the bordeaux lip iii

Nope! Still not done with this bordeaux lip fixation.


L to R: Chanel Rouge Allure in Elegante, NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Terre de Feu, Bite Beauty Matte Creme Crayon in Aubergine, Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Cassis, NYX Matte lipstick in Siren


They are all totally different! I swear!

OK, this batch tends more burgundy than bordeaux, more oxblood than plumred, but the effect is the same; that badass balance of vibrant and deep that makes for an arresting, wintry lip.

I’ve liked every lip product I’ve tried from Chanel’s Rouge Allure line, regardless of finish, but I especially like the classic line. It’s surprisingly light on the lips, a thin but still uniform deployment of pigment. I’m impressed with Chanel across the board, from fragrance to face cream. They’re pricey, yes, but they perform. That said, I don’t tend to look to them unless they have a specific shade I’ve set my heart on, and Elegante was one of those. OK, OK, actually it is a lot like MAC’s Hang Up (which giving away this coming week!), so it’s not a surprise that I like it, but it’s a touch darker and leans a bit more toward purple. Not quite as glossy.

NARS Terre de Feu (wearing/going on about here) is the ruddiest of the bunch, and I sense no likelihood of tiring of it. Volga on the way, btw.

Bite Beauty impresses me more and more with each product I try (I’ve only tried various lip stuff). The crayon is solid (those little mini ornament things from Sephora are a great way to try the crayons and the lipsticks), creamy, matte, not drying, actually hydrating a little (!), stains (??), and to the luminous creme lipstick I am going to have to devote a post because it is one of the most beautiful formulas I’ve seen yet. Also a lot like Chanel’s Elegante but glossier and creamier (thicker on the lips, too). NYX Matte lipstick in Siren a pretty fantastic drugstore dupe, and really good in its own right. A little drying, maybe, but so long-wearing.

[OK, so some of them are pretty similar.]

So you’ve got a pretty good idea of the shades preoccupying me at the moment – any recommendations?


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.