Lipstick Challenge: Week Two

Top row: Revlon Choco-Licious, NARS lipstick in Manhunt
Bottom row: Maybelline Coral Crush, Clinique Mighty Mimosa , Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor

My intrepid new editor Caroline has accepted the challenge to wear different lipsticks every day during the month of May. (Here’s last week’s diary.) This week, she tried five more colors. Here’s what happened…

1. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Choco-Licious
Well now. Here’s a “challenge” color if ever I’ve worn one. Never in a million years (or, at least, since the late ’90s) would I have expected to wear a deep brown lipstick all over town. When applied with a heavy hand, the lipstick made it seem like I’d gotten into an unfortunate situation with a rich chocolate cake. But when dabbed on lightly and blended with my finger, it left my mouth a sexy, earthy color that was flattering and long lasting. And I liked it! Who knew?

2. NARS Lipstick in Manhunt
In a word: Obsessed. It’s hard for me to describe this lipstick’s color, which can be worn to look either subtle or bright. It appears very red in the tube, but don’t be misled: A light coat creates a pinky coral sheen, while a heavier application turns lips a sheer strawberry hue. This is a great everyday lipstick, especially for those who want to babystep into the world of reds. The incredibly flattering color will have a permanent spot in my bag this summer, for everything from weddings to BBQs to the beach.

3. Maybelline Coral Crush
I’d heard good things about this lipstick, but I have to say, it wasn’t my favorite. The bold coral hue felt too girly and slightly reminiscent of the Golden Girls’ Miami home. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the Golden Girls. Just not on my lips.) The bright color appeared uneven throughout the day, and even prompted a conversation in which a male officemate remarked that he “doesn’t understand lipstick” and “hates when women wear it.” Hmm, not a resounding endorsement.

4. Clinique Chubby Stick in Mighty Mimosa
This moisturizing color balm is PERFECT for travel, since it’s a lipstick and lip balm in one. The color of Mighty Mimosa is less than mighty (Wimpy mimosa? Skimpy mimosa?), but it gave my lips a subtle pink shimmer AND left them feeling soft. This shade is a gorgeous choice for the beach, when your bronzer (and sun hat!) take center stage. Plus, the natural color is boyfriend-approved.

5. Lipstick Queen in Hello Sailor
This looks terrifyingly BLUE in the tube—but not the least bit scary on your lips. It actually imparts a subtle berry sheen—and it’s genius for layering over other colors to make them appear deeper and cooler. I loved how dewy my lips looked! Another major bonus: It makes teeth look WHITE. But what stood out to me most was how it was completely devoid of fragrance. It didn’t taste flowery, minty or like a strange chemical I couldn’t put my finger on. This made me want to reapply it all day long. And I did.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to everyone for your sweet comments and great lipstick suggestions from last week! They were so lovely and helpful. If you have any other requests or favorites, we’d love to hear. Thanks so much!

P.S. Hair tutorials, and the pastel trend.

  1. Thank you for the recommendations. I purchased the clinique mighty mimosa and love it!

  2. Mac’s Snob is one of my fav’s :)

  3. I love this new challenge on the blog, since I love lipsticks. Have you noticed that your editor looks A LOT like Hailee Steinfeld?!

  4. This is such a fun escape from some of your more thought provoking posts! Thank you for mixing it up.

    I’d love to see a bright orange/tangerine lip on Caroline. I’ve been on the search for months, but everything seems to turn more pink-ish on me.

    And I absolutely second the comment about her eyebrows. They’re lovely!

  5. I really, really love this series. Thank you!

  6. I really, really love this series. Thank you!

  7. I’ve always wanted to be a lipstick girl but I always rub it off within an hour of application, but this series makes me want to break out my favorite shade again and maybe get a new tube or two!

    I love the tips that go along with each one, like to blend in the brown for a more natural look, and I would never have bought a tube of blue lipstick thinking it wouldn’t make me look like I had hypothermia!

  8. I have a nagging feeling I will be buying a new lipstick every week…

    Last week I already picked up a MAC (admiteddly, in Russian Red and not Ruby Woo – it was sold out so the girl in the shop suggested Russian Red which is one idea subtler) and I love it. But the ones from this week look gorgeous too!

  9. Test out Funny Face by Nars,I wonder how it would look on you

  10. While this is a fun idea, I’d like to see you spend $5-25 a day for a month on something besides makeup. Maybe spend a month exploring different coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, museums, etc. Or better yet, donate the money each day/week to a local charity that you would highlight on the blog! I appreciate a good makeup tip, but feel like as women we spend a ton of time and money on our appearance and could be focusing our efforts a bit more on developing other parts of ourselves and/or helping others.

  11. She reminds me of Katie Holmes a little bit.

  12. Cute! She reminds me of Katie Holmes a little bit.

  13. love the series but could you please upload one pic for each lipstick? I mean Caroline using the lipstick because in the collage looks too small please!!!!

