Are Fenty Beauty by Rihanna lip products worth the price?

In a word–YES!!!

On December 26, Fenty Beauty added the Mattemoiselle Plush Matte lip collection to the already comprehensive makeup line with 14 shades of magic–at least based on how they look on Rihanna’s IG posts.

yup. (photo courtesy of

A December 28th visit to Sephora–both the main store and in JC Penny’s one–was the perfect opportunity to check them out in person.

There was a swarm around the kiosk at the main Sephora, but I used my old school boxing out skills and was able to swatch the colors I was most interested in.

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No Time For Love, Dr Jones: Here’s a Quick Bold Lip Makeup Look For When You’re Tight On Time

You guys! Reader and friend of the blog, Liz, wrote to us today to ask a question that I can 100% relate to:

I don’t usually wear makeup to work, because I have to leave the house by 6:45am, and I am NOT a morning person. I’d love to wear bold lipstick to work, but I feel that if I’m wearing lipstick, then I should probably put makeup on the rest of my face.

Do you have advice for how I might QUICKLY do makeup for myself? Like, what are the quickest and most effective ways I can look put-together enough that a bold lipstick will make sense? I’m talking between two and five minutes of application. I worry that if I slap makeup on, it looks too fakey. I also am getting to a point where I want to focus on minimizing the look of wrinkles and under-eye circles and other evidence that I’m in the latter half of my thirties.

Giiiirrrrrrlll, I feel this! I EXTRA DOUBLE suck at mornings. They are the worst, and I usually waste more than a little time staring into space, wishing an “oh no! A water main broke and the whole world is closed! Please go back to bed!” email would come in. So far that has not happened, so usually I also only have only 2-5 minutes to apply makeup on my early morning days.

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Getting a Handle on Makeup Tools and Brushes

I’m really trying to work on my eye game lately. My makeup routine has always been slapping on a single shadow (usually the Maybelline Color Tattoo, of course) and a bold lip and calling it good.

In trying to do better with eye shadows and eye liners, I’ve also started experimenting with different brushes and makeup tools.  I’ll be the first to admit—I’m still figuring them out.

But I do have a few that have become my go-to options and most of them come from the drugstore or big box retailer. I mentioned some of them in my last post —but since I’m still new to building a brush/tool arsenal—I thought it might be fun to share what I’m using and hear what works for you.

Here’s what I’m using in order of how I use them:

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Makeup for when you’re sick but still need to leave the house

I’ve been sick (which is also why this post is going up so late.) Not lay in bed and don’t go out for a week sick, just annoying, lingering, winter is the worst sick. And it’s an insult to injury situation because I rarely get sick. I have a tried and true arsenal I employ when I feel the first hint of sickness coming on that works. But because—LIFE—I wasn’t on my game and bam. Sickness.

And as much as I want to be in my favorite pink pajamas cuddling with my pups, drinking tea and watching Netflix (I fantasize a life where getting sick is like a vacation) life—and work—goes on. Sometimes work means being seen in public and trying to not look on the outside like the hot mess I feel on the inside.

Last week, I had to present at the Minnesota Governor’s Conference on Tourism, a pretty nice professional accomplishment.  Not only was the event stressful on its own, but it was made worse due to my major fear I would just sit on the panel coughing the entire time. (I didn’t—thank goodness!)

But it made me up my makeup game to create a look that would somewhat mask the signs of sickness, be easy to wear, and not take too many products since I also had to travel. And I think it worked!

Hopefully, you can avoid this nastiness that is going around—but if it strikes and you still need to be presentable—here’s what I did to try and make myself look better than I feel.

Skin: When I’m sick, I feel like I have a weird shine to my skin. Like a special glow that alerts the world to stand back and save themselves. So I definitely wanted to go for more of a matte finish. Plus, my nose is red and dry, I’m wicked tired so my dark circles are even worse than normal—which I didn’t think was possible—and I have stupid pimple that I need to hide. Awesome.

Sadly—the full size is a jar—so I won’t be purchasing it. I don’t do jars or pots. #weird

So the first step was moisturizing. I used a sample of the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream which was really nice. It wasn’t heavy or greasy and sunk into my skin quickly without leaving a shine.

Next was putting the first layer under my eyes. I stuck with my favorite morning eye cream, First Aid Beauty, Eye Duty Triple Remedy: Brighten, Depuff and Smooth.

I just got a 10% off code from Sephora so I ordered this in “Light”. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Risky move—but I tried a sample of the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better™ CC+™ Cream with SPF 50+–and I’m so glad I did. YouTubers have been singing its praises—and I agree—it was very moisturizing but had great coverage for a CC cream. It’s also very easy to spread and blend, so I applied it with my fingers. The sample I received was in “Medium” which I think was slightly too dark, but it definitely warmed up my dead looking skin. Using a lighter concealer color helped even out the overall skin tone.

