What is it about so many reds on that market that makes them pink?
April 30, 2015 7:01 PM   Subscribe

 
I don't like how MakeupGeek has included their own product in the list of the top 5, and certainly not with this picture of a bleeding, feathering mess of lipstick application.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 7:50 PM on April 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Wow. File this under "things some of us don't pay enough attention to, and thusly underestimate the effort and analysis needed." And every single person you encounter, stranger or not, could be evaluating the decisions you made.

Kind of apropos: yesterday I learned that Kat Von D lipstick offers "Lovecraft" as a color. Checking out the other hues available -- yeah, it looks intentional.
posted by kurumi at 7:52 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks to BlahLaLa's awesome red lipstick AskMe I've been rocking Burt's Bees Redwood Forest lip crayon all the time. It's more of a cool berry on me, but I'm kinda crap at putting on lipstick, and the crayon is so easy and forgiving. I want to try the Nars that Taylor Swift swears by, but that might be because I want to sing into hairbrushes with her and play with her adorable cats.
posted by missmary6 at 8:07 PM on April 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


I find this utterly fascinating as someone who'd never wear red lipstick (too harsh with my deathly pale coloring)
posted by lineofsight at 8:21 PM on April 30, 2015


Every time I put my lips to a wine glass, coffee mug, water bottle, or joint, what I thought was my super-red lipstick leaves behind a hot-pink kiss. What is it about so many reds on that market that makes them actually pink?

Or couldn't that just mean that the pink pigments in the lipstick come off on wine glasses etc more easily than the other pigments?
posted by lollusc at 8:28 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, having now read the rest of the story, I don't understand how quantifying her lips' blue tones helped her choose those lipsticks? She basically just rounded up the reddest ones and then tested them all anyway. Couldn't she have done that just as well without the formula?
posted by lollusc at 8:29 PM on April 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


As someone who has recently embraced red lipstick, this is super interesting. Also, now I really want someone to do--like, have you seen the visual weight/height chart, and it has what x weight looks at y height? I want that, but for skin tone and lipsticks.
posted by MeghanC at 8:30 PM on April 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also, having now read the rest of the story, I don't understand how quantifying her lips' blue tones helped her choose those lipsticks? She basically just rounded up the reddest ones and then tested them all anyway. Couldn't she have done that just as well without the formula?

I think the reasoning is in this part:
It starts with your natural lips. They're not the same color as the rest of your flesh, but a deeper, almost brownish pink, and everyone’s are different. I chatted with reigning Lipstick Queen, Poppy King and she recommends going for the opposite-toned red to your natural color to achieve a true red. Poppy notes that reds just aren’t what they used to be, literally, due to FDA restrictions on pigments used in cosmetics. The hope lies in determining your natural lip’s undertones and then choosing a red that has opposite undertones.
(emphasis mine).

But yeah, my inner data nerd is like "Wait! You forgot the third step--correlating the qualitative wear-test rankings back to colorimetric and compositional (sticks v. pencils, matte/cream/gloss) data of the lipsticks!" (I don't actually expect her to do that, because that is a crazy thing to expect someone else to do, but omg it would be so cooooool.)
posted by kagredon at 8:36 PM on April 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Okay, so another problem: I took a photo of my lips in natural light (by a window) and then carried out her method first on a point on my lips that was most in the shadow, and then on a point that is least in shadow. One had a leftover blue value of 144 and the other of 12. Obviously that was taking it to extremes, but I'm not convinced you'd get more variation across a population than you would on a single person in different lights and with different cameras.
posted by lollusc at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


now I really want someone to do--like, have you seen the visual weight/height chart, and it has what x weight looks at y height? I want that, but for skin tone and lipsticks.

I need someone on that, stat!!
posted by missmary6 at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kind of apropos: yesterday I learned that Kat Von D lipstick offers "Lovecraft" as a color. Checking out the other hues available -- yeah, it looks intentional.

I was just looking at all the names and found one called Underage Red. Gross.
posted by mochapickle at 8:46 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that one caused a minor media dust-up a month ago. Not the first time it's happened with the Kat Von D line, either -- they had the bright idea to name one "Celebutard," and that was pulled in 2013. Underage Red didn't catch anyone's attention at the time, I guess.
posted by rewil at 8:58 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ha. As anyone who has ever played with Photoshop knows, pretty much any pixel from a photo of your lips is going to have widely varying values. And what ones' lips' "violet factor" has to do with whether or not your lipstick looks pink on a white background is never explained. Yes, mixing red with white will often get you pink- that's what light red is. I'd say that has a lot more to do with the amount of pigmentation in the lipstick and chemical properties of the lipstick and the paper than any RGB Photoshop gives you.

