How to Wear Winter's Weirdest Mini-Trend, Grey Lipstick

Every so often a beauty product comes along that is challenging yet oddly intriguing at the same time. (This is how I feel about stick-on eyeliner). The odd mini-trend that has us scratching our heads--while simultaneously stirring a desire to try it--this winter is grey lipstick.
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Every so often a beauty product comes along that is challenging yet oddly intriguing at the same time. (This is how I feel about stick-on eyeliner). The odd mini-trend that has us scratching our heads--while simultaneously stirring a desire to try it--this winter is grey lipstick.
Photo: Style.com

Photo: Style.com

Every so often a beauty product comes along that is challenging yet oddly intriguing at the same time. (This is how I feel about stick-on eyeliner). The odd mini-trend that has us scratching our heads--while simultaneously stirring a desire to try it--this winter is grey lipstick.

Grey beauty products have been much-highlighted in magazines and beauty blogs lately thanks to everyone’s favorite little S&M tome,

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What’s the deal? While grey lipstick popped up on a runway or two and on the lips of some wacky stars like Ke$ha and Paz de la Huerta, in 2010-2011, it hasn’t gotten much play since then. But it’s having a mini-moment this winter. We tried to figure out how to make it work—and it turns out the hue can actually be pretty wearable.

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Estee Lauder’s version, while it looks scary in the tube, is actually a “luminizer” --meaning it’s meant to be layered over another lipstick. It adds a bit of shine and shimmer and can tone down a super bright color, making it more seasonally appropriate. I tried it on its own, adding it on top of a colorless lip liner in cautious swipes, and I didn’t hate what I saw. It has a bit of a dark 90s vibe but with a little shimmer to soften it up.

MAC artist Romero Jennings validated my application technique. When I asked for tips about how to wear “Grey Friday” he said, “First use your favorite neutral pencil. Line and fill in the lip with the pencil. Then add sheer layers of Grey Friday lipstick until your favorite shade magically appears.” You can even use it to try out the wine lipstick trend that is everywhere right now. “Use your finger to press the color into the lips for a darkened wine stain," MAC Senior Artist Keri Blair said. “When the color mixes with the natural shade of the lip it looks freshly bitten."

So grey, when done a bit sheer and with a shimmer, is actually a neutral. Will you try the look this winter?