Top: Hourglass Nude No. 4, Revlon Colorburst Balm Unapologetic
Bottom: Chanel La Fascinante, Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar, Fran Wilson MoodMatcher

My brave editor Caroline is wearing a different lipstick every day for the month of May. This week, she tackled colors like bright red, nude and…black. (I admit, I did a double-take when she walked into the office!) Here’s her diary…

1. Hourglass Femme Nude No. 4
Finding the right nude can be surprisingly hard. I tried on color after color, but they all washed out my face. “You look dead!” shrieked the guy at Sephora, as he swooped in to help. He taught me this trick: Choose a shade very close to your natural lip color, with peach or pink undertones (as opposed to beige, which can look washed out). The creamy Hourglass nudes are especially flattering. Paired with bolder eye makeup, the color feels understated and kissable, and your lips appear sexy and full. (In case it’s not clear: This is love.)

2. Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Unapologetic
This drugstore lipstick/balm hybrid delivered a bright burst of hot pink. I wasn’t crazy about the color, but everyone else was! My friend liked it so much, she asked to try it on. I love how the crayon tip lets you draw right on your lips, without the need for liner. The subtle peppermint flavor made my lips tingle. This is easily one of the best new options at the drugstore.

3. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in La Fascinante
This bold red brightened up my whole face (without any other makeup)—a welcome pick-me-up during a week riddled with allergies (bleh). The black and gold packaging with its interlocking C’s made me feel fancy each time I applied it. I wore this out to dinner, where the boyfriend proclaimed the whole look “cuteness.” All right with me.

4. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar in Tarred
Pros: It’s lightweight, long-lasting and vegan. Cons: The part where it’s pitch black. This look was so unlike me that I (half) joked I should wear a sign declaring “I’m wearing this for work.” I kept wondering what strangers were gawking at before remembering the scary state of my mouth. An officemate said it looked “kind of silvery, actually,” and as the day wore on, it faded into an underworldly grey. This would be excellent to darken other colors, but on its own it’s downright terrifying.

5. Fran Wilson MoodMatcher Lipstick
Does anyone else remember these from the early ’90s? They’re now back in stores and I couldn’t be happier. MoodMatchers come in every color of the rainbow, but don’t let the weird hues fool you: These lipsticks stain your mouth a pretty fuchsia that will NEVER FADE. The 12-hour color morphs into a “personalized shade according to your complexion and mood.” This is clearly suspect, as my mood isn’t always bright pink. But it looks nice regardless. Worth noting: I got a record-number of cat calls from sketchy dudes on the street. Eh, I guess that’s positive?

Tune in next week for the fourth (and final) installment of the lipstick challenge (here’s week one and week two). Your lipstick suggestions have been wonderful so far! Thank you so much.

P.S. Hair tutorials and a first-date beauty trick.