That being said, the best way to find a red is to test, test, test- as the author did! Here are my current favorites: Double Decker and Card Shark, both from Silk Naturals. I have pale skin so I wear these for nighttime adventures. They stay true on my lips and are vegan. I have to reapply if I eat but I prefer that to strangely far-too-permanent lippies.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:03 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Elixery's limited edition charity Dessa lipstick is the best red I've ever had. Their slightly different Dessa Remixed is not as perfect, but a damn fine lipstick nonetheless.

I wish reading long complicated descriptions of what worked for other people would help (cause it's fun and I love this sort of rabbit-holing), but I have no luck with lipsticks, except by trying them on and staring at them in all differing types of lighting.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:12 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Just an FYI: I shared this with my friend a bit ago, and she immediately sang her praises to it; she is in desperate need of "the perfect red lip" for her formal tomorrow night.

I extend her thanks to me, to you.

Thank you.
posted by ourt at 9:44 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'd say that has a lot more to do with the amount of pigmentation in the lipstick and chemical properties of the lipstick

There's that - the higher-end reds that don't veer to pink as much as drugstore brands do have more pigment in them - but it seems to me that a lot of the d/s lipsticks lack depth, like they're missing the earthy, middle tones that seem to ground the higher-end reds. I have no idea if that's right, just seems that way to me. I actually like the brightness of some drugstore reds, though, and I really enjoy their price, for a pick-me-up. (I don't care if that's hack, it works.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:52 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


fyi the makeup geek piece is from 2010 and they don't sell their own lipsticks any more. IMO They weren't very good.

I tend to favor highly pigmented lipstick. The current favorite is Besame 1946 Red Velvet. I like highly pigmented intense colors because then it's easier to know what the color will look like on vs. with sheer colors. NARS is my go to for good reds and that Burts Bees Redwood Forest is pretty good.
posted by oneear at 9:54 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just so y'all know, this thread is not at all helping my resolve to stop buying new lipsticks. It's basically the opposite of helping.
posted by MeghanC at 10:01 PM on April 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I know. I'm tempted by elixery but I can't find decent swatches so maybe I'll hold out.
posted by oneear at 10:14 PM on April 30, 2015


I have a really hard time getting lipstick right. I only own two or three of them. If I buy a weird eyeshadow, I can usually figure out how to use it -- brow? lid? crease? blended with a couple things? inner? outer? -- I mean, I can just hack it in a way that I can't with lipstick. Like, I recently bought a bright pink to try and push myself out of my comfort zone, and I put it on and was like "whelp. my lips are pink now. Do I look absurd? I feel absurd!" I think a trip to Sephora is in order. (That's usually the answer to most things.)
posted by missmary6 at 10:22 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


It took me about two years to be 100% comfortable with bright lipsticks, to the extent that I almost can't bear the sight of beige or mauve tones on my lips any more. I started with sheer reds and fuchsias, then once I understood which undertones worked for me, the rest was a breeze.
posted by peripathetic at 12:21 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


MAC's Ruby Woo is working for me right now and as a retro matte it doesn't leave itself around on glasses and stuff as much as more moist lipsticks

And yes, finding the right lipstick is HARD
posted by infini at 12:31 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I usually stick to a dusty rose or golden coral colour, but I've been tempted by red lately. But I'm a low-contrast sort of person: medium skin, medium brown hair, grey eyes. Is it even possible for me to wear a red? It just seems like it'd visually stand out too much.
posted by harriet vane at 3:47 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hack your secondary sexual characteristics!

I'm going to bedazzled my beard.
posted by clvrmnky at 4:45 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


harriet vine: that's sort of the point of red! But it does take a leap of faith. You'll find lots of guides that say stuff like "If you're going to do a big impact eye, go with a neutral lip" and vice versa, which pretty much means your fear (that red lips would be too much with a neutral face) the point.

Of course, you'll also find lots of guides that suggest you need more make-up if you're wearing a dark lip. So i think in the end it's just a matter of comfort level, picking the right color and taking care with application.

