I’m trying to escape the Trump inauguration today, and as I have the day off I thought let’s dive into some NARS, shall we?
I have covered the NARS Velvet Matte Pencils on MM before, but I’m slightly obsessed with all the NARS lip products at the moment and have just got back into their lip range in a big way. The Audacious lipsticks are amazing, and I’ve added a few of the Satin Lip Pencils to my kit recently – because let’s face it, you can never have enough chubby lip crayons in your kit, can you?
I use one of these on nearly every job, whether it’s editorial or the red carpet. I used them as a base colour for one of my recent red carpet clients, and they’re so perfect because the pigment holds true and you know it’s going to last (so important for longevity on the red carpet). Plus they aren’t drying, which with the snap-frozen temperatures in London at present is really key. Strong colour on flaky dry lips is seriously the worst!
They give a great base for other lip colours or can be used on their own. I use the natural shades that look like ‘your lips but better’ on natural beauty shoots with a bit of lip balm for the perfect wisp of nothing colour. At the other end of the colour spectrum I recently used the amazing red Dragon Girl on a shoot and it was so good. I’d forgotten how easy the NARS pencils make a great red lip.
It’s just so bloody easy to draw a great lip with a fat crayon! Quick colour pay off that goes on fast. Top tip – if you want to neaten up the edges of your lip more precisely than the crayon will allow, use a lip brush and run over the tip of the pencil with it, allowing you to then go into the lip and make any small corrections needed.
My favourite colours that I think should be in everyone’s kit are:
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Dragon Girl (Vivid bright red)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bahama (a deeper version of your natural lip colour)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Belle du Jour (best nude ever and worth buying just for its name)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Bolero (Pink grapefruit – lovely for sweet girly lips)
NARS Velvet Matte Pencil in Damned (Rich wine – also lovely as a stain)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu – Bright vivid pink (because sometimes you want to go pink)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park – (lovely deep red, also looks great as a stain)
NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Timanfaya – bright orange (this is a weird editorial orange colour, but I actually love weird editorial colours. So wrong it’s right!)
As an added bonus they are super lightweight for your kit, so you can carry lots of them. For every day life, just having one handy at the bottom of your handbag means you will never need to be caught bare-lipped again.
I’m slightly obsessed with the new liquid lipsticks by Topshop at the moment. My lips bag was feeling quite boring a couple of months ago – even my editorial colours just weren’t making me feel excited. All my old classic brights were in there (MAC, Illamasqua, NARS, you know who you are), but I just wasn’t feeling inspired. Let’s face it, your editorial lips bag should make your heart sing. Also I have a slew of new beauty shoots coming up and we all know you need fresh inspiration for those.
So I went shopping and I found some great new colours. Surprisingly although I love me some violet, black or even blue lipstick on occasion, my favourite was Rascal by Topshop which is a classic bright red. Liquid lipsticks are ace, there’s no other way too describe them. I’ve also loved the MAC Retro Matte ones since they came out, and I just find for that super high pigment and quick application of colour you can’t go past them. Also sometimes on a job you need to do a perfect lipstick application in no time flat, so there’s no chance to fiddle around with liners and lipstick bullets. Liquid lipsticks are your new best friend in those circumstances!
Also Topshop Beauty really get the trend colours of the season. They always have new colours that aren’t the norm and you didn’t know that you needed them in your life (or in your makeup bag) until they come out. So if you’re a lipstick fan or a makeup artist needing something new, and brightly lacquered and hell, like Jerry Hall would have pulled out if she was shooting with Guy Bourdin, get some Topshop Rascal in your life.
Tom Ford has been at it again, creating high glamour, super sexy products that make you want to Collect Them All. It might take you awhile though with his latest lipstick collection called Lips and Boys – which features 50 (50!!) miniature lipsticks in a dazzling array of colours. From violets to perfect nudes, golden metallics to classic reds this collection has literally any colour that a girl could want. And why boys? Well they’re named after men that have inspired Tom Ford in his life, which is super-cute I have to say. And about the only reason I would wear a lipstick called Collin.
I think by now you might have figured out that I am not a drugstore gal. Of course there’s always some stuff there that’s worth checking out (like mascaras, and lipsticks, and the odd nail polish). Although there are loads of good drugstore products – with the economic heft of global cosmetic giants like Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal they’re always going to be on top of the new technology,
so lots of their stuff is great now. And if you let me loose in a French pharmacy, well that’s a different thing entirely. I’m practically in there with a bulldozer, ripping up Crealine and Embryolisse and Honeoplasmine, not to mention Evian and Avene Water and La Roche Posay everything. (Get your hard hats on boys, she’s coming in!)
But drugstores in Australia, not so much. Do you want to know why?
Because Australian drugstores have missed the memo on why people shop there, and that reason is price. It’s supposed to be cheap fellas. Mascaras in Australian pharmacies cost $27 (L’Oreal), Revlon eyeshadow quads are $25, Max Factor lipgloss is $20. I know all my US readers are passing out right about now – products cost about 4-5 times more in Australia than in America. For the exact same thing. So you know what? I often figure I’d rather spend the extra amount and get a premium product for a bit more (OK quite a bit more – Chanel quads are about $100. But it’s like, you know, Chanel. HELLO.)
So the other day when I checked out Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Glow, needing a new lip balm with SPF for my poor model who was going to fry the following day at the beach on a 31 degree day beach shoot, I was very pleasantly surprised. The price was right ($3.60 – jeez, I can’t even get a coffee for that these days in Sydney), and the product was a surprisingly good dupe for Dior’s Lip Glow, which is currently on my wish list as it’s just a gorgeous rose hued lip balm. And I think we all know YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY OF THOSE.
So in my kit it went and it kept my lovely model’s lips moisturized and sun protected and with just the perfect amount of twinkly sheen, all day long. So the next time you want a coffee, get a Baby Lips lip balm instead. It will last a whole lot longer than that caffeine.
So I’ve been prepping for not one but three big beauty stories lately which has been a good chance to give my kit a clear out to get some new season colour in there.
I have to confess that I love having a good re-organise as nothing feels better than a fresh, clean kit, and you can always find a way to tighten up and improve your general organization. A kit tune-up is my idea of a good time!
I’m rotating out of my winter products and putting in spring/summer ones – shooting spring stories for Australia means more colour and beautiful lighter textures are going in.
This season I’m getting back into gloss after quite the hiatus from it – probably a legacy of a complete overdose on the stuff a few years ago. As in, I was buried in it. In my defence, at the time we were all channeling goopy-lipped vixens so I got a lot of use out of them – then not so much the past couple of years. But now I’m feeling it again.
Since I’m still loving bold strong lip colours at the moment, I’m reaching for Illamasqua’s Intense Lip Glosses to add an element of shine to a statement lip. I’ll be carrying Mistress (bright coral orange) and Indulge, a ridiculously bright fuchsia, and since wine lips are no longer just for winter, I’m carrying the sinfully rich Hermetic. I love Illamasqua’s lip glosses because they are pigment rich, high-shine and really do what you want – which is take a bold lip over the top, somewhere over the rainbow.