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  • Denise Sims

Secret Tips for Lips

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Secret Tips for Lips

‘The Best Lipstick Buying Guide’ you’ll ever need!

My personal Holy Grail is finding the best performing lipstick that doesn’t bleed, stays on, doesn’t dry out my lips, precisely purrrfect color and I don’t eat it! The average woman inadvertently eats two tubes of lipstick per year. Yuck! She also owns about 10 to 20+ lipsticks. Of these 20 lipsticks, 10 are or more of them are mistakes. The colors don’t work or she doesn’t like the smell or they dry her lips or they’re so slippery they bleed and don’t stay on.

Simply said, ‘They don’t perform well’.

Performance is key for all cosmetics, but most especially for lipstick!

My personal criteria for lipstick is:

It stays on all day

The color is exactly perfect for me

Doesn’t dry my lips

Doesn’t bleed


Doesn’t have an odor right under my nose

Given my high performance criteria, finding the right lipstick is almost like finding the holy grail. I feel like I could write an entire book just about lipstick!

The following is the best lipstick buying guide you’ll ever need. These are all tips no one ever tells you. Most especially the sales people at the makeup counter. If you’re a ‘drugstore cosmetics shopper’, ie; ‘take your best guess’ on colors and products, the mistake ratio and money spent quadruples!

Believe it or not, high end lipstick (and cosmetics in general) are far more cost effective than less expensive drug store cosmetics. While the price of drugstore cosmetics are less than 50% the price of makeup counter cosmetics, you end up spending less on more expensive products!

Drug store cosmetics generally don’t perform very well, have a funny smell and you aren’t allowed to test the color on your own skin. Having seen 100’s of women’s makeup drawers, in my experience only about 10%-20% of their drugstore purchases work out. This is counterintuitive due to the fact that the lipstick price is far less than the makeup counter lipsticks. However, when it’s all added up and amortized, you end up spending about 30% less buying expensive cosmetics!

When you go to the makeup counter and get help, you are generally more likely to purchase the right color that works for you. You are able to test all the lipsticks sold there. This allows you to know if you like the texture, finish, application and color on your own lips. Body chemistry plays a big part. Much like cologne or perfumes, chemistry drastically changes how it smells on different people. The same is true with makeup, only it can drastically affect the appearance of colors once they’re applied. Additionally, they continue to change for about 30 minutes until they’re completely ‘set’ and fully interact with your body chemistry. Given all these variables, it’s no surprise the average drugstore shopper only ends up liking about 2 out of every 8 lipsticks they buy.

Knowing your own best color pallet for clothes helps to select the best lipstick colors you like and look beautiful wearing. It’s not unusual for people at high end makeup counters to want to sell you their own favorite color, rather the one that’s best for you. That being said, there are also many good, well trained service people at high end makeup counters. It’s your job to have an idea of color ranges that work for you.

Another helpful hint when buying cosmetics is to wear something you like in a color you like. You can also bring two or three clothing items in colors that reflect your color pallet. This enables the sales person to help you more successfully.

Set yourself up for success!

Whenever you go shopping for lipstick or cosmetics be clear about and/or what you need before you go. Otherwise you will likely end up with more than you need, and or the wrong color entirely.

The guidelines below are intended to produce maximum options with the fewest products!

You will always have the color you need for year round wardrobe.

I recommend:

3 lip liners - 1 neutral medium value, 1 mid value red that’s best for you, 1 slightly deeper plum burgundy color that’s best for you.

2 lipsticks - 1 everyday neutral; good all around color that enhances your natural lip color,

1 red/rose/coral that works best for you, or 1 plum color that works best for you. Medium or matte finish best.

Note: Color intensity, lightness and darkness will vary based on your personal coloring.

1 to 2 lip stains - try at least one lip stain to see how you like it. They stay on all day, don’t bleed and they perform the best! Lip stains generally have best color selections in neutral to rosy and reds. Frequently the more plum colors are very saturated and dark. They are too intense for most people unless you have darker skin or very white fair skin that looks good with intense saturated colors.

1 to 2 ‘shimmer’ top finish lipsticks - Lipstick ‘shimmers’ are very light in color and shimmer in different tones. They are intended as a ‘top color’ finish to your base color lipstick.

