A day in the life of a lipstick addict
I’m what you’d call a lipstick buff. I could tell you the brand and color of most lipsticks by feel alone. I kid you not, Carrie Bradshaw’s shoe collection has got nothing on my lipstick stash. I’ve owned and used over one hundred lipsticks in my measly 10 years of sporting lipsticks, lips stains and lip colors.
Even so, my impressive collection felt a bit lacking on the eve of 5-year anniversary. I wanted a lipstick that would leave my husband feeling like I’m the cutest thing in the world. My run of the mill lippies wouldn’t cut it. They were too leaky, too bright, too dark or too something.
Early the next morning I went to a popular beauty store and skimmed through their lipstick counter like a dog in search of a bone. Hannah, a gorgeous cosmetics sales girl in her prime walks up to me and inquires if I need any assistance. I’m a bit hesitant to let her help me but then I remember I’m a working mum with a thousand more errands to run.
“Well,” I say, “It’s my anniversary dinner and I just can’t deal with lipstick stains on my teeth! Also I don’t want to interrupt the dinner every so often to retouch my lips. And most importantly I’d love to make out with my hubby with no fear of leaving lipstick marks all over his face. In short, I’m searching for a matte lipstick that’s longwearing, kiss-proof, smudge-free and won’t dry my lips”
What is Lipsense?
“So like a lipsense color?” she says as if it were glaringly obvious. It was as though I had walked in and said “Have you seen this huge animal that has flat ears with a super long trunk. It’s sort of grayish and has columnar legs?” And placed her in a position to respond, “So, like an elephant?”
“Yeap, I guess I could try a lipsense lipstick” I say, whatever that might be.
“It’s not a lipstick ma’am it’s a lip color,” she corrects me as she snags a tube off the shelf. I say the name out loud just so Hannah is reassured I’m with her.
“It’s a liquid lippie that’s both water and smudge proof. It stays on for up to 18 hours with no need for a retouch. The really cool part is that the product is hygroscopic. It absorbs moisture from your surrounding keeping your lips hydrated.”
Hannah went on and on about how its particles are molecularly bonded hence they leave no stain and I just stood there biting my tongue. I couldn’t decide whether I was impressed or just confused. She must have noticed that I was getting lost in the science when she said, “why don’t you give it a try, I’m willing to stake my name and reputation on this brand.”
She hands me at least five of the best lipsense colors and asks me to choose one. I opted for the lipsense first love starter kit.
My lipsense experience
After getting all glammed and dolled up for my hubby, I applied the minimalist lipsense color-first love. I must say I felt a slight tinge upon application. It wasn’t painful parse but quite noticeable. I also didn’t care for the alcoholic fruity smell. Even though Hannah had hinted its composition was mainly alcoholic, I didn’t think the scent would be as heavy.
To be honest I thought the packaging looked hella dated. Were it not for the confidence Hannah had in this brand, I doubt I would have given it the time of day.
During the dinner, I washed down plenty of Italian delicacies with wine and there was no stain left on my glass. I kissed my hubby and guess what? His cheeks were absolutely lipstick free. Perhaps the coolest thing was how plump and hydrated my lips felt.
By the end of it all, it was quite clear I was paying Hannah another visit. I couldn’t wait to explore all the other lipsense colors.
Over the next few weeks, Hannah and I had a standing appointment every Saturday morning. Our arrangement was mutually beneficial. She walked away with a hefty commission while I got the lowdown on all lipsense has to offer.
I soon came to learn that lipsense has a wide variety of colors. Let’s just say Hannah made a killing in commissions! The brand kicked off with 70 colors in 2016. By 2017, the demand for these lippies was so high they had to cut it in about half to 36. As of early 2018, the colors stood at 50. With such a broad selection, trust me there’s a color for every occasion and mood.
Here’s my take on the best lipsense colors.
