Monday, May 08, 2006

Lip Service


I can only speak for myself here, but my quest for the perfect lip color moves between two extremes: The perfect red and the perfect nude. Now, what stands as "nude" to me is not nude for most. My natural lip color is on the dark pink side of the spectrum, so anything lighter is either invisible or gives me the oh-so-attractive Night at the Morgue look.

I have several long-standing favorites from both color groups and will talk about them soon enough. But I was interested in finding something new and highly pigmented. So I decided to go for Nars. After all, they are famous for their colors (even though I can tell you that despite all the hype and claims to the opposite, their Orgasm blush does NOT look good on every skin tone. If you're olive with a side of healthy green, there's no way you can pull off anything coral. You will look like a papaya).

Nars lipsticks come in quite a selection of colors and several finishes: semi-matte, satin and sheer(though you will not get much info about which is which from Sephora- the lip colors are all grouped together both in store and online). The hues are pretty and wearable. They don't specialize in Barbie pink or junior prom match-my-dress purple. My red choice was Gipsy. I picked Pigalle as my natural looking color. If you look online, you will see that the latter is a pink chocolate color. Gipsy is described on Sephora's web site as a "warm berry", while the color swatch for it on Beauty.com is very brown. Nars web site make all the colors look a bit lighter than they actually are, at least that's the way it appears on my screen.

Back to Gipsy: it might have a trace of berry, but not much. It's more of a brownish muted red which to me resembles Lancôme's Maple Sugar (one of my staple colors). It's noticeable without being in-your-face and works for me as a daytime red.

But now we get to talk about texture, which is where these pretty colors fail miserably. They are supposed to be enriched with vitamin E and look either naturally stained (Gipsy is sheer) or velvety (Pigalle is semi-matte). From this description you'll never guess just how dry and unpleasant they ended up on my lips.

Gipsy, which is supposed to have more moisture feels sticky in a dry way- as though it's a residue of something syrupy that was not thoroughly wiped. It looks good enough, but no amount of lip gloss can make it feel better as long as the thing is in direct contact with my lips.

Pigalle ended up being worse. It is so dry that I have no idea how it is supposed to create the promised "velvety, full-bodied" look. It felt like it was sucking all the moisture from my (well exfoliated and moisturized) lips, which ended up making the color too dark. What was even worse, the lipstick settled on my lips in such a way that instead of coating it clung to the skin, making it the only lip color I know that exposed a very tiny, nearly invisible scar that I have on my lower lip. It's not noticeable even when I'm not wearing a lipstick ot a gloss, and every other product (other than real lip stains) glides over it. But Pigalle just made my lips look ugly and feel scorched.

The good news is that I did manage to find a way to wear both colors, so it was not a waste of $46. I apply them over a thick coat of very creamy, moisturizing nude lipstick. It tones down the color a little bit, but it still looks good, and feels the way lips are supposed to feel.

I think that my next post will be on lip color that actually feels good.

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