After a stream of New York Fashion Week shows featuring back-to-back lipsmack, team MR realized that come spring we’d be no one if our own sets of lips weren’t shellacked in some sort of hue. Luckily for us stores sell this crazy thing called lipstick.
Leandra, Charlotte and I decided to try three different lip looks from the runway in three very different scenarios. Leandra wore hers in Paris (…), Charlotte to a babysitting gig, and I took mine to the bars. Our diaries of the mouth variety, right this way:
Colored lips tend to scare me — mostly because when I try to apply pigment I suddenly feel like I don’t have lips at all. Where did they go? Why is it so hard to color inside the lines? But NARS made it super easy thanks to their suggested tool of one satisfyingly thick brick red crayon. I thought I was being radical a la Creatures of the Wind, but when no one seemed shocked I knew that for night number two, I had to go big.
On Saturday I took Prabal Gurung’s sidewalk-chalk pink lips for a hopscotch to dinner and a bar. My girlfriends were alarmed and told me that I did not have the complexion nor the bone structure of a runway model to pull off Jetson pastels on my mouth. Oh…I thought I did. MAC’s original creation was clearly a bit too advanced so I remedied my friends’ concerns by wiping off a layer and then going back over with MAC’s lip pencil in “Shock Value” (which is, let me tell you, is my new favorite thing). I felt like Brunette Barbie but the guys were all about it.
One thing was clear about both: I realized (slow on the uptake, eh?) how a swipe of lipstick could change my most basic of outfits and make me look decidedly more dressed.
After an unsuccessful tryst with lavender lips by way of Prabal’s purple ones, I took my Revlon Rag & Bone orange lips out in a mixed bag of scenarios. After brunch, a book fair and dinner with my dad, I am here to report that not one person asked if I had eaten too many Cheetos. Actually, everyone seemed to like it, possibly thanks to cool girls like Jenna Lyons and Solange Knowles who’ve made the punchy shade ubiquitous.
My favorite part about it was that I never had to reapply — the color absorbed seamlessly as if it were tattooed. The only saucy comment I received was by way of a 9-year old boy I babysit. He eyed me up and down before definitely stating, “Very Neon. Very you.”
Charlotte wears Revlon’s “Just Bitten Kissable” balm stain in “Rendezvous” over their lipstick in “Creme Siren.”
I took my red Altuzarra lips as mandated by MAC for a test drive while I was in Paris for fashion week (Douche Bag Jar: 1, Leandra’s wallet: -20), and then again today on a train full of what look like (and probably are) off-duty government officials while on my way to Washington D.C.
It didn’t seem fair that while Amelia languished stateside (and probably at Southside), Barbie pink lips in tow, and Charlotte emulated a J. Crew model with the help of an orange hue in Bushwick, my experiment would remain limited to a city where red lips are as commonplace as traffic lights and creperies. With the help of a white short sleeved mini dress, my test drive elicited nothing more, nothing less than a few overzealous street style clicks. The only time the matte color even became a point of conversation was predictably when Into the Gloss’s Nick Axelrod complimented how it looked on me. (Thanks, Nick).
More interestingly was how well it stayed on all day (though my lips did get dry) without having to be reapplied and simultaneously how easy it came off at night. The next morning I looked nothing like a toddler who got lost in her mom’s makeup cabinet which for all French intents and purposes seemed pretty victorious.
Meanwhile on the train where I am currently sitting as I write this, a suited man with sleeves rolled up, a balding head and thick rimmed eyeglasses just tried to, as politely as possible, inquire about the social constructs of when a red lip is appropriate.
“It’s a little early for such a bright lip,” he foolishly remarked. The nerve.
Leandra wears MAC Lipmix Lip Pigment in “Red.”
While we long to hypothesize on the psychology behind why pink lipstick drew men in and purple pushed them out, why orange appealed to the masses and red barely raised an eyebrow save for the Amtrak, we’re going to leave the Rorschach tests and advanced lips to the professionals. But man, did those runway models look pretty.
So now we need to know: what lips did you love, both on the runway and per our real ways? Are there any lip colors you want to try? Or are you fearless in the face of lipstick? Take a picture and report back in the comments! We’re dying to see and you know we can’t do anything without you.
Featured image is “Bee on Lips” by Irving Penn, 1995