I generally go with a very light coverage formula like Glossier Stretch Concealer or Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer. But speaking of YouTube favorites—a while ago I bought the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer based on nearly every makeup gurus’ recommendation—but I’ve only worn it a few times. I find it’s a very heavy duty concealer, not what I normally go for, but exactly what I needed to get the job done. Using my trusty Beauty Blender, I applied it under my eyes, around my nose, on my pimple and in between my brows. I have the color “Light/Medium” and it had nice brightening to it in addition to coverage. It blended great and definitely covered up the redness. It’s also creamy enough that it didn’t hang onto the dryness around my nose and instead made it feel and look better. It’s still too full coverage for me to use daily, but I’m glad I have it on hand for times like these.

I’m always on the pale side, but with this cold, I feel splotchy but also ghost like. So I didn’t go with a highlighter because I really don’t want to be seen from outer space right now, but I did apply a little blush, The Estée Edit,The Barest Blush in First Lover. This one has been my favorite since I got it during the Sephora 20% off sale—and although I have a million blushes—it’s really all I use.

This line of brushes is so good– you can get them almost anywhere–and usually on sale.

I applied it using my Real Techniques, Blush Brush.

Finally, I set the concealer using  NYX Cosmetics HD Finishing Powder in Bananaanother old favorite.

(e.l.f brushes are great, BTW!)

I applied it using my $3 e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush.

No seriously–we all love these things!

Eyes: My goal was to keep my eyes looking polished but not a danger zone if they started watering. I also wanted to minimize any redness, so my Modern Renaissance palette had to take a seat.  Instead, I kept if very simple. I just used the Maybelline® Eye Studio® Color Tattoo® Leather 24HR Eyeshadow in Chocolate Suedeanother E&N favorite—and applied it with a Sigma Beauty, E58 – Cream Color Brush. You can easily apply these colors with your finger, but I went the brush route. And yes—these shadows are a life saver—I think I have them in almost every color.

A random visit to the Mall of America resulted in impulse Sigma brush purchases.

I didn’t apply eye liner, I just used the edge of the brush to apply product close to the lash line. I also used my finger a little to smudge the crease and do a cleanup.

After curling my lashes, I applied the CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Waterproof Mascara. It provides a nice curl, separates lashes and stays put. I think it’s hard to find a good waterproof mascara and I like this one lots.

Lips: I love a bold lip but adding additional redness to my face didn’t seem like a good idea. I also felt like I needed a lipstick that wouldn’t smear all over my face with my constant nose blowing. So I went very basic with a neutral color but one that wasn’t too nude so I didn’t look dead. I’ve really been into this NYX Lip Lingerie Lipstick in Exotic. It has a warm tone, lasts longer than a cream lipstick but isn’t as matte as a proper liquid lipstick and creates a bit of a stain. Plus I didn’t want to dry out my poor lips anymore than they already were and even the best liquid lipsticks are a bit drying. This formula stayed on and only required one update before I spoke.

I slept a ton this weekend and I feel like I’m on the other end of this thing. *fingers crossed* But I’ve basically been replicating this look daily since I’ve been sick. Hopefully, you’re all feeling great and can just use this as a basic makeup look. But if sickness sadly does strike, you can use this look for inspiration.

Here’s to your health! *cheers with OJ and tea*

I acquired these products with my money or through samples received spending my money. Photos were obtained through product websites.

Our Favorites from the New Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks Launch

June 5th was a big day for lipstick junkies like the three of us at E&N. We are in agreement that Urban Decay has one of the top lipstick formulas and we have all been devoted users/collectors for ages. Basically—between the three of us—we have a lot of UD lipsticks floating around.

So when Urban Decay announced they were launching 100 lipsticks in their new Vice line—we paid attention. But we had questions: What colors would they be? Would our favorites go away? How would the formula change? Would we HAVE to repurchase new formulas of lipsticks we still had in the old model? How do you decide between ONE HUNDRED shades?!! (here are more detail on the launch.)

Turns out—our questions were answered quickly and definitively. They had all the colors—including our old favorites. We didn’t need to repurchase ones we already had because they weren’t THAT different. And with a cheaper price point $17 vs the previous $22—we could afford to try a couple new shades and take them out for a spin. So we decided we would each try two new shades that are a little different than ones we currently own and report back.

Here’s what we found:

Lyn: I was only going to buy two of the new Vice lipsticks and ended up with five—one that I will definitely return (Rapture: kind of a blah shade and I probably already own something similar), one I’m still figuring out (Safe Word: might be too light for me) and three that I love. But—per the assignment—I’ll stick to two favorites—with an honorable mention. (see what I did there?)


Cruel—listed as “Red with copper shimmer (Pearlized)”

Surprisingly, my two favorites are in their new Metallized collection, which is described as “a cream with a high level of pearl.” I generally steer clear of lipsticks with any shimmer or glitter in them. But I swatched it at Sephora and fell in love! I would call it straight up copper—more red/brown than my usual true reds.


The shimmer is perfect for summer and will take me seamlessly into fall. I am crazy for this shade.


