Will Your Lipstick Be There in 2023?

It’s a toss-up. Everyone is looking at the economy and rolling the dice about whether we’ll make it. “We” being the beauty industry. We’ve made it in the past. Even salons managed to stick it out after the pandemic. We’re a necessary luxury.

Minor luxury industries can plan for the future based on we, the beauty industry. It’s a metric called the Lipstick Index. It’s used to understand how much people will continue to buy in a given industry despite a financial crunch. Now, obviously, the financial outlook for a writer like me is going to be different than that for the head of L’Oreal during a recession. Or would it really be? The more investments you make, the more capital you need. But will we keep spending? How often? And on what?

Beauty is the Thing

Beauty is important to a lot of us. It’s how we got into this industry. After all, there aren’t too many people running around without washing their hair or sans some form of makeup. People got their nails on, too. As we struggle to find our places in society, self-esteem has dwindled, being well groomed is something we hold on to pretty tightly. 

I’m not sure if that’s been factored into the Lipstick Index, but maybe it should be.

Will We Sacrifice Electricity for Lipstick Though?

Well, no. But my point is that it’s pretty high up on the list of priorities. True to my industry, I can’t help noticing that hair dye somehow survives combat zones. So there should be some hope. 

Okay, fine. I’ve started to prepare. What would I do without my favorite skincare, after all? Should I do a wrinkle and a sag? I ordered some smile line patches. We’ll see how they work. Between that, I added some sale colors to my decent makeup collection I hardly use. I think I’ll love them. And my thousand rose lotion, of course. Anything else?

Well, yeah. Lots. 

The Beauty Industry Is You and Me

The Lipstick Factor isn’t some vague set of numbers. And it isn’t what “the average person” buys. (Some scary number.) It’s what beauty influencers, writers, salespeople, producers and editors spend our extra cash and bill money on. It’s us. So I think we’ll survive. Honestly, I think we’ll flourish. 

Color Your Complexion for Summer: Blush is Back

If you enjoyed the highlighter phase, but never quite caught on to contouring, I have great news. Blush is back! Blush goes in the same spot as contouring, making your face look fresh and bright instead of sunken. (Is there a reason why skeletal looks were trending?)

The light caught her highlighting in an unflattering manner, so remember, keep highlighting to a minimum. Make yourself up in bright sunlight or a makeup mirror to avoid applying too much. This way you look healthy and colorful. -Photo by Sakshi Patwa

Now that we’ve gotten past (most of) the pandemic, it’s time to show off your healthy state. Hopefully, you’re enjoying it! The sun is out, and it’s time for some color. How to apply blush?

Grab a mirror. When you have no makeup on, look at your cheeks carefully from the front. They will actually tell you where to apply blusher and highlight, if you’d like to add a little shine to your color. Under your eyes rest the tops of your cheekbones. If you notice, they are lighter in color. This is where you add your highlighter, sparingly, if you choose to.

Facial structures differ! If you look closely, you’ll see she has a darker triangle under the eye and, of course, under the cheekbones. She would apply her blush in these two areas. But she needs to bring the blush up a little on top of her cheekbones to avoid a sunken look. The lighter areas of her cheekbones under the eyes and on the side of the face could use a silvery highlighter to match her cool undertones. Photo by Keanen Geego Kilian

The area below this is significantly darker and might be spread closer to your ears than the center of your face. This dark area is where your blusher goes. But obviously it needs to be darker or more popp-ier than the skin in that area for it to work.

This lady can use her natural blushing area and add a slightly more intense color in rose or peach. You also might see a slightly darker area on the side of her cheekbones in a vertical pattern. She can use blush here too. Then she can use a bit of highlighter on the outside of the face under the eyes where the skin is lighter. Photo by Lerike Lazyr.

Very dark, black skin can use bright red colors that pop. Very light, European skin gets away with peach and rose colors. Medium skin tones work well with rust and darker pinks. Tones between black and medium look awesome with a raisin color blush. Again, you can choose any color, as long its just darker than the skin there.

It’s so hard to find pictures with absolutely no makeup. Sorry this is in black and white. This lady has a very clear delineation of light and dark on her cheeks. A red or violet pop of blush, blended in well with highlighter subtly placed in gold on the upper cheekbones will look so beautiful on her. Photo by David Iloba.

