I've been getting lots of compliments on my lipstick over the past couple of weeks and have been feeling quietly smug. I've invariably been wearing one of the new Expert Last lipsticks from NYC - and as all Penneys shoppers know, it's enormously satisfying to be complimented on something that is very inexpensive. It's as if your unique and exceptional sense of style and taste has enabled you to find the pearls among the swine.
I'm feeling a bit like Eddie Hobbs - just with better makeup. I've written about this brand before because they're very, very good - far better than their tiny price tags would lead you to believe.
The lipsticks offer long lasting, intense colour and full coverage - the finishes range from satin to pearl and personally I'd steer clear of the latter, but there are plenty to choose from in the 14-strong range. My favourites are Blue Rose - a dupe for MAC's Snow Orchid - and the warmer pink Air Kiss, which are not just good lipsticks for the price, but good lipsticks full stop.
I've been rotating them with this adorable Applelicious lip balm, which has a moisturising core - with shea butter, jojoba and avocado oils - and an outer layer of pigment. There are five available shades and while some are quite frosty or glittery, my favourite, Applelicious Pink, gives a pretty pink sheen that shows up nicely on the lips. It's glossy and emollient without being sticky, though it has quite a strong synthetic scent which could put some of you off.
And if anything can put a smile on your face this weather, it's a flash of bright colour on your nails (and a Starbucks caramel macchiato). These four are perfect - the shades are gorgeous, they're opaque in two coats, and they last just as long (if not longer) than most premium brands.
So if you need a bit of cheering up, get yourself to your nearest NYC stand for a guilt free colour fix. The nail polish is just €1.49, while the lipsticks and balms are €2.49 a pop. I KNOW. Maybe I'll see you there?