On a More Subdued Lip

I’ve made no secret of my love of red lips. In fact, I have an embarrassingly large collection of red lipsticks and it grows every month. I still need to share some of my latest finds, but this is not where I plan to do that. Today, I want to talk a little bit about what I wear when I’m not wearing a red lip.

What? I know, I’ve said before that I consider red lipstick exempt from “no-makeup” days, and some days I will wear not a stitch of other makeup, but will make sure my lips are an enjoyable shade of crimson. But some days, I really wear something else. Of course, something else can mean a full-coverage, traditional lipstick in another color, like plum, berry, or rose, but other days, I like to wear a subdued lip.

Lately, I’ve gotten interested in tinted lip balms. I like the ease of a tinted balm for weekends, when I really don’t wear makeup, or for events where I know food will be a focus and I won’t want to fussily check and reapply lipstick (even my longest-wear options will not survive some foods). Or if I’m going to an event where I want a polished, but low-maintenance-looking look. And sometimes red lipstick with jeans looks just a bit too Taylor Swift for someone north of her thirties.

The tinted balm I’ve been enjoying recently is Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butter. Now, some of the shades are quite pigmented, but the finish is still glossy and sheer. I can see my lip color variations through it. The brightest one I have is Lollipop, which I actually bought thinking it would be sheerer than it is. It comes out a very bright pink, but settles to a nice shade that isn’t too powerful. For Sunday morning coffee dates, I like the shade Berry Smoothie, which is my quintessential “my lips but better” shade. And for a bit of fun, I got the neon orange Juicy Papaya. It goes on a sheer but bright coral color on my fairly pink lips and is a nice way to get some orange into my life with spring and summer coming up, without going full coral lipstick. The Revlon lip butters smell a bit fruity to me.

Another reason I like tinted lip balm is that some of them also have sun protection. For days when I’m going to be outside a bit, I use Maybelline Baby Lips in Quench, which smells slightly citrusy and provides a light layer of moisture and protection, under my lipstick. But I can’t really reapply often when I’m wearing lipstick, which limits the effectiveness of the SPF 20.

If I’m going to be spending the day outside, I reach for L’Oreal Colour Riche Balm, which combines sheer color with SPF 15. The low SPF is alright because I will reapply a sheer balm often. And the two shades I have work for a range of situations. Plush Plum is a slightly more pigmented plum-berry color that looks like a “done” lip. I’m wearing it to work today because I felt like wearing a softer lip. For a sheerer, MLBB look, I reach for Rose Elixir, which looks bright in the tube, but is quite sheer. Both of these would be ideal for my lake house vacations when I spend much of the day outside reading a book, but still want to look presentable when we go out for brunch or dinner. I find the L’Oreal balms smell of burnt sugar.

Sadly, I haven’t gotten pictures of these, but they are widely available at drugstores, Target, or Ulta, so I encourage you to check them out! Also, I have not received any incentive to write about these products; I just purchased them and liked them.

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