|The Contenders. Paper towel test:
L: Julie Hewett “Gem Noir” / M: Chanel “Incandescente” / R: Nars “Heat Wave”
The Red Lipstick Road Test, Ctd.
The Mission: find red lipstick that works with my coloring.
What I’ve Learned So Far: most “reds” I’ve tried look pink on me, and the more blue in the color, the more it goes to fuchsia or pink rather than red. Even some lipsticks marketed and reviewed as “neutral” or “warm” look cool and pink on me. My search kept me moving in an orange direction, and these are the three most likely contenders.
Protocol: I applied each of these with only a Smashbox Nude lipliner (which is a match for my natural lip color) to get the clearest sense of the actual lipstick color. The photos were taken in indirect natural light, and other than cropping no other retouching was done.
1. Julie Hewett “Gem Noir.” I actually had this in my stash from last year. I applied straight from the tube, as this formula is sheer. I don’t know why I haven’t worn this. It’s a lovely formula that has decent longevity, and doesn’t look blotchy over time. Of the three I tried, I think this one is best for casual, daytime wear. It’s described as a “rosy red” on the website, but I think there’s enough orange-brown in it for my warm complexion.
2. Chanel Rouge Allure “Incandescente.” This one is very vivid, but it’s the “right” red. I applied with a brush; one coat, then blot, then a second. Using a matching lip pencil would probably amp it up even more. The finish is satiny, with a slight sheen.
3. NARS Semi Matte “Heat Wave.” Even though this looked brighter and more orange in the tube than the Chanel, the color looks almost identical once applied. (Same application: brush, blot, brush.) This one is more matte than the Chanel, and feels a little bit drying. I’d want to wear a gloss over this for a little sheen and moisture.
Conclusions: Julie Hewett wins for daytime wear, Chanel for evening. And I need to get a matching lip pencil for that one. The color as it appears in the tube can look very different when applied; there’s no substitute for trying on!
What do you look for in a red lipstick? Do you despair as I do that as soon as you find that perfect shade, it will be discontinued?
I loved reading everyone’s lipstick tricks and tips in the comments from last week. Keep ‘em coming!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.