The dark red lipstick guide

The dark red lipstick guide

Come the Holiday season wearing dark red lipstick is one of my staple make up looks. Not only does it add to the festive spirit, I also love wearing a dark red lip in the winter time to set off against my blonde hair and fair complexion. There is just something about that Snow White look that I love. I selected 3 drugstore and 3 high end lipsticks from my collection to show you some of my favorite options for wearing a dark red lip. I have added links to reviews so you can see what all of these look like on my lips.

The dark red lipstick guide

6 favorite dark red lipsticks

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High end dark & neutral colored lipsticks

High end dark & neutral colored lipsticks

My favorite high end make up item to shop? Lipstick. Luxurious packaging, stunning colors and usually much better staying power: high end lipsticks allow you to buy that piece of the unreachable without breaking the bank. Especially when you go to Ici Paris XL when they do their infamous 40% off deals. With high end lipsticks I tend to veer towards brighter lipsticks and reds, but over the years I’ve also gathered a couple of nudes, neutrals and a bit more recently also darker berry shades. And you can find all them below including swatches. Enjoy!

Illamasqua Lipstick Shard (matte)

Let’s kick things off with a bang shall we? One of my favorite fall colors is this matte berry color that I picked up from Selfridge’s on my last trip to London. It is one of my first Illamasqua products and dare I say it has made me want more. This lipstick has a gorgeous color, great lasting power and it is matte. If you care to see what it looks like on, here is a post where I’m wearing it.

MAC Velvet Teddy (matte)

This next lipstick is probably not one you would pick up on first sight. I wouldn’t anyway. But the make up artist recommended this when I went to MAC for the first time. To familiarize myself with their products I decided to book an appointment where they do your make up and you can put the money you pay for the appointment towards your purchases. It is handy when you don’t know where to get started and I bought a few of the things the MUA used on me that day. This lipstick was one of those items. And believe it or not: brown lipstick makes for a great neutral with my complexion. Need proof?

MAC Ravishing (cremesheen)

One of my first purchases at MAC that I did by myself. And still a failproof shade in my collection. Don’t know what to wear? Whack on some of this peachy coral color and you can’t go wrong.

MAC Pink Plaid (matte)

This is one of, if not, my favorite shade in MAC lipstick. First up, it’s matte (big plus right there!). Second, it’s the prettiest pink shade with a purple undertone. Third, it has a cute name. Of course the latter doesn’t exactly make or break a decision for buying something, but it certainly helps. It’s a great neutral shade and I like wearing this when I go for darker eye looks.

MAC Creme D’Nude (cremesheen)

The ‘what-the-beep-what-I-thinking’ shade. A few years ago, I was dead set on getting a concealer type nude color. I’m not sure why, but I just wanted to give it a try. After a long search I went with Creme D’Nude. I’ve only worn it 5 times till this day and by now I can tell you: a true nude look is not a good one for me. This lipstick makes me look as dead as a doornail and is too sheer to cover up my natural lipcolor. The result: a muddy look that is more suitable for Halloween than teaching English classes.

MAC Lovelorn (lustre)

Yes, this shade is almost identical to Pink Plaid. I know. The reason I got this? Because it’s got a different texture. Where Pink Plaid is a full on matte, this is more sheer and has a bit of shine to it. For those days when a matte lip is just not what I want to go with.

Benefit Candy Store

On to one of my oldest lipsticks. Candy Store by Benefit has long been discontinued and I don’t wear it very often anymore either. I bought this on a trip to New York with my best friend and I guess that’s the only reason why I still have this. It reminds me of my visit to the Big Apple and standing in Sephora trying to decide what to buy. It is a very sheer shiny color that is great is you just want your lips to appear a tad fuller.

Benefit Rocket Pop

For the longest time this was my ‘my-lips-but-better’ shade. Unfortunately the creamy texture means it doesn’t last very long and when I bought other lipsticks this one ended up in the forgotten pile of my lipstick stash. However, I bought this at the same time as I bought Candy Store featured above, so I have the same memory attached to it and so I just can’t part with it just yet.

NARS Shrinagar (sheer)

One of my very first NARS products was this lipstick. In the tube this color looks like a blackened purple shade. Ooh scary. But in fact it’s a very sheer lipstick. I tend to wear this after I apply some Lip Erase and then it gives off a great purple-ish hue to my lips. Great to pair with dark green and dark blue looks or a heavy smokey eye.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine no. 18 Prune in Fire

We started with a bang, we end with a bang. Lipstick no. 10 is this bright plum shade by YSL. It was love at first swatch when I found this. It’s a tad more rad than the Illamasqua one, and it has a very creamy texture. It’s also my first YSL lipstick in this gorgeous, gorgeous packaging. Unfortunately this wears kind of ugly on my lips: after a few hours I’m left with color just on the outside rim of my lips. Not so sexy, but hey for a product this gorgeous I’ll happily take the time to reapply properly.

What is your favorite high end nude?


This post was the 6th one in a series I embarked on in January to show you my lipstick collection. If you care to (re)read, here are the other blogs:

Red lipsticks (high end)

Red lipsticks (drugstore)

Bright lipsticks (high end)

Bright lipsticks (drugstore)

Neutral lipsticks (drugstore)

Florence + The Machine

Florence + The Machine

A band which I’ve been into for a while now is Florence + the Machine (Florence). It was in 2008 when through some indie rock play list that I had found online I came across a demo cut of The Girl with One Eye. Watch a live performance of this song from way back when:

I instantly fell in love with the dark lyrics, amazing vocals and bare instrumentation of the song. Now, a little over 2 years later, Florence has gone on to win a VMA for Best Art Direction in a Video and apparently gave away the most amazing performance at Sunday night’s award show. Clearly, Florence’s star is rising and quickly at that.

Florence + the Machine is really about lead singer Florence Welch. The name comes from when she performed with a friend called Isa Summers. They called themselves Florence Robot & Isa Machine, which Florence then adapted when she started playing solo gigs to: Florence Robot is a Machine. However, that name didn’t quite stick with promoters, so she later changed it. Her album is called Lungs and follows the same trend as I discovered in that first song.¬† The songs are often dark and gritty using expressive drums and Florence’s amazing set of pipes all contribute to the very unique sound.

Her rise to fame all began through the BBC, which heavily promoted her in her native UK. In 2009 she won the Critics’ Choice award at that year’s Brit awards and in that same year she was included in the annual NME Award Tour. Earlier this year she took home another Brit award and than there’s that VMA.

Lungs is hands down one of my favorite, if not my favorite, album of 2009 and so when I got the opportunity to see her live in February I bought myself a ticket and went. The performance was really good. With Florence having great interactions with the crowd and it is clear that she has fun with what she does. She made her way through a fairly long set, and all the crowd favorites certainly made an appearance. The performance included a live band (The Machine) which consisted of keys, drums, harp and guitar. But it was clear from the start that the performance is all about Ms Welch. All the things I loved about the album, were also present in the performance and it amazed me how well Florence sings. Her voice keeps up miraculously well despite the demanding type of songs she sings. She sings all songs like it’s a matter of life or death and gives herself for the full 100%. It is what I liked most about it

Florence + the Machine is definitely here to stay, with a new album in the making and a song on the Twilight Eclipse soundtrack, the video for which premiered yesterday. Watch ‘Heavy in Your Arms’:

My favorite songs by Florence + the Machine:

– Drumming Song

– Hurricane Drunk

– Blinding

– Dog Days are Over:

^^2010 music video which won the VMA.

– Howl

– Bird Song

^^ This song is only available on the Deluxe edition of the album Lungs.