I mean, we talk about this a lot--that people express a preference for "unmade-up faces" but really mean "natural make-up" (some sort of blemish reductions, color-evening, eye-brightening, brow/lash darkening and a bit of color in lips). But frankly, you're not "fooling" anyone. I mean, make-up exists; people wear it and they look like they are wearing it when they are wearing it. What's wrong with that? Nothing. People look like they are wearing hats when they are wearing hats.

I think of lipstick (particularly, sometimes I think bright eyeliner this way, too) really as an accessory like shoes or a huge bangle. It's obviously not *you*--it's obviously something you chose to put on with that outfit. So make it pretty bright and bold, if you want to.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:02 AM on May 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


I haven't worn red in years but I received a set of Nars lip pencils as my birthday gift from Sephora and I love the matte velvet lip pencil in Cruella, not just for the color but for the formula, too; even though it's matte it's also creamy and not drying at all.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:03 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like the look of red lipstick, but in practice it's not for me. Two reasons:

First, I don't really have a face for dramatic lip color. My lips turn downward when my face is relaxed, so unless I'm constantly holding my facial muscles at attention, dark lipstick makes me look like the case of the Mondays lady. I also just... do not have very good skin? It's saggy and dull and dark-circly and all those other scary adjectives that the Sephora ladies use to sell you product. For the most part I've made my peace with my not-great face, but it's not really something I feel like calling attention to. And red lipstick is like a big flashing LOOK AT MY FACE arrow. It doesn't really change how pretty your face is, it just draws the eye to what's already there.

Second, I tend to shy away from anything that looks too... crafted? I admire people who look super-pulled-together and who can do perfect eyeliner wings and glossy hair, but I like to maintain a bit of plausible deniability in my appearance, because I am very very far from perfect even when I do put in the effort. Also, I'm lazy. I can spend twenty minutes putting on makeup and styling my hair and probably end up looking like a mess by midday, or I can save the time and disappointment and look like a mess when I walk out the door. I know that probably means I've Given Up, but beyond basic hygiene and dress codes, self-presentation should be fun for the person doing it. I enjoy makeup as an occasional thing; the minute it becomes an obligation, it stops being fun for me. I know there's an argument to be made about how you can just lazily smudge on some red lipstick and it doesn't have to be perfect and you can still wear yoga pants and such and so, but the minute I put on something that visible I start thinking about whether my hair's okay and if my outfit goes and oh no these shoes are all wrong and it's like turning on a bright WARNING: SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS light on my face.

Besame red lipsticks are the shit, though, and I can second the Red Velvet endorsement. I apply it in the bathroom and then wipe it off before anyone can see.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:16 AM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's far too much overthinking and bean plating around red. I really don't wear much else than powder on my nose and red lipstick. And spectacles. And I'm closer to 50 than 40. Media and magazines can go jump. The colour makes my complexion pop and my face brighter.
posted by infini at 7:07 AM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Great article!

And to second crush-onastick... I <3 the Elixery. Vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics hand-poured in Northeast Minneapolis. I also <3 the owner and BAMF scientist lady Karoline Wells. Too bad the Rockits red is out of stock.
posted by stompadour at 7:35 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


harriet vane: Is it even possible for me to wear a red? It just seems like it'd visually stand out too much.

Yes! And like crush-onastick says, that is the point of red lipstick. I think it would be helpful to start with a brick red (e.g. MAC Viva Glam I or the aforementioned Burt's Bees Redwood Forest) -- it flatters many skin tones and tends not to be as bright as a typical blue red, and so won't look as garish initially. You could also get a sheer red (or sheer out any opaque lipsticks with lip balm) and go on from there.

Also, when I wanted to start wearing really bright reds, I wore them around the house for a few weeks until I stopped feeling self conscious about it.

And since people are naming their favorite lipsticks, I just want to sing the praises of Burberry Military Red. You guys, this lipstick is damn near perfect for me and makes me feel like a million bucks every time I put it on.
posted by supermassive at 7:36 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


My lips sort of blend out at the edges into my skin and when I wear lipstick - even with lip liner - I always look like I don't know how to makeup. So I just don't wear lipstick. Strawberry Chapstick is my true red.
posted by sockermom at 7:49 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was just watching the video for The Cure's The Caterpillar this morning! Synchronicity! Robert Smith is the best at red lipstick.

