New York City

Seeing red on Valentine's Day? Not anymore!

9 February 2009

Red lips, supposedly seductive and glamorous, can make a 20-something cringe and run for the safety of the nearest clear gloss.  A smeary, scarlet pucker reminds us of stern high school principals past who chided us for cutting class, of kissy grandmothers who want to know when we’re finally going to settle down and get married already, and, of course, of Sarah “I can see Russia from Alaska” Palin.  Truth be told – and Katy Perry aside – we avoid red lipstick for fear of looking, well, too grown up.  Military coats:  cool.  Military mouths:  not so hip.

Fear no longer, oh, glossy girls of New York City.  Through my own trials and tribulations, I’ve created a list of a handful of shades that are both flattering and wearable – and, of course, affordable.

First, I must pay proper homage to Chanel’s Glossimer in Spark, the venerable brick house of lip glosses.

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If you’ve got $28 to fork over, go for the good stuff.  Chanel’s Glossimers, much like their namesake, are luxurious and decadent, right down to the tissue paper packaging that comes with each tube.  Spark, a sheer red with flecks of gold (karat unspecified, though I wouldn’t put it past Karl Lagerfeld to use the real thing), stands well alone or layered on top of a nude lipstick (my personal pick for the office), and flatters olive toned skin without washing you out. 

If, however, you’d prefer to buy groceries this week (anorexia is so 1997) MAC’s Lipglasses pack a mean punch at $14 a pop.  Red Devil (reddish-orange) and Russian Red (bluish-red) look scarier in their tubes than they do on, but are equally flattering.  

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Stay away from unnecessary primers and lip liners that MAC salespeople infamous for pushing; the goal here is a hint of color, not like you’re trying out for a carnival. 


Drugstore divas will adore L’Oreal’s Colour Juice in Cherry On Top, a fruity-hued sheen that flatters cool and warm tones alike.  At under $9 a tube, you can buy your groceries and pay your electric bill.  Living on the edge has never looked so good.

Of course, the prettiest thing you can do with your mouth is smile, knowing that while testing trends is fun, slaving to them is never fashionable. 

Karyn Polewaczyk

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Posted by karynpol at 06:00 AM


  1. Mirela
    February 9, 2009 @ 9:17 am

    Good job Karyn. Can you do the same thing for shampoos? I spent hours yesterday trying to find the right shampoo for my hair that suffers from recession driven at home coloring experiments


  2. Karyn
    February 9, 2009 @ 10:56 am

    Absolutely! I also have horror stories of my own to share; consider your request done.


  3. colette
    February 9, 2009 @ 11:13 am

    Mirela, I think your -color in a box- experiment came out GREAT!

    Since wigs are apparently in-style, I think you should take your red one out for a spin. Wigs allow you to change your look without damaging your hair =)


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