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, 50 Shades of Grey (and possibly the impending zombie apocalypse). And grey nail polish and eye shadow are pretty flattering on everyone. But lipstick?
A few weeks ago, I got Estee Lauder’s fall releases, which included a grey lipstick called “Gunmetal.” Huh. Then last week, MAC announced that it was releasing a “Grey Friday” lipstick and nail polish set, which will be available Black Friday on MAC’s website and at the NYC MAC Times Square location. Another quick search for grey lipstick revealed that Lime Crime, a brand known for off-the-beaten-path colors, re-released its opaque grey lipstick, Chinchilla, “by popular demand.”
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.
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?