Lipstick Challenge: Week Three

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.

  1. I love the Hourglass Nude shade on you. You have beautifully shaped lips and the color just enhances them rather than take the attention off of them.

  2. Love this, but also not a fan of the cavalier catcalling=compliment remark. Catcalling is a form of street harassment, not a compliment.

  3. Goodness gracious! Why do you have to get down on Caroline for her remark about the cat calls? She said that she “guessed” it was positive…and you can’t tell me that you’ve never, ever felt a little flattered when you have been the object of an unwanted cat call, even while thinking that it was objectifying women! Relax!

  4. I really wish she didn’t add the last part about looking at catcallers’ reactions as positive. These men are misogynists who are ogling women as a way of exerting their masculinity and taking power in the streets. Chances are they were not catcalling her because they thought her lipstick looked nice, it’s because they want her to know they have power over her.

  5. I love the nude color lipstick!!

  6. I love the lipstick challenge! And I’d love to try that nude!

  7. She is so cute, she even looks great in the black one!

  8. Loving the red. She should try “Beso” by Stila! It’s not only a personal favorite but a liquid lipstick that suits any skin tone, and makes absolutely anyone look classic.

  9. i want to know what she does to her brows! they are amazing!!

  10. @meadow- Sorry YOU feel that way. Best of luck with your eye rolling and promotion of sexist behavior. May ALL the attention you desire come your way!

  11. LOVE this weekly post – already bought one from the first week, looking for a second….

  12. Hi! I think you should take the “winners” and try them on other women, to see if they’re versatile. That would be a fun series — to have different women wear the same lipstick and see how it goes.

  13. LOVE THIS! I’ve noticed that very bold dark dark reds (maroon-ish looking) are in style now. Since you guys are doing this series was wondering if you had a good brand/specific color to recommend?

    Thank you!

  14. “No. No. No. Cat calls are not positive, they’re objectifying”. *rolls eyes* I take it as a compliment! No need to take things so seriously.

  15. I LOVE this series. I laugh out loud every week. Hilarious! And commendable public service!

  16. Love the nude color. I could not agree more with Abbyblujay — she is so reminiscent of Katie Holmes circa Dawson’s Creek!

    I have to say — I’m not convinced cat calls are desirable; I’m not sure that what they say about the look you’ve achieved is positive. And they definitely should not be your measure of success!!

  17. No. No. No. Cat calls are not positive, they’re objectifying.

  18. Once again, I’m having a hard time really seeing the difference between some of the colors. This week 2, 3, and 5 all look the same even though they as described as “hot pink”, “bold red”, and “fuscia”, respectively. As lulabelle said today and as I mentioned last week, it’s a shame that the pictures are taken at all different angles, in different lighting, etc. I wish you would have taken this into consideration sooner.

  19. I love this series! I am oddly afraid of lipstick, and at 30 years old, just finally started experimenting with it. My favorite is the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm, too. I’ve been wearing it in Elusive, which is a less shocking pink than the Unapologetic shade. You may want to give that one a whirl, too, Caroline!

  20. I loveee the nude shade! This series is so fun, I can’t wait to see what else you guys come up with!

  21. I would love to see you try out a Tarte LipSurgence – especially compared to the Revlon Colorburst (or Just Bitten) because the products seem similar to me and I’d love to know if the Tarte is worth the extra bucks. I applaud your bravery, and from a stranger’s perspective – all of these have looked great! (Almost… I’m looking at you, black.) Makes me want to try all new colors. Thanks!

  22. This has been really fun to follow because I’m not very adventurous when it comes to lipstick. I wear a couple Aveda shades that are quite near my natural colour, but just a little something extra (Sutra and Sheer Rosehip). I also like the Burt’s Bees coloured lip balm in Rhubarb.

  23. Caroline IS a virtual totem pole of cuteness. For sure. My favorite is the mood matchers!

  24. I recently split a pack of Fran Wilson mood matching lipstick with my coworker and I’ve loved them! I ended up with the green, orange and pink. I love the colors and the durability and I get lots of compliments on the green one!

    That said, I can’t really tell the difference between the orange and the pink. They look really similar on me. Maybe I need to take comparison shots.

    I’ll end my testimonial now. Haha

  25. Caroline looks great in all of them! My faves on her are the nude lip and the mood changers one. Did you have to buy the whole set, of do you just own one? I wonder whether they all turn to that pink? It’s a weird lipstick concept, but it looks so pretty on her, I might just have to buy it!

  26. That’s a cool idea. I have on my 101 in 1001 list to figure out how to wear red and pink lipsticks with confidence. I just can’t figure it out on myself! I always wear a lot of eye makeup and just chapstick on my lips.

  27. I’m loving the top two!

  28. Bravo on the choice of new editor. I’m loving these posts!

  29. Caroline – your comment about not needing lip liner with the one option made me realize I have no idea how to wear/apply lipstick! I have never even used lip liner. Maybe that is why I have never liked the look on myself? Could you do a post on how to properly apply lipstick?

    Thanks! I’ve loved the series so far!

  30. that nude lip looks gaaa-reat on you!! ps. very brave with that black, nice goin’!

  31. I love the nude on you. Your lips are so Angelina Jolie.

  32. Trying a different lipstick every day is not “brave”–I hate how casually we use that word–but this is a really cute experiment. Love that hot pink!

  33. I have to admit, I LOVE the dark lip on you, Caroline. I know how you feel though. I admit I tried it a few weeks back (I was feeling like Lorde that day) but it made me very self-conscious. I did get quite a few compliments though. It’s so different and yet it works. I don’t quite know how to explain it.

    The nude is my favorite on you this week. I love a nude lip especially in the summer as an everyday look. When it’s hot and humid I like to look as natural and fresh as possible. I love that shade :)


  34. maddy, she has the blue one. it ended up looking fushia, though, even when she swiped it on her hand.

  35. yes, very good point, abby, we will change!

  36. I really like the Chanel. I have mocha or coffee colored skin so I love reds with a tint of blue.

  37. With her awesome eyebrows and a lip, she can really get away without playing up another feature. I have enjoyed this series.

  38. Love the Chanel! The revlon is pretty too. I love finding a fun drugstore option.

  39. You look kinda like Katie Holmes with some of these lipsticks on! More like adorable Dawson’s Creek Katie Holmes than current-state-of-affairs Katie Holmes. Also I really need you to clarify what a totem pole of cute is? Because I would be flattered (cute) while slightly offended (totem pole).

  40. i know it’s technically considered a gloss…but Baby Lips by maybelline is amazing.
    You should try “Strike A Rose” which is a bright pink (it looks waaay more neon that it is) or “grape vine” which looks more plum, but give lips a pretty sheer color

  41. Which of the MoodMatcher colors is Caroline wearing — the green one?

  42. Seriously, my mom wore MoodMatchers FOREVER. I think the image of her putting it on is burned in my brain. Crazy that it’s back! I might just have to try it and continue my inevitable (fun!) journey of turning into her.

  43. good idea, lulabelle! we’ll do that for the final week.

  44. Caroline is adorable and this is a fun challenge- but I wish the photos were all taken at the same angle, same pose, same lighting, and same other makeup. It’s tough to compare shades when there’s so many other variables!