Lancome Rouge in Love: Rouge Valentine Review

Red is one of the most timeless, classic shades of lipstick a woman can wear. The tricky part, for me at least, is finding the right shade. I’ve tried so many different brands and shades, always walking away feeling a bit like Goldilocks at the makeup counter, “This is too orange. This is too dark,” but never finding my “this is just right!” That was until I tried Lancome’s Rouge in Love High-Potency lip color in Rouge Valentine.

Lancome Rouge in Love

For the sake of full disclosure, I must admit that what attracted me to the Rouge in Love line of Lancome lip color was the absolutely gorgeous tube. One glance and I was instantly imagining that this was the kind of lipstick Marilyn Monroe carried around in her handbag. After looking at the various shades of red the line offers, I was immediately drawn to the Rouge Valentine shade. (Even the name exudes romance and glamour!) In the tube, Rouge Valentine is a true, pure red. Something told me to take a chance. “This is your red lipstick,” my heart said.

The first time I applied it, I could tell this was an amazing product. It felt like satin and glided on so smoothly, without any of the stickiness or caking that you sometimes get with highly-pigmented lipsticks. It actually felt like it was moisturizing and conditioning my lips!

Lancome Rouge Valentine

Now for the most important part: the color. I was completely blown away. This shade flattered my complexion in a way that I rarely find in any shade of lipstick, let alone a red! It wears like a classic red, with just the faintest pink undertone. It has a definite color payoff, leaving no need for multiple coats, and has a slight, dewy sheen. Best of all, it has staying power. I wore this shade for hours without reapplying. Even when it had faded, it looked like a beautiful pink lip-stain, unlike the dreaded “ring” I’ve gotten from bold shades in the past. Another thing that sets Rouge Valentine apart from other reds is that I didn’t have any feathering. I didn’t apply lip-liner before applying the lipstick, and I quickly found I wouldn’t need to. My only tip? As with any high-pigment shade, apply carefully to avoid staining the skin.

Long story short, I LOVE Lancome’s Rouge in Love: Rouge Valentine shade. Shop for it here.

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My Love Affair With Red Lipstick! (By Rachael Sage)

Today day we have a  post from recording artist Rachael Sage! You can learn more about her at


My name is Rachael Sage, and I’m a recording artist, actress & record label-owner.

I love dressing up and wearing wild, sparkly makeup – and I often change my

performance style depending on whether I’m in the mood for sequins, feather boas or

tutus…but one thing I can never do without is red lipstick!

Rachael Sage


I’ve been wearing red lipstick on a daily basis since I was in 7th grade (even though my

parents didn’t know it and I’d put it on once I got to school). Before then, I reveled in

wearing it at ballet recitals, on Halloween, and in grammar school plays where, for some

reason, obscene amounts of makeup were always the norm. My mom wore red lipstick,

Marilyn wore it, Ginger Rogers wore it, all my favorite ballerinas in The New York City

Ballet wore it, and of course, Madonna maintained it as a modern classic; to me it was

always an instant reflection of glamour, sophistication and confidence. Plus, as a pale

Jewish girl with blue eyes and dark hair, I felt that the extra pop of color kept me from

totally disappearing, especially when everyone else but me seemed to have a tan. A

red lip always just felt “right”, and I’ve rarely gone a day without it, even if I’m home by

myself or it’s just me and my engineer in the recording studio.


I may love red lipstick, but I’m definitely not a “makeup snob”. With clothes, I firmly

believe that while luxury brands and designer names have their place and are great for

special occasions if you can afford them, the only thing that really matters is that you

feel great in whatever you’re wearing – even if you bought it at Target or on the street

on St. Mark’s Place (my favorite cheap-o shopping street in NYC). With makeup, my

philosophy is the same; I buy a particular shade of red lipstick when it beckons to me

from the drugstore display, versus when I “need” it. I might go into a Ricky’s Drugstore to

buy some shampoo, but then get sidetracked by the perfect Mattése bright red lipstick,

or be in an airport on tour and go into a shop to buy eyedrops, but end up with a more

exciting new magenta-red shade of Revlon lipstick. I’m not brand-loyal at all, and for me

it all comes down to richness of color and something slightly different in the shade of

red or the level of shine, from others I may already have. I love Wet & Wild as much as

I love Lancome. My mom had very fancy makeup, but it’s just never been a priority for

me. After all, if you can buy 3 slightly different shades of red lipstick for the price of one

fancier, and they all look great on you, what’s the problem? The proof is in the mirror, not

on the price-tag.


