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Kiss Proof Lipstick

I’m a sucker for a great stay put lipstick, especially ones that don’t break the bank. I’ve tried a few dozen high end, drugstore and independent brands over the years and I can tell you that price doesn’t always equal performance.

The trick with finding a good kiss proof lipstick is to search for ones that don’t dry out your lips, aren’t had to remove at night but don’t rub off during the day and aren’t too expensive.

Once you have found a brand or brands you love, remember to stay away from oily foods while wearing – or be ready to reapply. Even the best kiss proof lipstick formulas will slide right off when they come in contact with oil.    

And, avoid sleeping in your lipstick – no matter how tempting it might be. You want to give your lips time to breathe between applications.

With that in mind, here are three of my favorite affordable kiss proof lipstick brands that actually stay put.

GRLPWR – The Beauty Crop – $14.95
The Beauty Crop 

I’ve been a fan of The Beauty Crop GRLPWR lipstick line for a while now. Available in 10 shades of reds, pinks and peaches, the vegan and cruelty-free brand is a highly pigmented kiss proof lipstick brand that lasts for hours.  

My favorite shade – Imma Bawse

Rimmel London – Stay Matte Liquid Lips – $5.49


Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid 

Available in 14 shades the Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Lips packs a lot of kiss proof lipstick power in a .21 oz tube. The formula feels light and doesn’t leave your lips feeling like sandpaper at the end of the day.

My favorite shade – Plum This Show  

Nicka K – 24 Hour Lip Color – $3.99
Nicka K Affordable Kiss Proof Lipstick That Actually Stays Put

Nicka K lip color and primer may be the most affordable kiss proof lipstick on the market. I discovered this on in a beauty supply store in mid-town Manhattan and have tried – and loved – nearly all 14 shades. The color lasts as well as more expensive brands and

My favorite shade – ND12 (Wine)

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

From chrome nails to super sparkly lips, metallic was one of the top beauty trends of the year. You can totally expect the trend to continue in 2017, as more brands get creative with the look.

Since I love a good colored pout, I was very curious to see how metallic shades would work on my beautifully dark skin.

I got my hands on all five of the new Gallany Metallic Lipsticks and tested them out.

The line is a fav of Billy B, Beyonce and Lady Gaga’s makeup artist and made in the USA.

Gallany Metallic Lipsticks Collection

All five shades are infused with Hungarian lilac extract, edelweiss and hyaluronic moisture magnets for intense hydration. It also includes Lavender emollients which repair and smooth dry winter lips. And it’s triple-milled with a built-in lip primer, so it’s designed to hold up all day.

Shades in Order: (L to R) Scarlett, Bailey, Toddy, Cosmo, No Shade

I started with the No Shade – a rose shade that looks more neutral on my dark skin.

Gallany Metallic Lipstick - No Shade
Gallany Metallic Lipstick – No Shade

Then I moved on to the Cosmo – a sultry pink that looked more neutral-broonze on my dark skin.

Gallany Metallic Lipstick - Cosmo
Gallany Metallic Lipstick – Cosmo

From there I tried the Toddy – a golden peach that looked more golden than peach on my skin.

Gallany Metallic Lipstick - Toddy
Gallany Metallic Lipstick – Toddy

Next, I sampled the Bailey – a rich chocolate brown that looked absolutely delicious on my skin.

Gallany Metallic Lipstick - Bailey
Gallany Metallic Lipstick – Bailey

I tried the Scarlett shade last, since secretly, I knew I was going to love it. Bold reds are kinda my color and this one was no exception.


All the shades felt smooth on my lips and even after applying and removing five shades back-to-back, my lips didn’t feel dry at the end of the testing process.

Bailey and Scarlett tie as my two favorite metallic shades for the line with Cosmo coming in second place.

Gallany Metallic Scarlett is one of my new favs!!!
Gallany Metallic Scarlett is one of my new favs!!!

The Gallany Metallic Lipsticks are $22 and are available at  You can check out my full review in my Lifestyle Unboxed video above.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress


Award-winning actress, director and philanthropist Angela Bassett can add a new accolade to her long list of titles: entrepreneur. Bassett who has been slaying the red-carpet for decades recently announced the launch of her new luxury skincare line for women of color.

The new line – Darker Skin Tones by Dr. Barbara Sturm – is designed specifically for women with dark skin tones and formulated to address issues like hyperpigmentation and inflammation.


Developed in partnership with Bassett’s personal dermatologist and friend, Dr. Barbara Strum the line will include two face creams – one for extreme dryness – a foaming cleanser, an enzyme-enriched cleanser, and a hyaluronic serum for retaining moisture in the skin. The line is updated extension of Dr. Strum original skin care line which Bassett has been using for years.


