Author: Alexandra

Red Lipsticks in My Collection

… the helluva dated edition.

Some time last year, I let go of the two products mentioned in this post. They are featured here, because I still wanted to mention them to give you my two cents on the matter.

(Plus I can’t find my camera’s battery to reshoot the photos properly.)

red lipsticks

L’Oreal Color Riche Serum in True Red S502

Pictured third in the photo above, I suppose this is the same as the classic True Red, the only difference being a balm added in the core of the lipstick. It’s a classic red with blue undertones. Feels comfortable on the lips, including dry lips, and seems to glide over the imperfections easily. However, it begins to dry out your lips over time, and if that’s what it did with the addition of the serum, then I have no idea how it feels without it. L’Oreal Color Riche in True Red does not exactly migrate outside the lines, but I did prefer to use a pencil with this. Mine’s a cheapish Flormar (see below), which did the job just fine.

The colour transfers easily, and though it will survive a snack and a cup of tea, it will not live through a meal. It’s a hard lipstick to eat in. Looks rather messy. It was one of the reasons I let it go. I love wearing a bold colour when I go out, and constantly checking the state of my lipstick is just not worth it.

Top Shop Red Lippy

My first and, so far, the only foray into Top Shop make-up. I’ll be honest – I bought Top Shop Red Lippy for the makeup bag (and the charity), which I ultimately did not get. Suppose the stocks ran out on me. This has a slight orange undertone, but nothing too drastic. The formula is creamy, but not greasy. Has a vanilla-ish scent to it. I preferred to use this one with a pencil as well, though it could be fine without it. As with the L’Oreal red lipstick above, the application of Top Shop Red Lippy is quite easy directly from the bullet.

Eventually I let it go as well, again for the reason of it not staying put enough for my liking.

So there you have it, I just went and let go of two ‘cult’ red lip products. Eh.

Be a … Bombshell Hollywood

Not pictured in the photo above – my apologies. You can see the lipstick in the bullet here, and a swatch of it here, both from the time I did a post about a Lip Monthly bag that it came with.

I’ve got a couple of terms for this one – autumn red, everyday red, and retro red. It’s not as in-your-face red as the two above and quite easy to wear daily. Comfortable on the lips – I forget that it’s there. Does not need a pencil, easily applies directly from the bullet. While the formula is nowhere near being sheer, it’s just a touch lighter than full-coverage, which just adds to this lipstick’s wearability. It’s got just a bit of a brick undertone to it, which I suppose makes me want to name it ‘autumn’ and ‘retro’. If your lips are dry, it might stain. But then that’s true about any colour.

I can understand why it’s named ‘Hollywood‘. I do think of it as this timeless red that one might see in vintage ads.

red lipstick swatches

Left to right: Mirabella, Nouba, L’Oreal, Top Shop

Nouba Millebaci Lip Color in 7

A matte liquid lipstick. A gorgeous deep red – or should I say, classic red. The packaging is heavy plastic that feels almost like glass to the touch, except it’s warmer. The brush, a doe-foot applicator, picks up the right amount of product to cover your lips and stick within the edges. The application can be messy, but it’s easily avoided by figuring out exactly how much product you need. Once it sets, it won’t budge. The finish is almost powdery. Nouba Millebaci Lip Color in 7 survives even the oily meals, but with some damage. The reapplication is pretty easy. The product will not flake, however, the second and third coat will not look as even and fresh as the first one. Nouba Millebaci doesn’t need a pencil, but – I realise I begin to sound like a broken record here – I still prefer to use one, yeah. I just find it easier to line my lips and correct any asymmetry that I find, and then go in with lipstick.

This is a brilliant product with a very durable formula, however it is quite drying. Not that even – it not so much dries out your lips, as it just feels dry. Then again, it is more comfortable than some of the regular lipsticks I have tried (Oriflame Pure Colour and Melkior, I’m looking at you). I’m absolutely in love with this colour, and want to pick up another red from Nouba Millebaci line – a darker shade, I think it’s number 11.

Mirabella Red Velvet Lip Pencil

This was a bit of a ‘surprise’ product – I didn’t expect it to be as good as it is. The formula is just the right amount of creamy. Once on, you don’t feel it. The colour payoff is amazing, and the application (and reapplication) is a breeze. Indeed, you will need to reapply, as the product does transfer, but it doesn’t make claims that it wouldn’t. The colour of Mirabella Velvet Lip Pencil in Red is a beautiful deep red, a little less in your face than the Nouba Millebaci one above. A very welcome addition to my red lipstick stash.

flormar red lip pencils

Flormar Lip Pencils

And two words on the pencils that I use with the above lipsticks interchangeably. One of them has blue undertones, the other one orange, so I mix and match accordingly. I suppose the ideal match of these two would be the ones I let go of – L’Oreal and the Top Shop lipsticks. I bought the pencils specifically to use with these two lipsticks, so no surprise there. The product is a bit on the dry side, but I suppose in the case of lip pencils I welcome it – after all, I use them to line with precision and to ensure that the lipstick doesn’t get away. My only gripe with these two would, randomly, be the quality of wood used for the body of the pencil. It’s hard to get a smooth edge when sharpening them. But for their price (around… $2, by today’s rates, I think) Flormar Waterproof Lipliners do a great job.

Not sure why they’re called ‘waterproof’ though.

What’s in your red lipstick collection?

Books in 2017, and ‘Goals’ for 2018


2017 was a good year for me in books. I read 21, which is 4 more than my original challenge of 17. I discovered some new (to me) authors, but most importantly I think I finally brought back my reading mojo.

Aside from that, I also bought much less than I usually do (which is a good thing), and I found myself reading what I already have. It wasn’t quite the three out one in I was hoping for, but it was still better than other years.

Fingers crossed for 2018. God willing, these trends will continue.

In 2017 I also started a separate Instagram account for all my book-related posts.

A post shared by Alex (@readanythingonce) on

Come join me there if you haven’t yet!

At first I thought that Goodreads yearly review would be enough for me, but no. I want to write an actual post, even if it’s just a line or two about each book I’ve read last year.

Even if my notes are short, the post itself is still kinda long – after all, I am talking about twenty-one books here. So it’s all blissfully hidden under the cut. If you’re not keen on book notes, scroll down to the very end for my tentative 2018 reading goals.


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Photodiary – October 2017, part 1

I have a lot of hang-ups, and chronology is one of them. But let’s think in terms of Vonnegut, and decide that time is not linear. If I start putting up content chronologically, we might have to wait until 2025 to see 2017. From now on, I’ll be putting up random photodiary post from whatever month/ week/ day that strikes my fancy.

October of this year is the first victim.


This is such a blurry shot, but I wanted to include Shusha, as she’s been such an active part of October. I haven’t had the chance to mention her on the blog yet, but she’s appeared on my Instagram several times. Shusha is a stray kitten I picked up in September. My original intention was to foster her and find her a home, but eh. She found a home in my flat.


Schnitzel the elder can’t it with these younguns.


And Dusya is like, WTF mate. As always.

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