I find this utterly fascinating as someone who'd never wear red lipstick (too harsh with my deathly pale coloring)

I'm super pale, and reds I like are:
- Nars pencils in Cruella and Dragon Girl
- the Bite VIB Rouge lipstick (which is apparently similar to Viva Glam I)
- Revlon Romantic balm stain
- Revlon lip butter in...candy apple? The red one, anyway.

Ruby Woo clashes with my skin, or hair, or freckles or something and that's the one everyone thinks of as the sine qua non of flattering bold reds. The red-oranges should work in theory, but don't seem to.

I keep looking at the more unusual colours at Melt Cosmetics and then need to remind myself that there are very few occasions in my life that call for deep green lipstick.
posted by mippy at 7:49 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, is this the only non-beauty site make-up thread in history in which nobody has wandered in to helpfully inform us that, ladies, we'd look so much better without all that makeup?

That or 'I only clean my face with grass and avoid all chemicals'.
posted by mippy at 7:52 AM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


Metroid Baby: we are twins!

Including the applying-and-then-wiping-off-lipstick step.
posted by cooker girl at 7:57 AM on May 1, 2015


Viva Glam is another favourite for when I'm not wearing something red (to set off the Ruby Woo, and yes, it felt *too much* the first few times I wore it ;p)
posted by infini at 8:03 AM on May 1, 2015


Oh and is this where I come to sing the praises of long abandoned shades (I hate you brands that kill my favourite colour) like Maybellines matte Brick (sometime in the late 1990s was discontinued) and Santiago by MAC, oh Santiago, I called all over town (SF back then) when I heard it was discontinued and discovered the Berkeley store had 9 left. I took a bus a train another bus and walked to the shop and STILL have ONE left untouched and its easily been 8 years (in the freezer, keep it in the freezer).

/;p
posted by infini at 8:08 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I keep looking at the more unusual colours at Melt Cosmetics and then need to remind myself that there are very few occasions in my life that call for deep green lipstick.

This is where I point out that OCC Technopagan exists and it is the most amazing blue oh my god

I only ever wear it when I'm going shopping or to a museum, though. Not too many occasions for a cobalt blue lipstick.
posted by supermassive at 8:17 AM on May 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't really wear lipstick every day, so it's hard to get used to how it looks on me. I've tried all kinds of crazy colors - bright pink, red, orange/coral - but only tend to wear for very special occasions. I can't seem to find the right everyday color, because anything that seems tame enough for a casual office environment, well, it just feels like why bother wearing any at all?

I have found I really like those fat lip pencil/crayon things that they make nowadays. For some reason the orange looked surprisingly decent on me, and the red is very wearable too. Unfortunately then I dyed my hair a purpley-red and now the warmer toned lipsticks that counteract my very cool pink lips clash with the hair, so I'm at a loss for colors.
posted by misskaz at 8:40 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


The other day I was reading a paper by Juliet Schor (can't find it online but Amazon's search function shows me the same information is in her book) and I learned that the lipstick product is nearly generic but the case it comes in is a status consumption good. People pay 20$ (probably more in 2015) for lipstick in a brand marked container that is a dollar or a little more in a plain container at Walmart. She also made the claim that she surveyed several hundred of her undergraduates and they almost all knew how much everybody's lipstick cost.

(The paper is in Sternheimer's Every Day Sociology Reader.)
posted by bukvich at 9:02 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


YOU JINXED US MIPPY
posted by kagredon at 9:04 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


yesterday I learned that Kat Von D lipstick offers "Lovecraft" as a color.

Yes, but is it the color out of space? Will it make your yard into a blasted heath and drive people to madness?
posted by Anne Neville at 9:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


YES! Technopagan is the best! Much better than, say, Kat Von D's Poe, which is just dry and sad and disappointing when all I want to do is swan around the house with dark blue lips.

OCC in general is fun if you're the sort to want to mix a color specifically to your liking. Too much for everyday, and don't forget to moisturize and to use lipliner, but playing mad scientist on occasion is fun.

(I do not need another lipstick of any color, but Besame's retro look is too appealing to resist for too much longer. Ooh, and they have the rose gold powder compacts in stock. OK, walk away, walk away ...)
posted by rewil at 9:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I learned that the lipstick product is nearly generic but the case it comes in is a status consumption good.

