Fifty More Shades of Red

Nars Dragon Lady Lip Pencil Red Lipstick Jackie DeGiorgio
Nars Dragon Lady Red Lipstick

So a little more than a year ago, I shared one of my guilty hoarding pleasures: red lipstick.  This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me as I always sport a red lip, having experienced all of 2015’s highs and lows with either a sanguine smile or a florid frown.

Since I have a plethora of red lipstick from which I can choose, I held back from purchasing a slew of new shades, rendering my Yves Saint Laurent #1 Le Rouge, Christian Dior 999 and Chanel Palpitante my three most-used for the first half of 2015.

July rolled around accompanied by the Corente, a stifling heat wave that cooked the European continent for most of the summer. Milan was hot, hot, hot, but most frustrating about the heat (second only to how it was damn near impossible to run) was how my red lipstick just wouldn’t stay put, practically melting and ultimately “dripping” outside my natural lip lines, vampire style. So, I had decided to forego lipstick until the heat wave subsided (how long could it last?), but Corente persisted for weeks.  Since going lipstick-less for me is practically synonymous with going naked, I had to find a solution stat so I thought a lip pencil would make a sensible alternative and off to Sephora I went. I appreciate how the store’s help-yourself, browse at your own pace layout lets you do just that sans the pressure-inducing stares from the salespeople behind the department store cosmetic counters.

The sleek Nars packaging beckoned me towards a myriad of pink, red, eggplant, and nude tips standing atop the black, chunky Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. My eyes went straight to Dragon Girl, a “siren red” and I decided instantly to make the purchase based on the name alone without even trying it on.  Who doesn’t want to be Daenerys Targaryen? Not me but since it’s just not possible, I couldn’t bring myself to overlook a lip color with a name that evokes the spirit of Khaleesi. Dragon Girl wound up being my summer 2015 saving grace, and my current go-to red lipstick of choice.

A few months ago, I had a lipstick chat with a friend from my grammar school days who loves make-up just as much as I do; in fact she’s a professional make-up artist so she knows way more about make-up than I ever will.  We complimented each others lipsticks after which she gave me another Nars lip pencil recommendation: Cruella, a deep scarlet that was ideal for autumn and would perfectly complement my reddish hair and slightly freckled complexion.

My kind and generous aunt treated me to Cruella during a brief sojourn to the Bloomingdales Nars counter, and I have since often interchanged Cruella with Dragon Girl during the fall and winter, depending on my mood and/or outfit. The lusciously velvet matte pencils not only stay put quite neatly, they look just like lipstick. Since my Nars kick began, I have also become the proud owner of the bright and creamy Jungle Red and Marlene, a deep, dark brick hue.

So you might be wondering what colors will temporarily curb my insatiable red lipstick appetite?  That’s easy: Nars’  Carmen, a vibrant geranium red. As you may know, I have a thing for the colors of Paris, and geraniums abound in the gorgeous City of Light so this shade would be just as personally pleasing as cosmetic. I also wouldn’t mind the Red Square lip pencil (also from Nars), a vibrant red-orange poppy shade. Lastly, I’m eager to own one of the Armani Ecstasy Lacquers. There’s a handful lovely reds among the 36 shades, so I think I’ll have to determine in person if Red to Go or Red Chrome is the best red for me. Decisions, decisions.

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