Kiss me, my love, and the whole Universe vibrates on my tongue.
In all my life, I can recall meeting very few women who are truly flexible about lipstick. In theory, it’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to adjust one’s look day-to-day, though in practice I meet many women who simply gravitate towards one particular color and stay there – at least for most occasions. A sucker for reliability, I am no exception; as with men, I tend to become a hardcore loyalist once I form a devotion to something, come what may. As such, here I’ll share with you my current favorite – my sweetness, my love, my most cherished shade.
(Honestly: if I were chosen to go to the moon tomorrow, it’s what I would be wearing when I set foot there, so important is the color. A constant companion it would be, a firmament in the midst of the waters of the Sea of Tranquility. I dream. Reality such as it is, the color will simply continue to accompany me for every Earthly triumph, heartbreak, and moderate happening).
The color in question is NARS Dolce Vita – listed (blessedly) as a “Cult Classic” on the company website, so it’s unlikely to fall into the “Discontinued” category anytime in the near distant future. It’s a sheer buff pink (lovely for redheads), with just the right amount of mauve in the mix to keep things classic and sophisticated – unapologetically feminine, but not “girly,” per se. The application is very light, with enough transparency to allow the color of your own lips to influence the shade – a fact which (I imagine) must make it extremely wearable for a lot of people. And with a number of different outfits.
I’m a longtime devotee of NARS lipsticks, for their geisha-like array of colors, rich, painterly textures, and overall lack of fragrance (I’m very picky about scented products, particularly lip or hair products; if a scent gives me a headache I’ll never use the product, no matter how well I like the color or the performance). Previously, I went through a big phase in which I wore a nude tone called Pago Pago, though I wanted something with a bit more pink in it and so I switched to this one. (Secret? My sardonic little heart loves pink. It looks nice against my skin and reminds me of ballet class.) I also enjoy NARS Lip Lacquer in Eros, and (as a nice, all-occasion red) Semi Matte Lipstick in Fire Down Below*
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the very best thing about this lipstick, which is its subtle luminosity. Glosses are wonderful in theory (and in pictures), though in practice I often find them less than ideal; this particular formula is a great solution, containing just enough sheen to plump your lips suggestively without any textural tackiness. Prep with Fresh Sugar Lip Polish for an extra-soft, bee-stung pout – and don’t be shy, because empirical evidence suggests that it’s as fun to kiss off as it looks.
* After years spent gathering hard data at the makeup counter, I can safely claim that I almost exclusively prefer blue-based lipsticks. I am very fair but have a yellow-like undertone to my skin, and I find that blue-based shades balance it out quite effectively. However: as I have red hair and green eyes, I do gravitate towards a warmer overall palate – reds and pinks – so finding the right shade can, on occasion, become an absolute hell. A million-billion virtual kisses to NARS for their beautiful collection of colors, in this regard, and freeing up a few of my brain cells for loftier pursuits – like philanthropy, long walks on the beach, and sex.