best red lipsticks for chinese new year

February 12, 2018  |  Product Reviews  |  2 Comments

Best Red Lipstick for Chinese New Year

Every year I leave it to the very last minute to pick out the perfect red lipstick for Chinese/Lunar New Year (assuring myself I own just the one for the job) and every year the lipstick I was sure would match totally doesn’t, and I’m left scrambling and cursing my bad memory, frantically swatching every red I own minutes before I need to be out the door.

But not this year. I got a jump on things by picking out 8 of the best reds for the season, based on not only color but formula as well. I can’t deal with drying lipsticks and am a klutz at applying bold colors and keeping them from getting on my teeth/chin/clothing, so there were a lot of points to consider when I was making this list. I swatched my arm and lips raw!

It was totally worth it though, because now I know exactly what I’ll be wearing this year. The only thing left to do is figure out how to rotate through 8 lipsticks in a day…

Best CNY Lipsticks

1. Best Bright Red:
For me, the shade of red that best represents Lunar New Year is an orange-red so bright it borders on neon – a red so striking and cheerful, one feels happier just looking at it. If you love that quintessential CNY red as much as I do, you must check out NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Light My Fire. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and so festive for this season.
CNY Red Lipstick NARS Powermatte Light My Fire

2. Best Raspberry Red:
As much as I love orange reds, there’s also special place in my heart for deep, pink-based shades like Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Sheer Plaid. It reminds me of cockscomb flowers – pots of which we buy each year for decorating the house – and is perfect if you want to wear red but aren’t exactly a warm red person, know what I mean?
CNY Red Lipstick Urban Decay Sheer Plaid

3. Best True Red:
Who can argue with the luckiness of a true ang-bao red? In my head, a perfect true red is rich and opaque, and skirts that fine line between bright and dark. It’s a bit of a unicorn shade in that sense, but when you see one you just know. For me, that was Make Up For Ever Artist Matte Liquid Lipstick in 401 and it was true-red love at first swipe.
CNY Red Lipstick Make Up For Ever Artist Matte 401

4. Best Burgundy Red:
Lunar New Year isn’t just about down-home family time, it’s also about gatherings with friends. So it makes sense to have a deeper, vampier red on hand for all those evening parties that run late into the night. Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Nicholas is my pick for being the perfect balance between seasonally-appropriate and dramatic, and bonus: it’s clutch-sized!
CNY Red Lipstick Tom Ford Lips and Boys Nicholas

5. Best Universally Flattering Red:
There’s got to be some lucky symbolism behind a beautiful red that flatters everyone who wears it, right? Fenty’s Stunna Lip Paint is that to a T – up till now I hadn’t encountered a red that I could honestly recommend to anyone and everyone, but here it is. If you’re blind-buying one thing off this list for the new year, this is going to be your best bet.
CNY Red Lipstick Fenty Lip Paint Stunna

6. Best Bullet Listick:
If you’re looking for an all-in-one crowd pleaser as a symbolic gift for someone or a treat for yourself, Cle de Peau Beauté Lipstick in Dragon Red is the red for you. It’s got an auspicious name, a stunning red hue, and is super comfortable on the lips. Seriously, what else could anyone ask for in a Lunar New Year lipstick?
CNY Red Lipstick Cle de Peau Lipstick Dragon Red

7. Best Matte Liquid Lipstick:
A lightweight, ultra-comfortable (read: non-drying) liquid lipstick with an unique applicator that makes precision application a cinch? Yes please. The opaque formula of YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stain in 01 Rouge Tatouage dries down to a budge-proof finish that, true to its name, fades to a graceful stain rather than wearing off unevenly.
CNY Red Lipstick YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stain

8. Best Lip Gloss:
Not comfortable in bold opaque brights? You can still get in on the action with a sheer, girlish red tint in a forgiving gloss formula like Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in 784 Romance. It’s shiny and cheerful enough to give you all those fun festive vibes, but soft enough to pull off easily. Plus, it’s non-sticky which makes it perfect for all the eating and drinking you’ll undoubtedly be doing!
CNY Red Lipstick Chanel Coco Gloss 784 Romance

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fotd: luminous golden taupe

February 8, 2018  |  Face of the Day  |  No Comments

Finally, some new blog content!

With all the traveling we’ve been doing, content generation has been really, really tough. Sure, we have travel photos galore, but beauty blogging is a real challenge when you’re on the road with only a tiny bag of basic makeup. But I’m back (for now) and happily reunited with my stash (again), and finally in possession of enough time and energy to crank out looks that require more than 3 minutes of slap-dash finger painting.

