Style + Ask The Edit

Ask Belle Roundup July 9


Thank you for the advice on the Essie Lollipop nail polish — I chose it for my manicure and am so happy with it — bright and summery.  Which makes me wonder if you have recommendations for red lipstick/lipstain/lipgloss.  I usually use berry colored glosses, but am curious about red lipstick.  Something high quality, non-drying, not matte and that lasts.  Also, I have fair skin, blonde hair and green eyes…and there are a million kinds of red out there.  

Your advice please!  Jill

The brutal truth is that there is no way some can suggest a lipstick shade for you.  I can tell you what should look good, but that’s no guarantee that it will.  Unlike blush and eye-shadow, the only way to find the perfect lipstick for you is to go to the makeup counter and try on two or three dozen.

Oh, you think I’m exaggerating?

I don’t wear lipstick often, but the lip colors I do own were chosen very carefully.  If I plan on buying a lipstick, I go to the department store (Nordstrom, usually) and camp out for an hour.  Sometimes I’ll try on two dozen lipsticks and glosses before I find The One. 

So block off an hour, head to the beauty counter and don’t forget to bring makeup removing towelettes and chapstick.  You’re going to need them.


I live in the Middle-of-Nowheresville, Colorado, but I love your blog.  I’d like to purchase some pieces that are fashion forward but not crazy expensive, any online stores that you recommend?


From Left, Sleeveless Pleated Maxi ($91), Striped Tank Dress ($53), Foldover Clutch ($17), Asos Cuff (sold out, similar in black $15), Black Tulip Dress ($250)

For the money, I think Asos has the most stylish, on-trend pieces on the market. I also like The Outnet for inexpensive designer pieces. Dorothy Perkins, a British retailer, has great pieces that are similar to H&M in quality.  The only issues are the sizing can be a little cattywaumpus and returns are difficult because it’s Britain.  And Zara’s new online store doesn’t quite have the selection of their physical locations, but it’s still awesome.

Dear Belle,

This is a somewhat sad question however I need to attend the wake and funeral of a good friend’s mother tomorrow.

As I was talking about attending it with a coworker, we got on the topic of what to wear to a memorial service or funeral. Whenever I’ve attended a funeral in the past, I’ve always worn a mostly black or gray combo whereas my coworker always wears something with more color. I’ve noticed as well that the all black mourning clothing isn’t something everyone adheres to and would like to wear something not black given this God awful heat we’ve been having. Not sure if this is something you can provide guidance on but would love to hear your thoughts on how to respectfully represent yourself during these sort of occasions.

Respectfully Mourning

In my opinion, unless you are asked not to wear black or it is culturally appropriate to wear another color, there is never a good reason not to wear black to a funeral.  If you need to wear a white blouse under a black suit, that should be fine.  If you are in a pinch and need to wear grey, I don’t think anyone will balk.  But I would never attend a funeral in anything black because I wouldn’t want to be a distraction.


Quick question, are you on Pinterest?  Do you like it?


Yes, I am on Pinterest, and I don’t like it, I LOVE IT.  I am hopelessly addicted.  It’s a great resource for outfit inspiration, beauty tips, decorating ideas and recipes. If you’re not on it, you should be.  And if you are on Pinterest, check out my boards



  1. Boardroom Belles says:

    @Respectfully Mourning, unfortunately I recently had cause to think about funeral attire. I agree with Belle, that I would err on the side of caution and conservatism and go all black. Also, apparently, according to etiquette it is not proper to have one's legs exposed at a funeral at all (no ankles, no bit of skin). They need to be covered not only with regular but black hosiery, though it doesn't need to be opaque. I wasn't aware of that rule beforehand, but I was glad someone alerted me to it as I would have been the only one out of 300 people with bare legs. Etiquette also says you must cover your arms completely, but in this heat covered shoulders will probably do.

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  2. VT says:


    For the love of all that holy, don't buy a cheap red lipstick (ie covergirl, mabelline, etc). I made this mistake when I went to a wedding and realized I forgot my good stuff. Even using a liner, it bled like crazy.

    I have had really good luck with dior, paula dorf and smashbox for my reds and I have fair skin as well. A well matched red is really about undertones- I have fair skin with pink undertones so I need to go for more blue-reds (orang-y ones are a big no-no for me).

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  3. Bekki says:

    @Respectfully Mourning, Unfortunately, 2 years ago we had to bury my Dad. It was a very difficult time for my family, and I can honestly say that I couldn't have cared less about what people were wearing. I agree that it's better to be safe than sorry, so go with conservative, dark colors (I think Navy would work fine as well as black or gray), etc., but know that your presence and your attitude at the funeral, as well as before and after will make a larger impact than your clothing choice.

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  4. helixy says:

    You are actually who led me to Pinterest! I am also a hopeless addict, but I have learned so many neat recipes and excellent cleaning/organizing tips. I want to share my discoveries with my coworkers – but alas, aside from myself, my department is bereft of women.

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  5. helixy says:

    Also, re: funeral wear – I think this depends heavily on the person and their family as well as the nature of the services (outdoors? in a church? in a funeral/memorial home?)…should dictate how you dress. I also had to investigate the dos and don'ts of this matter recently. I have never heard the, “no bit of skin, not even ankle,” showing–and while that might be the case for extremely formal circumstances, that might be TOO buttoned up elsewhere. Take those things into consideration.

