Thursday, March 1, 2012

"All You Need Are 3 Perfect Lipsticks" - A Reflection and Light-Bulb Moment!!!

In my quest to de-clutter, simplify my life and 'makeup bag' - I've come learn some important lessons:
1) Surround yourself only with things you really love
2) Differenciate between what is a want vs a need and where your priorities are
3) Always look your ultimate best: know your colours, style and body shape
4) Define a signature look for yourself based on all the above (a look that speaks about your personal style, what is meaningful to you, who you are as a person)
5) Learn to be a little 'French' or at least adopt little 'European' flair into your life!!!

I continue to want to learn to be my best self - regardless if its in my personal life or at the shopping mall deciding on a new scarf or handbag!  My recent shopping experience and draping with Suzanne from 'Your Shop Girl' in Toronto ( has given me a new perspective and insight into myself.  I began to realize that in my quest to embrace a more simplified life, I've actually made it more complicated.  I'm always on an endless search for the perfect lipstick and in the end, even when I find one I really love, the search 'continues', leaving me spending money on something I don't need.  One of the questions I asked Suzanne is 'don't you get bored with a wardrobe of essentials?' - Don't you just want to buy every amazing thing you see?  Suzanne brought to my attention the whole concept of having a look of essentials where you control the outfits you put together.  You can wear one outfit 5 different ways with the right accessories or with the change of one simple thing.  When I got home from the shopping experience and looked in my closet, I realized that I already have so many stunning 'True Autumn' essentials and that what is at the 'core' of my searching is really just an 'impulse' to buy.  I actually had to step back and observe myself having this revelation - Its not about the 'quest' after all - being a seeker implies you are always 'seeking' and never finding.  I think many women get 'stuck' in seeker mode when it comes to purchasing items - they get the perfect handbag and love it for all of 1 week and then the search for another amazing handbag continues.  For me, its lipstick - this impulse and desire to find the 'ultimate' lipstick.  It finally hit me in the face that there is no 'ultimate' lipstick - I would be searching 'forever' because makeup companies are 'constantly' coming up with new shades and formulas.  So what's the solution???  Well, In my humble opinion, its 'stop searching' and 'start embracing' - Choose a few shades you love and 'stick' to them - find a look and style you like and make it your signature - does that mean that you never try something new?  Of course not, it just means that you stick to your essentials and add in items and colours as you need them.  Its not about being 'impulsive' its about having a 'strategy' and constantly creating and working on becoming your 'best' self!  Wow - seems like a lot to take in, but truth is truth and when I have a light bulb moment, Its like a huge lamp hitting me on the top of the head!

I came across a wonderful article from a blog/website dedicated to "living the european lifestyle" - Since my style is soft-classic, european-chic, the information from article is ideal for embracing that 'simple, clutter-free' makeup philophy.  The article is called "All You Need Are 3 Perfect Lipsticks" (  - basically, in the book "All You Need to Be Impossibly French",  the author claims all a woman needs is two lipstick - one for everyday and another for evening, but the blog article questions "what about when you need that in-between' shade?  Therefore, its ideal for every woman to have three shades!  I took a long and hard look at my makeup bag today, swatched many lipsticks across my arm, and decided to find my '3' essential shades.  Since my draping revealed 'True Autumn', it was a must that these shades belong to that palette.  When I tried on the lipstick colours and then tried on the various True Autumn/Soft Classic inspired outfits, I had another light bulb moment with the light 'glaring' right in my eyes - everything looked 'so' harmonious, the TA palette when embraced fully, both with my wardrobe and makeup, is the key to the puzzle I was missing.  Before hand, my closet was a 'rainbow' of colours, even when playing around with the Soft Autumn palette, there were many True Autumn peices I just 'couldn't' part with and now I know why and am glad I didn't part with them!  Basically, my eyes are now fully aware and open to the possibilities of having a simplified wardrobe and makeup bag - actually, the cool thing in, with basic staples, you actually have MORE variety because everything you own 'WORKS TOGETHER' - you no longer need 10 lipsticks for 10 different outfits or 10 scarves to go with 12 different suits in every colour under the sun - 3 lipsticks and a wardrobe of True Autumn essentials is all you need (plus a running list of basic things to add or a 'wish' item here and there).  If this blog feels like a 'rant' I apologize - but now on to some photos and my turn to show you my 3 favourite lipsticks:


I always seem to get a lot of compliments when I wear this shade - I can swipe it on and leave the house or simply add a liner underneath and create a truly elegant day look (In the top photo I'm wearing SB with Chicory lipliner, while in the second/bottom photo, I just swiped on the colour from the tube and walked out the door i.e. a colour that is both simple and elegant)!

