Recently I’ve going through a red lipstick phase, a bolder choice of color compared to my usual pink and coral tones that I usually reach for. The thing with lipsticks is that, unlike the other everyday makeup I wear on my face (since I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup), I think that I subconsciously choose my shade based on how I’m feeling that day. I wonder if I’ve been choosing the color red over pink lately because I’ve been feeling more vibrant and assertive than usual. I found myself in this slugglish funk, you know that constant “blah” feeling earlier in the year, while getting over some illnesses from last year, and as I’ve been emerging in my career and overall sense of independence I’ve been told that this newfound energy’s been manifesting itself outwards — more color in my face, and from what I’ve noticed personally, moreso in my lips by way of lipstick color.
If I were to do a more serious analysis of this, the color red is often associated with passion, power and sexuality… and in particular, red lips throughout history have had connotations with a woman’s sex appeal — think Marilyn Monroe, Scarlet Johansson… It’s known to be worn by women who command attention, perceived to be a statement of confidence. On the more crude side of things, red lips are supposed to emulate a woman’s genitalia (seriously!!) … So maybe this is really all about sex LOL.
Nah, I just randomly decided to try on brighter shades and ended up liking the red lip look on me. The red seems to enhance Asian skin tones, accentuating their golden complexion while complementing dark hair colors. Also, since I generally don’t wear a lot of eye makeup, a bright red lip is a good way to look more put together as it naturally draws more attention to the lips (whoa, ok maybe this really is about sex!!)
Here are three red lipsticks that I’ve been wearing and loving lately. I KNOW they look similar, but there are subtle differences!!! My fellow makeup/lipstick junkies will understand.
Starting with LIPSTICK #1: MAC’s Matte Lipstick in Viva Glam.
Despite their popularity, I haven’t always had the best experience with MAC lipsticks. I tend to have a hard time finding a shade I like, and I’m not really big on creamy matte formulas that their lipsticks tend to carry. I’ve tried a few of their glosses too, and those are usually too sticky for me and don’t last as long.
Granted that was mostly when I went through a pink/peach lip color phase.
When I first picked up and tried on this color, this was the moment I realized that Asian girls, or at least ones with my skintone, can really rock a red lip!
Viva Glam is described as a “cranberry red lipstick” with “blue undertones.” This mostly means that it will give off a cool undertone, as opposed to an orange based color that gives off a warm undertone. The blue ones are usually more flattering on women with fair skin, and although Asian skintones are technically considered warm, I think in my case the blue helps overshadow some of the yellow in my skin… which I like. Don’t ask me, I’m not a color expert!!
Some cool things about this lipstick:
The packaging!! I happened to walk in the store when they carried the glittery red limited edition 25 packaging. It celebrates MAC’s 25th anniversary of their AIDS fund campaign. Viva Glam was launched as part of MAC’s efforts to fight against AIDS and HIV, a hundred percent of its proceeds going to their AIDS fund charity. Though I was primarily sold on its cute packaging, I love a good cause!
Application is rich and creamy, since it is a pretty rich shade of red, and application is relatively smooth. I don’t love it as much as the other two lipsticks I’m about to talk about, but this is the cheapest among the three, retailing for $19.50 USD.
LIPSTICK #2: Chanel Rouge Allure 99 Pirate
Another cool-toned red lipstick, this time with a luminous finish, which I have to say is my favorite among this bunch!
Some first impressions:
-The cool pop-up packaging. You’re paying a higher price for a beautifully packaged lipstick as well, and this one will look beautiful on your vanity, organizer, however you store your lipsticks.
-The color is gorgeous! It is described as a medium-dark red with blue undertones. I love the satin-like glow.
-Highly pigmented; doesn’t take much swipes to achieve the full look and color. Buildable color.
-Hydrating and luxurious feeling lipstick!
-Long lasting! Needs a little bit of touch up after eating/drinking (and have to deal with lipstick stained coffee cups LOL), but it doesn’t wear off completely. Otherwise the lipstick seems to stay on me throughout the work day.
Chanel Rouge Allure is $38 USD.
LIPSTICK #3: YSL Rouge Pur Couture 1 Le Rouge
I was shopping at Sephora with a girl friend one night purchasing a YSL lip stain, and when I told her I had grabbed a new YSL lippie, she asked, “Is it the YSL red?”
Don’t know how many of you guys know what that is right off the bat, but I was intrigued. What is THE YSL red?? Went back in to find out, which wasn’t hard to do because this is shade #1 of the Rouge Pur Couture collection, and it’s literally called “Le Rouge,” or “The Red” in French.
Like Chanel, this is another luxurious lipstick dressed in a beautiful gold case. I tried it on but didn’t buy it right away given its relatively high price tag. But it turned out to be one of those things that I kept thinking about, so naturally I eventually got my paws on them!
This shade is described as “blood red,” which sounds kind of intense, and typically I’m not really about that intense life when it comes to makeup. Not sure how to put it, but I’d say this red is the REDDEST among the three lipsticks here.
I did my first lipstick swatches, which was harder to do than it looks!! So hopefully this picture works for now….
In order, because I didn’t label them on the picture this time, are from left to right: MAC Viva Glam, Chanel Pirate, and YSL Le Rouge. The YSL shade is probably the most red in the most classic sense.
The cool thing about these swatches is that you can get a hint of what “blue undertones” look like in the first two shades!
Anyways, the YSL Rouge is also quite pigmented and very hydrating, even more so than the Chanel. Also comes with a satin, radiant finish, which I love and prefer to a matte look. The formula also contains antioxidants, so it is meant to take care of your lips at the same time!
I love the application of this lipstick — so smooth and glides on with ease. Lasts all day too!
I think it makes a great everyday lipstick, but I tend to reach for it for nights out.
YSL Le Rouge is $38 USD.
One thing I wanted to mention, and I don’t know if you can tell from my iphone-quality selfies, is that something about a good red lipstick seems to brighten up my complexion. Another reason to love those red lips!
There you have my first makeup product review!!! Red lipstick stains got everywhere as I removed and re-applied each lipstick for the shots.