminology for these shades! 

From left to right: L'Oreal Infallible Lip Paint in Tongue Tied; NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm; and Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit. 

From left to right: L'Oreal Infallible Lip Paint in Tongue Tied; NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm; and Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit. 

L'Oreal Infallible Paints Matte in Tongue Tied

L'Oreal Infallible Paints Matte in Tongue Tied

I have a funny story about this lipstick. When I first bought it, I posted a photo on my Instagram stories, wondering if it was too orange-brown for me. I got a DM reply from someone I didn't know, picking apart my coloring and telling me it made me look washed out. Oops. Maybe I didn't want to know! 

Despite my early misgivings, this has become one of my favorite nude shades. It's definitely more on the brown side; as you can see from my photo and swatch, it's more of a very pale, milk chocolate (maybe chocolate mousse) color, as opposed to a pinky peach tone. Funny enough, it matches the color of the freckles on my arm almost exactly. It's pretty long wearing and retails for $9.99 (but you can often find sales at drugstores). 

2. NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm 

NYX Cosmetics Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm

NYX Cosmetics Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm

If you've been following me on social media, you know this used to be my number 1 lip color. I wore it... constantly. The bottle I took a photo of is actually almost empty; I really struggled to get a swatch! It definitely skews to a more warm, orange-y nude, which is why I like it for summer. I do find that it oxidizes after a few hours of wear, so it becomes a little darker and more suited to my skin tone. 

NYX's Soft Matte Lip Creams are pretty divisive; some people love them, so people hate them. They can take a bit to get used to! But I quite enjoy them, even if they aren't as long-lasting as other lips. For a matte, they're very, very comfortable. They retail for $4.95 and are available at most drugstores, as well as Ulta. 

3. Tarte Tarteist Lip Paints in Birthday Suit

Tarteist Lip Paints in Birthday Suit

Tarteist Lip Paints in Birthday Suit

I received this lip paint in a free birthday gift from Sephora, which explains why it is tiny. However, I love it so much, I'm planning to buy a full-size in the future (once I feel like I've adequately saved enough money). I love how comfortable it is to wear throughout the day, how it doesn't slip and transfer, and that it's a nice, pinky-nude shade that is flattering for lots of skin tones. It retails for $20 and is available from Tarte's website, as well as Sephora and Ulta. 


If you're in the market for a great nude lipstick, I love the Beauty Crop's GRLPWR liquid lipsticks; their mini set of all their nude shades is only $24.50; you can buy it here**. 

**Note: a double asterisk next to a link denotes an affiliate link, which means I receive a small commission for every sale. Affiliate links help me keep Writing Between Pauses running! For more on my disclosure policy, click here. 

Beauty Series: My Favorite Pink Lipsticks

Beauty Series: My Favorite Pink Lipsticks | Writing Between Pauses

Welcome to my second installment of My Favorite Lipsticks series! You can read all my past posts here

This week, I want to talk about my favorite pink lipsticks. When it comes to lipstick, I tend to gravitate towards the pink family--specifically mauve pinks. In fact, I have a major problem with repeatedly buying essentially the same shade of lipstick over and over and over again. 

Pink Lipstick Flatlay | Writing Between Pauses
Pink Lipstick Swatches | Writing Between Pauses

For that reason, it was really difficult to narrow down to 4 or 5 lipsticks that I consider my favorites! But I managed and I tried to pick a variety--instead of my usual pink-mauves. 

1. NYX Cosmetics Powder Puff Lippie in Puppy Love

NYX Cosmetics Powder Puff Lippie in Puppy Love

NYX Cosmetics Powder Puff Lippie in Puppy Love

This is a new addition to my collection (it's the middle swatch on my arm). I would describe it as a fairly bright coral color--it's quite pretty, if a little bright (and therefore, intimidating). The finish of these is a "powder finish," which is exactly what it sounds like; it does transfer a bit, but otherwise stays in place most of the day. I really like it because it's fairly light and doesn't dry out my lips throughout the day! One of these will set up back $8.50 and are available here.

