Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017: My January Cure

My January Cure: Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayons || Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
My January Cure: Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayons

As Monday 16th January is widely labelled ‘Blue Monday’, aka the most depressing day of the year, I decided to bump my Tuesday Reviews Day post up by twenty-four hours as I think it offers a fun way to dispel some of the day’s misery.

At the start of the month, I agreed with some friends to commit to The January Cure and report daily on progress.  The January Cure is an annual email series run by the brilliant interior design and home website, Apartment Therapy.  It’s designed to help you declutter and clean your home simply and easily during a month when probably nobody feels like doing so.

The January Cure is great to participate in.  Although this year I’ve fallen woefully behind schedule, dipping in and out rather than diligently following each day’s instructions, I’ve been thinking about it a lot (thinking about the emails we receive rather than acting upon: sound familiar anyone?!).  In particular, I’ve been thinking about what my January cure is.

The answer came pretty quickly: bright lipstick.  If you follow me on social media then you probably already know that I’m a big fan of the bold lip.  My then three year old niece was genuinely shocked when she learnt that my lips were actually pink like everyone else; ‘But Auntie Rae, your lips are red!’ she exclaimed in bewilderment.

While bright lipstick is a favourite of mine all year round, it particularly comes into its own at this time of year because frankly very little else is bright in the northern hemisphere.  The world can seem drained of colour in January.  It can also seem pretty grim, with bad weather and interminable long nights (I write this at 16.30 with *all* the lights on).

Added to this, January is often the month when we feel most brassic.  I’m not sure if it’s ironic but it’s certainly annoying that the time of year when we most need cheering up is the one when we have least funds available to do so.

This is where bright lipstick can help.  For less than a fiver or as much as £25, and similarly in dollars, you can treat yourself to a tube of brightly coloured wax.

It doesn’t have to be red.  Fuchsia, purple, orange, terracotta, mauve, rose…there are many varieties of bright, and there is a shade out there for everyone, whatever their colouring.

If you’re uncertain about how to choose, here are my top tips:

  1. Buy a cheap one to try out. You can always replace it with a better quality one in a similar shade if you prefer but if doesn’t work then you haven’t lost a huge outlay.
  2. If you see someone wearing a colour you like, ask where they go it from. You get a recommendation and they will be thrilled for the rest of the day.
  3. Ask to try out the tester yourself. Make-up assistants in shops can be great but if you’re nervous about using colour then you might find their application techniques too dense.  Applying it yourself as you would at home will give you a more realistic picture of how it looks.
  4. Go outside and see what the tester looks like. The artificial lighting in shops can be distorting.
The Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayon Box || My January Cure - Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
The Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip Crayon Box

I’ve talked in #tuesdayreviewsday before about my favourite lip colours but there’s a new kid on the block that I can’t get enough of at the minute: the Clinique Crayola Chubby Lip collaboration.  Seeing as my dream job would be naming the Crayola colours, it’s two of my favourite things in the world come together!

This limited edition range takes a popular Clinique product, the chubby lip crayon, and gives it a well-timed mid-winter boost with a spectrum of felt tip shades from a classic red through pinks to a plummy violet.  They actually caused a sharp intake of breath when I first saw them and they haven’t disappointed.  They are less matte than many similar pencil lip colours so they aren’t as drying – but they still stay put for ages (the violet brick on the right of the box even survived a stack of buttermilk pancakes with nutella and banana.  The things I do in order to report back to you!).

Mauvelous & Pink Sherbet Clinique Crayola || Tuesday Reviews Day 17-01-2017 || raeritchie.com
Lovely shades but not so Crayola…

One caveat: I was less of a fan of the two most pink shades (third and fourth from the right on the box).  Pink Sherbet and Mauvelous (pictured) both deliver a lovely natural shade but they don’t provide the same pop of colour as the other colours.  Furthermore, they don’t seem as ‘Crayola’ as the others.  Particularly Pink Sherbet I expected to be rather more fuschia rather than the ballerina pink that it delivers.

They cost £17.50 each or for £35.00 you can buy a box containing all ten in a mini-size (this is the size featured in my photographs).  The range is currently available via Selfridges.com but goes nationwide on Clinique counters (and their website) from 2nd February – my cure for this month and next.

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A magic penny, or life lessons from pink lipstick

A magic penny, or life lessons from pink lipstick || raeritchie.com

Love is like a magic penny, the old song says – if you give it away then you end up having more.

In this case, love should be substituted for ‘pink lipstick’.

I had a pink lipstick that haunted me.  Earlier in the year, I became somewhat obsessed with the need to buy a pink lipstick.

I was convinced it was the ‘must have’ to hold my entire sense of style & well-being together. 

In a hurried & harried moment in a well-known high street chemist, I chose one.  Before I left the store, I knew I had made a poor choice – too shiny, too pearlescent, just all wrong.  The unused tube sat in a drawer, mocking me with a sense of waste every time I looked at it – waste & that sense that sense of annoyance at myself for putting so much faith & hope into a lipstick.

One tube of coloured fat was never going to give me what I was hoping for from it. 

So to car boot it went!  I decided the only way to exorcise the ill-fated purchase was to sell it.

Yesterday was its day of judgement, where it sat along with several other lipsticks & glosses waiting to be picked by the public (the others were all free gifts so none had the same turbulent history; theirs was a happy departure from the make-up drawer).

Other lipsticks & glosses were picked up & taken away by happy new owners.

The evil pink one stayed put, as if mocking me: ‘Ha ha you’ll have to take me home, haunted forever by the failed hopes & dreams I represent’. 

Then a young girl came along.  She fingered the tube.  She twisted it up & down.  She looked at the two others left alongside it.  This was my chance to be rid of it!  ’20p each’, I said, hoping that the low price would convince her to take them.  Damn, I thought as she ran off.  I should have just given them to her.

Then I noticed she had stopped by her mum at the next stall.  Ooo, she’s turning round!  She came running back, clutching a little coin purse.  Her eyes lit up: they hadn’t sold in the intervening 20 seconds!

Excitedly she began rummaging in the purse, like a contestant on the Crystal Maze with only 5 seconds left to diffuse the circuit & get out the room.

50p was found & handed to me with great ceremony, a sense of significance that indicated that this was going to be the first of many lip-related purchases in her life.

But she needed 10p more.  The rummaging began again.  She couldn’t find it.  It was there somewhere, her furrowed brow said.

‘Don’t worry’, I said.  ‘It’s 20p each or all 3 for 50p’.  The girl barely stopped to thank me before skipping off with her new purchases.  I didn’t mind; to see my nemesis making someone else so happy was all the reward I needed.

If she’d have hung around, I would have probably tried to warn her that the lipstick would only disappoint her, that she shouldn’t put her dreams into tubes of coloured fat & pots of coloured paint. 

But that would have been churlish, quashing the joy of a young girl who can’t wait to be grown up.  I felt the same when I got my first ever make-up – a used-up pink blusher from Miss Selfridge, given to me by an older cousin.

The memory of that blusher had long faded; seeing the girl with my lipstick brought it back as fresh as if it were yesterday.

My cousin’s gift to me; mine to the girl; I couldn’t help but think that pink make-up is like love & the magic penny.

Today I decided to clear out the rest of my lipsticks.  In among the pile was an old tube that I didn’t recognise.  Inside was, of course, a gorgeous shade of pink – exactly what I’d been looking for all along.