I've got some cheap drugstore lipstick that I like a lot, but won't be buying again because the damned cap comes off too easily, and so things I carry end up with colorful smears and bleah. So there's one point in favor of a more expensive case.
posted by asperity at 9:34 AM on May 1, 2015


Seconding (thirding?) oneear's + Metroid Baby's recommendation of Besame 1946 Red Velvet. It's highly pigmented, stays on all day, and looks great on my super-pale skin. Easily my favorite red right now.

I also love Revlon's Fire & Ice (which is more of a brighter color and probably my "signature" shade), Urban Decay's Mrs. Mia Wallace (for when I'm going for a more "vampy" look but it is sadly a limited edition shade), and Nyx's Chaos (more affordable, goes on smooth, lasts all day, and has more blue undertones).

I CAN'T WAIT TO TRY OUT AND PURCHASE (EVEN) MORE RED LIPSTICKS.
posted by sc114 at 9:37 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


No one here thinks lipstick makes their teeth look weird? I expected the article to talk about tooth color, not just skin tone.

I pile on the eye makeup (behind my glasses even), but a little lip color and I feel like I'm wearing a sign that says I drink too much coffee. I do like the natural color of my lips, though.

Also, face-balancing question: can you wear a popping lipstick with less eye-makeup if you have glasses?
posted by MsDaniB at 10:08 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes. At least I do. The glasses are rather complicated with metal filigree work. So on regular days I don't wear anything and for going out maybe liner & some shiny stuff on the lids.
posted by infini at 10:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


but a little lip color and I feel like I'm wearing a sign that says I drink too much coffee.

Orange reds tend to make teeth look yellower, while blue reds tend to make teeth look whiter. Maybe that's it?
posted by supermassive at 10:26 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I love corals so much. 2nding Revlon's Candy Apple (Lip Butter) and Striking (ColorBurst Matte Balm), and adding Ravish Me Red (Super Lustrous). Also Lancome's Crazy Tangerine (Rouge in Love) - amazing payoff, and it feels like it's barely there (though the advertised 6-hour wear is a stretch, unless you don't eat or talk at all in that time).
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:27 AM on May 1, 2015


That "Crazy Tangerine" is gorgeous! Not sure if it would work with my coloring but I'm very tempted to try it.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:34 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


+1 for Nars Cruella. It's the perfect matte red, it's that big lip pencil style, and it looks great on my dark South Asian skin. This is one shade away from what Taylor Swift uses (Nars Dragon Girl).

If I'm doing a casual day look, I'll skip the eye makeup and just go with mascara. If I'm going for vampy/nighttime, I'll add in liquid liner.
posted by Ragini at 10:45 AM on May 1, 2015


Now that I have an Ellis Red, I have no need for any other red lipstick in my life.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:49 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


That is an excellent red, fiercecupcake! My best and favourite reds (all Guerlain) are discontinued, gah.
posted by peripathetic at 10:59 AM on May 1, 2015


This thread has been almost as much fun as lipstick shopping ;p
posted by infini at 11:01 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel like I'm just not meant to wear bright lipstick. I have dry lips (mostly due to my Invisalign) so that rules out a lot of the long-lasting suck-your-lips-dry formulas. I also have a terrible habit of licking my lips and generally messing with them and for whatever reason, they're just bad at holding onto lipstick, so inevitably, fifteen minutes after putting on a bright color, I either have licked it off, the center is missing color and there's just a horrible outer ring, or it looks bad due to my chapped lips. And if I wear a balm underneath, the color slides right off.

Fuck. Back to MLBB dusty pinks, I suppose.
posted by rachaelfaith at 11:30 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have pale, cool-toned skin with more redness in my cheeks than I'd like, warm brown eyes, brown hair, and dark-ish full-ish lips. I recently have discovered the joys of wearing JUST bright lipstick, no other makeup. I have a couple of pinks but they are tricky on me, but I have oh so many red lipsticks. (I keep buying them because I perform and need my lips to be as visible as possible.