  14. That’s really interesting, but I’m a guy.
    Please visit us..

  15. Thanks for doing this series, Joanna and Caroline! I love the look of lipsticks, but I usually wear either bare lips or full-on fire engine red, so it’s helpful for me to see that there are lots of pretty shades in between.
    One thing I’d appreciate hearing from Caroline would be how to build the rest of your look (both makeup and clothing) around a lipstick.
    And lastly, I have to disagree with the (one) detractor who called this series frothy. Beauty matters to most women, as well as motherhood and other “more serious” topics. It’s all about balance, and I think you do a good job of that.

  16. Hi! I love your blog and this series! I’m sorry if this comment has already been written, but I was wondering if Caroline can highlight some vegan/cruelty-free cosmetic lines! I try to shop Eco-conscious so that would be such a help! Thank you!

  17. She seriously looks gorgeous in any color! I’m not sure I could pull off such a variety!

  18. I’m loving this section. I like how you can see the differences in the colours with the photos together but it would also be good to have a picture next to each description. I hope you try this with eyeshadows or nail polishes, so fun!

  19. I have to say I agree with your review of coral crush Caroline. I don’t love wearing it full-on on the lips. I’ll use it as a light stain but no more. I did discover, however, that I love it as a cheek stain. It’s fresh, sheer, and beautiful. You should try it out!

  20. Can Caroline do a post on eyebrows? I LOVE hers!

  21. In the next installment, could we see some brands with more natural and safe ingredients?

    I’m trying to clean up my makeup arsenal (goal is everything with an EWG rating of under 4) but am having the most trouble switching from my trusty, conventional but full of chemicals, brands!

    I find that a lot of natural/organic brands have an annoying frosty sheen to them, because they are colored with mineral color, and I’d love if we could find some nice, bright, MATTE colors with safer ingredients.

  22. I love having color on my lips, and I give my mother full credit. As I’d walk out the door during my growing up years, she’d always call after me- “Don’t forget your lips!” Thanks to her continous reminders, I always have something for my lips on hand.

    My current favorites are:
    Tarte, which comes in “lip tint” (it’s more glossy) and in matte. They’re self sharpening and there are many lovely colors to choose from.

    Make Up Forever. Great consistency. And you can buy mini tubes, which fit great in your wallet!

    xx- Lynn-Holly from

  23. I love this series. Can you try our one of the Revlon ColorBurst Balms? I am curious about the matte ones, but have yet to purchase one.

  24. I think the brown is far and away the best! But it seems that is just me. Caroline, you are gorgeous in all of them.

  25. Ummmmmmmmmmm I am also interested in her INSANELY AMAZING EYEBROWS so can we talk about that sometime, too? Side note: Maybelline coral crush is one of my faves, it is so inexpensive and awesome.

  26. Caroline – do you use lip liner? I actually bought the Orange Flip color after seeing your post last week. Love it!

  27. Fun series! Lipsticks can be tough to choose! I love how reds and corals look on Caroline… so pretty with her dark hair. I wear Loreal’s Fairest Nude and Saucy Mauve most often with a bit of Burt’s Bees gloss over the top.

  28. This is such a fantastic series! My new favorite lipstick is NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle. Super bold and luminous. It’s not for the faint of heart! :)

  29. Love this series, Joanna and Caroline! Just went out and picked up the Clinique Chubby Stick; I love how amazingly moisturizing it is!

  30. I love this challenge. I tend to wear only lip balm because I am never sure which color would fit best with my complexion. I am really into the bright pink from last week. Feeling a bit more daring to try something new. May Challenge accepted ;)

    Have a great weekend ladies.


  31. So fun!
    I love the variety of price points included in the posts. It would be great to see a few more natural or even organic varieties. Maybe something you might pick up at Whole Foods as well as choices from the drug store and department store?

  32. Yeah! So glad you ended up liking Hello Sailor. Now I’m feeling ballsy enough to buy it. Thanks for trying it out!

  33. So fun!
    I love the variety of price points included in the posts. It would be great to see a few more natural or even organic varieties. Maybe something you might pick up at Whole Foods as well as choices from the drug store and department store?

  34. Just have to say, I love this series. After the post last week I picked up Laura Mercier Sheer Lip Color in Healthy Lips. It was still in my bag when I went to my wedding makeup trial, so we pulled it out to see how it looked and it was perfect! Now I’ll be wearing it when I get married next week. Thanks for the recommendations!

  35. Would love to see a splurge-y lipstick like Chanel. I’m thinking about treating myself to one for my birthday….something wearable and pretty.xo

  36. I’m totally digging this new series. So fun! Anyway, I’m sure you’ve tried “heatwave” by Nars, right? “It looks good on everyone,” and I’ve found that to be true with my friend group. It’s a good one, but tends to make my lips feel a little dry by the end of the day.