Bassett’s line will be sold online and at Harrods (UK retailer) beginning in July. Items range from $58 – $335. Pricey? Yes.

But if anyone could convince me that they’ve found the secret to flawless skin (and ageless beauty) it would be the 57-year-old bombshell named Bassett.

I’m just gonna leave this right here….


-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

Image credits: Instagram

1969 Beauty 4Beauty is a billion dollar business. That is billion with a capital “B.” With so many options on the market (and there are thousands), it may be difficult to identify the brands with value from the ones that will leaving looking clownish (I still can’t believe that clown contouring is a thing).



This is where cosmetics designer, pop culture entrepreneur, Jermelle F. Pitts Jermelle Pittscomes in. His new line 1969 Beauty is timeless, edgy and affordable and designed to give women a flawless transformation. After spending years styling models and celebrities on networks like Oxygen, Style, MTV and B.E.T, Pitts decided to create his own go-to beauty line. Inspired by his mom, who was born in 1969, the makeup line includes lipsticks, shadows, mascaras, glosses, eyelashes and primer ranging from $5.69 – $27.69.   

I caught up with the triple threat entrepreneur, cosmetics designer and creative director to find out about his journey to breaking through a competitive marketplace and his beauty tips for busy entrepreneurs.

Check out the interview below.

Where are you from?

I am originally from Houston, Texas Baby (Beyoncé voice), but now I’m living on the West Coast. I moved to Los Angeles last year for inspiration and to launch 1969 Beauty.

1969 Beauty Promo ImageWhat has been the most difficult part of creating you beauty line?

The “what ifs.” What if this doesn’t work? What if this really does work? I’m always thinking what if? I create things I love and then I sell it. My career is in the consumers’ hands.

How do you ensure your products stand out in a crowded beauty marketplace?1969 Beauty 3

I don’t just sell a product; I sell a lifestyle. 1969 Beauty is a brand not just a product. I am a Pop Culture Entrepreneur meaning I am in-touch with what my consumers need and what their interest are. I’m in touch with what’s going on around me. I’m very involved in my brand. I have an eye for detail. I understand the importance of formulations and pigmentations. Also, the quality of my products for the price is amazing. My lipsticks are $12.69, but for the quality and pigmentation should be $21.99, if not more. My buyers really appreciate that. 

What is your favorite makeup tip to share with women? 

Take care of your canvas. Your canvas being your skin. A lot of women aren’t cleansing and hydrating their face as they should. I’ve worked on clients and I’m looking at their pores, discoloration and black heads. I immediately know they aren’t washing their face and maintaining the skin under the makeup. 

1969 Beauty 2What advice would you give others wanting to start their own beauty business or any business? 

Make sure you are doing what you love and have a true passion for it. Surround yourself with like-minded people. I don’t mind being the dumbest person in the room, because everyone that I surround myself with are smart, successful and have crazy wisdom. I’m taking mental notes and learning from them. As entrepreneurs it’s important to put together a strong team and get rid of the “yes men.”



Anything else you’d love people to know?

Our Instagram and Twitter account is @1969beauty. My Instagram and Twitter is @jermelle. Also people can register on the website to keep up with the latest products, news and discounts. We also have a YouTube channel launching where we’ll provide demonstrations, product knowledge, and interviews some of today’s hottest makeup artist and celebrities. It’s all about beauty darling! 

– à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

Lesley Levy & Lisa Rabinovich


There’s a famous saying: “lips without lipstick is like cake without frosting.” I don’t know if I would subscribe to that theory, but I’ve just connected with two entrepreneurs who would make me question my stance.  True Lipz founders Lesley Levy and Lisa Rabinovich sent over three shades of their luscious lip gloss for me to review and I was impressed before I even tried them on.




It takes entrepreneurial genius to improve upon a product considered a IMG_2997beauty staple to millions of women and that is exactly what the ladies have done. Their lip glosses range from $19 – $25 and come in a an array of flattering shades including my new favorite. What makes True Lipz unique on the inside is its core ingredients of Lanolin and Dragon’s Blood (you read that right) hydrate and condition when you put it on. What makes the product unique on the outside is its well-designed tube. Each gloss includes a small side mirror and a click-able light that you can use to reapply the product at night, in the car or anywhere. A Macgyver fanatic like me loves the idea of having a mini flashlight on me at all times and I found it to be a very handy tool in my purse.

our-story-billboard-foregroundI connected with the New York (Lisa) and South African (Lesley) natives to find out what inspired their creation and what tips they would give others looking to become entrepreneurs:



Purified Lanolin What motivated you to start True Science?