Today I'm wearing Make Up Forever in Moulin Rouge. It is the SHIT, I love it. My other faves include Bite in Pomegranate (& Cranberry for a lower key, less screaming look), Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso (they are not kidding with the stay all day, it's drying as hell but it does not move), Nars Cruella as received for the birthday gift, Hourglass Icon, and OCC NSFW. I am making this my new Thing.
posted by KathrynT at 11:38 AM on May 1, 2015


There are grippier balms like the Nuxe Reve de Miel, and you could try dabbing a bright lipstick on with your ring finger for a bit of colour instead of applying it straight from the tube. I've also noticed a trend towards pigmented sheers (Lancome Shine Lover, Urban Decay Sheer Revolution) and gloss-lipstick hybrids (Dior Fluid Stick) that come in bright colours. These would probably be less effortful than creamy opaque satins or mattes.
posted by peripathetic at 11:41 AM on May 1, 2015


No! Status consumption is a valid debate. There are high-end products which don't perform as well as drugstore, but branding sucks us into thinking we're getting a Luxury Experience. In the context of a lipstick thread, it's a totally valid thing to bring up. It's the one item of make-up that people will reapply in public, and that's why a lot of high-end lipstick reviews talk about quality of packaging.

I like good, cheap brands, but it isn't true to say that Posh Lippy is just the same thing as El Cheapstick. Sometimes it's just as good. Sometimes it's better, or unique, or you just like the fact the case has gold bits and leather on. Sometimes you'd be better off buying something alongside your tampons. It's like cola - I don't drink it, it's all sweet water to me, but there are people who will swear the own-brand stuff is superior or inferior.

None of this matters, though, because unless you have to wear cosmetics for uniform, it is a luxury item. I think where lipstick differs is that women purchase it to make themselves feel fancy, not in the traditional Veblen good model of a luxury item bought more or less purely to give an impression of status to others. It's like reading a nice paperback on the train - sure some people will look at it and make assumptions of taste and class etc., but the reader is carrying it because she really wants to read it.

What annoys me is when people act as though spending two hours' pay on a frivolous item is an act of barbarian consumerism. So let's leave that out of this rather lovely thread.
posted by mippy at 11:53 AM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Anyway. There is a Rouge G that has the same name as me but sadly it is a colour that would look utterly pants. Why can't you be red, namesake lip goop?
posted by mippy at 11:56 AM on May 1, 2015


I recently have discovered the joys of wearing JUST bright lipstick, no other makeup.

That's what convinced me to give red another go. There's something fun about no makeup, flip-flops, t-shirt, and bright red lips, especially since I can't really pull off the Audrey Horne thing anymore. (I have your same coloring, KathrynT.)

This thread has been almost as much fun as lipstick shopping ;p

And lipstick is a lot cheaper than purses and bags!
posted by Room 641-A at 12:30 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've had casual thoughts about why orange-y reds look better on my cool-ish coloring. I disagree with the article's photo-based math (as a photographer and photo retoucher... GAH. Are you kidding? Cameras aren't going to magically tell you any kind of truth about color), but the general idea that counteracting your lips' natural base tone sounds pretty right. A lot of blue-reds tend to look really garish on me.

Illamasqua's Ignite has been a favorite for a while, but it looks like they don't sell it anymore! Otherwise in the (orange-y) red realm I've been rocking OCC's Psycho, and their Maneater (a metallic like Technopagan -- from the same season -- but a little more versatile than the dark blue/purple).
posted by jeweled accumulation at 12:33 PM on May 1, 2015


None of this matters, though, because unless you have to wear cosmetics for uniform, it is a luxury item.

I don't know if I agree with this, though. Maybe for women of a certain level of whiteness/straightness/social class, it's a luxury good, but I think that for many women, especially those who exist in some sort of marginalized space, lipstick (and other makeup) is part of the complicated dance that they have to do to be treated as people, let alone as equals.

I mean, sure, it's a status marker of sorts, but that means that even when I didn't wear makeup on a regular basis, I'd definitely put it on before I had to do anything that required me to interact with someone in a position of power. Talking to my daughter's teacher, trying to plead down a traffic ticket, etc. People are a lot more likely to give the benefit of the doubt when you're wearing makeup, when you're signaling that you're doing the Right Things and Making An Effort, and it makes me uncomfortable to see makeup written off as frivolous and a luxury when it's a thing that can make such a huge difference.

I don't actually like wearing makeup all that much. My skin is sensitive, and I resent the time and money and mental energy that I spend on it. But I do it, and I actively work at being at least adequate at it and relatively current on trends and things, because people are so, so much kinder to me when I do. It's not a uniform, but I don't think that I can go so far as to call it a luxury.

