Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color: Finding the Perfect Nude

bobbi brown creamy lip color swatch

My search for the perfect nude lipstick continues. And when I say nude, I mean the kind of shade that almost blanks out the lips, not that “my lips but better” kind of shade that’s a pale, caramel-beige neutral. “My lips but better” shades are easy to find – there’s usually a good one in every big lipstick range. Take Chanel’s Adrienne, for example, in the Rouge Coco line-up (read post and see pics here); a chic, smart type of lipstick that flatters and shines and brings an element of polish to any makeup look.

No, when I say nude, I mean that nearly-the-same-as-your-skin lipstick shade that is so very simple to get drastically wrong. Too pale against your skin and it looks like concealer; too orange in tone and it’s hideous, making your teeth yellow and face pallid. Go matte and it’s instantly edgy, editorial, but you need a hell of a lot of Twiggy-style eye makeup up to pull it off and as soon as you open your mouth to speak, your tongue and the inside of your lips look rudely red and (for me, at least) the whole thing can look quite vulgar. Go too shiny and suddenly you have these monstrous, oversized skin-sausages stuck to your lower face.

So nude lipstick: it’s a tricky old business. I can demonstrate this with two shades from Bobbi Brown, one of which doesn’t suit me at all (in my opinion) and the other, a creamy nude with a hint of sheen, I love so much it has been promptly stashed in my permanent makeup kit and labelled “a winner”. Here’s the one I’m not sold on, the Creamy Matte Lip Color in “Pale Beach”:

bobbi brown creamy lip color swatch pale sand

Not hideous on me, by any means; in fact as I stare at it again and again, I don’t mind it whatsoever – it’s quite “high summer” and beachy. But it’s very peachy-orange and there’s something just a little off about the tone against my skin. Compare it, if you will, to Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Lip Color in the new “Pale Beige” shade, which is spot-on, colour-wise, and has just the right amount of shine and sumptuousness to make it flattering and easy to wear:

bobbi brown creamy lip color swatch pale beige

Without the orangey undertones, I feel that the rest of my skin suddenly looks cleaner and more even-toned. The lips are pale – paler than their usual colour – but they don’t look chalky or deathly. Everything just feels right. I’d add that this particular lipstick texture, the Creamy Lip Color, is incredibly beautiful and comfortable to wear; juicy but not sticky, long-lasting but not drying. I’d also add that Bobbi Brown is Queen when it comes to natural and nude-y makeup, with loads of options to suit all skin tones. Well worth spending a few spare minutes at a counter, finding a good match…

More lipstick reviews and pictures…

You can find the Bobbi Brown Creamy Lip Color and Matte Lip Color at counters nationwide and online at House of Fraser here – lipsticks cost £19.50. I’m wearing the same face makeup as I was in Saturday’s “natural bronzed” post, you can find details here.

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BB Blur: Behold the Transformation!

la roche-posay bb blur makeup

I think you’ll agree that the below “before and after” photographs are pretty epic: no light or computer trickery has been used. (I don’t ever retouch my images, by the way – or Facetune or whatever people use to whiten their teeth and get rid of wrinkles and spots!) What you see is what you get. La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar BB Blur most definitely works some kind of optical illusion magic!

I mentioned the BB Blur last month after quite a few people had commented on how good my skin looked in one of my vlogs. All I had on was a quick layer of the new “BB Blur Instant Oil-Absorbing Coverage Cream Mousse” (to trot out the full title) so I was pretty surprised that anyone had noticed. And I have to say that it was touch and go whether I’d even try the product in the first place, because my skin has been so dry and an oil-absorbing product was the last thing I needed. But try it I did, because I’m highly adventurous like that, and was very pleasantly surprised at how light and non-cakey this BB felt. I had expected some sort of powdery disaster but the mousse texture was so beautiful to apply – rather like working with a deconstructed makeup marshmallow – that it became an instant favourite.

Easy to blend (though don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the light texture, you do need to blend!) and weightless on the skin, it seems to be able to blur out even quite noticeable imperfections without looking or feeling heavy. It has the effect of a medium coverage foundation,but the “blurring” does most of the work, not the pigment. Behold the before picture:

Noticeable blemishes on the forehead and a couple on the cheeks, though they’re not true spots, more ones that are brewing under the surface (oh hi Mint-Choc Magnums wreaking havoc with my face!); some redness around the nose and on the chin; some darkness beneath the eyes…

I kid you not when I say that this is truly one of the best after photos I’ve ever had. I actually had to knock back the brightness slightly on my face because I thought that people wouldn’t believe me. (If you doubt the like-for-likeness of the photos then just compare the white of the woodwork behind my head or the patch of greenish light reflected in the glass of the fireplace.) My skin is brighter, the dark circles are pretty comprehensively hidden, the redness eradicated. If you look closely you can still see the blemishes, so that kind of illustrates what I mean about the coverage; it has the overall effect of a good coverage foundation but there’s no real opacity to the finish. A lot of the work is done by the blurring effect.

What do you think? My only gripe is that it only comes in two shades – both of which just about suit me, so you can see how narrow the range is. I’m wearing the fairer of the two here, “Fair Light”; the “Light Medium” is just a tad too warm for me. I really hope that they decide to expand the shade range. Apart from the cosmetic appeal of the BB Blur, it’s absolutely brilliant for people with oily or combination skin who want a base that will give them a non-cakey velvet finish. You absolutely do not need to powder over this BB (in fact powder can look a little odd) so it’s the perfect maintenance-free face base.