I’m a sucker for the minimalism of nude lipsticks. With the right shade, it can easily pass as my natural lips to the unperceiving eye. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me “are those your natural lips?” when sporting lipsense first love, I’d be smiling all the way to the bank.
I love how the natural and soft hues of lipsense nudes complement my sultry look with little effort. I’ve worn them to boardrooms, dates and even mundane visits to Target. I’m not one to blow my own horn but I always get rave reviews from one or two people. By rave reviews I mean, I smile and they stare.
Lipsense has over ten nudes by my count. They range from soft shades like bravo to darker shades like nude. The nudes have been crafted with different skin tones in mind. Whether you are fair, olive toned or dark, you will find one that will marry with your complexion.
To avoid looking like a gaudily painted clown I advise go a shade darker or a shade lighter than your natural skin color.
My personal fav nudes are these listed below.
This is a matte lippie with a light pink hue. If you are looking to sport naturally pink lips, first love has got the right texture and shine. I love how it looks great on everyone regardless of tone and undertone. I for one have made it my go-to lip color when in doubt. I must say that I’m not the only one cuckoo about it. It’s among the bestselling lip colors of all time.
It is a blue-based color with a darker tint than first love. I prefer it for office looks as opposed to an out-and-about kind of day. Its rosier than it is neutral, making it subtle while still being prominent.
Bella is a winner all around. Other than its versatility on varied tones, its creamy mauve brown texture will have your pout looking perfectly sculpted.
Glam doll is a force to be reckoned with. The lippie has an earthy brown vibe that’s so bold and commands attention. Its matte finish is quite flattering. It is a dark nude shade best worn by dark skin tones.
There are two things that I adore the 90’s for; the soulful music and the decadent brown lipsticks. For the longest time I always played it safe with brown lippies. I’d only wear them during fall and even then it was sparingly.
It wasn’t until 2015 that brown lipsticks became hot again. Everyone from Kylie Jenner to Ri Ri and Racheal Green was sporting this bold color. Dare I say they were pulling it off like the queens they are. But even then, the shade pool was still lacking for some skin tones.
Come 2018, brown lippies are back with a vengeance and a wider variety of shades. Lipsense has added a new twist to the 90’s trend. It has varied the intensity of shades like cocoa, chestnut, coffee and chocolate to accommodate a wide pool of undertones. Take a look.
It has that seductive runway vibe that leaves you wanting more. The lippie is essentially a lighter shade of cocoa that favors warm undertones. Dawn rising has a shimmery finish that’s playful and flirty.
If you are hoping to stay true to the 90’s roots, cocoa is the way to go. If you watched the 90’s hit show Friends, you have probably seen Monica Geller sport a lipstick closely resembling this one in season one. It’s a rich medium golden-brown with a shimmer finish.
A frost with attitude! I am such a fan of this color. It offers a dark coppery-bronze I find very bold. It’s like sporting a black lippie without the commitment. It easily transitions from a work lippie to a girls’ night out.
In an odd turn of events, modesty seems to have made a comeback. I love the concept of “nice, innocent, girl” that pink hues convey. I can be flirty without putting it all out there.
Whenever I wear an overly bold color I always feel like I have to pair it with stilettos to pull off the look. With pink, I can slide into my sandals without sacrificing sex appeal or style.
I love that I can easily transition from an office look to a dinner dress with this lippie and still look fly.
Pink is perhaps the most prevalent color on the lipsense spectrum. Gloss, frost, matte- they’ve got them all. What of the shades? They have everything from shocking pink to barely-there.
My top three contenders are;
It is best described as a creamy pink with a tint of tan. A touch of this matte lip color is enough to brighten my facial features and beautifully highlight my lips. This is my go–to color for grocery runs.
The barely-there pink vibe this lipsense color offers is perfect for summer. It has that fresh and flirty look thanks to the frost finish. I love to pair this color with dewy makeup when I’m going for a natural look. Done right, you’d easily mistake it for good genes.
This lippie has a blue-based tint that complements a variety of skin tones. I for one love it for its shine.