2. L'Oreal Colour Riche Shine in Burnished Blush 

L'Oreal Colour Riche Shine in Burnished Blush

L'Oreal Colour Riche Shine in Burnished Blush

I reviewed these lipsticks last week here, and really debated about including Burnished Blush here. But I decided in the end, it is one of my favorite pinks because it's a unique finish; I've worn it quite a bit since I received these from Influenster in December! As I said in my review, these are not long-lasting lipsticks, but they are very moisturizing--so if you're struggling with dry lips this winter, it's a great option!


3. Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose

Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose

Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose

This, should anyone ever ask, is my favorite of this list of favorites. I wear this lipstick so much that it actually lives in my purse. When I first heard rave reviews about Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit lipsticks, I was hesitant; Wet'n'Wild was that super cheap drugstore brand that didn't have good make up, right? That was what I thought of Wet'n'Wild at least! But I was set to rights by these lipsticks and, truly, Wet'n'Wild is not the same brand it was 10 years ago. 

This color is my favorite dusty rose mauve color; I wear it probably every other day, if not every day. (It's the swatch to the right of the NYX Powder Puff!) It can look quite dark at first, but dries to a lovely mauve color. The best part about Wet'n'Wild Liquid Catsuit in Rebel Rose? It lasts all day! I have a few shades (Goth Topic, Coral Corruption, and a few others) and this is the one that stays the longest. It's lovely. It's perfect. It's $4.99 (and you can often find them on sale, they're $2.99 at Target right now!) and available here.

4. Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Lolita

Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Lolita

Kat Von D Studded Kiss in Lolita

This is my only high-end lipstick selection for this list and I have to confess: I bought this at TJ Maxx for $6.99. (That's my tip for finding high end lipsticks, honestly: check your local TJ Maxx and Marshall's!) Lolita is described as a satin-matte "chestnut rose" and that's a fairly accurate description. (Lolita is the swatch to the far right in my photo.) 

Lolita is one of those holy grail shades. I quite like this lipstick as a break from mattes (have you noticed a theme? Mattes really destroy my lips!) and the color is just a bonus; it's a slightly pinker version of Rebel Rose, so it makes a nice complimentary color if I need to switch halfway through the day. Typically, Studded Kiss lipsticks cost $19 each and are available here


5. The Beauty Crop GRLPWR in Tickled Pink**

When I first received this lipstick from the Beauty Crop, I didn't expect to like it: it's so pink. It's almost bubblegum. (It's the fair right swatch in my photo.) However, it's a gorgeous color, so I decided to give it a try. And I'm glad I did; this is another one of my tried-and-trues. In fact, I wear it so much that I'm almost out already! This lipstick also lasts all day and wears pretty comfortably; unlike other mattes that leave me feeling parched halfway through the day, I can wear this one all day and not feel like my lips are about to fall off. 

These lipsticks cost $14.95 and, right now, Beauty Crop is offering a buy 3, get 1 free deal! You can take advantage by clicking here**. I recommend Date Night, Imma Bawse, Tickled Pink (of course!), and Frose. 

**Note that a double asterisk next to a link indicates that it is an affiliate link. If you purchase through these links, I make a small commission--but that doesn't sway this being one of my favorite lipsticks! For more about my disclosure policy, click here 

Beauty Series: My Favorite Red Lipsticks

Beauty Series: My Favorite Red Lipsticks | Writing Between Pauses

Last week, I introduced my new beauty series on my favorite lipsticks. I've been so excited about this project since November (when I first got the idea) and narrowing down my favorite lipsticks to just a few was a challenge! In my bullet journal, I'll be cataloging all my make up soon, but my lipsticks alone are numerous! 

For me, a great lipstick is long-wearing, comfortable, and affordable. These 4 red lipsticks hit all of those criteria. Let's jump right in! 

