FINDING THE LIP COLOR
For someone who doesn’t drink often, I still love the look of a wine-stained/smudged lip. Through a fair amount of trial and error, I’ve decided it’s not only the color choice but the application and texture that helps achieve the look.
For a wine-stained look, I prefer a deep berry lipstick, which is the best color to replicate two glasses of Cabernet lips. If you’re aiming for a popsicle-stained look, which I prefer in the spring and summer seasons, it’s the same technique but with a bright pink, orange or red lipstick.
Recently, Fenty Beauty launched a new lip product, Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick ($18) and I used 100 points of my Sephora Insider points for a sample of it in Griselda because i was sure the deep, gothic burgundy I was one I didn't own already (sort of false). This lipstick is described as having a "long-wearing, petal-soft matte finish" with a weightless feel when applied. The 14-color range is said to work on all skin tones, which isn't surprising - Fenty Beauty has been lauded since its launch for having one of the broadest and most inclusive foundation ranges in the beauty industry.
When I tried the shade Griselda I was impressed with the intense pigment (a burgundy with a cherry red undertone) but unimpressed with the formula, which was patchy and uneven (see above). I was left with a slightly lighter patch at the center of my lower lip, which a second coat helped cover, if only slightly. After wearing this lipstick for a few minutes, the formula warmed up and had a gel-like, creamy consistency which allowed it to even out a bit but because Fenty Beauty used the word "matte" twice in the product name , I was disappointed in the satin finish.
Undeterred, I decided to search my lipstick drawer for similar colors that would achieve the same look. Now, here comes the disclosure: when I began Wore Paint, I vowed I wouldn't put my face on it but have quickly come to realize it is difficult to talk about my personal makeup experiences without showing pictures. So, I've taken the plunge and have posted pictures wearing all of the lipsticks I am discussing in this post. A few things to set the stage:
- The pictures are NOT retouched or filtered or blurred - I refuse to portray a false portrait of myself on this blog.
- In addition to the lipstick, I am wearing Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation in shade 170, NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Creme Brulee and a discontinued NARS blush from the Guy Bourdin palette, I've also curled my eyelashes.
The first lipstick I tried was Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Glastonberry ($34). I've had this color for a while and it is one of my favorite formulations because it is always difficult to make a dark, matte lipstick that doesn't dry out lips. This berry shade has a muted, cool and contains oils and plant extracts which help the lipstick feel comfortable for hours. This is the lipstick I recommend for the person who wants to wear a dark lip but not look like an extra from The Craft.
The downside of a dark matte lipcolor is it takes a few extra minutes to apply and perfect. The Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Raven ($24) helps speed up the process because it allows one to line and fill in the lips in one step. The color is buildable and leaves a pretty stain on lips as it wears away. It is also a great product for travel (or for those weirdos who do a full makeup application on the subway) because it doubles as a cream blush. This color, Raven, has a very pink/plum undertone making it perfect for fair skin because it doesn't drain skin's existing undertones.
Here is where things get a bit goth. If you're looking for a lipstick that will attract and repel people simultaneously, I recommend Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in Black Dahlia ($54). The color is a rich blanket of blackberry with a velvet finish which can be a bit drying and patchy upon application. The trick to wearing this lip color is to apply a matte lip balm a few minutes before and blotting it off (just a plain tube of Chapstick works). The balm will add moisture and comfort without adding shine. Do not use Black Dahlia if your lips are chapped and dry - you don't deserve that kind of disappointment, especially if you've paid this amount for a single lipstick.
One can rarely go wrong when wearing Bobbi Brown; not only does the brand make fool-proof colors, the formulations tend to be sheer but buildable. The Bobbi Brown Art Stick in Cassis ($29) is one of those hidden-gem products. The deep, warm cranberry stick is easy to apply because the formula is smooth, extremely light and moisturizing (it contains shea butter). Because it isn't a full matte formulation, the color does wear off after a few hours but leaves behind a beautiful wash of color...like lips after a few glasses of wine. Cassis can double as a cheek color which creates a beautiful and cohesive look.
I bought the Burberry Lip Velvet in No $37 Oxblood ($35) because I have a very large crush on the woman who created it, Wendy Rowe, Artistic Consultant to Burberry, makeup artist extraordinaire, real-skin advocate, and self-care devotee (her book, Eat Beautiful is worth checking out). Wendy is one of those MUAs I could watch all day long; her techniques are complex but the final look is one of a person who subsists on nothing but organic fruits and vegetables and a lifetime of yoga. Her looks are fresh and natural with skin that looks glowy and healthy. Perhaps I had unrealistic expectations of this lipstick based on my adoration of Wendy, but I was very disappointed with this lipstick. I am including it because, while it did not work for me, it is perfect for the person who despises the feeling of a matte formulation. This lip color has a satin finish, feels like a lip balm and will move around on the lips; lip liner helps with this. No. 437 Oxblood is a cool brick red/maroon, which works on a medium or tan skin color with green undertones. Side note: Rowe recently launched an eight red lipstick collaboration with La Bouche Rouge, a French luxury lipstick brand . These lipsticks are made without allergens, perfumes or known endocrine disrupters, but costs...$150. (the actual leather tube is refillable) If you've tried it, please email me so I can pump you for information.
I've left the most dramatic lip color for last. The Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Black Truffle ($24) is bold and elicits a double-take when worn. I first saw it worn in a LIsa Eldridge video - and she has a way of making me want to run out and purchase everything she wears. I resisted purchasing for a few weeks but one day New York was hit with a fake snowstorm and my office was closed but Sephora was not. With some extra time on my hands, I went into unsuccessfully "just to take a look." Black Truffle is a black-based violet, a unique shad difficult to find in other brands. The formulation is moisturizing and creamy but once applied, lips should not be pressed together. The color never truly sets and will move and become patchy. Because of this, I suggest wearing Black Truffle only if you can apply and let it be. Don't wear it to dinner. don't put it on when you're about to have a cup of coffee and do not use it on dry lips. It you can live by those rules, then I fully endorse this natural, food-grade formulation.
THE REST OF THE FACE
As with all dark lip colors, once makeup is complete take a step back and assess the entire look. Usually, a little more blush is needed - these deep colors tend to drain the life out of skin. I suggest pairing a pink or poppy rose color blush with deep wine lipsticks. Pictured above is the NARS Guy Bourdin blush palette I use with dark lip colors (the right four colors are perfect). This palette is no longer available but Colourpop Thumper or Cheerio ($8 each) are a great drugstore-priced dupe.
THE FINAL TOUCH
Thinking back to the last time a few glasses of merlot were had; that deep red stain didn't neatly contain itself to my lips but instead bled a teeny bit past the lip line. The last step in getting a realistic wine look is to undo all of the perfect application and create a blurred edge. This is achieved in two quick steps: take your index finger (clean please, it's flu season) and press it across lips to take off the excess product allowing the natural texture of the lip to show through. Then take a cotton bud and gently trace the lip line to blur any hard edges r - like you've put a wine glass to and from them for hours. If you still want to blur further you can blot with a tissue and apply some translucent powder.
Et voilà ! Wine mouth without the calories, hangover and embarrassing texts.