Opinions Sought: Favorite Sheer Lipstick, Balm, or Gloss?

By Voxy  

Hi all,

As we come ever nearer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, I have been thinking about what to get Mama Vox for Christmas. She hasn’t traditionally worn makeup since she retired, but over the last year or so she’s become interested in a few subtle things — a bit of foundation, a bit of blush. (She has liked the Almay Smart Shade foundation and Smashbox O-Glow blush, and they look really nice on her.)

She used to wear lipstick, and I thought I might get her one for Christmas, but given her minimalist approach to makeup, I would want a sheer lippie or a tinted balm. A gloss might be OK if it is very non-sticky.

I have some ideas, but would love to hear from all of you: what’s your favorite sheer lippie, tinted balm, or non-sticky gloss? Drugstore and Sephora products are both OK, though I will probably go high-end since I can test it (hopefully).

Thanks for your suggestions!

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kareneliot/2710464400/
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24 Comments

  1. Posted November 30, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have you tried any of the Lipstick Queen Saint series?

    Their Saint shades are 10% pigment and their Sinner shades are 90% pigment so you can have both a bold lipstick and a gloss in the same shade. I used to have both in the Rouge color (wine tone).

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    • avatar Voxy
      Posted November 30, 2010 at 8:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I have not yet, but I would love to. I just haven’t gotten around to placing an order from anywhere that sells Lipstick Queen yet. But I’ve heard nothing but good things!

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  2. avatar Voxy
    Posted November 28, 2010 at 10:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    FYI, I went with the Shiseido sheer red. Since I already own (and love) this lippie, I felt comfortable ordering it, and if she really hates it then I guess I’ll just have a backup. Also, Sephora is doing a thing where they’re doing free shipping with a $25 purchase (exactly the price of the Shiseido lippie, coincidentally), and I could pick up the Sephora birthday gift too since my birthday is coming up this week. So it worked out well.

    Code for Sephora free-ship-with-$25-purchase (good through Monday 11/29) is:

    SHIPNOW

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    • avatar Katharine
      Posted November 30, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It was sad. I finally got myself to the Shiseido counter and tried this out, and it is darn near magenta on me (and very unflattering indeed). I was really wishing this would be The One, the red lipstick for me. I hope it looks much better on Mama Vox!

      (Hi, Voxy! The reason you haven’t heard from me before is that I often surf on breaks at work, and you block comments from proxy servers…)

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      • avatar Voxy
        Posted November 30, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Alas! My little heart is sad that the Shiseido was not a hit for you (but happy that you found that out before spending hard-earned money on it!).

        Do you need a more orange-based red? It sounds like you might if the Shiseido was magenta on you. Part of the Bobbi Brown holiday collection (the part that is entitled, for some reason, “Choose Your Glam”) involves three different shades of red lipstick — I wonder if one of those would suit you more. At least one of them is orange-based.

        Re: proxy servers — yeah, that’s what my anti-spam plugin tells me to do. I hate to think that real people can’t comment, though. I’ll try unchecking it and we’ll see if I get comment spam. If not, yay!, and if so, I’ll just turn it back on again. So if you get that message again in the future, you’ll know that the spam flooded in. o_O

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  3. avatar Inthelab
    Posted November 26, 2010 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    I think I’m near in age to Mama Vox. My favorites in this category are Laura Mercier stick glosses and lip glacés, Chanel Glossimers, and Bobbi Brown metallics. I recently bought a new YSL “sheer” (forgot which line) that I dislike- it has big particles of glitter in it and it tastes awful. BTW, I find the Laura Mericer sheer lipsticks aren’t very sheer.

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  4. avatar LadyStarlight
    Posted November 26, 2010 at 9:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love the Revlon Cherries in the Glow gloss you recommended! I find that it goes on a tad sticky (well, gloss) but after a couple minutes, that goes away. I also like that since it’s a gloss and fairly sheer, if I make a bobble when applying it at work (and not in front of a mirror), it’s not glaringly apparent.

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    • avatar Voxy
      Posted November 26, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yay! Always glad to hear something worked out. As it happens, I think I picked up a backup of that Cherries in the Glow, since they were discontinuing it. I wonder if Mama Vox would like it.

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  5. avatar Katharine
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    My favourite is without a doubt Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. I got it because of a chorus of recommendations on a (non-beauty) forum – women of all ages and colours saying, “It looks perfect on me!” “Me too!”

    It looks perfect on me. It’s always right, just enough to give me a polished look when I’m wearing absolutely nothing else, and yet gorgeous on a finished face for dressup, too. And not sticky. I HATE sticky lip stuff.

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    • avatar Relationalista
      Posted November 24, 2010 at 9:34 am | Permalink | Reply

      I also like this lipstick, though it’s really not quite lipstick, as the “almost” in the name suggests. It’s very sheer but can be built up for a bit more colour and isn’t goopy at all. It’s also not super glossy, although it does have some shine. I like that too. I admit that I used it less after discovering MAC slimshine lipsticks (I liked the shade of Prudeaux a bit better than Black Honey on my skin tone), which I love, but they’ve now been discontinued.

