reds, reads, and random things


My obsession with red lipstick has only gained momentum in recent months. After trying many shades, all of which eventually turned pink on me, I’ve returned to the scene of my last successful ruby heist, Chanel Rouge Allure in “Incandescente.” This one looks absolutely scary in the tube, and if applied full strength is a bit much for daytime.

Googling “how to wear red lipstick,” I turned up this blog post from Garance Doré from last year, wherein she describes using her finger to press the color in.  That works brilliantly with this lipstick (which is highly pigmented), but if you don’t want to get your fingers messy, just pressing right from the tube onto lips (as opposed to swiping) gives a more stain-like effect. I’m not one to employ a four-step application process, but I do need just a tiny bit of gloss on top for moisture. I’ll also use some lip liner for definition on first application of the day, but don’t bother with it after that.

Simply Luxurious Life bookReads.

Shannon Ables of The Simply Luxurious Life blog has written a book! She graciously offered to send me a copy which I received last week. While I’ve only had time to read a couple of chapters and skim a few more, I can say that if you love her blog, you will love this book. Don’t we all need reminders from time to time to slow down, drop some of the multitasking, and just savor life? Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life by Shannon Ables is available in both paperback (great for gifts) and Kindle versions.

Rebecca Minkoff Love Crossbody bag

Rebecca Minkoff.

If you’ve loved the look of a Chanel “Boy” bag but don’t happen to be an heiress, this “Love” bag from Rebecca Minkoff is a great look-for-less alternative. I examined this bag up close yesterday and was impressed with the style and construction. I also like her version of the bucket bag.


J.Crew – 40% off coats, hats, scarves and 30% off everything else, code GIVETHIS.
Eileen Fisher – 40-60% off select styles.
Ann Taylor – extra 60% off Sale styles
Halsbrook – up to 50% off (if you’re looking for some wardrobe investment pieces that skew more timeless, this is worth checking out)
Net-a-Porter – up to 50% off (also Designer Clobber, some on the trendier side. Someone please buy this Alexander McQueen “Art Nouveau” silk scarf, I need it to quit tempting me!)
Nordstrom – check out the kate spade new york sale items for some great gifty things.


By the time this post goes live, the big storm that’s hit the Northwest should have made its way to LA. Our bathroom cabinets have dried out and have been treated with an anti-mildew paint, so we’re holding a good thought that the smell will not return. In the meantime a monster vent fan has been installed in the ceiling, and the one in the shower replaced.

Do you wear red lipstick? If so do you have a favorite color and method of application?

Bon weekend!
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  1. Judy
    December 12, 2014 / 4:51 am

    Just bought two new reds yesterday! Thank you for the application technique, it’ll definitely be useful as I was concerned about color depth being too strong for my complexion. Also, I’ve been waiting for Shannon’s book to appear, so thanks for the heads up on that too. Love the bag!
    Happy Holidays to you and your family. Hope they are everything you value.

  2. pink azalea
    December 12, 2014 / 6:01 am

    My favorite red is Tom Ford’s scarlet rouge. I look best in reds that are on the warm side. I have problems with lip color bleeding into my lip lines and don’t have the solution yet. This lipstick seems to stay in place better than many others. Expensive but a really nice lipstick. I have read that there are some colorless lip liners that prevent bleeding. I use a lip brush to get the edges clean and blot after application to take the intensity down a notch. Love the Rebecca Minkoff quilted bag. I am looking for a smaller bag and that one has a feminine lady-like feel. I prefer simple, tailored clothes and like to add feminine handbags and shoes. Emanuelle Alt has been an inspiration with her skinny jeans and feminine shoes. Hope y’all don’t suffer any damage from the stormy weather.

