Red lipstick scares me. I’ve tried to wear it many times over the years, and I have yet to leave my house feeling confident that I do not look like a clown. And when I finally do feel brave enough to don this all-powerful shade, I find myself to be in a constant, hypervigilant state of self-consciousness. Is the lipstick on my teeth? Did I blend the lip pencil well enough to match the interior shade? Are the lipstick stains on my Starbuck cup totally obnoxious? I envy women who are bold enough to wear it. Women who wear red lipstick are confident, badass chicks who take the world by storm. (As I’m writing this, I imagine a platoon of red lipstick wearing women with chic, platinum bobs, silk head scarfs, and  grey pencil skirts carrying black leather briefcases and dodging yellow taxicabs. I’m not sure what conjures up this image in my mind, but I know I’m intimidated.) Red lips make a statement all their own, and I’m not quite sure I know what they’re saying. In my bathroom is a long, granite countertop beneath a long mirror. My hair and makeup products, much like my clothes in the closet I share with my husband, ccupy most of that space. Scattered along the mirror is my lipstick graveyard: various shades of red that, at one time or another, I was sure would finally make me look as cool as those women with their chic bobs, silk scarfs and pencil skirts. I was at Sephora this weekend with a girlfriend of mine when I spotted Hourglass cosmetics. Known for it’s anti-aging effects and being free of parabens, fragrances and animal testing, I had been dying to try this line. It’s relatively new (has only been around since 2004) and is only sold through Sephora or Barneys New York. And so, in my perpetual hunt for great lip color, I decided to try their Aura sheer lip stain in flush. I definitely like the packaging. The stain comes in a long, thin-but-durable, gunmetal grey tube. It has a flock tip (think spongey) for easy application for when I’m, you know, driving to 303 and need to look fabulous. After I applied it, my lips did not look obviously covered in lipstick nor did they look too shiny. The color on my bottom lip lasted, but the top lip color slipped a bit. Not to worry though—a tab of sheer lip gloss from Victoria’s Secret and the color set nicely. The full stain did not last all day, three hours at most, but applying it was super easy and fun so it did not bother me.I’m not sure this product has alleviated the anxiety that lipsticks and lip colors give me, but it’s definitely a start. I just may be able to finally rock a pencil skirt and scarf. Well, from time to time, at least.

About The Author

Stephanie is the culture editor for 303 Magazine.

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