Top 20: Lipsticks (2014 edition)

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Welcome to 2015, everyone!
I’m starting this year on my blog with a round-up of my favourite lip products I came across in 2014. I’m a bit mad about lipsticks, and last I checked I had upwards of 110 lipsticks/glosses/stains/coloured balms in my stash. 2014 was an excellent year for me makeup-wise, and lip products are by far the area that’s grown in size the most. So I chose my favourite 20 I purchased this last year, and I’m going to tell you about it, in colour order. I’m hoping I can make this an annual thing, but we shall see.. let’s go!

THE NUDES

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L-R: L’Oreal Contour Parfait lip pencil in #656 Honey; ArtDeco Hydra Lip Booster in #36; Australis lip pencil in Miss-Behave; L’Oreal Color Riche Naturals for Brunettes – #378 Velvet Rose.

Both of my lip pencil picks are in this lot, as I don’t have that many lip pencils – if I’m putting a bold colour on, who’s going to know if the lipliner I’ve used doesn’t match? I may as well just have one or two in a nude colour that go with everything. So that’s what I’ve done! The L’Oreal one I found on my travels overseas in a Boots, and it’s a true My-Lips-But-Better nude for me. I would wear this puppy on it’s own (..if it wouldn’t be excessively drying), it’s that good. Super pigmented, doesn’t run out too quick, and compared to most of my other lipliners, doesn’t grab and tug at my lips too much. This pencil actually goes really well with the ArtDeco lipgloss next to it – I came across this gloss when a customer asked me to find it for her, and I fell in love. Anyone who knows me intimately knows I usually hate lipgloss, but this is the gloss that changed it all. It’s a perfect nude that disappears on my lips, doesn’t have any sparkle, and doesn’t migrate or taste like shit.

For pinky nudes, the Australis lip pencil in Miss-Behave is the bomb.com – it works with corals or pinks, and HOLY CRAP. It’s pigmented, creamy and $14NZD. I only got it the other day, but I’ve already made my Aunty buy one. It also happens to go really nicely with the next one, the L’Oreal Color Riche in #378 ‘Velvet Rose’. I’d been eyeing this lipstick up for ages at work, and when a buy-two-get-a-third-free deal on L’Oreal came up in a catalog, you betcha it was first on my list. It’s definitely a pink, but on me it reads as a pink-leaning nude, and I love it. I reckon the whole ‘naturals/bolds for blondes/brunettes’ thing the Color Riche line has is a bit squiffy – I can’t remember how many times I’ve recommended customers try it, but it has seriously suited everyone I’ve ever seen with it on, and most customers that try it buy it. Go see how it looks on your mug!

THE PINKS

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Clockwise, L-R: ArtDeco Lip Brilliance lipgloss #10; MAC Retro Matte lipstick in All Fired Up; Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick #423 Pink Velvet; MAC Amplified lipstick in Craving; Australis Velourlips in Mi-A-Mee.

A bit more exciting and stereotypically ‘girly’ than nudes are pinks. And boy, do I have a range of ’em! We have another ArtDeco lipgloss in here, this time in the ‘Lip Brilliance’ formula. If I’m honest, I’ve noted almost no difference between the Lip Brilliance and Hydra Lip formulas, but Lip Brilliances come in a square tube, are longer and smell very nice – like vanilla icing. Yum! They’re super-duper pigmented, and #10 is a great universal darker-pink shade that again, I think everyone would suit. On the other end of the spectrum is MAC’s All Fired Up, a bloody bright and in-your-face fuschia.It’s awesome, but certainly not an easy shade – you’ve gotta go real easy on your eye look if you wanna rock this baby well. Not to mention your lips have to be in VERY good condish, as the Retro Matte is the most drying of all MAC lipsticks, and it WILL tug on your lips. But if you play by it’s rules, All Fired Up will put on an amazing show, with your lips as the star.

Revlon’s Pink Velvet is a very popular shade, and I can totally see why. The moment I swatched this at work, I needed it. It’s a very wearable bold pink, for days when I want to stand out a bit, but not scare customers off. The Creme formula of the Super Lustrous range is absolutely wonderful, incredibly pigmented, lasts for ages and doesn’t dry your lips out. Need a good trusty pink that’ll suit any situation or outfit? Pick this. For a darker version, try MAC’s Craving, another lovely shade I chose on a whim. It’s dark enough to be sultry, but light enough for daytime wear if you like. Another colour that would probably work on everyone, and it’s in the awesomely opaque Amplified formula. Best impulse decision ever. Well, after agreeing to go on a date with John.

Oh, but you need a bold, bright watermelon-pink lipstick that will NOT budge until you want it to (and even then sometimes won’t)? Pick the Australis Velourlips Matte Lip Cream in Mi-A-Mee. Over in NZ, everyone loves Australis Velourlips – the second they dropped into our pharmacies and department stores, they were snapped up immediately, and have been selling steadily since. In Southern Hemisphere spring, Australis released 5 new shades, and my god they’re nice! This is my favourite – uber bright, but not neon*, so I LOVE it. Of course you’ve to be careful how you apply it, as with all the Velourlips range, but this will definitely be a staple in my collection.

THE CORALS

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L-R: Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lipgloss #20 Firefly; MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Crosswires; ArtDeco Lip Brilliance lipgloss #29; MAC Lipglass in Viva Glam Cyndi.

