You Asked: How Can I Get My Neglected Lip Colours Out Of My Makeup Bag And Onto My Face?

I'm helping put a stop to lipstick favouritism with one simple trick.
Publish date:
September 19, 2013
lipsticks, How-To, advice, dogs, problem solving, ruts

This week’s question is one that popped up A LOT in the comments of my awesome work lipstick article:

I have, like, 50 lipsticks that I LOVE, but I never wear any of them except a couple favorites. How can I get them out of my makeup bag and onto my face?

Many of you asked some variation of this question, and it is an excellent one! Like so many of you, I get stuck in lip colour ruts. I generally stick with cool reds or deep pinks... and ask me some time why I have three of the EXACT SAME cotton-candy pink shimmery glosses, only in different brands.

It’s part of the whole makeup-uniform thing: I have a look that I’ve perfected over many years and much experimentation. It works really well for me. But it’s also a little limiting, as far as taking risks and finding new things that I like, because I never get around to using anything else! And when I do, I’m so used to seeing the same colours on my face that anything else looks weird.

Fortunately, I’ve found a way to get past my mental block and experiment with different colours on the daily.

My solution is twofold: Accessibility and Location. I grab a handful of lipsticks that I don’t wear very often and want to, or colours and formulas I haven’t had a chance to try yet, and I put them on a saucer by my bedroom/office door.

Since they aren’t in my makeup case or in my purse, I don’t have to specifically go hunting for them, which is usually what stops me from wearing them. Because they’re right by my door, I walk past them constantly. All I have to do is pick one up when I’m ready to leave, put it on my mouth, jam it in my bag (or pocket) and go.

Since I walk my dog twice a day, I usually try these colours for the first time while I’m out with him. And because I’m thinking about Oliver--What did he just eat? Is that a squirrel? Hmm, I hope this other dog is going to be friendly--I don’t have time to stand around and worry about What If This Lipstick Colour Makes Me Look Like A Weirdo. I just wear it!

Because really, that’s what you mostly have to deal with when it comes to a new colour: it’s only PARTIALLY “Is this the right colour for me?” A lot of it is adjusting your brain to seeing yourself in a lip colour you’re not used to.

Anecdote time! Like I said, I’m all about cool reds. But when I bought Pop of Cherry (it's from Maybelline's The Vivids line, and I own almost all of them), I right away was like “Oh no, can’t wear this, it’s too warm and bright!”

After few days of smiling at my reflection in the mirror as I came and went with my dog, I was used to seeing it on my face. And I realised that even though it was different, it looked really good.

Eventually I had to move it away from the door, because I was picking it up every single time I left the house. Not very fair to the other neglected colours! I shifted a couple of coral lipsticks and a mauve Balm Stain into it’s place, and now I wear those almost every day.

None of this is going to change the fact that certain colours won’t look as good on you as others do. Personally, I think that pastel Pepto-Bismol pinks makes me look jaundiced--but it’s no big deal. Maybe it’ll look good on one of your friends instead. (Or you could always mix it with something else.)

I hope this helps! As always, if you have a beauty question--let me know, and I'll do my best to answer it in a future advice column. Leave it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!