Thursday, 15 September 2011

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?

Last week, I accepted a challenge from the gorgeous and genuinely lovely Caroline Barnes, makeup artist and UK Creative Director for Max Factor. The challenge was to wear 7 lipsticks in 7 days. Sounds easy enough you might think but these were 7 shades as chosen by Caroline from the new Max Factor Colour Elixir lipstick line. When I choose lipsticks they usually fall into one of three categories; fleshy pink, rosy pink or red. One look at the selection Caroline had chosen told me this wasn't going to be an easy week!



From left moving anti-clockwise: Angel Pink, English Rose, Pink Brandy, Bewitching Coral, Burnt Caramel, Ruby Tuesday and Mulberry

Personally speaking, this week has been very stressful. It's not often that I talk about my home life but those of you that follow me on Twitter are probably aware that one of my children has some special needs. Unlike a lot of people that look forward to the end of the school holidays, I have been quietly dreading it. Last year was the first year of school and I really hadn't been prepared for how hard it would be. It can be a struggle at times as we attempt to fit our little square peg into a round hole.

You will probably wonder where I am going with all this about personal stuff alongside lipstick, but stick with me, I am going somewhere here I promise! I think people wear makeup for a variety of reasons. It's not simply just to feel pretty. Most of the time I wear makeup to look fit for public viewing and disguise my many broken nights. Increasingly, I have relied on it to give me a confidence boost. I think some makeup can make you can feel like you could take on the world or in my case, face another call in to see the teachers. An amazing red lip like Ruby Tuesday for example....

Ruby Tueday3
Ruby Tuesday

Some colours have the ability to make you feel demure and business like (a trip to the Headmasters, maybe?).

Pink Brandy
Pink Brandy

Some colours can make you feel feminine and in my case, more than just a Mummy.

Bewitching Coral1
Bewitching Coral

And some can make you feel rather vampy.


Of course, the wrong colour can make you feel uncomfortable and magnify an awkward mood.

English Rose
English Rose

Some can make you feel like a teenager again.................quite literally (hello, it's the 90's calling).

Burnt Caramel1
Burnt Caramel

And some..............well some will just make you giggle. In private you understand. I wasn't actually brave enough to wear this out of the house!

Angel Pink7
Angel Pink

For me, the power and transformative ability of cosmetics is a joy. I don't see my love of makeup as vacuous nor do I see myself as a vain person. It was interesting to see how the seven different lipstick colours altered my mood and could make me feel more confident or want to shrink into the background. It's always nice to venture out of your comfort zone every now and again. I actually surprised myself by liking both Pinky Brandy and Bewitching Coral very much. Though I'm not quite ready to give up my 20+ my lips better variation just yet.

I promise to post more swatches of the colours in the next couple of days but for now, I wondered, how does makeup make you feel? Do you have a favourite killer lipstick? Are there any colours that give you THE FEAR?

Disclosure: The lipsticks were received without cost, next time I'm going to need a stunt double for the pinks!


  1. I absolutely love the idea of someone else picking seven colors for you to wear and you have to figure them into your week. What a fabulous and fun idea. Really gets you out of the familiar comfort zones and pushes boundaries. I particularly love that first red. Soooo pretty. And I love your commentary on makeup and why so many of us enjoy it and wear it and how a little color can lift an otherwise agonizing day. Hang in there, hon!

  2. Dear Modesty, I so agree with what you say about make up giving confidence and not being about express it brilliantly. I find that putting on make up can boost my morale and give me a little break, I actually find it really relaxing too. All the lipsticks look great on you except the English Rose and the Angel Pink, and I don't think I would like them on anyone, just too pinky pastelly. The Ruby Tuesday looks stunning on you. Good luck with your little square peg xxx

  3. Really enjoyed this post- I love the emotion behind it and relating different lipsticks to different scenarios!

    Big hug- hope everything is ok :(

  4. I loved this post. I absolutely turn to red lipstick when I'm feeling like crap, and need a bit of get up and go. It makes me feel ready to leave the house! I like Mulberry on you.
    All the best with your little one x

  5. Great post! You have hit the nail on the head re make up and confidence, without it I have none at all! Not yet found a red I can wear with confidence, I just feel they are more work than I can managed on a day to day basis so I bought Mulberry yesterday and I love how it feels and tastes but its not quite the colour I had hoped it would be, bit more goldy than I would have liked! Angel Pink, why did MF even go there?!

  6. Lovely post. Ruby tuesday looks very nice x

  7. I always enjoy your posts, but this one especially hit the nail right on the head. Such a touching, personal edge - this is why you've aways been one of my favourite bloggers.

    I had a little giggle at angel pink too. I am secretly imaging the rest of the look to consist of electric blue eyeliner and mascara - 80's-tastic!

