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Spring 2012 Trend Run-down #1: Red Lips!
[Photo source: elle.com]
Seen at Anna Sui, Dior, Jason Wu, John Paul Gaultier, Temperley London and YSL, lips were a true scarlet (neither blue nor orange) and the standout texture for a true-true red was matte, though there were some creamy finishes as well.
Red is not really hard to wear. In fact it can be incredibly flattering if you make sure to even out your skin, apply just a touch of light blush, and go easy on the rest of your makeup.
Good True reds: (light to medium skins)
The Cult of Ruby Woo Retro Matte Lipstick: Lip Swatch and Color Comparisons!
You know I previously posted about how I keep going back to the MAC counters to swatch Ruby Woo. (And thank you to those of you who sent me messages about how I could get it to work better!) Well, I hated the texture of those display lipsticks but I kept suspecting that they got that way because of how MAC staff sterilize their lip product by dipping them into beakers of alcohol.
Note on sterilizing lipsticks: Please, everyone, just wipe the top with a sheet of clean tissue to remove most of the dead skin cells, dust, etc that might have settled there, and then use a spray bottle to mist the top of the lipstick with alcohol (everywhere it might touch the lips). This kills the bacteria. THEN, wipe on a clean section of tissue once more to remove the last bits and the bit of lipstick at the top that might have been “changed” by the alcohol.
Don’t dunk the whole thing into alcohol because over time, that’s going to screw with the natural oils in the lipstick and change its texture.
As it turns out, I was right, and a fresh tube of Ruby Woo is NOT hard, dry, crumbly and a pain to get on. It IS more dry than MAC’s other mattes, because this is a “retro matte” texture, but I don’t find it any more drying than most mattes. It’s not as lightweight as Revlon Really Red, but I don’t really love those because they contain too much silica (what makes it more silky feeling) and aren’t as pigmented and opaque as I like. The silica and lower pigment content is also the reason why many shades go on patchy and uneven, or quickly become so as the day wears on.
To illustrate, I swatched it with 2 other of my favorite MAC reds; (L-to-R) MAC Diva, MAC Russian Red, MAC Ruby Woo.
If you’ve tried many modern matte lipsticks, you’ll know they are still quite creamy feeling since most people do not enjoy a really dry lip. On their own, they look matte, but there is still often a tiny bit of sheen when you just apply them (see Diva and Russian Red).
Well, Ruby Woo has zero sheen. It’s a true, powdery, fire-truck, red-red, as opposed to a deeper red like Russian Red. MAC describes these 2 as blue-reds, but I really beg to differ. They are red-reds, which means they lean neither towards yellow (coral undertones) nor blue (magenta undertones). This means it can appear different on different skin tones. If you’re more yellow-toned, it will look more yellow. On porcelain pink-toned skins, it will look like a blue-red.
The best thing about this lipstick is that it’s so matte but it doesn’t look dull (it looks darker in the tube than against the skin due to the natural visual contrast against skin). In fact, it almost glows and lights up the face. (I don’t wear blush with it.)
Lip swatch: MAC Ruby Woo
Tips for wear:
You can also top it with a little clear gloss for a Maraschino cherry lip but I love how it looks matte.
One More Lipstick Tip:
All lipsticks will go on creamier and then “set” slightly more matte after a couple of hours, as the environment and your lips will draw away the emollients/oils in the product. What you’ll be left with is more pigment. Always get a slightly creamier formula than you intend as what everyone will see an hour later is different from what you see when applying.
So it may not be necessary to blot a lipstick like Ruby Woo a second time, unless it’s for the sake of making it bullet-proof (aka super-long-wearing). It will end up very matte as the day wears on.
Many people think Revlon Mattes are more moisturizing and less dry than traditional lipsticks because they apply smoother, but that’s a misconception caused by the “silky” feel of silica. If you check the ingredients list, they actually don’t contain the emollients present in most lipsticks, and contain mostly wax, silica and pigment. Combine that with the fact that silica absorbs oil, and you have lipsticks that are in fact more drying for your lips over time.
It’s a convenient (and cheap) way for companies to make something smooth and matte without having to increase the pigment content in their lipsticks.
Ode to Ruby Woo (MAC)
[Pic source http://birdsandshoes.com/]
This is one of those obsessions where maybe once a week, I’ll find myself making plans to stop by a MAC counter. I haven’t given in because every time I do drop by and pick up a tube of Ruby Woo to swatch on the back of my hand, the uber-hard, “drying-clay” texture shocks me all over again.
I find myself asking the same question that I’ve asked a dozen times before. “How can a lipstick made in this century be this dry and hard to apply?”
Well the answer is simply that Ruby Woo is what MAC classifies as a Retro Matte. (Meaning, they intentionally made it a pain in the wazoo to apply, so that you remember it’s not “just another red”.) Gimicky? Maybe. But it’s also completely matte, even compared to other mattes.
But it’s an undeniably rich, beautiful, true pin-up red. If you can actually get it on to full intensity properly without rubbing your lips off.
[Pic source: http://becauselondon.com]
I’d liken it to the hot guy who just won’t look your way. It just makes you want him more.
Well, I have a staple red lip. It’s called (what else?) Russian Red. It’s actually a smoother, richer texture, and a heck of a lot more comfortable to wear than Ruby Woo. But then I know the next time I pass by a MAC counter, I’ll find myself going up to the lipstick rack and picking up a tube of that most gloriously-red and unbelievably-stubborn lipstick named Ruby Woo to scrape across the back of my hand.