A Lighter Shade of Pale……. LIPS!

Bright lips are everywhere.  And again, and again and again, I see ads for red lipstick.  And again, and again and again I read and hear how all women can wear red or burgundy or dark lipstick.

Kardashian selfie time!

Me–with the big, bright lips from my blog post of three years ago Makeup Me A Kardashian!  You have NO idea how long it took to get those lips to look like that.  Red lips are too much of a hassle.  And that was my bio hair before I lost most of the crown.  Lots of Toppik!

It’s a fallacy. It’s a non-truth. It’s a downright lie!  And it seems that lies are becoming the new normal.

Dark lipstick and red lipstick do not look good on everyone.

These women are young.  And even though the photos are filtered, I can guarantee there are no deep ines or wrinkles around their mouths.  Girls better enjoy this look now because their dark lippie time is limited!!

Pro-aging does have some drawbacks—let me explain.  Certain features don’t age as well as other features do.

Some of us may find that our eyelids are drooping and we don’t appear as awake and bright-eyed as we did when we were younger.

Some of us may ask where our eyelids have gone?

We may have jowls. We definitely have more lines and wrinkles.

…and some of us have jowls (I hide mine with layered wigs!!)

And for a number of us, our lips have turned into the most unattractive feature of our face.

That would be me–ol’ fish lips!

I can tell you that when I was in my twenties, I had a great mouth.  My lips were as what the beauty industry calls “bee stung” lips.  Full—very full and very nice, to be exact.  Those bee-stung lips of mine collected quite a few drinks in bars back in the day!

It also helped that youth was on my side because there were no lines around my mouth at all.

I wore brighter lipstick back then—and although I did wear burgundy and wine-colored lipsticks back then, red just never did it for me

And as I’ve aged my once-bee stung lips have morphed from the insect colony to more of the aquatic life.  I have fish lips.  Fish lips are rubbery, almost shapeless and rather unattractive blobs of flesh that have taken the place of a proper set of lips.

Did photographer Richard Austin try to find a fish with my lips?  Although I do like the color of these fish lips!!

Like Don Knotts in the film, The Incredible Mr. Limpet—just call me Donna Knotts!

Yeah—just call me Donna Knotts!

On the plus side, the fish lips were made for smiling because they do give off quite a sweet grin!

Talk about a paradox–fish lips may not be the most attractive, but they create a very nice smile!

But here’s the thing.  These lips are not made for the dark lipsticks and these is where the beauty industry errs.  The reality is these lips look better in a paler shade and I don’t understand why paler shades of lipstick and glosses aren’t given the love or recognition they so deserve.

I’m a fan of the paler shades of lip colors.  The Frenchman is always telling me to go with more color when I film my YouTube videos. And he’s correct because my mouth always looks washed out.  But the truth is, I kind of don’t care because I love a pale lip!

Yesterday I hit Ulta in search of some pale lippies and was successful in my endeavor.

Here’s what I purchased.

My lippie purchase from yesterday.  From top clockwise.  NYX Candy Slick; Tarte Glide & Go Buttery Lipstick; Essence Shine, Shine, Shine Gloss and Colourpop Ultra Glossy lip.

Tarte Glide & Go Buttery Lipstick in “Bare Bud”.  It appears warmer than it goes on the lips but this is a buttery lipstick that is very hydrating—and due to the hydration effect, it isn’t a dry matte.  I applied this at around 8 this morning and it lasted without reapplying for a few hours.   It is flattering to the mature face!

This really is a beautiful pale neutral..

Here I am, old sweats, and Bare Bud on my lips.  It’s a beautiful shade!

Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip Gloss in “Snow Day”.

Colourpop Snow Day..

Shiny, glittery and a hint of color to swipe over a lipstick.  

A pretty pale pinky shine! 

I love a shiny gloss.  I can’t help it.  Worn over lipstick it just makes the lips feel and look better.  This sparkly almost clear gloss delivers.  And can be worn over a slightly darker lip color to make it a bit lighter in hue!

NYX Candy Slick in Sugarcoated Kiss.

I’m a huge fan of NYX lip products.  The Butter Gloss is fantastic!!!  So I HAD to try this and I’m happy I did!

Very similar to Tarte’s Bare Bud in color but in a gloss!


Again—another gloss that appears more on the warm side than it applies.  This goes on very natural and has a nice pale coral color.  With glosses, they never wear as long as lipsticks but over a lipstick, they work well.

Earlier this morning–in the kitchen with pearls and an apron–I’m the epitome of class–LOL.  I’m wearing the NYX Sugarcoated Kiss over the Colourpop Snow Day!

Essence Shine, Shine, Shine.

