If Lips Could Smize

You know, smile with their eyes. Even though they are lips so they can actually smile for real.


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.

Amelia wears a mixture of MAC Lipmix Lip Pigments in “White” and “Crimson,” lined with “Shock Value.” She also tried NARS lip gloss and their “Red Square” velvet matte lip pencil.


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 shot by Dirk Lambrechts for blau-blutedition.com

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  • Savannah

    Wow, Amelia you are very pretty! And personally I think you do have the complexion and bone structure to pull off those pink lips.

  • Damn – I had to click through 3 times! First I thought, wow, those are beautiful ladies over there at MR (I AM allowed to claim that, right? I mean, an old woman like me and so far away and all), then I got distracted by MR team eyes (beautiful!) and then I could finally have a look at your lips.

    Alas, no colors there for me, I like dark red (“wine red”), fuchsia and such, but I don’t wear any.

  • Liz

    We were once told, “fun girls wear bright lipstick”. Damn right. Rather than bright though, I’ve seen some great black lipped beauties. Would love to try that look, but maybe not so close Halloween.

    • Amelia Diamond

      I love both of these colors on you two

  • Lipstick Enthusiast

    I like Charlotte’s and Leandra’s looks. You know that no one in NYC would bat an eye at those. I wish Amelia would’ve gone bolder with the pepto bismol pink. I think more of a contrast would actually have been more flattering. Right now they’re just kind of disappearing into her face. It would also help to pull some of the hair off the face like Leandra and the models did. I don’t know quite how to explain it except to say that with the hair pulled back, it look like you’re wearing the lipstick, not like the lipstick is wearing you. With all that hair in the face, it looks like you’re trying to hide behind a curtain. Own the lipstick! Maybe try part two? What about MAC Steady Going, the new retro matte bright pale pink?

    • Amelia Diamond

      You’re so right! Next round I’m following your lead!

  • norwegian

    I LOVE bright lipsticks, although they get mixed reviews in the Midwest city that I live in. My sister isn’t a huge fan of my orangy pink bright lipstick I wear all the time, and when I wore purple I had half my girlfriends saying they loved it and half say it was too much (side note: still wearing both. don’t care). I always get compliments on red though (MAC ruby woo is the best ever). I found out this weekend, however, that my husband doesn’t care what color I wear when I tried on a sample of a peachy pink YSL lipstick I got as a part of my last sephora purchase. To me, it looks much different then any lipstick I currently have, but when I asked him what he thought he just said “pretty” and then “it looks like all your other lipsticks”. Sigh…

  • Hey Trude

    I”m prone to the Charlotte. Lipsticks used to be named after people too. Love this piece. This is important info. I’m off to cruise the lipstick counter at Sephora at lunch.

  • I love the idea of this post, but do you know dear that only

    • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

      Sunday, Thank you for caring about the agonizing lives of lab animals. Bless you.

  • Sofia Coelho
  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Love the red and really love the orange. I think Leandra would look amazing in the orange as well. The pink is my least fave, BUT I think if you were to line the lips in an ever so slightly darker neutral shade and then fill in with the pink and feather into the lining to blur the line, it would pop a little bit more and give more definition. Also when wearing pink, to get a true intense pink, it helps to neutral out your natural lip color 1st with a cover stick or foundation , then light powder to set,brush off any excess with powder brush, then apply lipstick.You will notice a big difference in color trueness and intensity.

    • Charlotte Fassler

      Wow that is a super interesting idea! Amelia and I both had trouble with directly applying the Prabal lips and I think that next time neutralizing the base would have resulted in a bolder effect. Thanks for the tip!

      • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

        No problem. Also thought I should mention MUFE high def powder works best for setting w/out dryness. It is so fine, silky smooth and virtually imperceptible that the lipstick glides on beautifully over it.

        • Amelia Diamond

          Charlotte and I tried the Prabal Lips again. YOU ASKED FOR IT.

          • Kate Barnett

            AMAZING. vote up times a million.

          • elizabeth

            i mean, this looks FANTASTIC and if I saw you in the subway I’d barrage you with questions about how you achieved this. you should probably do it more.

          • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

            GORGEOUS!!!.. Now that is application perfection ladies! Loving your new and improved version of the Prabal – cool, grooved out change of pace from the red.

          • Lipstick Enthusiast

            Yay! I love this so much! So pretty! Pop!!! Thank you for replying to my message above! Gorgeous!