    Summer black (navy) and dark greys should be fine, generally.

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  6. Jill says:

    Anyone out there with similar coloring to me (blonde hair, light eyes, fair skin — oh, and some freckles & pink undertone to skin) have specific suggestions for the red lipstick question. Spending an hour at a makeup counter sounds all kinds of miserable to me, so if there are any great brands/colors that could help me narrow/shorten my search, that would be much appreciated!

    July 9, 2012/Reply
  7. Jessie D says:

    Jill – I have the same coloring. MAC Russian Red was a good classic red with blue undertones. I told the guy I wanted a vampy red and that's what he picked out for me. ­čÖé

    July 10, 2012/Reply
  8. jes says:

    Jill – I've had awesome luck with Make Up Forever (at sephora). Like Belle said, I did spend an hour with a VERY patient and thorough lady trying to help me pick out the right red from the right brand. Blue based, orange based, pink based….I so couldn't have done it without her.

    July 10, 2012/Reply
  9. Jaimie says:

    I am a fair-skinned blonde with green eyes and I had good luck with MAC's Viva Glam I. It's a red with some slight brownish undertones, which might not initially sound appealing. But it was a gentler foray into red lipstick that didn't make me look like I had just a bright slash of red across my pale face.

    July 10, 2012/Reply
  10. ilka says:

    I would like to note that ordering from Dorothy Perkins (DP) is more than just a hassle, it's a misleading ripoff if you aren't careful. I recently ordered the peacock dress you featured on your blog, along with several other items. I think the total came to around $320 US or so. The DP US website loudly proclaims that shipping to the US is only $10 — what a deal! I went ahead and placed my order.

    A few days later, I got an email from an outside shipping company saying that I owed nearly $100 in customs fees on my DP order and that my shipment would be held up until I paid this. I thought it was spam, but then worried it wasn't so I googled to see if anyone else had this issue. Here's a sample of what I found:

    Was so ticked off that they don't make this clear on the website. I felt like DP was intentionally not letting their US customers know about this as it will clearly deter people from placing orders. I ended up having the pay the customs fee and hoping that all of my clothes would fit, because lord knows I was not going to be able to return them and maybe have to pay another customs/import/export fee back to the UK.

    Just wanted to give you an FYI on this since I've noticed you link to DP often. Hope this helps other CHS shoppers from making the mistake I did.

    July 10, 2012/Reply
  11. CynthiaW says:

    I'm guessing that happened to you because you bought so much stuff – I kept my order to Dorothy Perkins under $100 and they were running a free shipping special with orders over $75 to the US and I didn't have to pay customs fees.

    That being said, both dresses were shorter than I was expecting and the peacock dress was thinner material than it looked like online – I was expecting a more structured dress. If it had been a US company, I definitely would have sent the peacock dress back – it really wasn't worth the $60 that I ended up paying for it.

    While I didn't run into the customs problem, I'd still never order from them again.

    July 10, 2012/Reply
  12. Jill says:

    The lipstick comment is so true, especially about RED I think! As a point of reference for your writer/reader, I think I tried on 10 red lipsticks and only settled on one that was two lipsticks layered together.

    July 11, 2012/Reply
  13. Beth says:

    I also went to a funeral recently. I didn't have time to shop for anything new, and I don't have anything that is black and also in an appropriate style for a funeral that wouldn't lead to heatstroke during 100-degree days. I wore a work-appropriate dress in a dark pattern (black/gray/dark green) with a black sweater and black pumps, and I don't think I looked out of place – I even saw some people wearing bright colors and patterns. That said, I really do think it depends on the deceased and his/her family's wishes. If in doubt, go conservative (darker colors, modest styles that aren't flashy, don't show cleavage, etc.), but remember that the important thing is your presence and demeanor.

    July 12, 2012/Reply
  14. Jenn says:

    In response to Jill regarding a red lipstick:
    It's true that no one can decide a great lipstick for you, but I can make a suggestion.
    From your description we look nothing alike, I am Asian with a light olive complexion and deep brunette hair. But in consulting with my blonde blue-eyed friends I have found that Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tints are flattering on almost everybody. I have the Cherry shade, it is sheer, moisturizing with an ever so subtly and sophisticated sheen, (think red silk, not red sports car) red, but not RED! I wear it day to night, at the office I blot it with a tissue and top it off with a moisturizing balm. At happy hour, I leave it full color and if I need some extra oomph I top it off with a clear gloss. The sheerness, and the fact that it is a tint rather than a lipstick makes it easier to layer the amount of red you want, tone it down or play it up. At just $24 at Sephora you really have nothing to lose by trying it out. There are also small sample sizes available in a travel bundle and lipsticks. However since you mentioned no matte, I would go with the Lip Tints. Also, apparently the moisturizing core contains red wine antioxidants. I normally don't make cosmetic suggestions because everyone is different, however I have fallen hopelessly in love with this product after years of searching high and low for a good red lipstick that didn't scream JERSEY SHORE. I will admit that I was a bit apprehensive when I first saw the Cherry shade, I thought it would be far too much and I would never be able to pull it off but then I tried it out in Sephora and it was like the gods of lip colors themselves smiled down on me. I have never looked back. So I definitely urge you and Belle to investigate the Bite brand.

    Cherry Lip Tint:
    Bite Beuty Line:

    July 30, 2012/Reply