"The most beautiful makeup for a woman is passion, but cosmetics are easier to buy."
                                                                                              —Yves Saint Laurent

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· Beauty Notes: Red Light

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Beauty Notes: Red Light
by Dain

A red lipstick makes me happy as few things can. Here's a new favorite: Sisley L33 Rouge Passion.

I've never spent quite this much on a lipstick before—I'm quite happy to stay within the $30 range—but I cannot resist a pigment this rich, luminous, and intense. Everything about this lipstick is luxurious. From the velvet-matte finish and incredible longevity (lasts through a greasy appetizer!), I assumed it would be drying. Though hardly a moisturizing formula, I was pleasantly surprised by its smooth glide. It's great fun to open: progressing from the rainbow-striped box to black velvet to the shiny gold tube to the beveled, twisted mold, which makes it a breeze to paint crisp edges, straight from the bullet. The scent is a powdery rose, strong and old-fashioned. I'd recommend getting a whiff first.

For me, however, it is all about the intensity of pigment.

When I first encountered it, Rouge Passion made the Chanel red I was already wearing watery by contrast, it is was that intense. Still, I dismissed the urge. Too expensive. There's a classic cherry red across all brands, without exception. Blot it down, a sure way to detect undertones in a bold lipstick, and a tinge of coral becomes manifest (N.B. my natural lip tone shifts everything warm). There is a sparsely scattered sparkle that does not show at full intensity, but will appear when you blot. When you dismiss the luxurious trappings, those details that delight us otaku, I must admit, there's no real reason why Ruby Woo might not serve instead. But some things will haunt you, and a red lipstick is just one of those things guaranteed to undermine my resolve. I picked it up a few weeks later.

Full opacity in one coat.

To inaugarate this red, I've worn it on a very pure, minimal face: undereye concealer, loose powder, brows, coordinating blush, light mascara. It's a variation of how I wear my makeup most days, albeit in softer tones. Somewhat unexpectedly, the statement lip is all about the skin. It's not the color itself that's special—it is likely a different red, or perhaps no red on earth, that might do this for you—rather its relationship to the tones of my face. Even with my makeup relatively unfinished like this, even with a pimple hanging out dead center, a great lipstick gets me out the door.

Signs you've got a flattering lipstick:
  1. On a bare face, it brightens the face entire, adds a glow to the skin. You will ultimately need more makeup for balance, but when testing, a bare face will give you the most accurate read. Theoretically, the right color should allow you to get away with less.
  2. Does it double as a cream blush? If so, it is in synergy with your skin tone.
  3. Personally, I always sheer down the pigment into a stain, so that I can see more clearly how the undertones interact with my natural lip tone, not just my skin tone.
If, however, a deliberate clash is what you desire, a very stark and editorial statement lip, then simply reverse these principles.

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10/03/2012 [2]

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