Friday, March 01, 2013

Lipsticks For Women of a Deeper Hue...

I've said it many times before and I'm saying it once again: It's hard out here for a dark chick! What I'm talking about is makeup in general and lipstick in particular.

If you are a darker skinned woman, like me, you know that it can be a little tricky finding makeup that doesn't clown you up or wash you out. I'm not hating because I rarely wear makeup. But I do always wear lipstick. Always. Made my teeth look whiter when I was a smoker; not it's just a habit: brush teeth, apply lipstick.

This is a really helpful link for figuring out your own undertone.  This talks about skin colors in too much detail. Gave me a little bit of a headache. This right here gets too deep into the subject for me. I just want to find a good palette of cosmetics, but in case you are interested...

Being a black woman with cool undertones (I look better in red and silver, and, yes, I can see that my veins are blue), I have trouble finding lipstick that suits me. I'm not like my sister or niece, who will look great in pastel lipsticks and clothing. I like my deep reds for my lips and white for my clothing. I have to say (and hope that it's not vain or ignorant-sounding) that I LOVE my dark skin. I love the way it looks and feels and... Okay, that's getting to a be both vain and ignorant so I'll stop.

Problem: Finding a red lipstick that doesn't look "orange-y" or too plum-like. Red, people, just gimme the red!

Solution 1: Buying a black lipstick (yes, I've done this) and blending it into one of the above "reds" to get a passable shade. That is such a freaking hassle - costly, messy to apply and really a pain to re-apply...

Solution 2: Find that one good shade once in a PINK moon and buy a bunch or hang the heck on to it for life.

(You've seen my pic over there to the right. That's me, no makeup -good lighting and a forgiving webcam- and in my fairly true skin color. I'm dark, yes ma'am. As James Brown said, "I'm black and I'm proud," but I can be pissed when shopping for lipsticks.)

In the past year and a half, the moon has shown shockingly pink twice and reluctantly rosey once. I found this one in (I believe) Walgreens...

Cute & simple case

By Prestige Cosmetics
Shade: Pinot Noir
...and this one (for sure) in Walgreens


Shade: Black Cherry
I adore the Pinot Noir shade. It's something I can put on with lip gloss for a subtle look or (and, face it, I'm not a subtle woman) just slick it on for that deep, deep, deep red that I love. Makes me feel all glamorous, amorous, hot-to-trot and just bad-to-the-bone. I also like that the texture is nice and smooth - not sticky at all. For a matte look, I just blot the first application and let it set, then apply and blot a second glide. I usually like the moist look. Actually, I really like to add this gloss to all my shades

L'Oreal's Color Riche Shade: 281/Queen's Shine
 That brings me to my tip for getting a shade right: if your liptick is almost-but-not-quite what you need in shade, trump it with a gloss. The L'Oreal gloss by itself is a nice day-look, but added to my other least-favorite shades, it kinda sorta balances things out for me.

This is a shade I do like a lot, when I want to look like I'm not wearing lisptick (and still want a polished appearance)

Shade: #37 Gourmet Coffee (by Milani)
It's great for church, interviews... that kind of thing. When I want to switch gears after church or the interview, I add some of that gloss. It's cool.

Shade: Blackberry.
Cost: $0.99 from Sally's Beauty Supply
This is something I keep in my purse all the time. Easy to put on and it's a lot more defining if you tend to (like me) be sloppy applying lipstick without a mirror. I always make sure to apply it over a balm. It can be a little bit drying.

Anyway, that's my little rant on lipsticks. I did a post some time back that had links for cosmetics for various skin tones  On a less serious, but more personal note, I did a look back at my Mama's days with cosmetics.

Let me know if you hear or know of any reasonably-priced cosmetics for those of a darker hue.


**QUICK POST** Food Fitness Tip #1

If you are trying to get into shape, shape up the way you shop. (Cute saying, ain't it?)

We usually shop by product: just buying items we like. That's fine, unless you are trying to change your eating habits. When I was writing out my grocery list the other day, I realized that I am preparing my meals differently, so I should be shopping differently. Usually, I list out things I like to eat. This time, I put together items they way I need to be eating them. For example, I've been eating a lot of Tilapia (sauteed with olive oil & garlic). I checked and saw that I am low on the oil & garlic, not to mention I need different sides to go with the fish.

Because I eat so dang much fish now, I checked out various simple recipes while I made out my list. I ended up with things that I am actually going to be using up. That sounds so common sense, but I can't tell you how often I leave the store with a mish-mash of ingredients for recipes I haven't thought out.


  • This is going to save me some money
  • Keeps me on track with my better eating habits
  • Helps me resist "snack shopping."
  • Forces me to plan out meals in advance, and...
  • ... even if I don't, I'm not going too far out of my fitness plan
The downside to this is that it works mostly for singles or couples without kids - unless the whole family is on the same fitness plan. It's also inconvenient if you lack basic willpower and end up making return trips to the store because you get weak for something out of your "plan."

This is the first time I am structuring my shopping this way. I will be back to let you know how it works out for me in my "real" life!