    Make-up is all about the confidence for me. It is almost a mask, which without I feel unable to face the world. That sounds a lot more dramatic than I had intended it to sound...! xx

  8. Ruby Tuesday is my favourite and I'm wearing Burnt Caramel today and said the exact same thing - hello the 90's!

    Love the overall feel and texture of these lipsticks and they look great.

    Good post x

  9. Thank you so much for sharing. I really enjoyed reading this post, its not easy being open about your personal challenges and I admire your honesty. Its amazing the transformative ability of makeup to help you face the day. I applaud you lady and for those down days I do agree Ruby Tuesday is an up and at em kinda colour.

    Great post honesty brown ^_^

  10. Aww! Hope you and your family are doing better, and please do wear the coral!

  11. I am sorry to hear about everything you are going through...
    And yes, I have to admit that makeup does impact on the way I feel and this is one the reasons why I love it so much.
    Some shades you've shown are amazing actually. x

  12. I'm sorry the school year is already proving to be challenging. I really hope the school can work with you this year to make it a happier experience.

    The first several lipsticks you posted were gorgeous on you...and then yes... I started to giggle towards the bottom of the post too.;-)

  13. Thank you for the wonderful insight into the reasons why we wear makeup. I too love makeup since I can remember, I adored watching my mom put on her makeup. I feel definitely more confident with makeup on, to me sometimes it's almost like a shield, and of course the ritual of applying makeup in the morning is oddly reassuring.

    I do hope everything will go well for your family this year <3

  14. Gah, this made me cry. I love you, MB. I want to reach over and hug you. You are a wonderful mum and I am sending love, support, and flattering lip colors to you and your kidlets! =)

    Posts like this make me proud to know such strong and amazing people, and I have makeup to thank for that. Makeup does us all well; besides, in such tough times we should all be allowed a bit of vanity.

    You are a beautiful woman, never forget that.

    PS - I'm all for the porny pale pink lip on you! =D

  15. Thanks for sharing, love! We all have our challenges and you're right--feeling confident in the way we look can often help an otherwise difficult day/situation. I am a BIG scarridy cat when it comes to RED. I feel too conspicuous like I'm shouting to everyone "look at me!"

  16. amazing post. such beautiful shades! I especially love the look of Pink Brandy.

  17. As a bit of a special needs square peg myself, I thank you for your patience and effort - its appreciated whether or not it's shown, believe me.

    I agree with you on all points. To be honest, I'm not sure why I suddenly started wearing makeup. But it's become such a tool of attitude for me. It's more than the aesthetic boost - it can make or break a day or mood. <3

  18. Thankyou for this Jane, they all look fabulous -I really think you have great shaped lips! On an equally personal note, my square peg is now 17 and is 3 days into his professional chef course, your square peg will get there, mine did. Sending you lots of love xxx

  19. Great post. I totally agree with you on your favorites. I was surprised that English Rose turned into such a frosty horrorfest, since it looked so pretty in the tube. Ruby Tuesday is the kind of lipstick every woman should own.

    I had to scroll up and look at Angel Pink again. My eyes! My eyes! lol

  20. I think you are so absolutely right - makeup and color can help lift us out of a funk. After all, if you can't get a giggle out of the frosty pink, there is probably not a single shred of hope for you! Also, being in the States, can I tell you how much I miss Max Factor cosmetics? So sad to lose that iconic brand here.

  21. First off, I truly hope everything works out more smoothly at school this year than last. I have some small idea of what you go through with your son, and I'm thinking of y'all.

    I agree with you completely. There are days when I start with a relatively demure color in the morning, based purely on my mood; if I'm feeling down, tired, etc., I sometimes stay on the safe side (for me) and hesitate to really make a statement with my lip color. However, oftentimes as the day goes on and the stress mounts, I find I need a little help to power through. Every time, I pull out one of my beloved reds and next thing I know, I'm back in the groove and knocking out tasks and problems like there's no tomorrow! Never fails. In fact, one of my employees has taken it upon herself to be my lipstick maven, and when things get rough at work, she never fails to send me straight off to hit the red lippies! :) Sometimes, it takes so little to change everything.

  22. I feel uncomfortable wearing pink lipstick. I just feel like it clashes with my coloring or something.

  23. Hi Jane,
    I really hope he has a better year this time round, its a sad state of things that some teachers are so ill equipped to deal with slightly different needs. I do really feel for you as I know I am getting myself really worried about when my little boy goes to school next year.
    I really like how you have shown the lip looks, I picked up English Rose, wasn't keen on the colour, just too pink somewhat metallic/frosty, I also found it left a stain for ages, can't work out if that was a good thing or not ;) x

  24. Eek..that frosty pink! What were they thinking? Very game of you to give them all a go.. I love the Ruby Tuesday and the caramel shade.


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