Photo: David Stingle

Photo: David Stingle

Hi and welcome.

Your cateye looks good.


Birthday List: Lipliner, Lipliner and Lipliner

Birthday List: Lipliner, Lipliner and Lipliner

In my early 20's, I played with makeup but didn't need much skin coverage, or color correction, or wrinkle cream. In my late 20's, I realized I was old enough that tinted moisturizer was not just a nice-to-have enhancement, but an absolute necessity to look put-together with "makeup face". In my early 30's, I realized I had a full mustache. Yes. Blonde, but very, sadly, present.


I have the brain of a collector, meaning if I like something, I have to have one of EACH.


A few months ago, now in my mid-30's, I realized I need lip liner. Not to perfect a lip look, but because my lips are old enough that conveying and sustaining a neon color now requires the help of a product to both shape and contain my ageing lips. They're not too bad, and you don't need to take out the violin, but for me, it's a noticeable difference.

So, of course, I went bananas. I went totally cream puffs on the lip liner. I'm a spazz and makeup geek and I have the brain of a collector (meaning if I like something, I have to have one of EACH. All of them. ALL.).

Let me mention that I don't like sharpening any type of makeup pencil, so I only considered automatic and retractable lip liner products. I also favor brands that make the packaging stick match the product color. It's easier to chose a shade, and looks prettier on the vanity.

My favorite formula was Tarte's Tarteist Lip Crayon, of which I have about 10, for opacity of coverage, smoothness of application, and fabulosity of hues. (Each crayon has exactly matching lip color products, to boot.) Down below, see swatches of my top 4 favorite Tarteist colors.

My second favorite was NYX Retractable Liner, which is fabulous in all ways and has the longest lasting finish. You can eat, wipe, kiss, and still have lined lips. The formula is thicker, which means it doesn't glide on as gloriously as the Tarte counterpart, which makes it feel a bit less luxurious to use.

Both Tarte and NYX have an array of rich bright colors; the shades do not rest mostly in the wasteland of neutrals, like so many other brands.

Rimmel Exaggerate Automatic Lip Liner was my third favorite, mainly because the colors are in fact quite exaggerated, as the namesake suggests. However, the too-wide, angled tip made it harder to get a precise lip line shape. Rimmel also lasted quite well; see the "swipe test" below.

My least favorite was the Ulta in-house brand because these aren't smooth and therefore skip on application. Unfortunately I also have about 10 of those (they were on sale).

The Milani and Jordana retractable liners were not bad from a value per dollar standpoint, and included a few great colors that I personally love.

Below, see just how bananas I went. I hope you still love me even though I'm a little crazy.

Photos above: Sophie Lindh
Photos below: Mom in Mascara

Below are swatches of some favorite shades, from left to right:

Mom in Mascara Lip Liner Swatches

Now for the ultimate test: which stood up best, after fully drying, to a baby wipe? See progression below. I used WaterWipes which are essentially just water and cloth.

Above, see, swipes 1, 2, 3 and 4. See how NYX wins followed by Rimmel?


Xx, Mom in Mascara



Microneedling... Ouchie

Microneedling... Ouchie

A Lipcolor Adventurer's Holy Grail

A Lipcolor Adventurer's Holy Grail