Five Days, Five Red Lipsticks - A Mini-Lab Adventure!
There is just something about red lipstick.
What that "something" is, is up for debate. Some find red lipstick glamorous, a throwback to the days of chic movie stars. Some feel Parisian in a red lip. Ooh la la! Then there are those that find a red lip scandalous or akin to witchcraft. (We'll skip those people.)
Personally, I love a good red lip, particularly, a signature red lip. As in, no need to save that lipstick for a special occasion, but make it your own personal calling card and wear it whenever you like. So, what's holding me back? Rules.
Rules! The reason we're all here. One of my rules (that I touched on briefly here), is Hold Your Horses On All That Makeup. I love makeup. It's like adult finger painting that you get to wear on your face. However, there are a crap ton of stigmas around it, and to steer clear of them I keep my look fairly tame. No more! I'm wearing the red lipstick. (And just in time for Valentines Day!)
For this week of mini-labs I wore a different red lipstick everyday, during the day. And because it's almost the holiday of love, I'll not only detail my experience, but also rate each tube for its Valentines-ability.
Let's go, let's go!
THE EXPERIENCE: I woke up on Monday feeling like I could use a little zing. I applied a clear lip liner, then this metallic lipstick. The color is nice, thought not really metallic. But man, the texture of this lipstick is THE WORST. It was somehow both gloopy and very, very drying.
However, I was hangry and we were out of breakfast food. Gloopy lipstick or not, it was breakfast time. Within 20 minutes, Izzy and I drove to the nearest Starbucks drive-through and back. In that time, I only spoke to the barista and drove my car. I did not eat. I did not drink coffee, but by the time I returned home the lipstick had separated into a patchy mess.
I ate my breakfast wrap, drank my coffee, and did not reapply.
VALENTINES RATING: 1/5 - Hard pass.
RED FOR DAY RATING: 1/5 - Also, hard pass.
THE EXPERIENCE: I've been intrigued by this collection for awhile now: L'oreal gathered up a group of celebrities with a variety of coloring and created a red, pink and a nude lipstick for each of them. Presumably, if you share the coloring of one of these women, their lipsticks work for you, too. I'm closest to Julianne Moore. She is a pale redhead, and so am I.
I did, in fact, find that Julianne's Red worked for me. It's bright with an orange base, and complimented my fairness, rather than emphasized it. The texture was much smoother than the previous lipstick, and it smelled like makeup, which I strangely appreciate. My first impressions were good!
Then, I ate a sandwich. Disaster. The lipstick went everywhere - down my chin, in my nose, across the sandwich. I had no napkins, and attempted to rub the lipstick off of my skin with my fingers which just gave me an all-over pink tint. It also came off of my lips unevenly, so some areas were still red and some were completely bare. I evened out what was left with some lip balm (I forgot the lipstick at home...) accepted my pinkness, and finished my day.
VALENTINES RATING: 3/5 - If you're a pale redhead that will be celebrating Valentines Day without kissing or finger foods, this could be the one for you.
RED FOR DAY RATING: 2/5 - This lipstick is too high maintenance for day. Daywear lipstick needs to stick around and stay in place, and this one isn't really into that.
THE PRODUCT: Glossier Generation G in Zip
THE EXPERIENCE: I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I didn't know if I would - Glossier is pretty au courant. I was leery that this lipstick wouldn't live up to the hype... but I love it. It is exactly what it says, "diffused sheer matte goodness." This lipstick was easy to apply, stayed in place without suffocating my lips, and was really buildable. It was perfect for day, and could easily be transitioned into night with a few extra coats. I get why people are so crazy for this. I want one in every color, too.
(Speaking of that, if you happen to buy some Glossier products, I'd be so grateful if you used my referral link. By clicking here before you make your purchase, you save 10% and I receive $10 store credit. Help a girl achieve her lipstick dreams!)
VALENTINES RATING: 4/5 - If you're going for a big punch of color, this might not be for you. However, if you're cool with building your color and a lipstick that won't slide all over your face, you've found it!
RED FOR DAY RATING: 5/5 - It's perfect.
THE PRODUCT: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella
THE EXPERIENCE: This pencil is an oldie but a goodie in my collection. I know it's a deeper red, and I wasn't feeling quite that dramatic this Thursday. In an attempt to tone it down, I put a little on my lips, spread it out with my finger and added balm on top. The effect was stain-like, and shockingly nice. I was really pumped about it. I'd never experimented with this product much (red only at night!) and was pleasantly surprised with its versatility.
Four days in, I'd grown pretty accustomed to wearing red during the day, so nothing of note happened.
VALENTINES RATING: 5/5 - These Nars pencils are crowd favorites for a reason. They feel nice, they look nice, they're easy to apply, and they stay around pretty well.
RED FOR DAY RATING: 4/5 - This product requires a bit more effort if you want the effortless day look of the Glossier lipstick. (It goes on much more pigmented.) That's the only point against it, if you consider that a detriment.
THE PRODUCT: Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored
THE EXPERIENCE: If that Glossier lipstick had hype, then this lip paint by Rihanna's brand, Fenty, is practically mythical. In most ways, I see why. It is quality. It did exactly what it said it would do: it was vibrant and it stayed in place. It's also supposed to be universally flattering, which I'm all about it. (Is there anything worse than shelling out money for a product to then discover it looks ridiculous on you?) The downfall with this lip paint is application.
Good lord, it's hard to put on. It took me three tries, and I needed an arsenal of lip liner, Q-Tips, and coverup to finally get it looking right. It also got everywhere. (I attempted a picture, but it was all over my hands.)
But once it's on - WHOA. This is not the lip product for a shrinking violet. It's there and loud and definitely not going anywhere. Of all products, this is the one that I felt most apprehensive about wearing during the day because of it's sheer volume. (In the end, that never seemed to matter.)
VALENTINES RATING: 5/5 - Presuming you have the time to apply this, it can't be beat for Valentines Day!
RED FOR DAY RATING: 3/5 - Application is a problem. This isn't a swipe it on and run out the door product. But if you get up early, have steady hands, and like a bold lip color, it will certainly stay put all day.
As with most of my fashion experiments, at the end of red lipstick week I thought, 'Well that wasn't so bad!'
And, in actuality, it was way better than "not so bad." I had a great time! In the dreariest of months, often my outward appearance matches the weather: grey and colorless. It was nice to have a little pizazz attached to my face. On top of that, even my casual outfits looked a bit more stylish and thoughtful with the red lipstick - a trick I'll be remembering for those slept-through-my-alarm-clock kind of days.
And yes, there are many stigmas about women in makeup (and women without makeup, let's be real), but oh well! If a stranger sees me in the grocery store and thinks that I'm trying too hard, or a witch, or a harlot, or a glamorous movie star, that's just fine! I have places to be and avocados to buy.
Happy Valentines Day! Happy Galentines Day! I hope your holiday is filled with love!
P.S. Curious about the history of red lipstick? I really enjoyed this Bustle article. It inspired this post's multiple references to witchcraft. :)