A bordeaux lip is always fine by me. The deep violet reds of cabernet sauvignons, malbecs, and merlots are easy favorites for autumn/winter. Many of my top choices in this shade range have a sumptuous darkness offset by a hint (or a shove) of fuchsia. These shades are so versatile, arresting in a full on application and completely subtle and lush when smudged on and blotted. This is how I like them best, I think, applied in a berry-stained haze that leaves the precise boundaries of the lips ever so slightly in question. [I should do a video about this! I just made a note, just now. I’m probably going to lose it though.]
Or full on. I can’t decide.
I like swatches in this context, a selection showing nuances within a shade range. It can be interesting (possibly also sobering) to see what shades I have, maybe not even quite consciously, chosen consistently over the years.
The deep dark plummy reds:
Revlon Superlustrous lipstick in Black Cherry — Good old standby. Good old Revlon. Great merlot color, and actually, on the lips, not a bad substitute for the much more expensive
Julie Hewett Sin Noir — Lovely, lovely, lovely. This is a popular shade, I understand, and I can see why. Picked up another from the line after trying this shade, then I bought this one again for a friend. The house red.
Lancome Rouge in Love 391 Fiery Attitude — I’ve worn this a few times on the blog, and every time I do I’m thinking, I love this. I should wear this all the time. Why don’t I wear this all the time? (ex. this) This formula is so good. So good! Really good. So, so good blotted away to a faint raspberry cloud. Let’s talk about violet shades later.
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balmstain in Crush — this swatch looks so sad because my crayon is all mooshed. An unfortunate case of the packaging not being quite as good as the product. I really like this, though, as a sheer, plummy malbec option, and I can make it work.
L to R: Kat Von D Motorhead Studded Kiss lipstick, NYX Matte lipstick in Aria, Bite Beauty Cashmere lip cream in Sancerre, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 88 Esprit
Kat Von D Studded Kiss lipstick in Motorhead — still testing this formula out but I really like this color. Quite close to the Revlon Black Cherry, but a drier, more long-lasting formula. How cute is this little tube? Sephora mini set.
NYX Matte lipstick in Aria — a great matte formula for the price (I also really like the color Perfect Red), and this color is just the right balance of brightness and violetness (without quite, for me, tipping into the spring color it would be if just a fraction of a shade lighter/brighter than this). Imagine a young, gemlike syrah held up to the light.
Bite Beauty Cashmere lip cream in Sancerre — opaque like woah. Like the Stila liquid lipstick and the Kat Von D Everlasting Kisses liquid, it is opaque in one swipe and stains to some degree (and needs some care in the application). Not as long lasting as the other two but more luscious. Incredible visual impact with this kind of saturation.
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in 88 Esprit — an ideal sheer berry/wine shade. Has she been eating berries? Has she been drinking wine? Maybe she’s born with it? Maybe it’s…Chanel. I think this formula is genius, which I‘ve said before. As close to foolproof as you are going to get with this kind of pigmentation (sheer but distinct). Foolproofness isn’t at all critical for me (if anything I seem to prefer the fussier formulas) but I can appreciate it nonetheless, and I can see vast gift potential.
If you know your lips are going to be wine-stained anyway [I do like red wine, especially going into the colder months], why not get a head start? Or, if you know your lips are not going to be wine-stained, like mine this week, as I have a cold and am working like a dog, why not take matters into your own hands?
Let me know if you have any recommendations. I keep wanting to try out Clinique’s Black Honey, too, in this vein.