The key ingredient here (I’ve never heard of this before) is Aircilium, which can absorb up to three times its own weight in oil. It forms a supple, breathable film over the skin that leaves a really smooth surface and helps to keep the skin shine-free throughout the day. This makes the BB Blur a great one for oily teen skin (far better than plastering on a heavy base) or anyone who wants a rather radiant, matte/velvet-finish that won’t need powdering throughout the day.

La Roche-Posay’s BB Blur is exclusive to Escentual.com at the moment, it’s £16.50 here.

*Update: a guide to the shades, by popular request. From left to right, below, we have Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere Velvet in shade 20 (my most-used base), then the Effaclar BB in Fair/Light and finally in Light/Medium. You can tell that the Effaclar shades are very close, though the light/medium is much warmer in tone than the (slightly pinkish) fair/light. Obviously they sheer out a million times more than this, I’ve just swiped it on in a thick layer so that you can see it. If I blended it out, both would be virtually undetectable so the whole exercise would be pointless! Hope this helps somewhat…

effaclar bb blur swatches

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Sunday Tittle Tattle: Coming Up Empty

I’ve had total and utter brain-fry this week. It’s the first time that this has happened to me in a serious way, where I can’t seem form proper sentences or kickstart the creative side of my head, and it has not been fun.  Luckily I had my blog posts scheduled, more or less, so I switched off my various bits of technology and tried to take a step back from the internet and de-fry myself.

And I’ve had “body-fry” too, if that’s even a thing – I’ve been quite ill and exhausted and have spent most of the week in bed feeling sorry for myself and trying not to drink too much fizzy Ribena. (Mr AMR started the fizzy Ribena thing off and now it’s become our evening treat. Honestly! You’d think we were both five! And now we’re both completely addicted. It’s very unsophisticated.)

I’ll make an educated guess that the brain-fry and body-fry are linked – I’m so unbelievably tired and can’t seem to get on top of things at the moment. That holiday I was dreaming about a couple of weeks ago? Now would be nice. I don’t even want to go very far. In fact I might just go on holiday in my own house – turn off all forms of communication, order loads of nice food in and pray that the sun comes out and I can sunbathe in the garden. That would be utter bliss. The thought of actually going on holiday, with all of the packing and baby-stuff-sorting and worrying about whether it’s too hot abroad or if the ice cubes are made from tap water or if a scary spider might crawl into the travel cot… I’d need a holiday to recover from the holiday.

Anyway, a video for you – very appropriately, seeing as though I’ve spent the entire week trying to think of things to write and coming up empty, it’s an “Empties” video. I haven’t done one of these in a while, but it’s basically a long ramble about the beauty products I’ve managed to finish off. (Doesn’t happen often when you have so many things to test all of the time, so I save the empty bottles and tubes in a big bag in the bathroom cupboard where they inevitably leak their last drops, go all sticky and get dust and hairs stuck to them.) Some are products that I like, some I’m not fussed about and some are hero products that I’ll definitely be restocking in the near future. Do enjoy – it’s quite a long video, so you may want to watch it as you have breakfast in bed or your late morning coffee! Just a serving suggestion….

 

A Gloss I Can Love: Chanel Rouge Allure

rouge allure gloss in sensible

I mentioned in last weekend’s Chanel Spring 2015 post that I’d come back to you with my verdict on the Rouge Allure Gloss and it’s a definite yes from me. I’m not a habitual gloss-user; they get on my nerves because even the relatively unsticky types make me feel messy, as though I’ve got jam on my face. And I’m not sure that the glassy, lacquered look is really my thing, either – I’m pretty low-key when it comes to lip finishings and I tend to prefer something low-maintenance (or no-maintenance!) that you can slap on and forget about.

But the Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss? Yes please. Just about as unsticky as a gloss can be, and although it’s very hi-shine, it doesn’t feel particularly demanding in terms of upkeep. You don’t get any of that niggling sensation that things might be sticking to it (crumbs, gnats, all of the dead skin cells from other people that float about in the air) and there’s none of the tell-tale tackiness that starts to happen after a couple of hours when the sheen has gone but the colour remains, all patchy and weird.

ruth crilly model recommends

Nope, Chanel have got it just right with these. Soft, balmy and plumptious to wear and with a truly excellent amount of pigment. It’s almost like a liquid lipstick, really, rather than a gloss, except more comfortable to wear and a lot more shine. The colour I’m wearing in my moody-face shot above is called “Sensible”, which just about sums it up. It’s a gorgeous everyday shade that goes with everything and anything – it has just the right amount of pink (not too pretty), just the right amount of peachiness (not too orangey) and it gives a chic, polished finish to natural makeup looks. A sensible choice indeed – a solid little makeup investment that you’ll wear again and again.

Some more lip stuff…

chanel gloss sensible

The Rouge Allure Gloss comes housed in Chanel’s beautiful clickety-click packaging (I raved about the lipstick version here); it feels so special and luxurious, one of my favourite makeup packaging designs ever. So simple, with its press-down gold button, but so much more decadent-feeling than simply twisting off a lid. A true handbag staple – it should have been in yesterday’s post!

Chanel’s Rouge Allure Gloss is £26 at Selfridges.com

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