Two years.  That’s how long I’ve been looking for the right orange lipstick.  There are plenty of gorgeous citrus shades out there, but I could never find “the one.”  I attribute most of my lengthy hunt to lacking the confidence I needed to just go for it.

Here’s the thing…  Over the last two years I gave birth to my (somewhat massive) son, re-shaped into my new post-baby body, grew my blog into what it is today, and met some amazing women who are always offering words of encouragement.  Becoming a mother for the first time changed my self-image in so many positive ways.  Doing it a second time only multiplied my newfound confidence.  Then finding my niche, learning the creative outlet of beauty, and meeting others who are just as fascinated with the art of color and texture unleashed a passion I wasn’t fully aware that I had.

What does this have to do with orange?  It has everything to do with orange!  And pink, and red, and purple or green, blue, and black.  It’s about finding something that inspires you and sticking with it until you feel the pride of achievement and accomplishment.  Then moving on to that next big challenge – in my case, pink.  No joke.

Can I get a drum roll please?  Ladies and gentleman, without further ado….Stila Color Balm Lipstick in Valentina!

Stila Valentina 3

Paired with an apricot blush and neutral shadows, Valentina is easy on the eyes.  When swatched alone, the orange looks more intense.

Stila Valentina Arm Swatch

With “balm” included in the name, I was expecting a texture far more reminiscent of Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters.  Stila Color Balm Lipsticks are far thicker and drier to the touch.  With a satin finish and emollient qualities, the thicker texture simply helps the vibrant color of Valentina stay in place.  I also appreciate how smooth and full my lips appear while wearing Valentina.  As someone who is prone to dry lips, this is huge!

Stila Valentina-001

The tube is cute and has a convenient color swatch under the brand name.  The top of the cap is a small mirror to make application easier which is rather convient, but also rather small.  I am disappointed that the packaging is plastic, but it does have a snap shut cover and that is very rare.

Stila Color Balm Lipstick Valentina Profile

Pulling off an orange lip has always been a mystery to me.  Here are my tips for letting orange work for you:

  • avoid a totally matte face
  • keep the cheekbones highlighted
  • leave eyeshadow neutral and lashes dark

For a true fear of orange, look for something with other shades blended in.  Valentina is a “poppy orange,” but there are pink-oranges and red-oranges to be found.  A good first step is a beautiful coral.

To me, Stila’s Valentina is the perfect mandarin shade and I look forward to wearing it as the weather warms up!

Stila Color Balm Lipstick Valentina swatch