  37. I love this series! Totally makes me want to wear lipstick more often. Thanks Caroline!

  38. Can I ask about the shirt that’s being worn with lipstick #2 – it looks waaaaaay cute.

  39. M says...

    Amazing how much you can change your look with just lipstick – I did not know that – Thanks for opening my eyes! :-)

  40. Where did the Friday link love go? I miss the links!

  41. Where are the Friday links? I miss them.

  42. Everytime I see these posts in my blogroll I want to go out and buy red lipstick. I’m not a lipstick wearer at all!

  43. Hello Sailor is amazing. I love it.

  44. In addition to the full face photos, would it be possible to get a close-up of each lip color in good lighting? I’ve had the same issue with both weeks of the Lipstick Challenge:…it’s hard to see the true colors. I feel like a boy when I say “they all look the same” at first glance, but it’s true!

  45. I’m really enjoying this series, and such a fun post for Friday! There’s a Benefit lipstick I like called ‘Nice Knickers’ (!) which glides on beautifully like silk. It’s a lipstick I wear for work as it’s just enough colour but not overly vibrant.

  46. Hahaha, Shannon, I bought the SAME Laura Mercier color too! So funny. Love this series.

  47. I love this, so fun! And I haven’t had a ton of time to try out different colors myself, so I like having the benefit of the side-by-side pics.

    Could Caroline add her prep/maintenance process next week? For example, does she use balm or liner before applying the color?

    Thanks, Joanna!xox

  48. Carolyn must love button downs and stripes! ;)

  49. I’m a huge fan of Tarte’s LipSurgences, but that’s just because I’m just starting to dabble in lip color. I love it, because they are natural, moisturizing, AND colorful, but I would love to hear a review/comparison!

  50. love this series!! one of my favorite finds are Wet n’ Wild Megaslicks lip stain balms ( !! they are a lighter and less sticky version of the Revlon Colorstay balm stains but last just as long. i usually have to reapply once throughout the day. also, my local drugstore often have the 40% off WnW brand deal so they are a REAL STEAL at a little over 1.50$.

    my daily one is “rico mauve” but i alternate between “are you reddy” and “vampy” for evenings. “vampy” fades to a very pretty berry stain but goes on a little purple, kind of like Clinique’s Black Honey.

  51. I wait all week for these lipstick reports!! It’s hard to pick a favorite this week…you look fabulous in all of them!

  52. Lipstick Queen is my most favorite brand of lipstick. Glad you included!

  53. I’ll probably be buying the Nars Manhunt on my lunch break. I am a lipstick/lip balm/ lip gloss hoarder and a strawberry hue sounds too good to pass up.

  54. Yay! Glad she loved Nars Manhunt as well. It is my all-time favorite. I DON’T think this series is silly, as long as all the other series stay too! It is great to have a mix of content, and sometimes it’s fun to pick out lipstick.

    Next, mascara? I want to find hat perfect one.

  55. Great series! I’d love to see you try It Cosmetics 4 in 1 lipstick in Damsel. It looks like a nude color in the tube and when I put it on it feels great but somehow it end up looking very bright pink on my lips! If love to know if that’s just me!

  56. Great series, and I’m loving the honest approach too, when Caroline admits one isn’t working for her.

    Is this the most photogenic girl in history, you have chosen to work for you, Jo? I think so.

  57. I am loving these lipstick diaries – fun! I’m such a sucker for lip products. My weakness every time.

  58. I love Clinique Chubby Sticks! They are so moisturizing and easy to apply–I use mine (super strawberry) all the time. It’s a great everyday shade and never feels too heavy.

    What a fun series : )

  59. I LOVE the coral crush on her! Its beautiful! Fun series

  60. I love this series, but it’s so dangerous! Last week I ended up buying the Laura Mercier lipstick Caroline tried…Now I’m so tempted to try “Hello Sailor”–maybe partly because it looks SO blue.

  61. I do really love your blog, Joanna. But this series seems really silly. I miss your more interesting series highlighting women’s work/life balance and mother’s around the world. Those series have a great deal of substance. This one is just too, too frothy.

  62. I’m loving this series! A few suggestions from a fellow lipstick lover:

    – Sephora brand cream lip stain. $12 a tube and lasts forever. Shades 01 and 03 are the best. They’re very matte. Classic.
    – The new Dior Fluid Stick is fun. Super glossy but with a lot of pigment like you come to expect with a true lipstick. Sephora is giving out really great free samples right now that include four shades!
    – Henna lipstick! Google it. Little green tubes of lipstick that turn the perfect pink once you put it on. Looks slightly different on everyone. Super easy.

    Can’t wait to see next week’s looks!

  63. I don’t mind repeating myself…she’s as pretty as can be and any lipstick will always look nice on her.
    They’re all pretty colors, just some are prettier than others.
    My favs are the Maybelline and the Clinique.

  64. For these kinds of stories I would love it if the pic of the lipstick color was next to the description. Not as much impact to scroll up and down to have to read the description and then go back to the pic. But I do love learning what she’s trying – makes me want to be more adventurous myself!

  65. Yes, great series! I’m going to have more lipstick than I can shake a stick at before this series is over!

  66. thanks, lauren! we’d love to do that! eye makeup could be super fun…

  67. This might be my new favorite series on this blog! I’d love to see it continued with bronzers, blush, eye liners, mascaras…