I had a non-life-threatening heart attack when the press release for Dolce & Gabbana‘s new holiday cosmetics line arrived on Friday. The “Sicilian Jewels” collection, comprised of four lipsticks and coordinating nail colors, doesn’t involve the typical reds, plums and nudes we’ve become accustomed to seeing on lips and digits. Instead, there’s Amethyst (bright purple), Ruby (a pleasant, buildable red — the most “normal” color of the bunch), Topaz (rich, golden yellow) and Emerald. As Dolce’s makeup creative advisor Pat McGrath explains, the colors “can be worn in a young, ironic interpretation or with a more grown-up, sophisticated vibe. Just like a piece of jewelry.”
Unconventional lipstick colors aren’t a new concept per se. Mod girls in the ’60s were all about a white lip, punk kids favored black and, obviously, Rihanna’s dabbled in blue. Sometime in the ’90s, I distinctly recall my brother asking our mother what the deal was with my older cousin’s brown lipstick. “It’s called a ‘fad,’” she scoffed. Dolce & Gabbana’s new lipstick range is proof that, while the color may change, the fad’s still going strong. But that doesn’t make it any less terrifying to pull off.
So, seeing as emerald just so happens to be my birthstone — and like, WTF, green lipstick exists? — I knew I had to buck my beauty fears and take it for a spin. And a Saturday afternoon spent with my parents at the MoMA seemed like the perfect excuse to get my green on if you know what I’m sayinnnn’.
Since my emerald lipstick was clearly going to be the star of the show, I chose to keep the rest of my look relatively simple: Black flicked liner, mascara, a toned down mauve cheek, and all black clothes. With only a few reapps throughout the day, my green lips and I stayed strong on an annoyingly long subway ride (enough already with these weekend service interruptions, MTA, god!), a lengthy visit to the museum (during which my father attempted to take several artsy photos of my lipstick juxtaposed with similarly hued modern art), and last but not least, a cheese board. Mmmmm that cheese board.
So, what did I learn from my day of going green? Let’s just say, Kermit spoke the truth when he said it isn’t easy.
• Get your Crest Whitestrips ready: Green lipstick doesn’t have nearly the same teeth-whitening effect as red. My mum commented that my teeth seemed to be reflecting the grassiness of my mouth, even though the color hadn’t actually smudged — a bit like how your teeth look after eating a green popsicle.
• One application isn’t enough. Dolce & Gabbana’s green lipstick went on more sheer than I’d expected. For a full-on emerald pucker, you really need to apply about three layers — and possibly put on concealer first. It’s also important to blot the insides of your lips so the color sticks.
• Even if you think your green lipstick is staying within the boundaries of your lip line, it might not actually be. Unlike red-based lipsticks, which aren’t really noticeable if, say, you get it on your finger and ever so slightly touch another part of your face, green lipstick will show. You really need to have makeup remover and Q-tips on you at all times, just to be safe and avoid the seasick look.
• If you’re looking to get attention for wearing unusual makeup, don’t be in New York. The entire eight hours I wore the lipstick, only one person — a guy working at the MoMA — said something to me about it. (Exchange: Guy: “Are you cold, miss?” Me: “Not really, why?” Guy: “Your lips are turning blue!! Hehehehe.” Me: “Actually they’re green. But um… yeah.”) I’d doubt anyone else even looked at me twice.
• It won’t stain your lips. Mid-dinner, I decided to wipe off my green lipstick with a dry napkin instead of reapplying. I expected I’d need to put on some matte red over it to cover up any residual Wicked Witch of the East-esque green tint, but when I looked in the mirror, I was pleasantly surprised that there was no trace of greenery whatsoever.
All in all, I wouldn’t say I felt 100% myself wearing green lipstick — but I’m never opposed to stepping outside my comfort zone when the mood (or story!) strikes. And in all honestly, the more I see the photos, the less extreme the lipstick looks to me.
Will you be trying out an unconventional lip look this season?