My high/low lip combo of the moment

Lips featuring Tom Ford Universal Appeal Matte Lipstick withr Revlon Gel Lipcolor in HD Sand

I absolutely love a nude-colored lip. It’s my usual go-to now when I want to look a little more done up. (Most days I wear nothing at all on my lips, which I guess is a true nude lip!) Even a few years ago I was a little more adventurous with lip colors; I was partial to bright pinks and berries primarily. But these days, it’s nudes, nudes, nudes, particularly either brownish or pinky nudes, like MAC’s Twig or Flower Beauty’s Honey Nude. I think the shift happened when I started dying my hair red in 2012. True pinks just seemed to clash with the warmth of my hair color.

So instead of listing out all the nude shades I love, I’m going to tell you about my favorite lip combo of the moment that delivers beautiful color, shine and comfort. Interestingly, it’s a high/low mix (in terms of price) which makes me love it even more. It’s good to know that drugstore products can hang with the high end ones and quite often, be just as good (or even better).


I’ll start with the higher-priced end first: Tom Ford Beauty Matte Lip Color in Universal Appeal (Retail $54.00). It’s described on as a “warm brown with a satin finish.” I’d definitely agree that this is not a traditional matte in that it delivers a certain level of hydration after applied on the lips. There’s definitely some give there when you rub your lips together and it won’t make them look too shriveled or dry even as it’s wearing down. I wouldn’t say this is the longest lasting lipstick I own however; you’ll likely have to touch it up after you have a meal. But even if you don’t, you’ll still be left with a thinnish layer of color on your lips at the end of the night. This is the first true brownish nude lipstick to make its way in my collection, and I love it for two reasons. The color is just stunning, very grown-up and chic in my opinion. And the comfort level and opacity are awesome, which you’d expect for the price.

(And if the thought of spending $50+ on a lipstick makes you queasy, Universal Appeal is a color that’s fairly easy to dupe. In my collection the closest I got was to MAC’s Velvet Teddy, which retails for a much more reasonable $18.50 although I wouldn’t call it an exact color dupe. But check out Temptalia or other sites online; you’ll find similar options.)

L to R: HD Sand alone, Universal Appeal alone, combo of both

Now onto the lower-priced end: Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor in HD Sand (Retails for as low as $4.50 at Ulta). I believe this line is the next generation of my beloved and discontinued Revlon Lip Butters. This one is so incredibly hydrating yet opaque at the same time; it has the feeling of a lip balm but with the coverage of a lipstick. No surprise, Revlon touts that its formula contains hyaluronic acid as a prominent ingredient. However, it barely has any lasting power on the lips; just know that as soon as you eat something most of it will have come off. So this is one to keep in your handbag for touch ups.

I’ve worn HD Sand by itself a few times as a fast swipe of color before heading out the door, but my favorite way of using it is as a topper to Universal Appeal, which is more long-lasting. As you hopefully will be able to tell from the swatch photo above, HD Sand has quite a lot of shine while Universal Appeal is definitely more matte. Both products are also quite similar in tone so they pair very nicely together. After I layer both products, I usually stipple my finger over my lips to both remove excess product and work the color into my lips. The resulting effect I get is captured in the featured photo at the start of this blog post.

Do you have any favorite lipstick combinations or nude shades that I should know about? Tell me in the comments below!

xo, Erica


Author: Erica

Hi! I’m Erica, a makeup enthusiast based outside of NYC. I discovered my love of cosmetics back in 2011 when I started watching simple tutorials on YouTube. It was a revelation to me that with just a simple few swipes of mascara or dabs of blush, you could transform into a more enhanced version of yourself. My obsession has not abated over the years, but instead has grown stronger as the beauty industry has gone from strength to strength. After graduating from business school in 2018, I decided to finally share my thoughts and opinions on all things cosmetics and this is where ‘We are glamerus’ was born. I share my musings on a bi-weekly basis on everything from my holy grail products and preferred application techniques, to the latest trends overtaking the beauty world. I hope you enjoy! xo

One thought on “My high/low lip combo of the moment”

  1. Great post. Love the color. It is a pretty warm nude that doesn’t wash the lips out . Bought the Revlon lip pie already!

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