I Like Lipstick & I Like You: Here’s Some Advice

lipsticks oakland

This represents maybe 15% of my lipstick collection… I have a problem.

I consider myself a lipstick aficionado. Others, like my grrlfriend or the folks at my bank, might call me a lipstick addict. For the purposes of this article — and my self-esteem– I’m going to stick with aficionado. Here are my top 5 favorite lipsticks, and the best occasions to wear them. And, obviously, each lipstick features an accompanying selfie of my lips. I have a zit to the left of my mouth but I love you readers so much that I took a buncha selfies for you anyway. You’re welcome. No judgment please.


oakland nyx matte

Sweet girl-next-door smile.

NYX Matte Lipstick in Sierra, $5.99 at Ulta

This is the only nude-ish lipstick I own, because I am all about pigment. But this has become a go-to for me when I want some subtle color. It’s hard to mess up a nude, just smear it on quickly, if it’s not perfect, no one will notice but you. And no one likes a lipstick perfectionist… except me. I have nothing but admiration for perfectionists when it comes to prettifying your lips. But I’m not judgmental, so smear it on your nose if you want: wear your voice, do you, etc.

Best occasions: running errands; balancing out intense eye makeup; trying to look like the sweet girl-next-door when you meet your significant other’s parents

Cons: Gets all over your partner’s face when kissin’. Gets all over your glass when drinkin’.


oakland nyx lip creme

For some reason, it looks like I am missing teeth. I am not… for now.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Morocco, $5.99 at Ulta

NYX’s collection of soft matte lip creams is one of my top lipstick choices. I own somewhere between 6 and 8 shades. You can feel good about obsessively collecting these because they’re cheap. You apply the liquid lipstick with a wand and when it dries, BAM, it’s not going anywhere. This orangey-red color is one of my faves. Don’t fear the orange, it looks amazing on all types of skin, even pale, pasty skin like mine.

Best occasions: Kissing! It won’t get all over his, her or their face. This magic formula lasts for hours.

Cons: The formula pills if you try to reapply once it dries, so make sure you get it right the first time.


oakland sephora

Is it weird that this pic of my own lips turns me on a little?

Sephora Collection Color Lip Last in No 18, $13 at Sephora

This is my go-to lipstick. It will last all night long. I don’t think I’ve ever had to reapply it. My dear friend (who is also a makeup artist), Foxy hand-picked it for me when I was bummed out after fracturing my elbow. It didn’t make my pain go away, but it made me look fabulous in my sling. It’s been one of my faves for almost a year now.

Best occasions: Anytime, always, whenever. This shit stays in place and is bold, sexy and bright.

Cons: A little drying.


oakland mac

I love me a bold red.

MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam, $16 at MAC

This is a great lipstick for when you want to feel sexy and fancy. I’m not super into MAC Cosmetics generally: they’re expensive and a little too hardcore for my hippie self. But I got this for free from a woman for whom I used to babysit, and it’s a sexy-as-hell red. You can never have too many sexy-as-hell reds.

Best occasions: Fancy date night; a performance if you’re a performer.

Cons: Even after it dries, it will still come off on anything your lips touch.


oakland nars 3

I had to make it a little dirty with some tongue. All for you.


NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, $25 at Sephora

This lipstick was my big splurge when I got my first big-girl paycheck after giving up my $11/hr retail job and making the leap to full-time freelancing. It felt scary to spend $25 on just one lipstick, but after trying it on, I understood the price. This lipstick is legit: it’s bold, it’s matte, it stays in place. It’s also super easy to apply because it’s a thick pencil. Draw an outline around your beautiful lip shape and then color it in. Also, this shade is called “Cruella,” and it doesn’t get more badass than that.

Best occasions: When you’re feeling like a sexy, hardcore, don’t-fuck-with-me-I’m-fabulous femme.

Cons: It’s really fucking expensive.