      What about MAC’s tinted lip balms? There are some really lovely shades, it’s nicely moisturizing, has SPF 15, and isn’t too much like make up for someone who tends not to wear it. I seem to recall you liked the earlier versions of the MAC balms, Voxy, is that right?

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      • avatar Voxy
        Posted November 24, 2010 at 9:56 am | Permalink | Reply

        I do really like the Tendertones. But they’ve also been discontinued (although since I might go to the CCO for Black Friday I could pick one up). I haven’t tried the Tinted Lip Conditioners but in either case I don’t think Mama Vox would be too happy about having to stick her finger in the pot and put it on her lips. I think she is a traditionalist about lipstick and thinks it should come in a tube.

        I don’t know where she stands on squeezie tubes. The Korres lip butters are now available in squeezie tube form (rather than in tubs) — I wonder if she might be OK with that.

        I’ve gone back and forth about that Black Honey for myself several times, so I recognize its lure. I will definitely take a look at the Almost Lipsticks at the CCO.

        For the record I am also considering Laura Mercier stickglosses (I have two; one is lovely and the other one is a bust — reviews to come — and this is why I’m hesitating).

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    • avatar Voxy
      Posted November 24, 2010 at 9:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      P.S. — Welcome, Katharine! :)

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  6. avatar a biologist
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 7:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I pretty much only wear sheer, subtle lippies, and my two favorites right now are the Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer in red and Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment in plum.

    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P257314&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=5337

    http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P263909&shouldPaginate=true&categoryId=4348

    Neither are too shiny or sticky at all, I think they’d be perfect for a Voxy Mama.

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    • avatar Voxy
      Posted November 23, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, the Shiseido is definitely on my list of possibles for her. I love that lippie.

      When I tested the Fresh Sugar plum one in-store, it seemed awfully dark. Does it go on lighter on lips?

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      • avatar a biologist
        Posted November 23, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’d say Sugar Plum is slightly more subtle than the Shiseido with my complexion, but on someone with a warmer complexion it would probably stand out a bit more. The nice thing about the Fresh one is that it is good for dry winter lips. The Fresh lippie also comes in a pretty rose pink, but I haven’t tried it. Maybe for spring.

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  7. avatar marigolds
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I like the Korres sheer lipstick. I got it as a Special Fancy Overspender Bonus from Sephora. I can find the shade if you want–it’s a super-sheer, moisturizing, pretty, non-yucky smelling one.

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  8. avatar chaosbydesign
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Can you get Clinique over there? I like their Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss.

    Also, NARS Pure Sheer SPF Lip Treatment looks good. I’ve ordered that in Paloma, it’ll arrive in a couple of days so I’ll let you know what I think of it. I also really like their velvet matte lip pencils, but the colour might be a bit too intense for your mum.

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    • avatar Voxy
      Posted November 23, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Indeed we can get Clinique. I will be very interested to hear what you think of the NARS. They are supposed to be more sheer than the Bobbi Brown SPF lipshines that came out last summer, which might be good.

      I agree that the velvet matte lip pencils would be too intense for her.

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      • avatar chaosbydesign
        Posted November 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’ll email you pictures of the NARS when it arrives.

        Speaking of Bobbi Brown, I also picked up one of their new red lipsticks (Jewel Red) and a lip gloss (Hollywood Red). Neither are what you’re looking for for Mama Vox, but I think they would suit you.

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        • avatar Voxy
          Posted November 23, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Hey! I got the exact same items a few weeks ago! I haven’t reviewed them yet, but I *love* them. Love, love, love.

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          • avatar chaosbydesign
            Posted November 23, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Heh. I also really like them; I might go back and get the Vintage Red lipstick as I think that one is limited edition. I liked it when I went to the store, but couldn’t justify buying three at once. (Somehow buying them at different times does not seem so excessive…)

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            • avatar Voxy
              Posted November 23, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Everything is LE except Jewel Red. I might pick up another lipgloss because it also makes a fabulous sheer red blush.

              I swatched the other ones but none of them really suited me, at least not enough to tempt me when I have other red lippies I already like.

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              • avatar chaosbydesign
                Posted November 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

                I would never have thought to use that as a blush. I’ve been using the Stila Convertible Colour a lot recently (I *love* that) though I guess it doesn’t really match with red lipstick — does blush have to match lipstick? I’m never sure about things like that.

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                • avatar Voxy
                  Posted November 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Well, the lip gloss is sticky so I probably wouldn’t use it all over my cheeks. But I often find that when I put on that red gloss that my cheeks look washed out because it’s so bright, and they benefit from a little pop of the same color (a sheer version, but still obviously in the same family). I mostly use this trick when I’ve been wearing “daytime” makeup all day and am putting on the brighter gloss for the evening — it helps perk up my cheek color just a bit.

                  I’m so glad you like the Stila! They are staples of my blush collection.

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