My fair skin and blonde hair don’t lend themselves kindly to big, bold red. It washes me out and makes me feel clownish. But when I saw photos of J.Crew models adopting a beautiful coral-y/red lip (see below), I loved it.I admired it from afar, until I saw that J.Crew had teamed up with lipstick legend Poppy King (of Lipstick Queen fame) to develop a signature lipcolor. Two of my obsessions collaborating on one project! It seemed like the perfect merging of fashion and beauty. Not quite red, not quite coral, and certainly not orange, the shade (titled “Poppy King”) was hailed as universally flattering.
And then it started hitting the blogs. Instantly, it was sold out everywhere. I had to have it.
After a fruitless search of all the local stores and J.Crew headquarters, I gave it one last shot and went to the Philly J.Crew outpost. There sat a lonely, used tester, looking sadly ragged, passed over countless lips. As I stared at it, a saleswoman approached me. “Isn’t it the most gorgeous color? We thought we were completely sold out, but we just found an extra that hadn’t hit the shelves yet.”
I don’t know what has come over me, but my red-lipstick-hating self adores this lipcolor. I probably like it so much because it isn’t red. It’s a blend of coral, red, and orange that somehow seems to adapt to your skintone. It goes on sheer and can be layered for intensity. I just stipple on a light layer (that’s more color than I’m used to anyway). A matte finish creates just a pop of color on the lips that can be dialed up or down. The effect is downright gorgeous. I always wear pale pink or nude lips, so this is a welcome change.
Yes, it’s just a lipstick, and no, it probably won’t change your life. But it may put a spring in your step, and, if you’re like me, encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone a bit. You might like the results! And it helps to imagine your life unfolding in a J.Crew catalog as you wear it. What girl wouldn’t want that?
All images of J.Crew models via J.Crew.