  3. December 12, 2014 / 6:37 am

    Thanks for this post. I have been wanting to wear red lipstick, but have the same problem the way the color changes when on my lips is always a disappointment. Especially because I wear so much balk a red lip would be a great splash of color. I will try this trick as well as the Tom Ford Lipstick that Pink Azalea suggests. I also recently heard about and tried Laura Mercier Anti-Feather Lip Pencil. It is like a lip liner but clear so it can be used with any color and mitigates the bleeding.
    Accidental Icon

  4. stylecrone
    December 12, 2014 / 6:42 am

    I have been hesitant to wear red lipstick because of my fair skin. But I think I will be courageous this season and give it a try. It appeals to me on other people, so thanks for the tips.

  5. December 12, 2014 / 6:50 am

    I recently began wearing red lipstick again. I thought I looked old in it for so long but I think it’s all about finding the right formula for your lips. I picked up NYC’s Ferry Berry, a classic red and not a berry at all. It looks great. It’s sheer, has a balm-like shine, twists from the tube, easy to apply. I don’t like myself in mattes and lipstick, per se, seems too much.

  6. December 12, 2014 / 6:50 am

    I love Shannon’s blog and have her book on my Xmas list….I look forward to your review.
    The storm is still battering our coast with a few hours of respite every now and then…it makes me grateful for a roof over our head and I wonder how the homeless are managing to keep dry.
    Hope that your bathroom woes are behind you know and you can get back to “normal” as I know how disrupting renovations in a bathroom are in a home!
    You really do a marvellous job here on your blog, thank you again.

  7. MJ
    December 12, 2014 / 8:51 am

    Like California Girl, I gave up on red lipstick because I thought I was too old and because my favourite MAC red (I forget the name right now) was discontinued! It was the perfect amount of red with a hint of gloss so not too heavy and it didn’t bleed. I tried to find a replacement but never found anything I liked. It seems like it may have been really like NYC’s Ferry Berry so I must check that out.

  8. December 12, 2014 / 10:04 am

    I got turned on to the Flower lip crayons (at Walmart!) by Cosmetics Cop Beautypedia. The matte one lasts for ever, but gets just a tad dry after an hour or so. The sheer (which isn’t all that sheer) is comfy forever. They skew a bit geranium, so might end up pinkish on you. Palladium Herbal Lip Tint in Rosey is great for day–but again, is probably too pink for you. Super comfortable, wears off attractively.
    For real lipstick, Revlon Fire and Ice.

  9. jennifer
    December 12, 2014 / 10:20 am

    I recently have been experimenting with reds.
    I like Bobbi Brown’s Heart. It’s a bright true red.
    I am in love with Nars new Audacious lipstick. I wear Audury daily. It wears very well. Lasts. And can be used without s pencil but I perfer one for the first application. I just purchased Bette it’s darker more merlot coloured. Perfect for Christmas. I am hoping to find another one.
    I use to wear Chanel and loved their lipsticks but never tried their reds.

  10. Pam
    December 12, 2014 / 10:59 am

    As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to soften things up a bit. Loved bold red before, but now my personal version of red is Chanel Melodieuse – has a touch of pink in it.

  11. December 12, 2014 / 11:09 am

    My latest thing is just staining with a good lip pencil (I’ve been using Lancome) and then putting lip balm over it. Two steps. Lasts a long time, doesn’t bleed or get on my teeth.

  12. December 12, 2014 / 12:36 pm

    Ohhhh I look so bad in red lipstick. Years (and years) ago I worked at the cosmetic counter in an Ottawa department store…and wore way too much make-up…including red lipstick. The few photos I have of those days are a lesson in “less is more.” A red lip looks lovely on others. I’m more of an eye shadow person…and, now, I always wear a soft lip colour to avoid looking too made-up.

  13. December 13, 2014 / 2:52 am

    I am also reading “Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life” by Shannon Ables. It’s a great book! I highly recommend it!

  14. Shybiker
    December 13, 2014 / 5:43 am

    I love red lipstick. Who’d have thought that applying lippie was so complicated?! No man alive understands how hard it is to be a woman.

    • une femme
      December 13, 2014 / 6:51 am

      Debbie, I’ve found I have to go with colors that look almost orange in the tube.