There’s something about a pinky-orange lip that makes my insides all giddy. The best way to know I’m in a cheerful mood is by spotting a coral lip color on my lips. It’s one of my summer and spring essentials.
One observation I have made with the lipsense corals is that they pretty much look the same when they are still in the tube. I had to test them out on my lips to see the distinction. For me, the only difference between heartbreaker and honey rose is that the former is a shimmer while the latter is a gloss.
When I need the colors to pack a punch, I prefer to pair two coral colors for maximum effect.
I’ll admit that I can’t pull off this lippie on its own unless I pair it with a blue-based color. Its bright coral-red pigment washes me out. Even so, when worn by a lady with a warm undertone, this matte color is so divine.
Pomegranate has a rich red-orange tint perfect for my fair skin. It’s one of those colors that can transition from a day look to a night out with the girls.
Bold, beautiful and brutal comes to mind when I think of red lipstick. It’s so alluring that Queen Elizabeth I quite literally poisoned herself all for the love of a red lipstick. True to form, the color has stood the test of time.
I own over nine shades of red lipsticks. Each is distinct in pigment shine and texture. They range all the way from coral red to vampy red. You can clearly tell my love for red is infinity and beyond.
When I discovered that lipsense only has a handful of reds I was bummed out. How can a color as decadent as red be overlooked? Even so, there are three that completely took me away.
This is a classic bright red lippie. I’m yet to meet a lady who does not such a shade.
It is a deep cherry red shade that’s not only powerful but hella sexy.
A rosy red lip color that’s flirtier than it is bold. I like that I don’t feel pressured to dress up when I wear this color.
When red is too loud and nude too subtle, mauve is the way to go. It’s the lovechild of my favorite colors. It’s a baby plum, dusty rose and pinkish red all meshed together. I love how it deepens my naturally pink lips without being overly dramatic. This is what makes it so versatile.
Lipsense mauves are such a perfect blend of pink and purple. I’d recommend these two;
A shimmery mauve leaning more on the purple side. I love how it holds its own weight needing no reinforcements from other colors.
it is a barely-there pink mauve with just the right amount of shine to make my lips plump. I wear it during the day when I need a subtle pop of color. However, for a dinner date, I have to build up its intensity with a darker shade.
It’s quite rare to come across a lip color that favors all complexions with a seemingly equal effect. Berries seem to do just that! My all-time favorite berry is a vampy plum. When I wear this color best believe I mean business! It not only perfectly accentuates my face but also gives me the confidence to conquer the world.
What can I say about lipsense berries? Seductive and bold. Take a look.
A deep red berry that screams powerhouse. It’s perfect for those with fair skin.
A cool purple berry with a matte finish.
How to use lipsense colors
Were it not for the helping hand of Hannah, I’m sure I would have terribly botched up my lipsense application. My routine is usually clean lips, apply one coat, clean edges and step out. Hannah made it rather clear that lipsense demands much more than this. No wonder it has a special starter kit for the first time user.
My starter kit retailed for around $55. It contained, one of the best lipsense colors to start with- first love, a gloss and an ooops remover. Here is a step by step tutorial of lipsense application
- Begin by cleaning your lips. I would advise using witch hazel. It’s been my staple lip cleanser for close to a decade and it’s never failed me thus far. A warm rug will also help rid your lips of food particles, excess makeup or any other debris.
- If your lips are not in good shape you may have to exfoliate. The easiest way to exfoliate is by using a toothbrush. However, when I’m feeling a little adventurous, I’ll take a tiny scoop of coconut oil with my finger, dip it in sugar and scrub.
- After cleansing and exfoliating your lips, let them dry
- As your lips dry, thoroughly shake the lipsense tube for around 30 seconds. This ensures the formula is perfectly distributed.
- You can now blend the color to your clean dry lips. For the lower lip, begin at one corner of the lip and gently trace to the other corner in one swoop. As for the upper lip, I find it easier to start at the cupids bow and trace each side.