Remember how I said I hate lipglosses? My long-standing hatred of glosses comes from those terribly sticky and badly fragranced kid glosses you’d have found in every 8-year-old’s bedroom circa 2002, and it has taken me a fair while to get past that, but for the sake of the following gloss, I’m so glad I did. Bobbi Brown’s Firefly lipgloss is absolutely stunning – it’s sparkly and pretty and shiny and opalescent.. and not a sticky, expensive mess. Everything I’d want in a gloss. I only got this recently along with some other glosses from Bobbi Brown, but it’s shot to the top of my list for go-to shimmery glosses. I have my friend Selinah to thank for this discovery, and I’m so glad I listened to her recommendation – Firefly is now discontinued, and I really don’t feel I could be complete without this gloss in my life. In a similar vein is the lipstick I’ve decided is my #1 lipstick to date, my all time do-gooder of a colour – MAC Crosswires. I love the Cremesheen formula, and this is just the perfect muted corally-pink. It goes with virtually anything, I look LOVELY in it, and I just generally feel 78% more put-together when I wear it. I picked it up because Estee from Essie Button mentioned it a long time ago as her favourite, and I can see why. Heaven in a lipstick, right here.

Surprise, surprise, another ArtDeco gloss. This time it’s #29, which is the same but a bit paler than Crosswires. Formula’s great, colour is summery and happy – a nice light coral. A dark coral/red-leaning-pink that is very similar in formula, texture and scent is MAC’s Viva Glam Cyndi. I ummed and aah-ed about this gloss for ages, but finally caved and bought this off Trade Me, and thank goodness. It’s opaque in one swipe, and it is just stunning. I am crossing my fingers that MAC bring it back in another collection one day – if it is, you bet I’ll be snapping up 56 of them.

THE PLUMS

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L-R: L’Oreal Color Riche Intense for Brunettes #374 Intense Plum; ArtDeco Lip Brilliance lipgloss #10; MAC Amplifed lipstick in Pure Heroine; Rimmel Apocalips lip lacquer #304 Eclipse.

Ooh, the vampy shades! Another Color Riche lipstick I fell in love with in 2014 is #374, Intense Plum. Probably the darkest lipstick L’Oreal do (that they’ve released in NZ, anyway), but it’s a good’un. It does wear off faster than other colours (2-3 hours on me), but overall it’s another super pigmented, moisturising and badass colour – I haven’t had much of a winter in the past year, but I’ll be rocking this when I finally catch the right weather. I’ll also be slathering on ANOTHER ArtDeco lipgloss – another Lip Brilliance, this time a beautiful deep raspberry (shade #57). Whenever I get bored and have a play with the tester of this gloss at work, I average 3 compliments an hour. That’s a hell of a lot for a store full of people who see you basically every damn day. It has a bit of sparkle, but it doesn’t really show on the lips which is fine by me because I’m in love with the colour as is.

The true vamp of the colours in this round-up is the lovechild of MAC and NZ goddess Lorde, and it’s an incredible deep purple – the goth-leaning cousin of the popular shade Heroine. It’s another Amplified, which I love – the obvious choice was a matte formula, but I love the opaque creamy gloss look Amplified formulas give, and it really is the cherry on top of such an awesome shade. This lipstick will make you feel invincible and effortlessly cool – basically, just like Lorde.

Last up in this lot is basically the liquified version of L’Oreal’s Intense Plum. It’s one of the Rimmel Apocalips lip lacquers – #304 Eclipse. I wish I could put all the Apocalips shades I own here – they’re all super opaque, long lasting, non-sticky, and if you use a lipliner, won’t slide all over your face. Also, they’ll stain your lips slightly so if you eat/drink while wearing them, you won’t look like a dork.

THE REDS

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L: MAC Frost lipstick in Viva Glam Rihanna I. R: MAC Matte lipstick in Frank-N-Furter.

I’ve only two reds to report in this line-up, and they were easy to choose. Both from MAC, too – Rihanna’s first Viva Glam lipstick, sporting (what I believe is) the first Viva Glam product not to come in the usual black packaging, just with red trim. Rihanna isn’t one of my favourite artists at all, but DAMN she chooses good lipstick. I thought I’d hate a Frost formula, and I actually love this. Not too dry and sparkly as anything, but you barely feel any grit from the glitter, and it doesn’t budge. I also love the Viva Glam Rihanna II lipglass, and her Riri Hearts 2013 line. I’m telling you, she must know a thing or two about lip product.

My second red pick is one I’ve already written at length on – Frank-N-Furter from the September Rocky Horror Picture Show line. Oh man. This lipstick is the best matte I’ve ever experienced, and it’s my favourite red lipstick I own. Read more on it (and the rest of the lipsticks in the collection) here.

And finally..

THE STAR OF THE SHOW

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MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Goddess of the Sea, from the Alluring Aquatic collection.

The title of Lipstick of the Year 2014 goes to Goddess of the Sea from the Alluring Aquatics collection. First off, that packaging is STUNNING. I want everything from that collection just for the gorgeous textured packaging. It is a shining, slightly (pleasantly) lumpy turquoise beacon in my make-up bag. But the colour.. that seals the deal. It’s a cremesheen, so it’s super comfortable on the lips, doesn’t stick too hard or little, and is pretty damn opaque for a mid-tome dusty purple. I was actually thinking about this lipstick the night I got it, admittedly a bit tipsy, and wrote myself some notes on it for when I eventually reviewed it. As is typical of me, I never got around to reviewing it, but I do remember what I jotted down – “sexy raisins”. This lipstick is the colour of sexy raisins. It’s the best product MAC released in 2014, hands down. Frank-N-Furter is a close second, but the packaging is what pushed it over the edge. If you can, get this lipstick, just to say you own it. Don’t worry about the other shades in the Alluring Aquatic lipsticks, they’re pretty average. This one is a must-have is everyone’s lipstick holder.


And that’s it. My thoughts on the best lipsticks of 2014. I suggest you go and buy them all – that way you will have at least 20 good things in your life this year!

No, but really – I hope you all have a lovely year, and keep reading my blog. I’m intending for it to get good.

Lucie x

*I hate neon. I can’t do it.