Zealot—listed as “Satin red with micro-shimmer (Pearlized)”

This one is gorgeous—and was a gift from Jess for my birthday. (that girl gets me. she should start a blog or something.) Jess gave it to me before I left for a work trip. When I got back—I picked up Cruel and was freaking out about the Metallized collection. The next day—I found the Zealot she gave me and realized I hadn’t tried it on. I did and I’ve been wearing it in rotation with Cruel ever since.


It is a warm red, so definitely not pink or bright, and the shimmer is divine. I probably wouldn’t have tried it since it’s a red—but I’m so glad I have it—it’s completely different than my other reds.

Honorable mention to Tampered—listed as “Deep mauve (Comfort Matte) (Sephora Exclusive)”

Pamela: I ended up with 5, and now reading that Lyn did too, I don’t feel so bad about it. I’m not still figuring any of them out, am not returning any and am already planning which ones I want to buy next…. because I am ridiculous. Just before the launch, I got a deluxe sample in the mail from Ulta that had 24 of the new (and a few old ones, that I already had) shades, along with a giant “chip chart.”


Both of which helped plan my attack. I was able to cross out the colors I knew I had, and circle the ones I wanted or was hoping to check out (seriously, it was like getting the Sears catalog before Christmas when I was a kid) and I got to road test a few!


ZZ – Listed as “soft pink-purple (cream)”

I don’t often wear true baby pink shades, I just don’t think they suit me. And I’ve always wanted a really real lavender/purple shade, but the couple I have tried in the past have been too straight up purple, which is cool if you’re Katy Perry, but doesn’t lend itself to a daily look.. So, I threw on ZZ one night before leaving to teach yoga. A couple of my students told me how good they thought it looked (thanks ladies!) and when I told them it was just a sample I was trying, they told me I better go buy it.  SOLD.


I think this one leans more purple than pink, which is what I wanted, but I can still wear it daily without it looking too shocking.  I really love it.


INTERROGATE – Listed as “medium peachy rose (cream)”

I love a bold red lip, but my daily go to shades are nudes.  I can’t get enough nude lipsticks. And the new Vice collection includes 30 “nude” shades. Naturally, I bought a few, but Interrogate is probably the most different from the nudes I already own.  It’s a deeper shade, and reminds me of something I would have worn in the early 90’s (in a good way).


It’s not too rosy but also not too orange.  It’s perfect on the days that I want my lipcolor to stand out a bit more, but don’t want the all day maintenance of rocking a bold red.

In case you were curious, and I know you are, the other three I bought are MORNING AFTER “pale baby pink with blue undertone (sheer)”, EZ – “bright red-orange (cream)” and INSANITY – “soft warm nude (cream)”

Jess: About a month before the launch of the new Vice lip colors, all of the Revolution Lipsticks (the old formula) went on sale for $11! I took a bit of a gamble that the formula wasn’t going to change that much, and may have loaded up a bit on the oldies. Glad I did, because Catfight (“pink-fuchsia with slight red undertone”) did not make the cut into the new 100! But because of this front-loading, I am only up to THREE Vice lipsticks.


Catfight, OG formula

I feel like I need to mention how incredibly overwhelming the Vice display is. Pamela is SUPER LUCKY to have gotten that cheat sheet- 100 is A LOT of lipsticks! And they are all beautiful!! On my first go, I found myself totally blocking the display, in a trance, trying to stop myself from being drawn to the colors I already own. I realized I was lip-blocking another Sephora customer, so I apologized, moved over, and as she settled in and focused, her eyes glazed over too, as she said “well, I guess I can rule out that green one… only 99 to go!” On that day, I only came away with Lyn’s birthday lipstick, but went back later and ended up with…


PDA- listed as “bright medium pink (cream finish)”


Perhaps you’ve noticed a trend here at E&N… we like to gift each other things that end up becoming obsessions. A few years ago, Lyn gave me an Urban Decay lipstick sampler pack- a whole bunch of baby lipsticks! They are the cutest ever! I fell in love with the shade Ladyflower, which was ONLY available in that kit. Grrr! In the new launch, Ladyflower is back, but it’s not the same color, and now it’s only in the sheer formula, and the sheers are not my favorite. PDA, however, is almost identical to the old shade, and the cream formula is aces.


This is a great daily pink for days you’re not quite into having a bold lip, but still want to have a bit of a pop.


NAKED- listed as “nude-pink (cream)”

This one is my “not a color I normally go for” color, but I’m glad I have it. As I mentioned earlier, Urban Decay’s cream formula can’t be beat- it’s so moisturizing, the color lays down great, and they fade without getting chunky. Naked is a perfect choice on “no makeup” days, and also works beautifully with a dramatic, smoky eye.


It’s just an easy shade that looks like almost nothing, but maybe something, and feels good to have on your mouth.

Since Lyn has been so excited about the Metallized finish, I just picked up BIG BANG (bright pink sparkle (metalized)), and I can’t wait to test drive it! Is Tuesday a good day for a sparkle lip? Why the hell not.

What Vice shades have you excited? Any new favorites? Misses? We NEED to know! Post your findings in the comments below.

(All photos compliments of Urban Decay unless otherwise noted. We purchased these lipsticks with our own money–except for the ones we gave each other as gifts. )