1 warm lipstick shimmer and 1 cool or whitish lipstick shimmer. This DOES NOT MEAN GLOSS. I don’t recommend glosses at all. They’re slippery and come off almost instantly. Not only do you eat them, they make your lipstick color bleed. The only time I even ‘might’ recommend a gloss is if it's a light or nude tint worn alone. Even then I don’t tend to recommend glosses due to the ‘eat factor’. A shimmer is a medium bodied ‘lipstick’ that’s a very light color with shimmer in it.

Each lip liner will mix with most or all lip colors creating a different overall color with each combination. The shimmer provides lift or lightening and gives you an option for a sheer color shift, changing the overall color cooler or warmer. This combination of items gives you about 20 choices of lip color. The lip liner also prevents any lipstick from bleeding and makes the lipstick itself adhere to you lips. You're lipstick will stay on twice as long. You will also have the option to use your lip liner as a full lip color if you like. Mixing in the shimmer top finish allows you to adjust any lip color your wearing to best suit your clothes throughout all seasons.

$1000 Tip!

Best performing brands are as follows.


#1 Lancôme

note: actual pencils last much longer than plastic twist out applicators. They also minimize carbon footprint.

#2 Chanel

#3 Urban decay


#1 Lancôme

#2 Chanel

note: Chanel is known for their amazing reds. Their creme, medium and matte finishes perform fantastic.

#3 Nars

#4 Urban Decay

Urban Decay has excellent color selection and performs well.

It’s a bit lower price point than Lancôme and Chanel. Lancôme and Chanel lipsticks perform fantastic in almost all lipstick finishes. Ie; moist, medium, matte.


#1 Tarte



#1 Nars

#2 Lancôme

#3 Lumpiness

Note: Lumpiness lip products I’ve tried get a number 10 rating on performance. The down side is you can’t try it on at the counter. Online purchase only, so the color is more difficult to get accurately. This stain stays on until you remove it!


#4 Bobby Brown

Overall great performance on all Bobby Brown cosmetics I’ve tried.


Lip Liner


#1 Burts Bee’s

Repair and hydrate

Lip Shimmer line. They provide a hint of color and help protect and moisturize lips.



Who wears very little makeup.

I recommend framing the face with lips and brows. My special ‘Lips’ guidelines for you are as follows:

1 neutral high performance medium finish lipstick.

Ie; it enhances your natural lip color.

1 compatible neutral lip liner thats a shade or two darker than lipstick

2 Burts Bee’s ‘lip shimmer’ colors.

Burts Bee’s lip shimmers aren’t actually ‘lipstick’ that has shimmer in it. They are tinted sunblock lip moisturizers that are very sheer and moisturizing. They come in 13 colors and combine well with lip liners too. BB lip shimmers work well on their own, although lip liners prevent bleeding and also allow you to shift the color.

Great price! And you can buy and test them at Whole Foods.

$500 TIP!

Buying High End Cosmetics

Check when they’re having seasonal promotions. Typically, promotions give cosmetic gift packs with a purchase of 2 items or more. The gift frequently has a mascara, lipstick, moisturizer and one additional product. The value of these products is generally about $120. So, if you buy during a promotion, on average, two of the 4 promo products will work for you. This offsets your overall money spent on cosmetics and the result is that you get products that perform well and work for you. This prevents you from having the typical drawer (or drawers and drawers) full of cosmetics that don’t work and take up space! When your products work for you, they should fill up no more than one medium small size makeup bag. The cosmetic bags that comes with your promo purchase work great!

Among high performance cosmetic lines, Lancôme generally has the best promos. Click link below.


My recommendation for your personal ‘Shopping Success’!

Locate your closest department store that carries my recommended cosmetic lines.

Shop ‘in store’ whenever possible.

If online only is available for you, use cosmetics website ‘color matching tools’.

$100 Tip!

Sephora stores frequently have all lines mentioned above with the exception of Bobby Brown and Bite. However, they don’t have promotions. Sephora’s answer to cosmetic line promos is to try to sell you Sephora’s private line of cosmetics for a lower price. The Saphora private line gets about a ‘5 performance rating’ from me on a scale of 1-10. Overall, Nordstrom’s and Macy’s have best promos contracted exclusively for them within specific cosmetic lines.

Happy Shopping Beauties!


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