If your skin is dark and you can’t find an appropriate color, go for one that pops instead. If you have a European light, skin tone, colors that pop won’t work for you! Look instead for a highlighter to give you some shimmer. A little glitter in the highlight area when it’s hot outside looks lovely on everyone, too.

Blush and highlighter properly applied for a natural summertime look. Lovely. Photo by cottonbro.

Happy summer!  

It’s Spring! Try a Temporary Hair Color- No Damage

A big thank you to Merrell Readman of SheFinds and M. Davis-McAfee over on Suggest for quoting me about hair dyes. Being a hair expert is part of my work at The Right Hairstyles.

Davis-McAfee’s article talks about what hair experts wish you knew about hair dye. I mentioned temporary colors, but I’d like to add that if you have dry hair, don’t use semi-permanent or permanent dye. Just don’t. Both penetrate the hair shaft and cause changes to the hair structure that dry or damaged hair might not be able to handle.

Solution? Temporary hair color that sits on top of the hair structure only.

How can I temporarily dye my hair without dying it

There are a few ways you can dye your hair without semi-permanent, demi-permanent or permanent dyes and bleach:


You can use henna. The henna market has come a long way in the past several years but is still restricted to shades of brown, red and black. Henna penetrates the cuticle layer of the hair only and dyes it. It’s still a semi-permanent color as it fades some over a six-month period, and you have the option to retouch the roots.

Your hair might feel a little dry after you use henna, but that is normally due to residual henna left on the hair. After a few washes, the dryness decreases and moisture can still get in and out of the hair shaft. Plus, henna strengthens the hair. If you’re interested, have a look at these three companies. 

Henna Color Lab

The Henna Guys


Temporary hair colors

If you want to express yourself with pastels or a rich purple, say, go for temporary hair colors. These have also evolved. They started out as temporary hair color sprays and chalks. Those are still around. But now a lot of women with natural hair are using temporary colors, which means they are non-drying. There are temporary hair color wax, gel and cream to suit your application tastes and hair texture and all are moisturizing right out of the jar. 

Does temporary hair dye damage your hair?

Temporary hair dye can damage your hair if it’s drying, like hair spray color that’s temporary and colored chalk. There are some people who can’t do with anything drying at all or their hair become brittle and snaps right off. So if you’re one of those people, check out some of the new creams, gels and waxes on offer that can have you colored up for spring without dryness.

Unlike natural henna, these temporary dyes contain chemicals. But they don’t adhere firmly to the hair cuticle, they only coat it. They wash right out in your next wash, as long as your hair isn’t too porous or dyed previously. They’re not designed to enter the hair shaft or re-color the protein inside your hair. But again, if you’ve had another dye job or your hair is overly porous due to chemical processing, a temporary hair color might actually get inside your hair and do some staining.

Can I oil my hair after I colour it (or what does aftercare look like)

You can’t oil your hair or the product will slide off. What you can do is apply gel to seal it and cause less color transfer. If the weather is hot or you work out, don’t apply the color close to your roots, or you’ll be a sweaty purple or pink mess. Sleep with a bonnet so there is no color transfer to your sheets. If it gets on your clothes, wash them immediately.

Best temporary hair color that pops on dry hair

Ready? All these work on dark hair, so there is no need for bleached hair or blonde hair before you get started. Why do I make an assumption that the better the product is packaged the more thought went into the formulation? I don’t know, and that’s probably not fair. But here we go in order of best packaging. 

Gemini Naturals Get Hued

Gemini carries 13 colors and a Curl Awaken Primer, that is a lightweight leave-in conditioner with an aloe vera base. Each color contains aloe vera, avocado oil, glycerin and castor oil. The dyes are gel-based, so there might be a little crunch after it dries, but that fades. It vegan, can be applied to wet or dry hair. The company says you can use a gel or jojoba oil to seal the color, but it starts to fade after three days. They are all vibrant colors. 

Check them out:

As I Am Curl Colors

As I Am also has 13 colors added to their original line of haircare products. These are gel colors also and give medium hold and good definition. The formulas are boosted with black castor oil and ceramides. These colors improve moisture levels by 83%. 

Check them out:

Curl Fit

Curl Fit are gel colors that the brand says works well to cover even jet black hair. There are 13 shades. (What?) It contains beeswax, which can make it look a little chalky if you don’t use regular gel over it. It also has glycerin, jojoba oil and castor oil. If you have straight hair instead of textured hair, the brand recommends you try the colors for highlighting instead of an all over ‘do.