- Do not smack or rub lips together.
- Take a 5 to 10 seconds breather before applying a second coat. Apply up to 3 coats of the same or different colors depending on your preference.
- Seal in the color with gloss and you’re good to go for 4-18 hours depending on the lipsense color.
- Reapply gloss as needed throughout the day.
How to take it off.
The best lipsense remover is the ooops remover. It does a neat job of getting rid of any messes on the edges. All the color glides off easily with no much fuss. However, there are a few times when I misplaced the best lipsense remover and had to resort to other alternatives. I have a newborn baby so there are always baby wipes lying around. They get the job done though you have to put your back into it.
Lipsense tips and tricks
I noticed lipsense has a very thin formula. Which is a plus in my book. I detest feeling like I’m wearing kilos on my lips. The only drawback is if you fail to apply 3 coats you end up with a streaky look. This is especially true for corals and the lighter shades. Darker shades have a higher opacity and you can get away with 2 coats.
I cannot stress enough how important the lipsense gloss is. The color felt sticky every time I failed to seal it with a gloss. My absolute favorite glosses are pearl and sand. They offer a great neutralizing effect.
Ensure you stick to the lipsense glosses alone. Other brands will void the lasting effects by breaking down the color.
Where to buy lipsense?
Lipsense is largely sold online through distributors though a few stores stock them. In your coven of friends, I’m sure there is someone who knows someone who sells lipsense. Amazon has a great catalogue of the colors especially those that are no longer being produced. Thank me later.
The starter kit often comes with one color one gloss and an oops remover and generally goes for between $50 to $60 depending on where you purchase it. Afterwards you can buy a single color for about $25 dollars, the gloss for $20 and the best lipsense remover at $10.
The best lipsense colors for beginners
The best colors to start with include:
- First love
- Pink Champagne
- Beige Champagne
- Apple Cider
- Kiss me Katie
These colors are best for first time users because they are not so pigmented. They will give you a bit of wiggle room to make mistakes as opposed to darker shades like mulled wine.
Lipsense review ingredients
Allow me to digress a bit. One of the most sordid beauty tales I have ever heard was that of Queen Elizabeth I. She was known for her candid love for cosmetics. She caked her face with white powder and topped it off with a red rouged signature lip. She wore the color so well medieval Europeans were convinced red lipstick can ward off death.
Needless to say they were wrong. The red lippie is rumored to be the reason for the queen’s demise. It contained white lead, a metal that’s very fatal to humans. This story always reminds to take a closer look at the ingredients. It’s all fun and games till you fall ill.
You’d be pleased to know that lipsense has no heavy metal in its composition. This pharmaceutical grade lippie is infused with natural botanicals and pure pigments.
Lipsense colors ingredients include:
- Alcohol deneat– I’m a liquid lippie kind of girl through and through. I love how lightweight it feels on my lips. Any lipstick, lip color, lip stick or lip stain that makes me acutely aware that I’m indeed wearing it, is a no no. This is why the thin formula of lipsense was such a huge win for me.
A huge part of lipsense’s molecular binding technology is thanks to alcohol deneat. It thins the formula so it can be applied in three coats. It also keeps the tube sterile and prevents bacteria growth.
- Isostearyl alcohol– Let’s just say if this were not in the mix, the application would be very cumbersome and the formula would be harsh on our lips. It is a skin conditioner that also controls viscosity. The skin conditioning abilities have been reinforced by idonis leaf.
- Linden extract– Offers protection from harsh sunlight rays.
- St Johns warts– The reason why lips become plump after repeated use of lipsense is partly because of the hydrating abilities of this ingredient. No more fine lines and wrinkles after wearing a lippie.
- Tree peony extract- My lips went through an exfoliation process in my initial lipsense days. It started off by peeling and drying off. I later came to learn that this was the dead skin breaking away. With time my lips became softer and held color for longer. Tree peony extracts contributes to the process by healing dried cracked up skin.