          • AshleyOlivia


  • Amatoria Clothing

    I was always afraid of lipstick, until the girls at the Chanel counter had their way with me. Mouth rape, if you will,,, except that I liked it. They taught me that if you have a lot of natural pigment in your lips, you have to use a primer to make bold colors pop. I have tried sa bold pink and red… Interested in trying Rag & Bone Orange soon!

    • Amelia Diamond

      so pretty!!! i love the pink

      • Amatoria Clothing

        Thanks, love! It’s Chanel #94 Extatique with Chanel lip liner in Fuschia. You should give pink another try. And I love your beautiful hair!

        • Leandra Medine

          You are beautiful!

          • Amatoria Clothing

            You are so sweet, Leandra! I think you are all gorgeous! I was so happy last week. I met your friend Rebecca Minkoff (she did a personal appearance at our store) and a few people said that we looked related. I was on cloud nine for days because she is absolutely STUNNING in person!!!
            Hopefully I can meet you sometime! <3

  • Randi Killian

    Very interesting. I, for one, am lipstick obsessed and rarely leave the house without a swipe of something. It takes almost no time, at least compared to eyeliner, it freshens, brightens and can be dramatic or whimsical. I feel a lot of ladies are wary of bold shades. I hope more gals will embrace it. Loved the color choices ; )

    This has inspired me to do a post on my love of lipsticks : *

  • Pualani@TheRustedKey

    The last image is a classic. How necessary do you think lip primers are on dark skin to get the real affect of the color? The furloughed government worker’s comment makes me wonder what he does on his off-duty time to have opinions about women’s lip color.

  • I love the first picture of Leandra, she’s gorgeous!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Aubrey Green

    I think the three of you are prettier than the models. I love Amelia’s freckles! All of you looked great, but I agree with the pink lipstick comments, maybe a brighter pink next time :).

  • Jo Jo

    Who is this child Charlotte babysits and is he designing a fall line?

    • Jo Jo

      Or her?

    • Charlotte Fassler

      I hope he will one day because he seems to know more than I do!

  • elizabeth

    charlotte! give me that lip color and your lips on the immediate.

  • madeau

    i have also been exploring the endless possibilities of lip-painting, lately!

    like seen on http://madeausynot.blogspot.com

    thanx for the new ideas!

  • LexoRexo

    Partial face to protect the innocent. Marc Jacobs Happy Endings here!

    • Charlotte Fassler

      ooooh I really like that color! I’ve been using the MJ color “Seduce Me” and I love the way it goes on and stays on.

      • LexoRexo

        I’m in love! It goes on well and not only does it survive eating/drink well, it also looks really pretty when it begins to fade!

        • Charlotte Fassler

          It doesn’t have the awkward effect of wearing off in the middle leaving dark lines around the side, which to me is a lipstick miracle!

  • LexoRexo

    Partial face to protect the innocent. Marc Jacobs Happy Endings here! Xx

  • Racheal

    So I loveeeeeeeee a good red lip! Especially when Dolce & Gabbana came out with their collection for Monica Bellucci! So I bought the color named Attractive Monica. It’s a pretty solid color. Like I said, I love a red lip but AT NIGHT! For some reason even though I know it’s perfectly acceptable when I wear it during the day, I feel like I drew highlighter all over my lips. Anyway NYFW Spring 2014, I did it after a friend told me it would “top of my outfit”.

    Here is the pic. You know who didn’t like it as much, the hubby 🙂

  • Technocrat

    what are you doing in DC?

  • Sandra

    I can’t imagine myself without a bright red or pink lipstick! KIKO is the one I love the most

  • jaclyn

    love, love, love!!! colored lips are a make or break accessory!

    check my blog: http://stylevolver.blogspot.com

  • Michelle Phoon

    it takes a lot of confidence to pull off bold lips though, so it does make a statement about yourself and how you feel about yourself. Especially loving Charlotte’s orange-red lips! It’s a younger version of the classic red lips, don’t you think?

  • Nothing new here, but: Holy cow, you people are smoking hot! Am I allowed to say that? Honestly, a beautiful team.
    I don’t really wear lipstick because a) I just don’t really fitting in to my daily life at school b) I can’t apply it for my life. I need to practice because I want to wear it but EVERY TIME it just goes on really horribly.
    May I come over and get some help? X

  • Nothing like lipstick for an instant pick-me-up. Elizabeth Taylor was definitely onto its powers when she said, “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.” I personally love all colors, from fuschia to wine to bright pink {see below.} XOXO


  • Jen

    Obsessed with the whole look at Prabal. Loved this article 🙂 Please check out my fashion blog at http://www.theboonreport.com – you won’t regret it!