This is my fifth tube of this gloss.  I love the clear because it gives a great shine!  My other tubes of this gloss have acquired more color because I wear this over practically every lipstick I own. At $3.99 it’s a fantastic value and a great product!

My natural lips are very pigmented so when I wear this, it’s always over a lighter lipstick!

What I had on hand.

Buxom Dolly gloss.  This neutral shade is one of my favorites.  It more of a cool almost flesh tone and I am just about to repurchase.  My sister purchased this after seeing it on me. It really is a universally flattering gloss.

Buxom’s Dolly is one of the greatest shades of lipgloss ever–and it stays on for a long time!

Dolly is a beautiful neutral pale shade!  I need to buy more!

Guerlain Kiss Kiss Number 560 Pushy Pink.

This is my favorite pale coral pink. And has been discontinued.  It may have been renamed—I’m not sure.  But—when I get back to Paris, I’m headed to the Guerlain boutique to find out if A it was discontinued or renamed.  It upsets me to no end that this perfect shade of pale with a hint of color is no more.  Just. My. Luck!

It is beyond me as to why Guerlain would ever discontinue this PERFECT pink/coral shade.  I’m flummoxed over this.  Hopefully they have renamed it!  

A word of caution though.  Not all pale shades are created the same.  Find out what pale shades work with your coloring.  Some pale lipsticks look horrific on me due to my pink undertones.  But I will say that paler shades are definitely easier for the mature woman to wear than the darker ones!

Out and about earlier today with a pale lip and dark eyes.  I love that combo!

What’s your preference?  Have you found that as you age, your mouth and lips have changed?  Do you still wear dark lipstick?  Share your faves in the comments!

Have a few laughs at my YouTube video addressing my fish lips!!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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20 Responses to A Lighter Shade of Pale……. LIPS!

  1. Toni says:

    Cathe, you look great with a pale lip color. I, on the other hand, look all washed out, colorless and tired. So, I stick with my neutral darker colors (not too dark, though) in order to bring life to
    this 63 year old face..

  2. Juliet says:

    I think you have worked out what works for you – plain and simple, and basically that is the secret to looking chic or looking elegant or looking fabulous or… You do “you” and basically no one else is going to do “you” as well. Those young things look fabulous too in their own ways – however they obviously don’t eat, don’t drink, don’t… how can they? The inner parts of their lips are as painted as the rest so obvs they just sit there like gorgeous mannikins as no lippy has worn off, what a sad life – poor things. You have to feel for these young women.

    I go for a soft rosy lip most times – white hair and then neither lips too dark or too pale as I like my eye makeup, and if it has to be one of the other, I like to work on my eyes. I don’t have any wrinkles around my lips as yet, but I have a phobia of lipstick teamed with a lady-moustache – I’ve seen that on others, I don’t want to judge but I personally don’t think it works

  3. Catherine says:

    I have small lips and the reds look better on my disappearing lips! I love the Revlon lipstick/gloss that stays on forever. Used to be in outside sales so I hated having to re apply lipstick. My favorite color is Revlon Colorstay in Forever Scarlet. It is not dark red but a nice medium shade and it lasts all day or until I eat something that is oily. This lipstick is great and the color makes my mouth look visible to the naked eye and makes my teeth look whiter. This 68 year old face loves to smile and wants to embrace my age with LIPS. Love your lips and would wear those pale colors but with pencil lips, can’t.

    • Catherine says:

      You are the second person to mention Revlon Colorstay. I’m definitely going back to Walmart to try to find a shade that works! Wow! Now I’m intrigued and will be obsessed with this until I find a shade…………… XXOXOXOXOX

      • Catherine says:

        I have worn Revlon Colorstay to the dentist for my cleaning etc. and the Revlon Colorstay is still on my lips when they are finished! My hygienist is now wearing her own shade of the Colorstay lipstick. It’s the best and they have a huge selection of colors. Walmart is probably the least expensive but you can get it at Target and other stores that carry Revlon!!!!!

  4. Momcat says:

    I love me a red lip But it has to be THE perfect red. I have two, one is a Guerlain that I cannot remember the name. It’s dark in the bullet but looks just awesome on, very subtle. The other is Dior’s 999 which is available in a few formulas. It was recommended by a forty year old friend who describes it as her perfect red and it is. One more, Nars Cruella is a tad darker but a blue/ red. I think red needs to be a matte formula to look good. Of course red needs a lot of priming and
    repair during the day so I wear on special occasions. I like a bright colourful lip, as my eyes gather more wrinkles I wear less eye makeup and find a good statement lip looks like I am trying to look pulled together! The one thing I worry about is of course that elderly Bette Davis look with the lipstick leaking into lip wrinkles with a few smudges and smears. I use a good lip liner and primer so far no one has asked for my autograph!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Momcat! You’re lucky you can get a red to work for you. I just can’t. My lips are naturally very pigmented and after about a half hour the reds smudge and oxodize and I look just like Bette Davis’ twin Baby Jane sister! LOL. A few years back I had a tube of MAC Ruby Woo which is a gorgeous red but it was just too high-maintenance for me! XOXOXOXOXO

