As part of my 30 Before 30 list, I have "Wear red lipstick." This is something I have tried very briefly before. When CoverGirl came out with that lipstick that is supposed to look good on everyone (well, 99% of people), I bought the Valentine Red version. Turns out I was the 1% who looked like ass in it. I chalked it up to junk science and the tendency I had for putting my lipstick on in a car that is hurtling down the freeway at 75-80 mph. I did it that one time, forgot about it, and moved on.
I put this on the list though because I love the classic-ness of red lipstick. It is one of my favorite looks, no matter the season, no matter what. I always flock to that page in the magazine, to that character in the movie. Red lipstick is just what I like. And the funny thing is, in my regular life, I'm a pretty non-red lipstick kind of girl. I generally wear neutral shades of make-up and lipgloss is what I almost always buy for lip cover (I actually think that last tube of "lipstick" that I bought was that Valentine Red crap). But, whatever, the case, I'm a tinge obsessed with red, so it is on the list.
I read an article in Bazaar or some such publication a while ago about red lipstick and they had all kinds of tips for achieving the look. I went out and bought one of the products they listed: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Top Tomato. I liked it because it was listed as "the classic shade" and because the liquid formula wasn't so unlike the gloss that I normally go to. I thought it would be easier for me to apply if it was a familiar formula.
Well, not so much. I put it on carefully, but still it looked kind of...blotchy. In places it was very red, but in others it was thin. I tried to go back over it to even it out, but that didn't look the best either. I think I need to get some lipliner (EEK!!! LIPLINER!--Is anyone else irrationally afraid of lipliner? Because I had this cousin with that ubiquitous brown ring around her mouth--EEK!!! LIPLINER!!!) to give myself a clearly defined border around the lip. There's a thin line between "artfully applied" and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, you know? Anyway, I got it on. But I still wasn't so sure. Some of it, I think, is the shock factor. It is something to get used to, looking in the mirror and seeing something so...bright. Especially when you are the Queen of Planet Neutral. And then...well, I think it changed colors.
In this picture (from a previous post), you can see what it looked like about an hour or so after I put it on. And it is kind of...pinkish. Like fuschia. Like old lady fuschia. Amirite? Part of this, I think, is because I tried to wipe it off a bit. And honey, this shit wasn't about to budge. ColorStay? Try ColorForever Until You DIE. After I noticed the fushia-ness of it all, I tried rubbing my lips with everything save a porcupine. Like your unemployed brother in law with a severe video game addiction, it wasn't going ANYWHERE. My lips were still pretty bright when we arrived at Ikea, a 3 hour drive and several drinks and one meal later. Revlon is all up on that truth in advertising stuff. Perhaps if I had reapplied instead of frantically trying to get it off, it would have looked more red and less "Are you bringing that chicken casserole, Hazel?"
The other issue is how I did the rest of my make-up. Because I'm a little afraid of the red still, I tried to tone everything else down. I did some kind of matte foundation (Loreal True Match but in a paler shade than I might otherwise do in the late summer/early fall), pearly eyeshadow (Cover Girl French Vanilla, I think) with a very, very thin line of black liquid eyeliner (Benefit Magic Ink--review to come) and Maybelline The Falsies mascara, and the smallest smattering of Nars Orgasm. I think I needed more Orgasm (and really, who doesn't?). Usually when I wear this shade of make-up, I brighten the whiteness with the blush to make everything look more natural. I was scared to do that with the red. In the future, I'm going to add more of the Nars. And the foundation will look better as we get deeper into fall and the small bit of sun I got over the summer fades even more. I did like the eyes.
Now, despite this experience, I'm not giving up on the red. At all. I'm not even giving up on this particular tube. Next time, I'm going to use lipliner, and add more, more, more. Yup. It's going to get CRAZY up in here. But not cat-lady-fuschia crazy. Lenin and Mao go out for cocktails RED crazy. If that doesn't work, I'm going to go to a professional and have them show me what I'm doing wrong. And possibly pony up for a full on red makeover.
Because it it is on a list, by crackies, I'll do it. For science! And awesomeness! Away!