Fashion, like every curse, is cyclical, and makeup is no exception. We’ve been having a serious smudgy-eyes, slap of lipgloss moment for a little long while now. That’s great, but as the winter party season is getting into full swing, I’ve noticed the fine art of the polished neutral lip has eluded many, many women who really ought to know better and it’s leaving otherwise perfect party looks a bit haphazard and undone. Have we forgotten how to do an evening neutral?
A nude or neutral lip takes just as much effort as a bright. It’s the colors, not the technique, that changes. Here are the five products I use for my evening-appropriate neutral lip.
N.Y.C. Automatic Lip Pencil in Naughty Nude
I think I’ve already sung the praises of N.Y.C.’s Big Apple cream blush stick as a total game changer and the only blush I’ll ever love, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised when this historically inexpensive drugstore brand produced what is essentially a duplicate of Chanel’s “Roux” lipliner with all the payoff at one-tenth of the price.
Naughty Nude is a warm toasted brown, a little darker than you might think you’d want for a neutral lip, but it translates to depth and richness, not darkness once you put it on.
I know it’s been the fashion to line your lips and then fill in with a pencil, but for this application I truly just line the outside and then fill in only the corners of my lips, smudging inward to create a more three-dimensional pout. This is especially handy if you’ve got flat or large lips like your pal Plummy. A bit of depth helps them from visually taking over your (my) face.
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Rosy Nude
Is it just me, or has Revlon really been bringing their A game to the lip color scene recently?
I honestly can’t tell you the last time I’ve worn straight outta-the-tube lipstick on a regular basis. Probably not since Chanel reformulated my beloved “Energy” but Revlon might just change that.
Rosy Nude reminds me of nothing so much as the sort of lipstick models wear in commercials where they’re not supposed to be wearing any makeup and of course they just happen to look fresh and dewy and flawless because when you’re a model, you just roll out of bed looking camera ready (I, on the other hand, look like a tearful rhinoceros doing her best Winston Churchill impersonation…in a fright wig).
I also appreciate it’s fragrance-free.
It’s not that I really ever minded a little scent in my lipstick, and I know folks of a certain generation love the smell of old school lipstick, explaining the success of the pretty but surprisingly proletarian “Lipstick Rose” scent for Frederic Malle, but it’s nice to be able to pick a lipcolor without worrying whether it’s going to affect your sense of smell, taste or bother anyone you might be smooching.
Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in Soft Nude
Don’t trust the Amazon image, which is much more lavender than the actual product. I’ve posted the image with the closest color reproduction I could find.
Muchas gracias to the original photographer.
On me, Soft Nude is considerably paler than my natural lip color, so it’s not a shade I’d wear all over unless I was going for a very nude lip, like this Edie Sedgwick look from the always brilliant Samantha Chapman (tutorial here). Actually, I don’t think Sam is even using a lipcolor at all here. If I remember correctly I think she used concealer on her lips. You could do that, of course, but a pale nude is much more wearable.
What I use it for is as a lip highlighter.
For my evening look, I line my lips with Naughty Nude, filling in the outer corners a bit as I’d mentioned, then I apply Rosy Nude all over the lip.
The Soft Nude goes on the middle of the upper and bottom lips in the center half to bring the center of my lips visually forward, a trick Brigitte Bardot used to great effect, enhancing her already perfect pout.
If you’re a perfectionist you could blend it with a lip brush, but I’m not so I either buff it with my ring finger or make a few gentle kissyfaces.
Next comes the lipgloss.
Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Perfect Peony
Again, the Amazon image on my screen is too blue like it seems to be with all the Revlon images, but it really is a perfect neutral peony.
I apply this in a thin layer all over the lip when I know I’m going to be eating or drinking, or if touch-ups won’t be practical, it’s sheer enough to let the other colors play through but adds longevity to the look.
Admittedly it dries a little sticky, so I wouldn’t wear it without a slicker, more moisturizing gloss on top.
The color is amazing, doesn’t peel or kiss off, but for me this is not a standalone product. It’s great as part of this look an I’d wear it for a regular day look topped with (lots) of hydrating lip gloss, but if you’re looking for one lippie to toss in your bag and be done with it, you’ve got better bets elsewhere.
Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in Rosegold
Now THIS is what I’m talkin’ about!
I swear this is a spot-on dupe of MAC’s Lychee Luxe Lipglass and just about the prettiest gloss I’ve come across in a month of ice cream sundaes. It’s shimmery without being glittery, shiny without being goopy and incredibly easy to wear.
The shape of the sponge applicator is new and takes some getting used to for those of us used to the traditional doe foot, but I like it and gives excellent one-pass coverage.
For my evening look I just top everything off with a slick of this gloss but if I wanted to do a low-key everyday neutral, I could easily see myself wearing the Rosegold over the Rosy Nude without thinking twice.
Do you have favorite products for a neutral evening lip? Requests for other product recommendations or reviews? Put it in the comments and have a fantastic weekend!