a few favorite summer lip colors, vol. ii: orange

Orange lips are often considered difficult or unfriendly (even more so than red lips I would say) but I love them, and have amassed a number of options in my search for an orange–or an orange-coral, or an orange-red–that would be great on me. Orange lips have the bold effect that red lips have but are even more uncommon, I think, making them still more arresting and interesting. And they are even brighter. Yeah they can make your teeth look darker or more yellow…but teeth shouldn’t look too white, anyway. It’s creepy. My teeth are a nice normal color and this aspect doesn’t bother me at all.



Kate Moss Rimmel lipstick in 12, Lancome Rouge in Love lipstick in 146 Miss Coquelicot, Revlon lipstick in Siren, Wet ‘n Wild MegaLast lipstick in Purty Persimmon, Tom Ford lipstick in Wild Ginger

While I do like coral in the pink-peach sense, I find that abstractly (without any outfit or look in mind) I easily prefer all of the more orange-based colors here to those in the previous post. My favorite reds tend to be orange-toned reds, too. Ditto blushes. I just gravitate toward orange when it comes to colors under consideration for the face.

These all look great with the colors I like to wear best: cream, olive, khaki, camel, white, navy, all types of brown…

The favorites of the favorites here are

1) the Lancome Rouge in Love in Miss Coquelicot, the texture of which is super smooth and more sheer than the rest here, the color of which is a divine orange-based coral,

2) the Revlon lipstick in Siren, one of their retro shades that has been available, on and off, since the 50s, which might be my favorite true orange that is still very flattering and wearable, and of course

3) the Tom Ford Wild Ginger (for $2 the Wet ‘n Wild isn’t a bad budget pseudo-dupe of this), the texture and color of which are gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. I would say this tips over into red-orange rather than orange-red but the appeal is the same, and the bright, shouty, tomato-lip effect is the same.

Lipsticks notably absent here but on my wishlist are NARS heatwave and MAC Lady Danger. It is only a matter of time.

It’s difficult to be truly in control of a bold lip, and it’s helpful to develop a kind of zen attitude about it. Accept that it will require either maintenance or insouciance, or maybe a bit of both. The first rule of lipstick is: lipstick cannot be trusted. I say it is best to try not to worry about things too much and simply go for it.

I was inspired in college by a friend who would wear red lipstick all the time and just flagrantly leave red lip prints on every glass, and not care if it got on her teeth. I, at the time, rarely wore it, and would carefully wipe the rim of the glass off if I did. [I have these prudish instincts paired oddly with bold tastes.] Yes it can get on your teeth and your clothes and other people, yes things can go awry, but isn’t it worth it, in the end? Isn’t that why we’re all here, reading about lipstick, because we want the option anyway? Because we see these vibrant colors, with all their inconveniences, and think, yes: that is the color for me.

And that!

And ooOOOoo. Also that.

You can see my coral picks in vol. i, here.


a few favorite summer lip colors, vol. i: coral

In the name of summer, I made a mess on my arm for you.

Coral, whether of the orange or the pink subspecies, is a quintessential summer shade that looks good on so many skin tones. Just like there is a red for everyone, there is a coral for everyone (in contrast, there doesn’t necessarily seem to be an orange for everyone – or perhaps orange is more polarizing, and people are less open to finding that perfect orange). It can look quite natural sheered out. Then, too, with good opacity it can look awesomely unnatural.

It also goes so well with what are for me the other quintessential summer colors; white, gold, turquoise, cream…

The line between coral and red-orange/orange-red (which will be next) is blurred, so this selection is slightly arbitrary.



Kate Moss Matte Rimmel lipstick in 110, Korres Mango Butter lipstick in Coral (sheer), Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Coral Crush, Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid lipstick in Shocking Coral.

These are showing a tiny bit too orange…better to look at a variety of swatches and sort of deduce the color. […best to see it in person] I have no ambition to be a great swatcher (so many blogs do it better than I ever will, with my attitude) but I often find comparisons like this useful.

The Korres Mango Butter lipstick is maybe my favorite here. It is sheer, similar to all of the tinted balm-type options every brand has come out with now, but smoother and more moisturizing than any of the other versions I’ve tried.

The Kate Moss lipsticks are such great value, and the pigmentation, particularly in the matte line, is solid.