We´ve done our part to promote Red Lipstick Love on this blog. I think a post on the fabulousness of pink lipstick is overdue.
Pink can be harder to pull off than red lipstick; the wrong pink is aging, or juvenile. I’m old enough I avoid pink frosts and glitter like the plague. When I say “pink,” I´m referring to the dimension between red and the browny-pinky-taupey lippies we refer to as YLBB (your lips but better.) YLBBs brighten your complexion, and the lipstick may be visually detectable, but the effect is lipcolored, whether it´s your actual lipcolor or not. I and others use YLBBs to correct our liptones a little – my lips are really blue, and not in a good way. A very slightly warm YLBB diminishes my been-in-cold-water-too-long blues. Other women with washed-out no-colored lips (your lips may lose color as you age) use YLBBs to bring their lips back into proper perspective. It doesn´t have to be YLBB lipstick, either. I know ladies who use YLBB pencils and liners, alone or over lipgloss (pencils can be drying) to get the same effect.
The way coloring (lip and face) affects the appearance of a lippie can´t be overstated. I was fascinated when Friend A, a fair-skinned blonde with brown-toned natural lips, picked up a new tube of her “regular standby” pink she wears all the time. On her lips it´s a soft, friendly shade – sort of a pale bubblegum pink without being too girly. In the tube? It´s a hot pink, like NARS Schiap. On me with my blue lips, it´s a laughably lurid fuchsia, the sort of shade I´d wear if I were … I don´t know, 19 years old and wearing a rubber dress to a sex party at Hef´s house? My point being, try before you buy, and don’t be surprised if the effect on your lips is totally different than someone else’s, even if you consider your skin tones to be kind of similar.
I am going for a soft look when I wear pink, I don´t use any liner (pink, taupe or otherwise) with these, I think pink lined lips can look … hard (cheap? Maybe that´s the word I´m looking for). Whereas lined red lips look finished. Feel free to argue with me, I´m not a makeup artist or expert.
Also, if you ever feel like your lipstick’s too pink, apply a quick swipe of taupey-nude lippie or pencil on top to tone it down. Bobbi Brown gloss in White is also excellent for this purpose, I always have a tube for emergencies (it´s called White 1, and it dials down the wattage on pinks and reds nicely). More than one makeup artist has said to me that they pretty much never use one shade of lipstick, so have fun experimenting with layering. If it´s awful you can wipe it off!
Finally, those of you who bought lipstick during the Red Lip Feeding Frenzy on here and have now shoved those tubes into the back of the drawer until the first frost – red lips are still all over the fashion rags, even for summer. A heavy red lip doesn´t work so well in face-melting heat, but if you use your finger as an applicator, you can lightly dab your red lipstick onto clean, buffed (use a washcloth or your toothbrush) lips, add a little gloss et voila – a soft, pretty popsicle pink-red perfect for summer.
So here´s a random list of some of my favorite pinks, with the stipulation outlined above that my lip/face coloring (fair skinned, pink undertones, blue-ish lips) affects the results. Your Mileage May Vary. Be sure to mention your coloring and favorites in comments, along with anything else you’d like to say about pink lips!
I lost my pink lip virginity with Bobbi Brown Peony lip sheer, a soft pale pinky-brown shade that is clearly pink rather than YLBB and of course appears to be discontinued (welcome to the world of lipstick!) Bobbi puts brown in most (all?) of her pinks, which makes the line a nice place to start if you´re looking for something less bold, although some people find them too drying. FYI – I just checked and Peony is in their Rose Lip Quad with three other great-looking shades, no glitter(? pictured at left, Peony’s in the upper left corner, the one on the right might be shimmer) and not too girly, I might have to check it out, looks like a good starter set for pink lipstick virgins if the tones work on you. The pink quad looks a little girly to me, at least in the online images.
Poppy King´s Lipstick Queen Rose Sinner is too dry, even for me, but my gosh it´s a gorgeous color – a matte, dark rose petal pink that catches the eye of men who dig lipstick (and believe me, they´re out there.) I wear it to parties and get hit on, but it´s less of a statement than red. I apply over lip balm and check my lips after an hour to make sure it hasn´t caked. Extraordinary lasting and lip-staining power, even over balm. Saint Pink is my sheerest pink, emollient and close to a pink-toned lip balm. Nice on its own (tones down my blue) or slicked over a darker shade. Saint Rose is a stunning, glossy dark neutral toned rose with good coverage, very moist but doesn´t travel. Finally, I rebought Lipstick Queen Medieval after sending it back during my red binge. No, it´s not bright; it´s a soft cherry popsicle red stain that I´ve taken to slicking over my other lippies in the car when the color needs shine and refreshing.
The newish Shiseido lipstick range by Dick Paige has some fantastic colors. I can´t pull off the Cerise, but those of you who like megawatt pinks should check it out, it looks gorgeous on darker skin tones. Bubblegum is also a slammin´ shade if you like a fun pink. Their formula is super-moisturizing and looks great on.
Finally, as several of you know, months ago I fell in love with the images of the Dahlia lipstick from the new Dolce & Gabbana makeup line. Dahlia´s a dark plum color that looked amazing on the pale-skinned models. Unfortunately, on my blue-toned lips Dahlia does the full Morticia Addams and is not the effect I´m looking for outside of Halloween. The D&G makeup artist steered me toward Bahia, a slightly lighter, pinker color that I never would have tried on my own. It´s the darkest lipstick shade I think I could pull off and satisfies a long-held craving of mine for a deep pink that is vampy against my pale skin but not Morticia. At the same time I bought Splendid, a retro pink that looks better (softer, less of a statement) on my lips than Shiseido Bubblegum. This is a slightly warm tone and would probably look great on you warm-toned ladies. As far as I´m concerned the D&G lippies live up to the hype – they´re moist but they also last, and for anyone worried about the rose scent, it´s there but not overpowering. The gold case is a little flashy (yeah, big surprise) but not unattractive.
I’ll wrap this up by saying that if you think you can’t wear pink lips, you just haven’t found the right pink. Suggestions and direction from a good makeup artist are so useful; several of these lippies I certainly wouldn’t have tried if they hadn’t been recommended to me. It’s impossible to judge the color, coverage or saturation in the tube. Pink lips are fun and less of a precision commitment than red. I can’t imagine my life without them now. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
pink lips erotic poster, popartuk.com