Lipstick 101 💄✨

August 15, 2017

Lipstick is war paint, identity, and an easy way to look good with minimal effort. I’ve worn red lipstick almost every day for the past 7 years of my life. I’ve tried all the brands, tips, and tricks under the sun to know exactly what I’m doing.

My favorite products and why:
Full disclosure, I am in love with almost any product that is made by Kat Von D Beauty. I’m not being paid to say this (but I will be, call me Kat) Over the years I have found myself going back to their products as a good, stable, everyday wear. For those who only recognize Kat Von D from bingeing LA Ink, I truly hope you can experience loving her line as much as I do. Her Tattoo Eyeliner has become the easy industry standard that even beginners who struggle with eyeliner (like me!) can master. Kat Von D Beauty is also completely cruelty-free.

Noserfatu – Everlasting Liquid Lipstick – Kat Von D. Found at Sephora | $20
I alternate between this and one other color for my everyday wear. It’s a brownish red that goes on smooth af. In application you don’t need a lot, one coat, and you’re good for hours; only needing touch ups after eating or smudging.
Pairs well with: Everlasting Lip Liner in the shade Vampira*

*though, with any liquid lip product, liner is extra and by no means necessary.

Viva Glam I – Matte – MAC Cosmetics Found at MAC, Macy’s | $17.50
This is the other alternate in my everyday wear bag. Unlike liquid lipstick, it goes on creamy, and I’ve actually found it that it smudges less. It’s another brownish red that makes me feel like I was a 90s teenage babysitter that wore midriffs and body glitter. I temporarily forget that I am but a humble young working professional that’s just sporting a brownish-red lip and that I’m not a rebellious 90s teen. A girl can dream.
Pairs well with: MAC’s lip liner in the shade Brick.

Other winners:

Pure Matte Lipstick – Vesuvio – NARS Found at Sephora | $28
This one is used to repair dry lips because it’s insanely moisturizing. It’s also pretty sturdy. Fun fact: Taylor Swift’s infamous red pout is brought to you by NARS’ Velvet Lip Pencil in the shade Dragon Girl.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Le Marc Creme Lipstick – Slow Burn Sephora | $30
This is a perfect non-red for any skin tone that wants a touch of plummy-pink color. I realize not everyone is red-ready. Marc Jacob’s Lipstick is buttery, but looks professional af.

NYX – Any Shade – Liquids, Lip Lingerie, Velvet Matte Drugstore | $4-$7.50
NyxCosmetics is about to save your life if you love lipstick but don’t know where to start or don’t want to drop the $$$. You can get a perfect dupe of almost ANY shade that a high-end brand makes. The only thing is that the loungewear is marginal; you will spend the whole day re-applying.

I’m here happily as a resource to answer any questions anyone may have about one of my favorite things in the world. This week, we asked Twitter for all their lip-related questions.

Here’s what we got:


It’s all in the undertone (also personal preference of course!) You can check this actually by looking at the veins on your wrists. If they’re blue, you’re cold. If green; you’re warm. I happen to have medium skin with cold undertones – so I usually chose lipsticks that have a blue-ish base as opposed to an orange-y one. Here’s a helpful chart I found that explains it a little better than I can. Also just a note that you can totally break all of these rules if you want to – I do all the time! (Source:

That’s a great question! As for a lip, the only one off the top of my head that I know is for sure all natural is Burt’s Bees. I have friends that are never out of reach from their chapstick. I think the chapstick is great, but I tried their red lip pencil and found it way to waxy for my liking. I felt like I was wearing a candle on my lips. In general, a great all natural beauty brand is Origins.

Girl, there is actually an app for that It’s called Cruelty-Free, it’s free, and you can check it while you’re out shopping in case you aren’t sure.

Always go a shade darker than your natural lips, or lip product. There’s also a simple way to slightly over-line your lips to look fuller without turning into Kylie Jenner – I drew a diagram here.

If you can’t tell I absolutely love talking about this subject. If anyone wants to continue this discourse feel free to @ me. Until then, I will continue racking up my Sephora points as a form of self-care. 💄💋✨'
More about Maddie Mortell

The furthest thing from chill. Has seen the female Ghostbusters a million times and isn't sick of it. Dreams of one day being a contestant on Jeopardy! or the token overdramatic houseguest on a season of Big Brother. Studies multimedia journalism at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Has had a few fortunate experiences working in social media strategy these past few years and would love to tell you all about how a signed Fuller House season 2 poster became one of my prized possessions. When I'm not tweeting nonsense, I can usually be found writing jokes or doodling some digital art on an iPad somewhere. Can also be found making feminist commentary here 👉 and