It's a phrase that we all love to hate, but a look we're continually seeking to perfect. For those days when you're not feeling a bright pop of colour, but still need that extra something on your lips before you're ready to brave the day. Whether you're a little on the thin-lipped side (like myself) and require a bit of oomph, or simply want to perfect your natural pout, there's a 'lips but better' occasion for all of us. The quest for the perfect shade can be a long and arduos (not to mention expensive!) journey, littered with the carcasses of 'too nude' or 'too pink' never to be worn again lipsticks. And don't think that colour is the be all and end all. I swatched many a lipstick which presented the perfect nude/pink ratio only to find that the formula was too matte or too shimmery - and believe me, it matters. After months of searching I eventually decided to stay away from the high-street, where budget prices tempted me in with the 'but it's less than £10, it doesn't matter if its not perfect' mentality (resulting in a graveyard of all too similar 'natural' shades which just didn't quite crack it. Chanel's Rouge Coco Shine in Boy was my initial high-end 'my lips but better' purchase. Bought after weeks of thorough research, I'm pretty sure I read every review, watched every tutorial, and compared every swatch that the Internet had to offer. And there were many, Boy is Chanel's best-selling Rouge Coco Shine lipstick. I love this lipstick, its a gorgeous shade, not too pink, not too nude - and with just enough gloss to maintain a healthy natural look. My only gripe is that if you build it up too much it can err a little bit on the pink side, and create an ever so slightly too glossy sheen. This wouldn't annoy me so much if one coat truly lasted, but this lipstick (sadly) has zilch lasting power, meaning that it has to be constantly reapplied. Not ideal for an everyday shade...
Not quite satisfied, I continued the hunt, this time with the assistance of a very kind MAC MUA who patiently swatched and tested goodness knows how many potential candidates until we were quite certain that we had found The One. The lipstick in question? Cosmo, an amplified creme finish which ticks all of the boxes and is (for me at least) the perfect 'my lips but better' shade. Although it appears rather on the pink side in the bullet and when swatched, the colour is much more muted upon application. I truly cannot get over how perfectly this matches my natural lip shade. Being an amplified creme formula, this lipstick is creamy and pigmented without looking too thick and paint-like, and I'd say lasts for about 2 hours before requiring reapplication. I actually really like to wear this with a slick of Boy over the top. The glossiness of the Chanel formula really helps to set off the 'healthy' natural look.
If I'm going all out I'll pair this with a lip liner. Lip liner is truly a thin-lipped girl's best friend and my all time favourite is No7's Precision Lip Pencil in Nude. I actually own this in most of the other shades as well but always stock up on Nude when the No7 vouchers are out as it is so versatile - you can wear it with pretty much any colour. It's the most perfect formula, easy to apply and really long-lasting, I've tried a number of high-end lip liners but this beats them all by a mile. It really helps to fill out my lips and give them a bit more definition and shape, and is a spot-on match for both Cosmo and my natural lip colour.
Do let me know what your favourite 'my lips but better' recommendations are in the comments below, and if you have an tips or tricks for creating the perfect natural pout! To stay updated on future posts and reviews you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin.