Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Red, White, and Blue

This post contains one or more items that were sent as product samples, promotional items and/or products from a sponsorship. For more of what this means, please see my Legal page.

Happy birthday, America. Here's my patriotic tribute.

The red is courtesy of Chanel's now discontinued Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon. I had to get mine from a completely different state as all my local Chanel counters had already wiped out their entire Rouge Allure Laque line. Plenty of others have written about this color, and I will say the exact same thing: it applies beautifully, and if you weren't a believer in red lipstick, this will make you one. It's a cream lipstick that applies with a doe-foot applicator, and it has a light rose scent that disappears upon application. It stays on for hours on end, and even after I eat or drink, it still leaves a stain on my lips. In fact, I sometimes simply put on some balm and a little tiny dot of the product and use my fingers to make it appear more stain-like. It retails for $32, but if I only had to buy one true red lipstick, this would be it. All I can say to anyone trying to find one is good luck -- they're still out there, but you really have to use some investigative skills and persuasion.

Yes, it's a little cheesy to use sunscreen to signify white, but the cream itself is white, so let's go with that. I already use a lot of face products that contain SPF or sunscreen, but the Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock is what I use on any areas that are not my face if I'm out in the sun. I prefer creams to sprays, and although I have a couple of tubes of this cream in SPF 30 and SPF 55, I got a sample of SPF 70 in a promotional beauty bag that I signed up for from Target last month. As with my other tubes in different SPF strengths, the cream goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly. Now, I don't go out in the sun much and in fact, I really try my best to stay out of it. I don't think it's fair for me to judge the efficacy of this particular product, but if I know that I'm heading outside for a good length of time, I will put on this brand of sunscreen. For the record, I also have used those Neutrogena Body Mist sunscreen sprays, and I can't stand them. They don't seem to absorb as well for me, and I'm always left feeling sticky.

Speaking of sunscreens, I use lip balms with SPF before applying any other lip products. My lips get dry often, and I have learned to force myself to use lip balms. I resisted for a long time because I hate greasy-feeling lips or tasting the waxy balm all day. The only lip balm that I have returned to time and time again is Mentholatum Softlips Lip Protectant SPF 20 in Vanilla. Part of why I like this so much is because of nostalgia. The first time I ever purchased this was in 1998 while I was on a family trip in Taiwan. I thought the tube was really cute (first time that I saw a slim tube of lip balm -- contrast this with those chubby ChapStick tubes), and when I tried it on, it was unlike any lip balm I'd ever used before that point on. It was minty, creamy, and most importantly, didn't taste like wax. Just the smell of it these days reminds me of that trip in Taiwan. There's easily 5 of these tubes rolling around between my drawers and bags.

Finally, the blue is brought to you by OPI Dating a Royal. As you can probably tell, the color is a rich royal blue. The formula, however, is interesting -- it's something between a jelly and creme. This was two coats without topcoat, and it goes on smoothly (any imperfections you might see is probably due to my camera's dirty lens -- bad lens!). I think I like this color enough by itself that I don't need to embellish it or stamp any other design on it. I did buy this a couple of years ago, but I'm sure you can still find it around.