Another thing I love to do for live performance is add glitter to my red lipstick, so it has

a slightly different, sparkly hue. If I have a show and I’m wearing purple, I might add a

purple iridescent glitter to just the very center of my lips, or if I’m wearing black, I like

to accent them with a little gold or silver glitter. Last spring I was on tour in the UK and

found a great “edible glitter” from a cupcake shop, and it really sparkles…I use it on my

eyelids too! I saw it on the cupcakes and asked if I could just buy the glitter and not the

baked goods, and even though they’d never done that before, they said yes. When you

love something that might not be for sale, it definitely pays to have “chutzpah” and ask



This year I had the opportunity to attend The Grammys. When I went to pick up my

tickets there was a rep from Smashbox giving away free makeup who asked if I was

an artist and when I said yes, she gave me a whole bunch of amazing samples from

powder to blush and also – woohoo! – a new red lipstick. I’m definitely a fan of the brand

now, and was very happy with the way it lasted throughout the day, especially since I ate

and drank a lot at The Grammys and it was a very long event! Still, I’d never really want

to only wear one kind of red lipstick at the expense of having others in my arsenal. Just

like I wouldn’t want to write only one kind of song; sometimes I want a blue-ish red or an

orange-y red, or a red with a dot of hot-pink glitter in the middle.


Once in a while, a makeup artist or photographer will ask me to consider wearing a

totally nude lip. I used to agree to try it, even though I’ve never liked how any photos

came out with it; I just felt bland and like I disappeared…So these days I really try to

avoid it and speak up and be honest that I’d just prefer to do a bolder lip. For my new

album, “Haunted By You”, however, I really wanted my cover to look like a Victorian

portrait. I was inspired by John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X”, and I knew that to have

that period look, I’d have to blot my lips a lot and go a little more pink than in the past.

As soon as the shoot was over though, I put my own bright red lipstick back on…it’s just

what makes me feel most “me”, and I don’t think that will ever change!

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Choosing The Best Makeup Brushes

Good makeup brushes are essential for proper makeup application. This is even more true if you use drugstore makeup, because it often is not as well pigmented, making good application rather important. Drugstore items are also often packaged with cheap applicators that don’t really cut it for proper makeup application.  If you purchase more expensive makeup, there often will not be any applicators included, as the companies assume that you already have decent makeup brushes.

So, choosing the best makeup brushes is important. Fortunately, quality makeup brushes do not have to break the bank. While some pricey brushes are also very high quality and provide excellent results, there also are some pretty good inexpensive makeup brushes available at your local dig box retailer or drugstore.

MAC holiday brush set

There are four primary differences between lower end, affordable makeup brushes and the more expensive professional makeup brushes

(1) Price: the most obvious difference is price. Drugstore quality makeup brushes are often under $10, while professional brushes can run $20-40 or more. But before you scream at the difference, pro brushes are made to last. You will replace even the best of the drugstore quality makeup brushes more often, as they simply do not hold together as well or for as long.

(2) Materials: Professional makeup bushes are generally made of animal fibers, which holds and applies pigment more evenly. This allows for the best possible look. For liquid makeup application, animal fibers tend to work the best at providing a streak free look. For the nest eye shadow application, pro makeup brushes also are often preferable.

(3) Durability: Professional makeup brushes last longer. A pro brush will not lose bristles to the extent that a cheaper brush will.  They also will last longer overall, as they are less likely to break. Inexpensive makeup brushes often lose a few bristles, especially when they are new. But often once they are broken in, they usually can work nearly as well as the pro brushes. Some brands are better than others though. For example, Eco Tools tend to hold up pretty well, but Sonia Kashuk makeup brushes have a history of losing a lot of bristles.

Below are some choices of great brushes across several price points.

The Best Drugstore Makeup Brushes

Low on money? One of the best cheap makeup brush brands is Eco Tools.  The Eco Tools line of makeup brushes are very affordable, and they are quite easy to find in both drugstores and big box store.  Eco Tools brushes also tend to hold up pretty well. They don’t lose bristles all that much. the brand is also ecologically sound, with the brushes constructed out of recycled materials. The brushes come packaged in natural cases and the brushes themselves have attractive bamboo handles.

ecotools brush kit

Sephora also makes a line of fairly good makeup brushes. These run a bit more in rice than Eco Tools, but there are a wider range of options and kits, and generally the line is still quite affordable.

The Best Professional Makeup Brushes

There are numerous excellent choices in professional makeup brushes. Probably the most popular and widely respected are the  MAC Makeup Brushes. MAC makeup brushes are always quality and when it comes to price, they actually are fairly reasonable for the quality that you get from the brush. For a good deal on MAC brushes, watch for the MAC holiday brush sets that come out every year. The brushes in the sets are the same high quality as the standard brushes, but they are made with shorter handles, something I personally prefer anyway. Buying one of the MAC holiday sets can be an excellent opportunity to purchase quality brushes while saving quite a bit of money.

Trish mcEvoy Brush Set

There are numerous other higher end brushes, and just about anything from one of the top department store brands is going to be a quality brush. Lancome makes nice brush sets, as does Laura Mercier and Trish McEvoy.  To view a number of excellent brushes, take a look at the Nordstrom Makeup Brush Sets.  As with the MAC brushes, finding travel sets can be a nice way to save money.

Shop For Makeup Brushes

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