I've always liked the look of bold, red lips. However I've always had a hard time finding the perfect red for me. It's usually either too dark (verging on purple or burgundy), or too light (more dark/hot pinkkish than I'd like) or too orange... or the formula's not right. I've always liked more a of a deep, true blood-red color, which apparently is quite hard to find. Or maybe it's just my skin tone.... Anyway, I had kind of given up on finding a good color, or at least had stopped actively searching.
Then Almay came out with their Almay Ideal Lip Collections, trios of complimentary lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss, in shades that (supposedly) flatter just about anyone. The trios come in 2 different shades of neutrals, pinks, berries, and reds. The lip liners, lipsticks, and glosses are sold separately for approx $7.50 each, but recently at Target (my favorite store EVER), I found a package with all 3 matching products together, for $10.99. I'd been considering trying out these lip collections, but had been hesitant to spend the money on them... but now they were on sale, and Target had the 3-pack of lip liner, lipstick, and lip gloss in Wine (the darker of the Reds shades). The color, as advertised on the package by a sensuous pair of pouting lips, looked gorgeous... I decided to try it out.
I got home and tested out how the products worked together. I first used the lip liner, lining the edges of my lips and then filling in all the way (to give the lip stick something to stick to). I then spread the lipstick on, and was pleasantly surprised at how creamy and silky it felt going on. For going out it would probably be best to use a lip brush to apply the lipstick, for more precision-- red lipstick needs to be exactly in the right places, or else it can look wierd or clownish. This is why glosses alone are not that great, they shift around too much. Anyway, so after apllying the liner and lipstick I topped it off with a bit of the whipped gloss, and I was left with a deep, beautiful red that I instantly fell in love with. I do still need to play around with how best to apply the liner and lipstick to my upper lip, as again precision is key and with something as bold as red you have to get the shape exactly right, which can be tricky.
Later on I applied the lipstick alone, and then the gloss alone, to see how they worked on their own. They both still gave a nice red color, though not quite as deep and full as when the products are layered together. But I was impressed with the gloss, normally "red" glosses leave more of a dark pink color, and this one was still pretty true to red. But, again, I don't think glosses are all that great for red b/c they don't always have the staying power required.
I can't attest to how well these products wear over the course of a day or night-- you kinda gotta have some sort of an occasion to wear red listick out. But this weekend I'm going to go see Casablanca at an old-style movie theatre, which definitely calls for some old-hollywood glamour, aka red lipstick. ; )
These Almay products can usually be found at Target, drugstore.com, or any other neighborhood drugstore.