A Little Bit of Lip Mathematics and Blog Updates

(I might have stolen the Lip Mathematics name from the lovely Robyn of Stay Beautiful whose ideas on mixing and matching lip products together to create a new color is absolutely genius. She hasn't updated the series in a while but I'm hoping for more soon. I think it's so smart to do and a great way of using the lip products you have [while staving off the desire to purchase more!])

(By the way, I'm slowly moderating the giveaway entries so I'll announce the winners when I'm done!)

Lip Mathematics first, boring blog updates afterwards!

(Portland Black Lipstick Company Black Lipstick and Besame Cosmetics Carmine Lipstick)

My inspiration for doing this post is this video by DustyOHunter on the Estee Lauder Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipsticks. I basically fell in love with the Gunmetal Luminzer which is used over lipsticks to turn colors "deep, dark, dramatic". I'm supposed to be on a no/low buy now so I couldn't justify purchasing the $25.00 lipstick so I went searching for a few dupes before figuring out my own DIY version.

Part of me figuring this out required searching for a dupe of Lipstick Queen's Black Tie Optional.
(which I also heard about from DustyOHunter's blog) Black Tie Optional (BTO) is different from the Estee Lauder Gunmetal Luminizer because BTO was used as a base for your lipsticks instead of a topper the way the Gunmetal Luminizer is. BTO was discontinued but they did/do(?) offer a gloss version of their BTO and when I saw my tube of Portland Black Lipstick Company (PBLC) Black Lipstick, a lightbulb went off in my head.

I realized I could create a decent BTO copy by mixing a bit of gloss (I used Homeoplasmine, which is basically French petroleum jelly with some plant extracts) with a smidge of my Black lipstick to create a sheer black base. The idea of using color theory to alter lipstick shades isn't a new concept by any means, just something I hadn't thought of when it came to figuring out multiple uses for my Black lipstick.

If you had OCC's Tarred Lip Tar and some clear gloss, you could easily get the same result but since I already had PBLC's Black lipstick, I decided to use with that. This truly makes me want to own some of the OCC Lip Tars to try the technique out (Rx is seriously calling my name!) I much preferred using the black gloss as a base for my lipsticks as opposed to layering it on top because using it on top made the look a little too grey whereas it blended easier when it was a base. You can definitely experiment to see what you like best!

Here's how it all worked out:

Portland Black Lipstick Company Black + Vaseline


Besame Carmine


Besame Carmine + Black Gloss

Here's a side by side picture before and after the black gloss so you can see the difference. It's not too drastic but I really like the "After" since I wasn't so fond of how bright and orangey Carmine was and the black gloss base toned it down.


For all those people wondering what you could possibly do with those "strange" black, blue, yellow, etc colored lip products, this is the answer. Opaque lipsticks seem to do better, along with brighter colors. DustyOHunter (I feel like such a fangirl because I've mentioned him so much during this post but I don't care) recommended warmer colors and mid-tone/light warm colors looked well. I tried it with a nude lipstick (Revlon's Soft Nude Colorburst Lipstick) and it just turned out terrible because the lipstick didn't have enough color to balance out the base. I mainly have red lipsticks and the effect looked quite nice. Experiment to see what looks best on you!

Onto the boring blog-related bits!

I'm slowly but surely trying to get into the swing of blogging again. Trying to do posts has been a little tough, especially looks of my makeup of the day when my day starts early and I am doing student hours in a speech & language clinic at school (meaning bright makeup is out of the question and putting on makeup only to take it off a few hours later is effortful at 7 in the morning). Last semester I had all night classes so doing posts was much easier since I had perfect morning light but this semester is all full of morning/afternoon classes (and a horrible Friday afternoon class!) which cuts into swatching time.

When it comes to blog changes, I added a few more social media buttons to the top of the sidebar so it'll be easier to find me on Facebook, Twitter, Hellocotton, etc. I moved the search bar to the top so it'd be easier to search for posts (if you weren't able to find them using the different tabs on top!) and lastly I also changed my tags around a bit and made two dropdown menus. One lists the types of blog posts I've done (Swatches, EOTDs, FOTDs, etc) and the other lists the brands I've used on the blog.

I'd also thought I'd take the time to talk about the ads and affiliate badges I have on the blog. I don't think I've ever talked about them before but better late than never! In the interest of full disclosure I do have advertisements on the blog, mainly my Blogher ad in the sidebar and a few Google Adsense blogs at the bottom of the sidebar and the bottom of the blog. The advertisements help to offset the costs of running the blog (my domain name which I recently got, my Flickr account, a little bit extra for the things I buy for the blog).

The affiliate badges (and occasionally the affiliate links) give me a commission when you use them to make a purchase. Whenever I do write a post with an affiliate link (say a Sugarpill affiliate link) I will include a nonaffiliate link (and mark it as such) if you don't feel comfortable using my affiliate link. Much like the advertisements, the affiliate links help to offset any costs from running the blog (not only the monetary costs but the time spent writing, editing, taking pictures, etc) I most definitely do NOT want to make you feel guilted into using them, they're just there for your convenience and to help give a little back to me. I certainly don't feel entitled to anything and I don't think you guys owe me anything because you read my blog.

Just to be clear, I don't do paid reviews; any money I do make from the blog comes from the advertisements or the affiliate badges and links I have.

If you managed to read this far, I send you my love.


  1. Replies
    1. I wasn't too fond of Carmine before but I think it looks so much better on me afterwards!

  2. Now I want to try black lipstick. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Definitely get your hands on one, it's much more multitasking than people think!

  3. Combining brightly coloured lipstick with black gloss is such a cool idea! I love how Carmine looks with it.

  4. That's a great idea for toning down a lipstick that 'feels' too bright on!

  5. such a great idea. though i dont have the dark lipstick yet.. your lip swatches look great btw.

  6. I've always wondered about the uses for more unusually coloured lip products. This is a great idea. I may try it to tone down the super-red lip products I have for everyday wear.

  7. Thank you for the idea! It is wonderful!! :D

  8. Been waiting for this post. Great idea, Mai!

  9. Can I just say how in love I am with your lips? Perfection :D !


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