Admittedly there WAS some finger-painting involved in the eyeshadow application here, but it was done very carefully…if for now other reason that the fact that I legitimately terrible at applying/blending out cream eyeshadow with my fingers. Thankfully I am more adept at blending out mistakes with powder shadows and a good brush or three, so I ended up with an eye look I really, really liked – a golden taupe that just glowed.

golden taupe 2

I won’t lie. This is an effect I’ve only ever achieved once or twice from happy accidents – you know, the kind that always happen when you randomly and indecisively layer on 40 shadows and have no way of recreating the end result? – but have never been able to nail it down to a few key products for easy replication.

Until now! Would you believe this was created with only 3 products?

golden taupe 4

The product that this look hinges on is a newly-discovered favourite: Stila Shimmer & Shine liquid eyeshadow in Grace, which was one of six mini shadows in the Eye for Elegance set released I bought during Christmas 2017. It’s no longer at Sephora/Ulta and only available as a full-size tube via Stila’s actual website now, but in my opinion it’s worth stepping out of your shopping comfort zone for. It’s the perfect shimmery tan – a little darker than my skin tone and soooooo unbelievably glowy without a sparkle particle in sight. It’s magical. You must own it.

The other two products I used for this eye look are powders: the medium and dark brown shades in the Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eyeshadow Palette in Antigo to blend out the edges and deepen the crease slightly, and MAC Eyeshadow in Mystery (sadly discontinued, but any dark taupey brown will do) to further deepen the inner and outer corners. Ok so technically that’s 4 products in total, but it’s still a very doable and easy-to-recreate look.

I tested it again today to be sure, and to my delight I was able to achieve the same luminous look again. I’ll be putting this into regular rotation for sure!

golden taupe 3

PS: If you’re interested in any of the Rouge Bunny Rouge products mentioned in this post, feel free to use my Friends & Family code
RBR-EMILYLOKE20 for a 20% discount. I do not make a commission when you use this code.

Face: Cle de Peau Concealer in Ivory, Koh Gen Do Loose Powder // Cheeks: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette // Eyes: Stila Shimmer & Shine eyeshadow in Grace, Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eyeshadow Palette in Antigo, MAC Eyeshadow in Mystery, Urban Decay Perversion Mascara // Brows: Make Up For Ever Tinted Brow Gel in #45 // Lips: YSL Beaty Volupté Tint-in-Oil #22

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fotd: festive flapper

December 23, 2017  |  Face of the Day  |  No Comments

As I mentioned on IG a few days ago, I recently lost a huge cache of photos and blog post content I’d been working on so please bear with me as I’m kind of starting from scratch here. Thankfully, I’ve been doing a makeup advent challenge (this same one) with some friends, which created the opportunity for new FOTD photos. Yay!

You can probably guess that this one was from yesterday, the 23rd – “20′s Inspired”.

flapper 20's makeup 2

I went for a classic flapper look, or at least what we think of as a classic flapper look. Evidence suggests that women in the 1920′s didn’t actually wear such vampy hues; the film used to capture their images (and film processing methods) then just made the makeup seem much darker than it actually was.

I kept this somewhat in mind when picking my eyeshadow colours and opted for sparkly grey and purple shades rather than straight-up matte black. Because the ideal eye shape then was wide but down-turned and the outer corners, I went with a rounder placement of the shadow with a focus on darkening and “drawing up” the inner corners right under the start of my eyebrows to create that effect.

flapper 20's makeup 1

I also smudged out just the outer half of my lower lashline to emphasize the down-turned shape. Eyebrows were elongated as well, with the tails extended downwards as well. As for the blush, I went with a lighter and more diffused application than what was typical of the time.

flapper 20's makeup 3

Lastly, I drew in an exaggerated cupid’s bow on my upper lip and filled in everything with a dark berry shade. Most women would have drawn within their natural lip line to create the illusion of a smaller mouth, but if you already have a small mouth or want this look to be more wearable and less costume-y then my advice is to just fill everything in.

I actually think this could be a lovely holiday party look for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. The sparkly shadow and berry lips are dramatic but festive, and you could edit it down further by sticking with your natural brow and lip shapes to keep the look even more modern.

flapper 20's makeup 4

Face: Chanel Gel Touch Foundation cushion in 10, Cle de Peau concealer in Ivory, Koh Gen Do loose powder // Cheeks: Cle de Peau cream blush in 02 Pale Fig // Eyes: SUQQU Deep Nuance Eyeshadow in EX-05 (no longer available – try a tiny dab of Tom Ford Cream Colour in Caviar), Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadow in Delicate Hummingbird, Tarte Multi-tasker and Bombshell from the Tartlette palette, Heavy Rotation Mascara // Brows: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow in #40 Lips: NYX Lip Liner in Prune, Tom Ford Lips and Boys in Jon

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