We thought that it was interesting that both of us, on two different coasts, in two different climates were experiencing the same dry lips no matter which lip products we were using. After informally discussing this with many women in our lives, we realized everyone was having the same problem and we were all just accepting our fates!

What did you two (Lisa and Lesley) do before starting your company? 

Lisa: My background was in fashion, beauty and jewelry PR and event planning. I left the business 11 years ago when my daughter was born and have been busy raising my 3 kids and organizing/running non-profit events since then.

Lesley: I did financial sales for a Wall St. Commodity trader and, prior to that, owned a diamond wholesale company, designing one of a kind pieces.

Screenshot2Why did you choose to focus on the lips for your first product?

Out of totally selfish necessity! We needed to fix our own lips!



What type of people buy your items?

There isn’t one type of person who buys True Lipz, it has a wide age range appeal. Dry lips are a universal problem and women of all ages are attracted to the idea of being able to have a fashionable lip product that actually heals.

lipglossWhich lip gloss color is your favorite? Why? 

Lisa: In the Lustrè collection, L037 is my favorite. It is a beautiful plum that you can really take from day to night, either dressed up or down. I find it looks universally good on everyone, no matter what hair color or complexion.

Lesley: L030 from the Lustrè collection is my favorite. It is a great neutral that wears well day or night.


Where can Tue Lipz be purchased?

We are mainly available on our website. We have a few retail outlets and are currently working on expanding that leg of the business.

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?

Find something relatable in your life that you think you can improve upon, whether it’s a product or a service.

What is one goal you have set for your company for 2015?

To expand (our) business!


I’m looking forward to watching these ladies grow their beauty line and inspiring others to do the same.

à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

grace choiWhat happens when you make creating makeup at home as easy printing a photo off the internet? That’s the question that inventor Grace Choi is seeking to answer with her at home 3D makeup printer, MINK. The printer, which is about as big as an iMac, eliminates the need for women to shell out hefty amounts of cash at department store makeup counters and drug stores by allowing them to print any shade of powder, lipstick or shadow at home. This nifty and simple invention essentially turns any iPhone, computer or digital camera into a your own personal beauty boutique.


Mink PrinterChoi, the 30-year-old serial inventor, Harvard Business School graduate and former Burger King Food Innovator, previously created a line of medical devices and interchangeable jewelry that was marketed on the Home Shopping Network. As a Korean American with entrepreneurial parents, Choi was able to learn much about business and negotiation from watching her father run his simple fruit store. She has used that same business acumen to revolutionize the inequalities of the beauty industry.

With Mink, multicultural consumers will have the ability to create makeup that is specially designed for their skin tones and hues. It’s a game-changer and has the power to disrupt the $55 billion dollar beauty industry, by eliminating the step up purchasing makeup produced for mass consumer consumption which tend to be lighter skin tones. Choi is seeking to release MINK to consumers in 2015, and is currently allowing developers to create software for the product. She estimates MINK will retail for $200 – $300 when it is first released, with the price dropping as sales increase.

That seems like a fair price to have the power to create personally customized makeup that is created by you for you. I’m looking forward to trying the MINK when it goes on sale. I’ll also post a follow up review too.

à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

Lisa PriceThe world was all  a-twitter recently with the news that Carol’s Daughter had been acquired by beauty giant L’Oreal. Did African American founder Lisa Price sell out her business and legacy to the highest bidder? Did she turn her back on her loyal followers and the Black community by handing over the reigns of her business to a faceless conglomerate? Hardly.

Carol's Daughter Essentials - Almond Cookie Cleansing Gel and Body Butter
Carol’s Daughter Essentials – Almond Cookie Cleansing Gel and Body Butter

Mrs. Price did what smart business owners do. She took advantage of a great opportunity to grow her brand even further and tap into resources that can help accelerate her vision of making multicultural beauty an industry priority. Price has built a successful business over the years. From her early days of mixing her all natural products in her Brooklyn kitchen to attracting big name celebrities to invest in her dream to becoming a household name; she has stayed focused and created beauty brand so popular that it couldn’t be ignored. What’s the next logical step once you start the ripple in the tide?  She has put herself in the position to steer the wave.

Price has an agenda that I’d dare to say is bigger that the packaging that her products come in. And, she just became L’Oreal’s expert on multicultural beauty. Let’s celebrate, not undermine her bold steps to steer the industry from the inside out.

You can call Lisa Price many things: visionary, author, beauty mogul, mom, community leader, wife, job creator, trail blazer; but you’d be shortsighted to call her a sell out. She’s already invested two decades to changing the beauty industry as an outsider. Imagine what she’ll do in the decades to come from the helm.

à bientôt

A Girl In A Dress