Check them out:

ORS Curls Unleashed Color Blast

Curls Unleashed Color Blast comes in 21 colors, and they have a try on feature on their website so you can get an idea how the colors will look on your skin tone. The colors are hair waxes and contain beeswax and glycerin. At $10 for 6 oz., they are also the cheapest on this list.

Check them out:

Crown Paint Colors Hair Shadows

There are over 80 shades, neon, metallic…take your pic! The brand says these are not waxes or gels but creams. They contains cocoa butter and shea butter. Crown Paint Hair Shadows work best on hair that’s already light, so you will need two coats to get a vibrant color. If you blow dry your hair, the shades will not come off on your fingers afterwards.

Check them out:

Mysteek Naturals Color Pop

Mysteek has 12 different colors to their hair waxes and the recipe is super simple — beeswax, petroleum jelly and pigment. It’s kid-safe. The color is vibrant even on dark hair and there’s no need to blow dry to set the color as it only sticks to the hair. It’s recommended with this color and most of the colors on this list to use a hair bonnet at night to keep it from staining  your bedding.

Check them out:

DIY your own temporary hair color

Looking at the ingredients of all these, it didn’t look like rocket science to do a DIY. So I mixed a little pastry color powder in a curl pudding. Did it dye? Yes, but it was too dark. A lighter color probably shows up better on dark hair.

The next surprising thing is that it didn’t feel dry at all. It’s an edible color, so maybe that’s why. It gave the pudding a lighter texture that transfers to the hair, making it softer. 

Enjoy your new temporary hair color, however you decide to do it. And let me know how it goes!

Does Cream to Powder Foundation Look Good on Dark Skin?

We host different colors and depths of color on one face. If you look closely, she has at least seven colors on that one cutie-pie face.

Cream to powder makes beautiful and innovative products. There’s cream to powder blush from which you can apply just what you need for a natural finish. There’s even cream to powder lipstick, like this one from Peripera in coco-cola can red. It’s matte, but bright. Very classic, very nice. Plushy and soft. There is no need for a lip liner, and it stays well. Weird. But cream to powder foundation? It’s usually way too matte. Still pondering whether you should go dewy or matte with your foundation? Read on.

It’s the color of the bottle, not the applicator.

There were certain black magazines I avoided as a youth and others I looked at over and over. The ones I avoided had models with flat faces–matte makeup. The others had fresh, dewy makeup, even though highlighting wasn’t a thing back then.

Dark skin is typically dry, not oily. So what were they mattifying? Even for those with oily skin, matte makeup flattens the many contours of brown faces. I get that it lasts longer and is great for full coverage, but it makes us look ashy. Even with highlighter and contouring, it looks ashy. It’s just fine when only used on the T-zone, or only where it’s needed. A dewy foundation can then be used for the rest of the face. I’m a dewy fan.

Matte looks lovely on lighter skin tones, though. To see examples, scroll down on this page for an Urban Decay medium coverage, matte finish foundation. Check the faces. All is fine until you get to the medium dark range. From there on, everyone looks flat.

So like the picture of the little girl in this article, we host different colors and depths of color on one face. If you look closely, she has at least seven colors on that one cutie-pie face. Because of this shading and depth, matte makeup makes our noses, chins and cheekbones recede. If you have large eyes, matte can be just what you need to bring out a baby-doll look. Otherwise, it just looks imbalanced.

Recall the last time you wore a nude, matte lipstick. Did it look good on you or did it make your mouth recede into the background. Kinda funny looking? That’s my point. 

Challenge: I was looking at some of the astounding makeup on https://www.instagram.com/blackopalbeauty/ Can you tell me which of these women are using matte foundation and which are using dewy foundation? Dewy foundation is amazing on dark skin, but if you’re still on the fence, maybe Black Opal’s Instagram can help you choose.

Below are some cream to powder tryouts, so you can get a more in depth look:

She has other makeup on in the intro, so see the middle of the video.
Cream to powder and matte foundation was made for those with lighter skin. Just putting color in it doesn’t make it appropriate for those with dark skin.

In the nearby future, hopefully I’ll write something up about how to bring out the beauty of dewy makeup on dark skin. Thanks for reading. 😉