Four Fabulous Lipsticks for the Holidays

I’m slightly obsessed with bright lipstick at the moment.  But why shouldn’t I be? It’s the holidays!  It’s time for sparkle and shine, parties and party dresses, red and green decorations and twinkling lights. I refuse to be drab this time of year. I want to shine and I’ve  found an easy, and relatively inexpensive, way to it. Just add a bit of bright, sparkly or shiny lipstick to a simple outfit and voila, holiday glamour has arrived. Well, maybe it’s not quite that simple, but a bit of bright color is lovely for a holiday party. In case you are just not a glittery person I have included in this list of personal favorites one really gorgeous creamy matte color.

The lip colors presented in this review all came from one of my favorite stores, Sephora. They offer a number of cosmetic brands that I can’t find at my local department stores. Make Up Forever is one such brand and it’s one of my favorites. Everything I have purchased from them has been delightful, though rather expensive.  Sephora also sells its own line of high-end makeup at a much lower cost. If you haven’t been to one of these beautiful chain of stores filled with fun displays and enticing cosmetics I highly recommend a visit, even if it’s just to look.

Bright Red Glittery Gloss

These days it seems like many companies are offering collections of sparkly lip gloss in bright colors, but for years I searched and couldn’t find anything I liked. Last year I found a gorgeous sparkly ruby-red gloss in the Lab Shine Star Collection. It’s called Pearly Ruby Red #S8. The beauty of wearing a lip gloss is that it immediately makes your lips look fuller and poutier.  I don’t know about you, but “full” and “pouty” are words I like when describing my lips so even though this little tube of lip color set me back a few dollars, I think it was worth it.

  • Color – Super shiny ruby-red with glitter
  • Staying Power – For a lip gloss it stays on for a fairly long time.
  • Feel – Slippery and slightly sticky
  • Bleed – I haven’t had a problem with this gloss moving around once it’s on my lips, but I do wear either a pigmented or clear lip liner with it.
  • Smell – Chemicals and honey come to mind when I smell this gloss. That sounds just awful, I know, but in fact the smell is not unpleasant, just difficult to describe.
  • Price – $18

Red and Sparkly Lipstick

The photograph does not do this lipstick justice.  Pearly Bright Red #21 in the  Rouge Artist Intense collection by Make Up Forever is a bright red with golden shimmer, not exactly an easy to find color.  I almost always wear this lipstick in the evening, because it’s a bit too over the top for every day.

  • Color – Bright red with golden shimmer
  • Staying Power – Very good.  It stays put pretty well even though beverages. Even though it’s heavily pigmented I find it does not stain my lips the way other bright lipsticks do.
  • Feel – Slightly dry but not irritatingly so.
  • Bleed – I have not noticed this lipstick bleeding into the fine lines around my mouth but I do wear a clear lip liner with it.
  • Smell – The pleasant smell reminds me of old-fashioned lipstick.
  • Price – $19

Lip Attitude in “Star – Excited Pink” by Sephora

Glitter makeup is not just for teenagers.  Anyone can wear glittery lipstick, especially if it’s a sheer, beautiful, soft reddish pink like this one.

  • Color – Sheer dark pink with flecks of glitter.
  • Staying Power – This is essentially a lip gloss in solid form, and the staying power isn’t great.
  • Feel – Slippery and smooth.
  • Bleed – Although the lip gloss does migrate it doesn’t settle in, but rather smooths itself out around the mouth a bit.  This doesn’t look bad at all though.
  • Smell – Softly sweet and candy-like
  • Price – $12

“Cruella” Velvet Matte Lip Pencil by Nars

Nars’ Velvet Matte lip pencil in Cruella has been a holiday favorite for a few years now.  I have never found anything quite like it before or since.  It’s a deep, luscious, not quite burgundy red. Although its dramatic enough for the evening it’s also really beautiful during the day.

  • Color – Deep red.
  • Staying Power – Very good. The color lasts a long time.
  • Feel – It’s matte, so it is kind of dry but I don’t find it bothersome.
  • Bleed – Usually matte lipsticks don’t budge once you put them on, but unfortunately this one does bleed into the fine lines around my mouth.  I wear it with a fair amount of clear or colored lip liner to keep it in check.
  • Smell – It smells slightly of  licorice.
  • Price – $24


Clockwise from top left: Lip Attitude in “Star – Excited Pink” by Sephora, #21 Rouge Artist Intense by Make Up Forever, #S8 Lab Shine Star Collection by Make Up Forever, and Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in “Cruella”. 

Have you ever tried any of these products?  Have you been to Sephora?  What do you think of Sephora?

(Updated in 2012 – Sadly the sparkly pink lipstick by Sephora has been discontinued.)


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26 Responses to Four Fabulous Lipsticks for the Holidays

  1. mary jo
    December 12, 2011 at 11:38 am #

    Red lipstick, yay! I am obsessed with Nars Jungle Red–I have the lipstick (which I misplaced and am going crazy looking for) and also the Nars Velvet Matte Lip pencil in Jungle Red because more is more as far as I’m concerned when it comes to a red lip!

