The Year of the Highlight isn't over.
I’ve always had a strange aversion to lipstick. Maybe it’s
because I’m far too impatient to line my lips first and apply it properly, or
because so many of my partners have hated when I get lipstick marks on their
it’s because my mom always wore the brightest shades of magenta and Barbie pink
that MAC could provide, or because my lips always seem to dry out when I put
anything on them that isn’t a balm. Maybe I was just scared of people calling
me a "lipstick lesbian" when I first came out, and the aversion stuck even as my
identity developed into “queer femme princess unicorn who loves pretty much
All reasoning aside though, I’ve never really worn it; in fact,
the only lipstick I bought in a span of probably 10 years was a perfect red
Chanel color, and I still have almost the entire tube sitting in my makeup case. I've started to crave more colour, though. I
wanted new blush, new hair colours, and most surprisingly, more lipsticks. I
bought my first ever lip brush and lip liner, and started piling on the
Though my current hair colour makes the hunt for lipsticks a little bit
harder (peachy pink and orange are tough to work with--I feel you, redheads!),
I’ve put together a roster of cruelty-free shades that complement my current hair flavour of
NYX Black Label Lipstick
This lip colour is the perfect washed-out, milky salmon-pink
shade, and I can’t get enough of it. To get a really solid colour, you need to
apply a few layers, as with one layer it’s a bit sheer and looks more milky,
This colour reminds me of melon and old beach motels on the
coast of California. This product also gets bonus points for matching my hair,
even though I think it would also look great with non-matching hair as well.
Ilia Lipstick in Perfect Day
A natural and
organic product line with almost no animal ingredients (only beeswax), Ilia has
totally exceeded my expectations in almost every way (their mascara is my new
must-have), and their lipstick is no exception.
My newest favourite is Perfect Day, a sweet cherry red with
an orange base and a matte finish. I usually shy away from reds because I find
them a bit too intense, and they look horrible when my lips get dry, but this
formula is infused with cocoa butter, jojoba seed oil, and plenty of other
hydrating ingredients, so it leaves my lips cashmere soft.
OCC Matte Lip Tar in Kimber
OK, so technically this isn’t really a lipstick, but it’s
vegan and so awesome I just couldn’t bring myself to leave it out. By far the
brightest lip colour in my collection, Kimber is a neon coral with a matte
finish. OCC is known for their bright, pigmented colours, and Kimber most
definitely fits the bill.
All I want to do when I wear this shade is sit on a patio in
huge sunglasses sipping fresh lime margaritas. Plus, it shares its name with my favourite Nip/Tuck character, which obviously earns bonus points.
Inn MODSTER Long Play
Supercharged Lip Color in Cult
Ardency Inn’s line is pretty small, but
I’ve really liked the few products I’ve tried so far. Lately I’m really into Cult, a hot pink
lip colour with hints of red, and blue undertones. The website describes it as
a tropical pink, but I would say it’s more of a classic red-pink (if that’s
even a thing.)
The formula itself is soft and has great coverage even with
just one coat, though the smell reminds me of the first lipstick I ever wore
when I did dance performances as a kid. I’m loving this colour for lunch dates and casual parties.
Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Coral Blossom
This lipstick is total tropical perfection. Packaged in a cute,
eco-friendly paper tube, it’s quite sheer, and has a slight hint of shimmer
that most of the other colours here lack.
The formula is rich (if it were a cheese, it would be double
cream brie), hydrating, and it has a sweet mint scent that puffs up your lips,
which is my absolute favourite lip product feature. This colour is the best one
on my list for everyday wear and beach vacations, as it looks pretty natural.
NYX Lipstick in Baby
This NYX lipstick is totally different from the first one on
this list, and by far my most shimmery, magical, non-ordinary pick colour wise.
A dusty, glittering lilac with hints of baby pink, this
lipstick is pastel in the most perfect way, and gives great coverage despite
the light hue. I love this lipstick for going out at night, especially when I
pair it with a hint of cheek glitter and smoky eyeshadow.
Did I miss any great cruelty free lipsticks?