  5. Thanks for the info on the Tarte lipstick – I used to use a nice nude/natural shade years ago but they discontinued it and everything else was too dark – I have thin lips and dark or bright lipstick just calls attention to that. I was using L’Oreal’s Colour Riche Lip Balm in Nourishing Nude (very soft and hydrating with a hint of colour) but they discontinued it in Canada, although they told me it is still available in the US. I hate that when they d/c a product you have used for years. But I replaced it with Cover Girl’s Oh Sugar Lip balm in Cupcake – a light pinkish/nude which is equally nice. I am just starting to get little lines around my upper lips which is upsetting, so the cosmetician talked me into buying Lise Wattier Line Filler for Lips, which was expensive and pretty much useless……

    • Catherine says:

      Ugh. Those line fillers don’t work. If you really want to blur some lines, get a tube of old-school Chapstick and apply it above your mouth–I’ve been doing that for years. It does blur but it doesn’t get rid of the wrinkles.
      Lol–I’m the queen of discontinued items. I’m afraid to like something too much because I know it’ll be discontinued! There are some beautiful lip balms out there but my issue with them is that they aren’t long lasting. If someone could come up with a way to make lip balm long lasting, I would be sold!!! XOXOXOXO

  6. Hi Catherine – there are sooooooo many lip sticks out there to choose from and NO i can’t find a red to suit me that does not look trashy! However, with my age thinning lips I would love to find a plumper that really does work – if you know of one please let me have the details. Love – Jill x

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jill! Try the Buxom lip glosses–they do have a plumper and the brand’s lip colors are very pretty! You can also outline very gently your lips with a nude pencil and then fill in for a fuller appearance! XOXOXOXO

  7. Ann says:

    CHANEL “Mademoiselle” is a lovely hydrating deep nude color, pair it with the “Mordore Nude” lip liner for gorgeous lips at any age.

  8. Liz McGarry says:

    Still wonder if you’ve tried the Revlon colorstay line yet. They have some pretty pinks, great neutrals and they have lasted16+ hours on me…I actually liked that red on you but I also think you look great in the neutrals…with my white hair and Irish skin I need a bit more color…

    • Catherine says:

      Hey Liz My Elder Buddy! Every single time I’m at Walmart and head to the Revlon Colorstay lipsticks all they have left and available are dark colors!
      NOW–I DO have a few Covergirl Outlast all-day lipstick and that works like a charm!!!

      Hope you are doing well!!! XOXOXOXOXO

      • Liz McGarry says:

        Thanks, dear Cathe…Every day gets a little bit easier. I’m back to my volunteer jobs and I’m “soldiering on”. You continue to inspire me and I think of you as a friend…❤️💚

  9. This is a great post! I swear I struggle with the right shade of lipstick. I either get something too bright or so pale I look sickly. I love Buxom lipgloss! It also kind of infuriates me that I have a hard time getting someone to actually assist me at Ulta and certain Sephora stores. I live in a college town so everyone is young and they don’t want to be bothered with a more mature lady! Ha! Big mistake. I have money to spend while the college kids don’t!

    • Catherine says:

      Kellyann. Don’t. Get. Me. Started. On. The. Sales. Non-Help. At. Ulta! I don’t even ask for assistance anymore in that store. The thing is they have a good selection of lower-end brands as well as higher end brands. But the sales help is horrific. They can’t stand older women in that store. And I’ve seen older women reach out to them–it makes me want to step in! Sephora is better–althoough they kind of distance themselves from the older woman and you are correct–we are the ones who have the money AND we are brand loyal. Ugh.
      It is certainly difficult to find a decent shade–and that’s why I veer toward the paler neutrals. For some reason, bright colors oxodize on me and I end up looking either very Whatever Happened to Baby Jane or clownish!!! XXOXOXOXO

  10. Pingback: A Lighter Shade of Pale……. LIPS! | Atypical 60 – International Badass Activists

  11. One thing I learned is lip colour, no matter which brand, has to be reapplied *sigh*. My lippies devour it with relish!

    Switched to a clear/nude lip liner & Wet & Wild’s “perfectpout” gel lip balm. “Love” is a light, neutral pink. “Shock” is a bright, neutral pink. Those are my two go-tos… for now. Do want to try the berry-red colour, but it’s always sold out *pout*.

    As an aside 😉 Ulta at Prien Lake Mall is staffed by the sweetest & genuinely helpful young ladies. A major departure from other locales, to be sure.

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