1. NYX Matte Lipstick in Eden 

This is one of the first red lipsticks I really, really loved. I am embarrassed to say that I own two tubes of it; I bought one and then, I think I forgot the name so I bought another upon seeing it. NYX describes it as a bright blue-red. It is definitely still very pinky, however, so not as true of a blue-red as I would like... but for under $6, it is extremely long-wearing. My only gripe with it is that it can be hard to apply: I usually use a liner, then a small brush to re-line with the lip color, then I fill in. If I wear a primer, it lasts all day without feeling super dry. 

2. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lip in Nahz Fur Atoo 

I'll be honest: these lipsticks are a little more expensive than I would usually wear, but I picked this one purely for the color. Nahz Fur Atoo is a true blue-red, a deeper color than Eden. It's the color I've been trying to find for years. At $21, it's definitely more of an investment, but I think it's worth it. Many rave about Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lip formula and while it is definitely comfortable, I find that it doesn't dry down like I expect many liquid lips to and does transfer quite a bit. (With such a deep color, it's something to pay attention to.) However, the color and comfortable wear is definitely worth it to me and I've yet to find a dupe with as perfect of a color! 

3. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Legendary

I got this from my December Ipsy bag (you can read my review here). It is a bright, pink-red that I absolutely was suspicious of, but now love. I've worn it several times since I got it in my Ipsy bag. For a more traditional lipstick, it wears for a very long time (and leaves a nice stain, so even when it wears off, you don't end up with that weird inner lip issue!) and is super comfortable. I also find that I don't need a lip liner with it; unlike some traditional lipsticks, it doesn't travel into the fine lines that are forming around my lips. At $21 for full size, it's another one that's a bit of an investment, but if you're looking for a beautiful bright red, it's definitely affordable! 

4. NYX Ombre Lip Duo in Bonnie & Clyde 

I love this ombre lip duo! It's a bold choice: one end is a deep red-plum color; the other end is a bright pink-red. I line in the deep color and then do about 1/3 of my lips (at the corners) that color as well; then I blend in the pink-red color. It gives a gorgeous ombre effect that is striking. I love both colors in this duo, but I love that, together, they blend into a very retro-looking blue-red. For only $16 (remember, it's basically 2 lipsticks--you can wear them separately!), it's a great choice if you want to try something a little different. 

Tell me: what's your favorite red lipstick? 

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lipsticks

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lipsticks | Writing Between Pauses

A few weeks ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to share my favorite lipsticks. Every day, it's the thing people ask me most often in person: "What's your lipstick?" Especially on Instagram, I get a lot of messages about my lipstick every time I post a selfie. It's one of my favorite things to answer because I do really, really love lipstick! 

But in the past few months, I've found myself falling into a lipstick rut. Buying the same colors (pink mauves) over and over, wearing the same ones. I decided it was time to make myself remember all the other great colors I have in my collection! 

This series will be posted every Monday from now through February. I'll cover my favorite reds, pinks, nudes, plums, glosses, and lip balms. Yeah, you heard me: if it goes on your lips, I'll have a post about it including my favorites! If you've ever asked me what lipstick I'm wearing in a photo, then forgot to google it or I didn't send you a link (my apologies), these will the posts where you might spot that lippie again. 

Criteria for Favorites

To make this post just a little more interesting, I wanted to share my criteria for why I consider something a favorite. Everyone has different reasons for liking a lipstick; some people only like mattes, whereas some people find them too drying and annoying. It's such a personal decision, but I made my choices based on these criteria. 

  • The color: if the color is great, non-streaky, and looks good on me, I will probably like it. I hate when a color goes on streaky; it immediately makes me wipe it off! 
  • The price: affordability is important to me. I have a few lipsticks that cost $10+, but to me, that is outrageous for a lipstick! 
  • The wear: how does the lipstick or balm wear? Is it sticky? Does it last? Does it smear? (The tragedy!) 

So, starting next Monday, I'll be posting my favorite reds. I hope you come back to check it out!