Fuchsia is not a daily shade for most people, but there are some occasions when you want a strong lip and red is not always the easiest shade to get right. If you can’t seem to get reds to work for your skin tone, or have the sort of face where reds just make you look a little aged or severe, a good alternative to try is a fun, deep, fuchsia pink.
Technically speaking, a fuchsia is a very strong and red pink, maybe not so bright that it’s highlighter-pink or so dark as to be called rose, but as we all know, what one person considers fuchsia can be very different from another’s. I’ve chosen something of the middle ground where the shades are quite deep relative to other pinks, but still have a touch of bright blue tones to them.
I own several of these and the main difference between them are in the base tones (whether they lean more towards a hot red or towards a cooler magenta). Which to wear depends on your skin tone and preference. I am not one of those color nazis who will tell you that if you have “warm skin” you should wear “warm fuchsias”. There’s no such rule.
Just note that a warmer red-fuchsia will tend to “fit in” better and look less bright, whereas a blue based one will tend to stick out more, regardless of whether you are warm or cool toned. This is simply because a bright blue-pink is not a shade that occurs in nature and so, will provide more contrast against your skin.
My latest acquisition is L’oreal’s Intense Fuchsia, after I saw it on Gwen Stefani in the latest issue of InStyle magazine. But don’t you hate how Photoshop and photography lies? It was nothing like the intensely blue-toned pink shown on the cover image. L’oreal Intense Fuchsia is more of a red-based strawberry fuchsia with a faint hot pink sheen (not too noticeable on the lips).
It’s not that it isn’t a nice shade, but you aren’t going to get that glorious electric pink with a noticeable blue sheen that Gwen was sporting.
Texture-wise, there is nothing to complain about. I always found Colour Riche lipsticks to be very pigmented and lusciously creamy without being cheap and slippery. But beware that this lipstick stains big-time. This means that over the course of the day, your lipstick will start to look darker and more red, as the dyes color your lips more and more, and it starts to show up beneath the fuchsia. You’ll end up with a bright strawberry rose, which is lovely, if that’s the shade you’re going for.
Rimmel Shocking Pink (no lip swatch) is similar to this deep red-pink shade, but is fully matte, and does not contain shimmer, so it will look a tad deeper when applied as there is no sheen or shine whatsoever.
L’oreal Colour Riche in 288 Intense Fuchsia
NYX Louisiana is not technically a fuchsia by my book, but a lot of people describe it as a hot pink on review sites, so I thought I’d include it for comparison purposes, just to show you why I don’t consider it so.
Compared to the other shades in the swatch image above, Louisiana is a lamb among wolves. It’s softer, warmer, and has more noticeable deep-peach undertones although it’s by no means a pale shade. If you’re new to hot pinks or are afraid of going too over the top for work or school, this is a safe shade that will still stand out without being too electric.
The blend of pink, red and peach is also quite a flattering shade for most skin tones. Beware though, that the texture is the typical NYX texture which is not going to feel very rich and luscious. It’s waxy and slippery, with a plastic taste, but at least for this particular shade, it doesn’t look as cheap as it feels.
NYX Louisiana Round lipstick
This brings me to one of my cooler fuchsias. Sephora’s line of lipsticks are hits and misses for me. (Actually, more hits than misses.) It might not be considered a drugstore for most, but I included it as the price range is similar.
R11 (the case does not include the name… it’s only labeled on the plastic seal, which is silly as you throw it out…) is a deep magenta pink which is probably closest to a true fuchsia tone. The coverage is opaque, the texture is very much like a high end lipstick, and the finish is creamy and moisturising. There is no shimmer whatsoever, so it has a true creme* finish.
*It drives me nuts when people call a creme finish “matte”. “Matte” means a flat, powdery finish with no gloss. “Creme” means no shimmer/frost. But I digress.
It also does not stain, so if you like cool toned shades, I highly recommend this.
Sephora Rouge R11 - creme, not matte!
I had to throw in an honorable mention which I did not include in the swatches when I was taking the pictures. I’m not sure why I forgot it when I was taking pictures in preparation for this post the day before.
NYX matte lipstick in Sweet Pink is another true cool-toned magenta pink, even more blue than Sephora R11, but not electric bright.
It has a wonderful creamy-matte finish and is one of my favorite blue-based shades to wear, as it makes your skin glow and your teeth look whiter. If you’re drawn to but still afraid of shades like Shocking Pink and Candy Yum Yum, you’ll be happy to know that this shade is nowhere near as bright. And the opaque matte texture means it stays on very well.
The only minus to this affordable-but-expensive-looking shade is the scent, but hey, that’s a small problem for a good lipstick.
NYX Sweet Pink Matte Lipstick - now THIS is a matte*
The problem with wearing any bright lipstick for hours is the feathering and/or fading. It always look gorgeous when just applied, but after 3 hours of talking, drinking, or general wear and tear from pressing your lips together, etc, you will find the edges of the lipstick have smeared or feathered into an unflattering mess.
Matte formulas can minimize the problem but they may not eliminate it unless the finish is very dry. And not everybody wants to wear a full matte lip.
This is what I do to keep everything under control when I wear a fuchsia lip (demo using Revlon Fuchsia) out for a full 12-hour day:
Step 1: Apply a lip primer over the lip line (I use POP Beauty’s Lip Magnet, which is a very sheer beige that does not change the color of lipsticks), and rub with fingers to even out and remove access.
Step 2: Apply lipstick to the lip area, without going beyond your lip line.
Step 3: Gently kiss a sheet of tissue to remove the moisture and some of the excess pigments.
Step 4: Use a fuchsia lip pencil (NYX Fuchsia is great and affordable, but if you’re particular about brands, MAC’s Chromagraphic Pencil in Process Magenta is a great liner for most fuchsia shades), and lightly run in windshield wiper motions along your lip line. I say windshield wiper motion because you are not going to get a perfect line in a single stroke. You want to almost fill in the lip line with your pencil, so you create a thicker barrier around the edge of your lips.
NOTE: You can choose to fill in your entire lip with the pencil first, but I don’t like to weigh down the color and texture of my lips that way, so I only fill in the outer edges.
Step 4: Reapply your lipstick as layering will intensify the color and shine, and lock it in.
Then with your finger, very lightly and gently dab along the outer edges of your lip line to remove any excess emollients. If you end up removing too much product, go back in and replace it with the fuchsia pencil. Not the lipstick.
Remember; the key is to keep the outer-most edges matte so the lipstick does not bleed over the course of the day. Dabbing just at the edges will help you to achieve that while keeping most of the lip looking glossy and moist.
For a day-appropriate look, I like to pair it with very neutral eyes and a soft pink cheek to keep the whole face reined in. Products used on the eyes and cheeks in the look below:
- MAC Cream Color Base in Take Root over lids
- MAC Metal X Cream Shadow in Palladium around inner tear duct area
- Bourjois Volumizer mascara in black
- MAC Well Dressed blush