Also, for those of you who're into the 24-hour drugstore-brand lipsticks, I super love Maybelline's 24 hour SuperStay--both Reliable Raspberry and All Day Cherry work as near-true reds on my cool, fair skin.
posted by MeghanC at 12:38 PM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is great! I have pale face skin but my lips have weird undertones that turn all lipsticks into completely unexpected colors on me. The "classic" reds everyone else seems to love turn bright pink on me, and so do even the warmest plums and berries. If there's even a hint of brown in a color--like all the pinky-brown-nude colors that are currently so popular, or some of the supposedly more daytime-wearable reds--are brown brown brown on me.

The colors that end up working for me are almost always completely unexpected. The Nars Dolce Vita pencil is a dusty rose on most people, and a stunning muted orange-coral on me. I recently bought a Laura Mercier lipstick in Dulce de Leche, which is supposedly a "midtone brown nude," and on my lips it turns out to be a really lovely muted purpley-red! And I finally did find my perfect red, Nars Walkyrie--a "warm coral creme" that seems to read mauve-berry on most other people.

Lipstick is hard. COLORS are hard.
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:20 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's why I'm not starting the story of my search for the one true colour, else I'll have us all weeping into our herbal teas right now.

I can't do the blue/purple/pink undertones and the bricks/rust/orange are so much rarer - terracotta is my colour. Chili by MAC looks like neon orange on me.
posted by infini at 1:26 PM on May 1, 2015


I love lipstick, but I still don't have a great grasp of color coordination/undertones (not helped by the fact that I have mutant pale-as-fuck-but-with-neutral-undertones skin that fails to line up with either "cool" or "warm" makeup advice). I have solved this problem by spending a year just buying pretty much every red lipstick (ok, well, every lipstick, but we digress) that I could afford and that looked the slightest bit likely. The interesting thing is that as my addiction to makeup has progressed (and my frequency of wear increased, and my collection size increased), colors that looked jaw-droppingly "oh fuck no" at the start turned out to look pretty damn nice as I got used to, you know, seeing color on myself. There are still some that I don't like on myself, but usually that's because it's a color I objectively turn out to dislike more than because it somehow doesn't matchy-matchy my skin.

I am thus increasingly of the opinion that while there are certainly colors that will appear more true-to-name against my skin tone (so many things turn fuchsia on me that are not fuchsia either by name or on anyone else, dammit), there is very little that I "cannot" wear. It's makeup. It's not required to look natural if you don't want it to. Wearing a slightly more out-there color is just a matter of not being shocked at my own face looking a way I'm not used to it looking. The pictures listed in that Makeup Geek article as "doing it wrong"? Plz. Those girls look hot and happy in their awesome lipstick. Makeup trends are trendy (squared off eyebrows are very hot right on Pinterest right now, despite approximately no one having eyebrows that actually grow that way), but at the end of the day, wear what makes you happy to look at your own face. If some article says it's not the "right" color for you but wearing it makes you like the way you look? That article can fuck right off. Wear that shit to do laundry around the house if you think people might look at you funny if you wear blue lipstick to work. No one says all your lipstick has to be work-safe.
posted by Hold your seahorses at 4:20 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, face-balancing question: can you wear a popping lipstick with less eye-makeup if you have glasses?

Somewhere once I read that people only notice your eyebrows and lips when wearing glasses, so it's good to pay attention to both if you do. Her eye makeup is pretty minimal and I think her lipstick is well balanced with eyebrows and black frames. I think this woman also looks great with her red lips and glasses.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:41 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cover Girl Lipslicks Smoothies in "Text Me" - great sheer starter red - I promise!
posted by ersatzkat at 5:02 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh! I also love a bit of lip balm and MAC's Half Red lip pencil - it is perfection.
posted by ersatzkat at 5:10 PM on May 1, 2015


Thankyou for the suggestions to my earlier question, I wasn't able to get back online after I posted it. I might have to go to a department store and get some reds to try, you've all made me feel like it's worth a try.
posted by harriet vane at 6:35 AM on May 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


The best lipstick I ever bought was a cheap-as-hell black lipstick from the Halloween aisle at a drugstore. After blotting, most of it was gone, leaving my lips tinted a slightly darker shade of their natural colour, which is exactly what I want for general use. Hopefully this October I'll remember to try finding one like that again.
posted by salix at 3:38 PM on May 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aha! I've been stalking the Besame page on Sephora, and the lipsticks are finally in stock. Time to get my Agent Carter on.

(Unfortunate typo there, Sephora. No one wants "lipsicks.")
posted by rewil at 10:39 AM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


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