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Finding the perfect lip gloss: Flirt!, Plain Jane Beauty, Candie's, Mary Kay

This is Plain Jane Beauty's Sweet Coral on the Divine Lip Shine cosmetics line and Candie's Diamond Dust lip gloss.
This is Plain Jane Beauty's Sweet Coral on the Divine Lip Shine cosmetics line and Candie's Diamond Dust lip gloss.Shamontiel L. Vaughn

Divine Lip Shine sweet coral lip gloss, Candie's Diamond Dust lip gloss, Mary Kay Au Naturel (Shimmer) lip gloss

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Red-lipsticked women everywhere were irate when rapper Rakim "A$AP Rocky" Mayers criticized darker-skinned women for wearing bright lipstick.

In The Coveteur, he stated, "I feel like with the red lipstick thing it all depends on the complexion. You have to be fair skinned to get away with that."

Photo galleries were created to prove A$AP Rocky wrong, displaying chocolate celebs looking glamorous in brighter shades of lipsticks. But women who just aren't into lipstick or really bright colors saw where A$AP Rocky was coming from. What didn't get as much attention in the interview was his salute to natural beauty.

"Makeup is the worst thing you can do to your skin. I love girls natural, but I don’t mind makeup. There’s nothing wrong with it, there’s really nothing wrong with it. See, guys like us we just like -- well me, I only speak for myself, but guys like me, I’m used to normal. I’m used to real."

Sometimes less is more.

Questioning "natural" lipstick

Some men complain about makeup getting on their own skin. Others want women to look as glamorous as possible and pound it on. And then there's that group in the middle who doesn't hate or love makeup. They just want it to be convincing. This is when natural makeup shades come in handy. Not the questionable "nude" shade that is usually found in pantyhose lines and is nowhere near nude on brown-skinned women.

"Natural" for shades of chocolate means dark reds, bronze, browns and glosses.

The best looking makeup is the kind of makeup that doesn't look like it's been painted on. These shades compliment skin, lips, eyes and cheeks instead of transitioning them into a new face. While trying out tester lipstick shades may not be the most hygienic option, it beats wasting money on lipstick colors that play tricks on the eyes.

For example, Queen Latifah's Queen Collection line has a plethora of bright red lipsticks (ex. Javalicious, Burgendelicious, Coffee Break and Mocha Locha) that initially appear to be deeper reds and neutral or dark browns on the bottom of the containers. Iman and Fashion Fair are much easier to predict from the bottles.

For other lipstick brands, the nicknames are a bigger trick than the bottles. For example, SMB Essentials' Naked Truth is supposed to look like a "naked" or natural lip color. However, skin hues tell a different tale on each woman.

One man's reaction (my grandfather) to me trying Naked Truth on was, "Looks like you've been eating pancake mix."

As with A$AP Rocky, he gave his honest reaction. I agreed that it looked ridiculous, but I knew it would before I put it on. Even from first glance, trying out enough of the wrong lip shades are a surefire way to become an expert at the most complimentary lipstick colors. Never be afraid to experiment.

Lip Gloss Challenge

For women who prefer a more subtle approach to makeup, lip gloss may be the way to go. Rappers like Eve and reality stars like Jennifer Williams perfected how to make lip gloss complimentary to other face makeup or how to dress up casual attire with just lip gloss.

Four lip glosses were put to the test for the best one.

Plain Jane Beauty (Divine Lip Shine)

  • Color: Sweet Coral
  • Moisturizer Rating*: 1
  • Unique Perks: Although the color is Sweet Coral, it shows up as such a light pink that it almost looks like the natural color of lips. Unlike pink lipstick, this is a universal shade that compliments various complexions. My grandfather's reaction to this one: "Now that's the one. I like it!"
  • Downside: It dries up too quickly on naked or color lips, and constant reapplications will be necessary.
  • Overall Rating: 3

Candie's (Diamond Dust)

  • Color: Diamond Dust
  • Moisturizer Rating: 4
  • Unique Perks: The glittery reflection on the lips is subtle. You'd have to be within kissing distance to notice it. It brings out a reflective glow on most lipsticks.
  • Downside: My grandfather's first impression, "She went and put bacon grease on her lips." Candie's lip gloss is very shiny and has the thick appearance of clear glue, but eventually it blends in.
  • Overall Rating: 3

Mary Kay NouriShine Plus Lip Gloss (Au Naturel)

  • Color: Natural (Clear)
  • Moisturizer Rating: 5
  • Unique Perks: This lip gloss can easily be used as everyday chapstick. It stays on for as long as the lipstick stays on, and even if the lipstick slightly rubs off, the gloss still hangs on. It's the perfect top coat for naked lips or color.
  • Downside: For shoppers who like convenience, this one won't be found in department stores or the cosmetics section at popular retail stores.
  • Overall Rating: 5

Flirt! Glamourazzi Extreme Lip Lacquer

  • Color: High Style (06)
  • Moisturizer Rating: 5
  • Unique Perks: The twist brush eliminates the issue with lipstick drying up. This also simplifies the application process and makes cleaning the brush as easy as rubbing the brush with your fingers and handsoap. This color is just enough of a blend between bronze and gold with a hint of glitter. It's not so sparkly that it looks cheap, but anyone within whispering distance will immediately notice.
  • Downside: Be careful with turning the gloss too many times. Once it squeezes out, there's nothing you can do but wipe the brush off like lotion.
  • Overall Rating: 5

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  • Color: Spotlight (07)
  • Moisturizer Rating: 4
  • Unique Perks: Spotlight is a bit more on the pinkish side. For dark brown-skinned women, it'll have a pronounced appearance. The Flirt! gloss has the same thick texture of Plain Jane Beauty's Sweet Coral but it's glossier. The cleaning process is as convenient with this brush as it is for High Style.
  • Downside: Be careful with turning the gloss too many times. Once it squeezes out, there's nothing you can do but wipe the brush off like lotion.
  • Overall Rating: 4

* Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best.

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