2) My Evening Shade: CHILI - BY MAC:

My many wonderful facebook friends who follow this blog often tell me that they love this lipstick on me - their opinion is very valuable to me.  I had to choose this as my evening look because not only is it the perfect colour to harmonize with all the True Autumn colours, its also a 'RED' and every woman needs a red lipstick!!!

3) My 'In-Between' Shade - PHOTO - BY MAC

I picked 'Photo' as my in-between shade because it can be applied with a light hand (or using a lipbrush with a little added lip conditioner for day - like the first photo) or applied with a heavier hand (like in the second photo), taking the colour from day to night!  Its also a shade that goes with all the True Autumn colours.  I recently went to the mall and forgot to put on my lipstick, so I stopped into MAC and put on 'Photo' - the makeup artists there approached me to ask what colour I applied and said that not many people can look that good in Photo - I took that as a 'huge' compliment and confirmation that this colour should definitely be in my top 3 lipstick choices!!!

I hope you found my light bulb moments and 3 lipstick picks interesting - I'd love to hear your feedback or even write to tell me - What are you 3 essential lipstick shades???


Anonymous said...

Hi, Renata. I really like this post--would you also write one on eyes?
The first two lipsticks are perfect. I like them better than the last one, but I think it's due to colour placement. For your classic style, "colour" (your version of red, wine, coral) would seem better on the lips than a more neutral shade. Classic style also seems to be about neutral eyes and neutral-colourful cheeks.
A less colourful lip (a brownish, or less reddish tone) reads as a more dramatic than classic look to me.
Hope this helps! Btw, I'm a winter and my essentials are a semi-matte red, a sheer red, and a sparkly gloss.

Renata said...

Thanks for writting anonymous and sharing your three favourite lipstick looks - I love that you have reds as your staples - those are definitely 'winter worthy'! I agree, the last lipstick can be both classic and dramatic - its really all about how I apply and place the colour - I think also, combining photo with sandalwood beige will also create a new and interesting colour! I just like the simplicity behind having a natural, red/evening, and in between shade!

Maiana said...

Hello Renata!
Very interesting to read about your discoveries. I prefer the sandalwood lipstick (first picture), I feel it harmonizes best with your natural colors.
What do you mean by learn to be a little "french"? :D I didn't really get that, but I#m quite interested... (I'm european).

Margo said...

Unfortunatelly my three essential lipstick shades were discontinued- Estee Lauder #721 "Merengue", Lancome #106 "Red And Sensual Java" and YSL #41 "Ultra Flamme".
I could find a nice shade to replace the first one- Lancome "Mars", but I am still looking for nice red shades to replace two other discontinued lipsticks. Maybe you can suggest similar shades, Renata.

Renata said...

Hi Maiana,
Thank you for writing! When I said 'be a little French' - I was refering to Parisian women who are said to be elegant and classy, who have that simple but sophisticated look that all women from all over the world like and admire - French women are also said to have a minimal closet, but full of very high quality items - they own clothes they love and feel great in!!! I'm happy to hear you liked my post and that you like Sandalwood Beige on me - Thank you!!!

Renata said...

Hey Margo - I checked out the disconituned colours on-line and two shades poped into my mind that you could try 1) Chanel - 'Paris' lipstick and 2) MAC - Lady Bug - Check these out and let me know what you think!!!

Margo said...

Thank you, Renata, for your quick response. What do I like about MAC "Lady Bug"? It is a very true red, neither too warm nor too cool. But too glossy lipsticks do not work for me. I need more pigmental and long lasting ones.
Chanel Rouge Coco - 22 "Paris" is a nice shade but it seems it is more for a Winter because it has a blue undertone. I am between TA and DA. I have Chanel Rouge Allure Laque #79. It is a very nice shade but not true red.

Kathryn said...

I loved this article, Renata! It's right along the lines of my philosophy, too. Looks like I need one more lipstick, though... ;-)

Also, I echo the comment about eye makeup next. Wonder how to do this same thing for eyes?

Thanks so much!

Runa said...

Could you do a post with some juicier colours? (I'm thinking like lipgloss, not anything trashy) :P Sometimes you go a bit more "earth" than "liquid gold" and I'm wondering if "liquid gold" would be fantastic on you :)

Btw, don't interpret my expressions literally. I just have pictures in my head, you don't need to do gold per se :P