I Figured Out How To Wear Pale Lip Colors Just In Time For Spring

It's all about the blot.
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It's all about the blot.

I’ve started easing into lipcolour since last year. I started wearing a berry lip stain I made, and this killer matte orange. When Marci did her article on pink lipstick, it made me think: I’ve never even considered that colour. And I love lipstick--it’s the quickest way to dramatically change a look. A dark lip, a matte berry lip--they send different messages. What do pale, pastel coloured lips say?


Also, gorgeous mid-century country singers:

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When I look at lipstick colours, I feel like about ¾ of the brown to purple rainbow just don’t apply to me. I have olive-toned skin and highly pigmented lips, so I stick to peaches and winey berries. And that’s about it. As much as I covet pastels and their sweet retro look, I’ve never found a lipstick that didn’t look like I had frosting schmeared on my mouth. It settled into my pruney lips the moment I put it on.

Maybe I was doing it wrong?

Pastel lip colour is unique in that it’s generally pretty opaque. This is achieved by the use of white pigment, usually either zinc or titanium dioxide (the same compounds found in oil paints). Formulas are all different, but it’s generally necessary for it to be rather thick to transfer the pigment, so it doesn’t always look great right out of the tube.

A lot of beauty bloggers tout lip primers or white pencil as a way to improve the opacity of pastel colours. As someone who has enough trouble keeping my makeup on my face, and has zero time available to be redoing my lipstick all day, I give these a pass. They work great for things like photographs, or a carefully curated night out, but they aren’t very practical as they either kill the staying power by being too greasy or dry the ever-loving moisture out of your lips by sealing them against your lipstick. 

Just patting some foundation over your lips makes a pastel lip look brighter,  but I can’t be arsed with that kind of crap if there’s an easier way. And there is!

Pale Lip BLOT.jpg

There was a time, before more research dollars went into cosmetics than space exploration, when lipstick wasn’t that great. I didn’t have staying power, and it smelled like rendered animal grease, because it was. But even then, ladies had the perfect pastel pout, and they got there by applying it with some finesse. 

Blotting lipstick isn’t just a sultry way to get people to look at your open mouth; it removes the oilier base of the lipstick while leaving the pigment. You’ll see older women apply lipstick, blot it a few times, reapply, and then, with their lips closed, deposit even more colour on top. Genius. You’re building up colour and opacity while removing the base, so you don’t have the caked-up  look.

Paper Bits.jpg

I keep little clipped up bits of acid-free porous paper on my makeup counter because I use them for everything from cutting an edge, to wiping off spoolies and brushes. They also work terrific for blotting.

Just Peachy, Seduce, and Think Pink

Just Peachy, Seduce, and Think Pink.

I tried out three different light shades; I’ll usually buy total low-end cosmetics when I’m trying something new, and only really invest in a product it’s something I know I’ll use every day, like a BB cream or brow powder. Sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised with something really cheap, like Milani, which is always great!

Think Pink.

Think Pink.

I used Wet 'n' Wild's MegaLast Lip Color in Just Peachy and Think Pink. The latter is a very pink shade, one I’d never normally use. They are both creamy in consistency but still deposit a lot of colour and layer well.

Surprise, I love peach.

Surprise, I love peach.

The third one I tried was 100% Pure’s Lip Glaze in Seduce; it smells like food and has a thinner consistency, which actually kind of works just blotted. I loved this one so much! It does need reapplication, which is a pain, but it doesn’t settle into my uggo lip wrinkles as bad.

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Do my lips look super-wrinkly or what? Are you into the spring pastel lip trend? Show me what’s on your lips this fine day, motherpuckers!