    Love your post!
    xo Mary Jo
    mary jo recently posted..monday musings: wet, gray, dreamingMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

      Ooo! I’ll have to check out Jungle Red as you have a really wonderful color sense. I totally trust your judgement!

  2. A Brit Greek
    December 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Well hello there beautiful! I love red lippy, the Nars pencil and the colour looks really good, I ought to invest in this one for extra staying power! Fantastic post lady in red!

    A Brit Greek recently posted..Super Stylish Reads: Perfect Christmas GiftsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 13, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

      Oh definitely check out “Cruella”, it’s a wonderful color. Somehow, even though it’s matte, it still makes my lips look full.

  3. Jessie in Fashion Limbo December 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    This is a fantastic post and a very complete review. I love Sephora too, they are great here in Spain, it’s inspirational, has some fun brands although it’s a tad pricey at times.

    I’m enjoying playing around with bright colours on lips throughout the entire festive season, whether pink or red, it’s a tad retro and so classy.
    Jessie in Fashion Limbo recently posted..Supermodels on Film – Duran Duran’s new videoMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 13, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Thank you so much Jessie! I’m really glad you liked the review.

  4. anne
    December 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Yay! More beautiful lipstick portraits! Please make this a regular feature.

    Maybe you can get some free samples to feed your lipstick obsession.

    Aside from the visuals, my favorite part is the “Smell” category. Like you are a wine taster. No, a lipstick taster!

    You might even convince me to use lipstick…
    anne recently posted..Rainy Days and MondaysMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 13, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

      I definitely want to do more makeup and lipstick reviews. They’re really fun. How I would LOVE to get free samples! As for the smell, I’m not sure where I got that idea but I know I saw the idea somewhere. Lipsticks really do have a lot of different smells some of which are very hard to describe.

  5. anne
    December 12, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Oh, one more thing: looking forward to your “Pantone Year of the Tangerine Tango” lipstick review. Have you found any in that shade yet?

    I’ll look for TT nail polish.
    We could do “TT from Head to Toe” posts.
    anne recently posted..Rainy Days and MondaysMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 13, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

      I don’t have any in Tangerine currently but I do like the color. I’ll keep an eye out for good ones at the drug store for sure.

  6. Lauren Nicole
    December 13, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    You have the best lipstick reviews!! I absolutely love lipsticks.
    Lauren Nicole recently posted..Black, Grey and GoldMy Profile

  7. Paula December 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    I love sephora and I am pining after that glittery red one! I read somewhere, that glitter is only for the young, but that red one doesnt look juvenile at all.
    I love Tart lipglosses–they are in a stick. I wonder if they have red….
    Paula recently posted..Going a Bit Too Far?My Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      I rather like glittery makeup, so I’m going to wear it as long as humanly possible. I especially like glittery lipstick because it makes your lips look fuller, always a good thing. I’ve never tried Tart lipglosses but Ill be sure to check them out next time I see the brand.

  8. Leia December 14, 2011 at 1:08 am #

    These all look amazing on you, but Cruella is my have!

  9. Jenny December 14, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I have the makeup forever lab shine and love it… actually wearing it in my pregnant in heels post 🙂 Love Sephora! Dangerous place for me now that I’m a stay at home mom and don’t have the same makeup budget I had as a single working gal 🙂

    Jenny recently posted..Pregnant in HeelsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 16, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      Oh I hear you! I’m working again but there were quite a few years when I couldn’t go anywhere near Sephora. Even now I try to be careful when I go in because I can spend way too much money there.

  10. Alexis Grace December 14, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Great finds (as always)! I love these dramatic options…
    Alexis Grace recently posted..Sophisticated Snowflake GarlandMy Profile

  11. Sylvia
    December 16, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    My word Heather, more red lipstick. How many do you have? I’m quite the fan of Bobbi Brown lipsticks. Have you tried those?
    Sylvia recently posted..Why you need to get yourself a drape dressMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      I have three of Bobby Brown’s gel eyeliner and I would love more. They’re my favorite! But no, so far I haven’t tried her lipstick yet.

  12. Lia ~ Smart n Snazzy
    December 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    I love all these colors, and they look gorgeous on you! You have me craving new lipstick now, on to Sephora must go!
    Lia ~ Smart n Snazzy recently posted..DailyBuzz Style 9×9 ~ December: DIY Holiday GiftsMy Profile

    • Heather Fonseca December 21, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      Be careful! There’s lots of great stuff there. Have fun picking out lipstick.

  13. Voluptuous Muse
    December 27, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    I love NARS Cruella pencil! I have had it and have used it for years. It’s a gorgeous shade!!!

    • Heather Fonseca December 30, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

      So glad you agree with me. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment too.


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