  • Jay

    if our nose could smize, our whole face would be perfect


    • Leandra Medine

      That is such a good point, Jay.

  • Blink London

    love the red lips on Leandra. Red lips are always a good idea. My fav is a Chenel Rouge Allure shade.


  • Julian

    So glad to finally put faces to names. And MY GOD – Amelia is a BABE! She nailed the lips. And hair that perfect is a sin. I’m thinking Amelia needs to head over to IntoTheGloss and write up her TopShelf.

  • Maddie

    I honestly don’t like wearing makeup because it feels like I’m wearing a mask all day…but lipstick saves me! I throw on some concealer around the eyes with a quick liquid liner on top with a bold lip. My favorite lip color right now is “Lady Danger” by MAC. It’s the PERFECT red with a hint of orange! I apply it with their lip liner called “Brick” which boosts the red a little bit more. The result is a super versatile shade that goes with the majority of my wardrobe. I highly recommend trying it!!


  • Maddie

    I honestly don’t like wearing makeup because it feels like I’m wearing a mask all day…but lipstick saves me! I throw on some concealer around the eyes with a quick liquid liner on top with a bold lip. My favorite lip color right now is “Lady Danger” by MAC. It’s the PERFECT red with a hint of orange! I apply it with their lip liner called “Brick” which boosts the red a little bit more. The result is a super versatile shade that goes with the majority of my wardrobe. I highly recommend trying it!


  • I really really want to try some bright red lips or a nice orange. I keep going to sephora and mac to find something but they all look horrible on me. Very aging. Crying up a storm right now *sniff* T.T


  • Hayley Mitchell-Gardner

    i looove lipstick and the fact they do really dress an outfit up!

    Hayley xx

  • Lilli

    Does anyone else want Amelia’s hair? AMAZING!

  • AshleyOlivia

    I refused to wear lipstick for many years, which was on par with the rest of my minimal makeup routine (no blush, only neutral eye shadows, never any cat eye liner…). Then, after simultaneously hitting 25 and going through a tumultuous breakup, I truly discovered makeup. I was amazed at what adding blush and lipstick to the mix could do for my face. I had spent years jealously eyeing other ladies’ makeup and wondering how they managed to look so polished only to discover the insultingly simple answer: they put some damn blush on their cheeks.

    The first time I wore red lipstick to work I was paranoid that it was going to be smeared all over my face by magical, vindictive forces on the walk from the car to the building, but to my surprise, that didn’t happen. In fact, I’ve had very few red lipstick disasters. (I did accidentally smear bright pink lipstick on an organic cotton, white button-up that I then felt compelled to buy. It came out with a stain stick, but it required 4 wash cycles.) No one acted shocked, surprised, or even remotely interested in my lipstick, except for the occasional compliment. I routinely wear all the colors tried above, except the purple on the runway model. I do think the purple looks cartoonish, but then again, I hate purple. My favorites for achieving these respective hues are Lancome’s “Rouge in Love” for the light pink, Clinique’s Chubby stick “Heftiest Hibiscus” for the orangey red, and…. no, sorry, I can’t pick a favorite red. I’ve got scads of different reds, and I love them all.

    As for when certain colors are appropriate, I’m of the whenever-I-damn-well-please variety. The second the man on the subway demonstrates that he can master walking around all day in heels (including carrying a week’s worth of groceries up the stairs to a third floor apt), successfully manage hosiery, and not claw his companions to smithereens when PMS-ing is the day he gets to offer me advice on when a red lip is appropriate.

  • tinydarling

    Yes, yes, yes. I love all of these colors. The bright lilac/pink is a personal fave and I think Amelia pulls it off exceptionally well!


  • Allison

    Ha! Oh thank you guys for making me smize this morning! I have a lipstick addiction. On any given day I probably have 7 different lipsticks in my purse. Lately I’ve been wearing NARS Pop Life velvet matte lip pencil and it rocks! I love a matte red for the daytime because I feel like it’s a style statement without being overly dramatic. At night, I bring on the Chanel Dialogue because you know, life is short. Go big or go home!

  • Savannah

    This was the result of a recent trip to the Chanel beauty parlor. Never imagined to be so taken away with a red lip. Also, I certainly wasn’t the only one to crush on this lip colour. Manrepelling versus Chanel: 0-1. By the way, you all looked amazing with those bright lips! Smizing away, ladies.

  • Olivia

    omg yesss this is the article amelia referenced in the “Oh Boy” podcast lol !!