CGN’s Favorite Things: Lips and Cheeks

Posted August 31, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Building Your Brand
A Few of Our Favorite Things!


Last week, we kicked off a new series called CGN’s Favorite Things in which we featured our favorite primers and eye products. This week we add on to the look with our top picks for lips and cheeks.

What defines a CGN favorite thing? So glad you asked! A CGN favorite thing is: A product (s) we actually re-purchase on a regular basis

While this may sound like no-big-deal to the non-addicted beauty people – any of you lip gloss abusers know that plunking down cold, hard cash on a refill for ANYTHING speaks volumes about the quality of the product.

Here’s to the CGN favorite things!


  • Lips Pencils: I know there are less expensive ones out there, but I’m a MAC lover. I’ve repurchased their original Lip Pencil formula in Spice, Stripdown and Chicory more than once. However, NYX offers a decent low cost option as well. Their Wonder Pencils are the best! Find your perfect corrector in one of their three shades: light, medium, and dark. Perfect for cleaning up a lip line after applying one of fall’s deep oxblood reds!
  • Lipstick: OK I admit it. I’ve never met a lipstick I didn’t try. Swear to God, of all my beauty addictions, lip color is my WORST!  I need to take the politician’s way out and state for the record, I do not recall ever re-purchasing a lipstick color. However, MY favorite lipstick BRANDS take up a whole another story.  I own several of l MAC‘s Lipsticks and Lancome’s Rouge In Love formulas and I recently discovered Urban Decay’s Lipstick Revolution – this fits the bill for anyone who loves a grown-up lipstick formula. Check out the fabulous F-Bomb for THE perfect oxblood read! On the bargain side, I bought 2-3 shades of the Revlon Colorstay Ultimate Suede Lipstick and grab those frequently for a quick pop of color in the morning.


  • Contour: At a recent makeup artistry event I attended, the talented Troy Young of Neiman Marcus, recommended sweeping on cheek color as the last step in your make-up application, however he started the application by chiseling out the cheekbones and jawline of his model with Tom Ford’s Shape and Illuminate. It’s an extravagance at $75, but it made a beautiful (subtle) difference. The palette teams a contour shade with a highlighter, so you can create stronger cheekbones, a more refined jawline, and stronger brow arch. If you’re new to contouring simply remember this rule of thumb: light brings forward, dark recedes. Want to create stronger cheekbones? Contour below the cheekbone (the infamous sucked in cheek look) and highlight the cheekbone. Want to minimize a slackening jaw line? Lightly contour below the jawbone and don’t forget to blend! We want to trick the eye, not stripe the face!
  •  Highlight: In Cute But Never Mundane,we talked about some of the top highlighters (sometimes referred to as Illuminators) out there. Benefit’s Watt’s Up is a lovely choice, as is NAR’s Illuminator in Copacabana. Remember – light brings forward. Highlight any feature you want to call out like the top of your cheekbone, arch of brow, or even pop a bit of brightness above the brow arch to lift the eye up.
  • Cream Blush: You guessed it. I start with a cream blush and finish up with a powder in a similar shade for the longest wear. I LOVE Maybelline’s Bouncy Blush. It’s s delight to apply and lays down a beautiful sheer wash of color. On the prestige side, I favor Kevin Aucoin’s Creamy Glow cheek color. I know many of my colleagues rave about NAR’s multiples, but I find they don’t have the staying power I need.
  • Powder Blush: I’ve never found a mass blush I love, so let me know if you have a favorite thing! I find most low-cost blushes feel too gritty, or sandy even when using a grown-up blush brush to apply them, so I opt for MAC’s Powder Blush, or NAR’s Powder Blush. I’m not a big blush girl — I’d rather bring out my eyes or lips.

Whew! We covered a lot of beauty ground, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of foundations, powders, concealers, or skincare.

So many favorite things, so little time! 

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.