  15. Duchesse
    December 13, 2014 / 6:50 am

    You could use a lipstick brush instead of a finger; it is easier to control the amount of colour with a brush, from slight stain to deep red. Whether with finger or brush, the pigment goes •into the lip• rather than sitting on top, which is what you get with a swipe from the tube.

    “My” red: MAC Viva Glam IV, slightly berried with the subtlest shimmer- pretty and wears very well, too. The MAC makeup artist told me “this looks good on everyone”.

    Best of all, 100% of the lipstick’s price supports AIDS research and treatment.

  16. Rita
    December 13, 2014 / 7:40 am

    I agree, if lipstick color turns blue you need to select a red-orange color. I’m going to try that application method. Years ago there was a gorgeous young woman who was in my circle, she always wore bright red lipcolor. I asked her once how she managed to keep the bright color. She said she re-applied her lipstick every 5-10 minutes!

  17. December 15, 2014 / 6:12 pm

    Susan, Thank you for the very kind mention. And I have been so curious about wearing red lipstick – thank you for addressing this beauty topic. As well, thank you for the Chanel recommendation and tips on how to apply it. It is intimidating, but oh, I am always impressed with women who wear it so confidently. It looks absolutely stunning.

  18. December 16, 2014 / 11:08 pm

    Check out Salli Hughes of The Guardian. She has a few posts on Red lipstick. She adores it and writes about how to apply it. I seem to remember Lisa Eldrige has also done a YouTube video on how to apply and wear red lipstick. What ever you’re wearing looks great. Happy Holidays!

  19. Melissa
    October 15, 2015 / 5:39 am

    I have always wanted to wear red lipstick, years ago I had a coral/light reddish gloss thingy from Avon was lovely, I actually got compliments on it. As I grew older I stayed with glosses and always light because of the lip color bleed thing. I think that looks horrible, and I think heavy makeup ages a woman.
    Well recently I started getting more daring, always keeping a natural palate but then bought a bright pink lipstick, I thought what an accessory! So this weekend I dived in deep with a red lipstick, I bought one from Lancôme last minute before the stores closed, was sooooo disappointed within a half hour bleeding color and a mess, Lancôme has great products but red lipstick is hard for any company to get right.
    I refuse to put a bunch of face powder, foundation and have a long makeup routine and I don’t like the feeling of all that stuff on my face. I want to be Melissa showing her natural beauty with a wee bit of enhancement, but don’t want to have my face fall apart if it gets wet in the rain or hot in the summer, or look like another person if I am caught without my makeup.

    Back to the red lipstick, so upset I spent money on a lipstick I will never wear, got on the internet researched best red lipsticks that stay on and came up with MAC Russian Red. I bought it Monday evening and put it on it stayed pretty good but was evening and was on my way home to get ready for the evening at home anyway (meaning makeup gets washed and pajamas on). I have been home with a foot injury so haven’t had a real full day wearing makeup. I intend to give it the full test this weekend, shopping, drinks on the terrace in town and hopefully have found my new pop of color.

  20. Melissa
    October 19, 2015 / 6:59 am

    Ok, update haven’t done a whole day with the red yet. That I intend to do tomorrow at work. But Saturday I wore my new deep fuchsia cashmere scarf and needed a lipstick to go with it. I ran myself over to the MAC counter and found a lip pencil the right color, I used just a dab of chap stick type stuff then lined my lips filled in and over top dotted my Christian Dior limp pump stuff. I say dab and dotted because too much glossy makes the color bleed or not stay on, but if you don’t use any moisture products a good strong lip liner can’t go on very well. Anyway result was fantastic!!!! No bleeding stayed on for hours. I decided only on the liner to save money and see first that result and the color I like in lipstick was too glossy it would have bled for sure.
    Now tomorrow the red and that is a lipstick and liner, but heck if liner works so good I can save myself a step and money in the future and do only liners with my darker colors.
    I also love the look very bold, the rest calm so was very elegant. I think I achieved my look cause I did get a smile or two on the street 🙂

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