- PPG-20- Have you ever wondered what sorcery is used to make your hair silky and soft when using hair conditioners? Well now you know. It acts as a skin conditioner hence the silky smooth feel when sporting lipsense. This is a major lipsense gloss ingredient.
Other notable lipsense ingredients include:
- Water (Aqua)
- Amino Esters
- Turmeric root extract
- Pearl powder
- Eggplant fruit extract
- Acrylates Copolymer
- Hexylene Glycol
- Silicone Quatenirum
Lipsense gloss ingredients
- Shea butter- It is considered one of the most stringent natural moisturizer.
- Vitamin E- Its mainly useful for its anti-oxidant properties.
- Synthetic Beeswax-It helps seal in moisture thanks to its emollient properties
- Propyl paraben- has anti-microbial and anti-fungal abilities.
Is lipsense toxic?
On the eve of Valentine’s Day 2018 PIRG Education Fund published a consumer guide dubbed Kiss Off. It listed examples of lip balms lipsticks that have harmful ingredients that may cause cancer. The list had the names of many bigwigs in the industry that left me baffled. These are brands that have marketed themselves as non- toxic and cruelty free.
Lipsense has marketed itself as lead free, gluten free and artificial wax free. I have not found any contradicting evidence and neither has there been any case of the above reported. However, it’s irrelevant for them to state they are gluten free because gluten particles are too large to enter your pores anyway.
The only wanting question is in regards to its ingredient Parfum. This essentially refers to a mixture of undisclosed chemicals and scents. So it’s hard to tell whether they are safe or not. The lipsense gloss ingredients-propyl parabens seem to have a few unresolved questions in regards to causing cancer but no proof has been laid out.
Does lipsense dry out Lips?
I make a point of shying away from products that will have me looking like the undead. I kid you not, there’s nothing more disturbing than dried chapped lips for a lemon tea addict like myself.
For few folks have been up in arms claiming that lipsense has dried out their lips, I say be patient. This is probably the initial phase of exfoliation that takes place when you start using lipsense. In the end my lips were succulent, plump and soft.
I also make a point of applying gloss over the matte colors for a dewy, hydrated feel. Keep in mind that lipsense has antiaging properties thanks to its perfect blend of ingredients.
The lip color did away with most of my fine lines and wrinkles on the lips.
Is lipsense vegan?
A while back while on my usual internet rounds, I came across a disturbing video that showcased all animals involved in animal testing for beauty products. It got me thinking, is my lipstick really worth a life? I think not.
After watching the video amid teary eyes, I searched through my cosmetics for a “not tested on animals” label. I couldn’t believe how many of my favorite brands still tested products on poor bunnies. Thankfully, the label was on all of lipsense colors.
Upon further research, I was illuminated that nothing sold by Senegence-the creators of lipsense- is experimented on animals. What a relief!
Does lipsense have a heat protectant?
My best friend and I have this running joke that once you go SPF you can never go back. We both have fair sensitive skin that doesn’t brave sunlight well. Sunscreen is a staple in my purse.
True to form, I always favor lip products that have some sort sunscreen. While the lip color doesn’t have SPF the lip gloss ingredients offer a natural shield from the sun.
For about two months after I discovered Lipsense. I was 100% faithful to Sengence. I only wore lipsense gloss and lipsense colors. All my other usual contenders were kicked to the curb. No carmex. No lip balm. No Chapstick. Not even my homemade moisturizing lip balm made the cut.
However, the 25-dollar price tag became too steep and I couldn’t go back to the leaky and smudgy mess of yester lippies. I needed an alternative and fast. I knew if there was someone who could dig me out of this rut, Hannah would be the one.
She recommended the following brands;
- Cover girl outlast in wild berry
- Revlon Colorstay
- Rimmel London Provacalips 16-hour kiss proof color
- L’Oréal Infallible Pro Last.
