NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square ($24), tonight’s unsung hero, has a lot in common with MAC Lady Danger and NARS Heat Wave, but while it hangs out in the same bright reddish orange circles, it sports sportier, travel-friendly attire.
The holidays are in full effect, y’all, and red lipsticks are in the mutha’ truckin’ house! Of course, I couldn’t forget to include one of the most party-poppin’ colors in MAC’s permanent line, the bright, bold, beautiful MAC Red ($14.50).
Swatches from the left: MAC Red, Ruby Woo, Lady Danger, Russian Red and Dubonnet
We interrupt our regular schedule of dark fall lipsticks to bring you this important message about trees…
Wait — did I say trees? I meant twigs. 🙂 Rather, a twig, as in MAC Twig Lipstick ($14.50), today’s Unsung Hero and another one of my favorite transitional shades.
QUICK REWIND: What are “transitional shades”? They’re what I like to call colors that help bridge the gap between the vivacious shades you want to wear (yet might not feel ready for), and the shades you feel most comfortable wearing now.
Say it’s one of the dark, rich lipsticks we see a lot in fall, something like a full-on vampy red. If you feel the urge to go there but haven’t quit mustered the courage, an approachable lipstick like Twig could walk you a little further down the path to your ultimate destination.
It’s a little like CrÃ¨me in Your Coffee (another great transitional shade), except a smidgen lighter and a little more pink than brown; I feel like Twig’s semi-matte finish gives it a slightly more formal, more conservative, vibe than CrÃ¨me has with its subtle sheen.
So maybe you’re tempted to try darker MAC lippies like Dubonnet and Paramount but haven’t worked up the courage? No worries. I totally get it. If you’re not accustomed to seeing yourself in dramatic lip colors, a bout with “transitional shades” could help. Somewhere between the bolder colors you eventually want to wear and the colors you’re already comfortable in, transitional shades can help you push your limits while easing you into something bold.
Say your game plan is to work your way up to fall’s darker browns, reds and plums. CrÃ¨me in Your Coffee ($14.50) lipstick, today’s Unsung Hero, could be a great place to start.
MAC describes the color, which is part of the company’s Cremesheen lipstick line, as a mid-tone pinkish brown, and I think it’s that touch of pink that elevates it from a run-of-the-mill nude lipstick to something else (something more). The brown within it gives it a degree of intensity, but one that doesn’t cross the line into melodramatic, and the combined shade sits comfortably at the halfway point between barely-there and look-at-me lips.
Should you ever find yourself at a loss to locate a fabulous red lipstick for fall, dial 555-HOT-REDS, and kiss your lip grief goodbye.
Listen carefully to the menu because their options have changed. When you get to the part that starts, “If you like MAC Dubonnet but find it a touch too brown,” hit two followed by the pound key.
That should take you directly to today’s MAC Unsung Hero, which, incidentally, happens to be a Party Line ($14.50).
Lipstick, that is. 🙂
Not even hot chai lattes, chubby baby cats in Halloween costumes and dirty/flirty texts from Ryan Gosling can hold a candle to Party Line’s opaque, plummy red.
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