When it comes to makeup, I’ve been stuck in a rut for… well, for most of my life, basically.
(Are you all picturing me floundering about in some kind of makeup-filled ditch or something right now? Because that’s what the words “makeup rut” suggest to me, and honestly, it sounds kinda fun, don’t you think? No?)
Seriously, though, when you have my particular combination of red hair and pale skin, I think makeup ruts kind of come with the territory. (They probably do for people with other kinds of skin/hair colours, too, obviously, but this particular rut is the only one I know…) There are just so few colours that actually suit me, especially when it comes to lipstick, that I’ve become used to just reaching for the same old reds I always wear: I don’t even TRY anything else, at this point. Seasonal makeup changes? Forget it. Every year, when autumn rolls around, and all of my blogger friends start banging on about how they can’t wait to break out all of those plum and berry coloured lipsticks that are supposed to be SO APPROPRIATE for autumn, I’m left sitting there going, “Yeah, I’ll just be sticking to exactly the same colours I wore all summer, thanks, otherwise I’ll legit look like Marilyn Manson.” (Er, no offence to Marilyn Manson, by the way…)
Anyway, as I said, I’ve become so used to this state of affairs that I’ve just accepted it – to the point where I can’t even remember the last time I bought a lipstick that wasn’t red. Then, last week, Rimmel very kindly sent me no less than 9 different shades of their new ‘The Only 1’ matte lipstick. Nine. Now, I was all set to reach for the bright red which was closest to my usual lipstick colour, and then pass the rest on to my niece, when I decided to give myself a bit of a talking to, instead. “Amber, ” I told myself, “It’s time for a change. It’s time to step outside your comfort zone, and try every single one of these colours: you never know, you might actually like one that ISN’T bright red, for change!”
And did I? Well, you’re about to find out. First, though, here’s the lipstick:
This is a rich, creamy formula, which, unusually for matte lipstick, is easy to apply (i.e. there’s none of that “dragging” sensation you get when you try to apply some other matte lipsticks I could mention), and doesn’t dry your lips out as soon as they come into contact with it. So it IS possible! And I know what you’re thinking: you’re all, “That’s very nice to know, Amber, but how is it on carpets? Like, pale cream ones, say?” Well, because I like to address the issues that other beauty bloggers don’t even consider – and not AT ALL because I’m a clumsy oaf, who REALLY shouldn’t have uncapped nine lipsticks right next to a pale carpet – I can exclusively reveal that this lipstick is a bitch to get out of carpets, seriously. You will need to shampoo them. You will then need to apologise profusely to your husband for the fact that, while he was diligently scrubbing the carpet, you were busy taking a photo of your own arm:
There are 20 colours available: I was sent 9, and without even trying them out, I could tell that ‘Take the Stage’ was destined to be my favourite, and that ‘Run the Show’, ‘Look Who’s Talking’ and ‘The Matte Factor’ would make me look almost exactly like a corpse. ‘High Flyer’, ‘Trend Setter’ and ‘Salute’, meanwhile, would probably just make me look vaguely consumptive – or so I thought. There was only one way to find out, though, so once I’d located the tripod for the camera, freaked out when I realised the battery for the remote had died, and then finished scrubbing the carpet, I was ready to get testing. Well, to be completely honest, once I’d done all of that, it was actually time for dinner. Because I love you all, and knew you’d want to see me in purple lipstick, though, I continued on my mission: and here’s how I got on…
Oh, quick disclaimer: because I was having to apply and then remove each of these lipsticks in a hurry – and also because my lipstick application isn’t up to much even at the best of times, really – I didn’t bother with lipliner etc, and just applied them straight from the tube, as best I could. That’s why there are no close ups of my lips: you’d thank me for this if you could see the state of them right now, seriously.
I started off with ‘Trend Setter’ – which I had affectionately nicknamed ‘Consumptive Governess’:
It…wasn’t actually as bad as I was expecting. True, it doesn’t really look that much different from how my lips look anyway (So, be aware that if you’re about to tell me this one’s really, really unflattering, you’ll basically be saying that MY FACE is unflattering, and that I should change it…), and I probably wouldn’t pay for a lipstick just to look like I’m not wearing lipstick, but I looked less … dead… than I expected to, so hey: we’re off to a good start!
Next up: take the stage, Take the Stage!
This is exactly the kind of red I usually wear, although maybe just a touch darker. Although I’m very used to this kind of colour, I felt a bit like The Joker in it, after trying the much more subtle ‘Trend Setter’. Great!
Next up was ‘Take the Pink’, which is a very bright pink. I’m not generally a ‘bright pink’ kind of person, so I was extremely wary of this one:
Yeah, this was just too neon for my tastes. Again, I didn’t hate it as much as I’d expected to, but, then again, I’d expected to really, REALLY hate it, so I guess that’s not saying much.
Next up: High Flyer!
This one kinda surprised me: going by the colour in the tube, I’d expected it to be a brownish shade, but on my lips, it’s actually more of a pink/mauve, which is much better than brown would be, at least.
The next colour is ‘Call the Shots’:
(No, I don’t have another pose I could do, by the way: sorry about that. I promise I did actually try these lipsticks, rather than just photoshopping my lips different colours. Because if I was going to Photoshop my lipstick on, I’d do a better job of it, wouldn’t I?)
This one was a bit of a revelation to me. It’s the kind of pink I’d probably completely by-pass if I were to see it in store, but, looking back at these photos, I think it might actually be my favourite. Who knew?! Brace yourselves, though, because the next one is baaaad:
This is called ‘The Matte Factor’, and it’s the kind of deep red that most people find perfect for autumn, and which I find just perfect for Halloween – which I guess is appropriate enough, today of all days. So, yeah, I’m sure it would look awesome on someone else, but I find dark colours like this really hard to apply: if I was going to wear this one out of the house, I’d definitely need a lip liner and brush for it (neither of which I used here, as I was constantly applying one colour, then scrubbing it off to apply the next), and even then, I think colours this dark just emphasise my wonky lip shape, while highlighting all of the dry patches. Oh yeah, and leeching every last bit of colour out of my skin: don’t forget that!
It got worse, though, because the next colour was ‘Look Who’s Talking’ – a dark brown which was so awful I literally didn’t want to show my face:
I mean, this is obviously not designed for my particular type of colouring, but even so, I’d rather we didn’t ever speak of this again. Thanks.
Next, here’s a shade I almost forgot to include, because it’s quite similar to the first one I showed you, all those many moons ago:
It’s called ‘Salute’, and it’s interesting, because I always thought my natural lips were almost completely colourless. This shade, however, contrives to be even paler than they are, which means I’d have to layer it on quite thickly if I didn’t want them to show through. Having spent my entire life wishing my lips had even just a tiny bit of colour to them, though, I just can’t get on board with the idea of making them EVEN PALER instead, so this would be a ‘no’ from me…
Finally, and just for the laughs:
Nope, I can’t do it: I just can’t roll my eyes hard enough to express how I feel about ‘Run the Show’. Can’t do it. Again, this will probably be a great shade on someone else – as will all of the colours that didn’t quite work for me. When you do find your shade, meanwhile, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the lipstick itself, which, as I said, is rich, creamy, and lasted all the way through dinner, with just a little bit of wear in the centre. Oh, and it smells amazing, too: like, ‘I’m going to sniff this every time I try to wear it’ amazing. So there’s that.
Just… maybe don’t go putting it on your cream carpet, OK?