They didn’t quite have that lipsense vibe but they were pretty close. Some like Revlon colorstay brought more to the table in terms of scent. I also have to admit they were in much better packaging than that of lipsense. Manufacturers take note, it will not hurt you to spice up your look.
After my own investigation I found other alternatives that matched the pump of lipsense though not as frugal as those mentioned above
- Mac lipstick
- Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick
- Tom Ford Matte Lip Color
- Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Types of lipsense colors
Lipsense comes in three varieties; Matte, shimmer and frost. They are sealed in with glosses.
Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend clearly has not come across matte lippies. Matte finishes are richly pigmented and devoid of any shiny or reflective particles. The sex appeal is well worth the sacrifice for having your lips feel a bit dry. This is my take on the lipsense matte lip colors.
I love how the matte lipsense colors easily glide on my lips when blending. It spreads evenly leaving me with a smooth fresh look. However, I have to warn you not to wear this type of lipsense colors on dry chapped lips. You will not obtain that smooth finish.
Lipsense nudes with a matte finish can easily be mistaken for natural lips. Lipsense first love is one contender.
The dry texture of matte lip colors allows it to stay put for longer than its counterparts.
Lipsense shimmers have a little glow to them that’s rather seductive.
Lipsense frosted finishes are highly reflective. They have an iridescent shimmer that makes lips look icy or frosty if you wish. They are not as long lasting as mattes but they come pretty close. The longest I worn a lipsense frost is nine hours without reapplying or retouching. And if we’re being honest, do you really need makeup for longer than 10 Hours?
If there is one lip product I cannot do without, lip gloss would have to be it. I love how a glossy finish brightens my facial features. Don’t you? Don’t get me wrong matte is good too but I prefer the soft juicy liquid which makes the lips more ravishing. What’s more I don’t have to contend with dry lips.
There are three things I consider when choosing the perfect lip gloss;
- A color that suits me.
- Liquidy and glossy
You’ll be hard pressed to get a brand that checks all three boxes. But to my dismay, lipsense does fit the bill. What’s more lipsense lip gloss ingredients have moisturizing abilities that protect naked lips.
Lipsense gloss colors include
Glossy gloss– offers a shiny luster that’s both playful and seductive.
Pearl gloss– This is a must have for those looking for a shiny and reflective finish,
Matte Gloss– The gloss has a flat vibe. The no frills lippie is best paired with matte lip colors.
Blossom gloss– this one is rich with color while still in the tube but it leaves no tint when applied. It has an elegant glossy finish.
How to pick the right lipsense color for your skin tone?
With the broad selection of lipsense colors its quite easy to get lost in the shades. You don’t want a shade that will wash you out. This then begs the question, “how do I match the colors to my skin tone?
Along with skin tones, you will also have to understand your undertones, if they are cool or warm. For this, simply check the color of the veins in your arms. If they are green in color, you have a warm undertone. If your veins are blue in color, you have a cool undertone.
Ideally, those with warm undertone should purchase shades of orange and coral and ones with cool undertone should go for shades of bright red. However, this tip is only a generic solution. Experimenting with other colors can surprise you for good.
So, do you want to look glamorous minus the time consuming hard work? Here is all you need to know about skin tones, undertones and complimenting lipstick shades.
Dark shades do not complement your skin tone; go for medium shades they look stunning on your lips. Multiple vibrant and bold colors suit women with this skin tone. Although, subtle colors bring out the best results at any point of the day or night.
Colors that suit the fairer skin tone are peach, coral, red, pink and orange.
This skin tone is generally symbolic with Indians. Lucky them!!! They can carry various colors from light to dark shades. You can try any color confidently but try to avoid nude shades.
Colors that suit the wheatish skin tone are magenta, mauve, rose, coffee brown, copper, fuchsia, burgundy, bronze and wine red
Like dark skin tone, ladies with dusky skin tone too have to be picky when it comes to makeup choices.
Try Brown and berry shades, but avoid orange and pinkish reds.
If your skin tone is dark then you can try out shades like brown, red, purple freely.