Lipstick Chronology #14: Three Mod Pinks (MAC, Maybelline, Revlon)

Names: Maybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Make Me Pink; Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Primrose; MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme Cup

Date of Purchase: Spring-Summer 2012

Grades: A-, A, A-

Notes: Auxiliary Beauty lives, barely. I suspect that I surrendered my beauty-blogger credentials this past week, while scrambling to finish a fellowship application that was due last night at midnight. The week passed in a haze of sleep deprivation, unremitting anxiety, and deplorable nutrition choices. The weather was brutally cold. I didn’t exercise, I picked at my skin in moments of exceptional stress, and there were nights when I forgot to moisturize. Yesterday I submitted my application at 11:40 pm (which may explain why I listed my gender as “male”); this morning I woke up with what seems to be a mild cold. I can’t remember the last time I felt so unbeautiful. And, of course, the time has come to review three lipsticks in one of my least flattering colors: pale nudey chalky pink.

In the past few years, the ladymags have told us over and over that bold lipstick is back, though I’ve found little evidence of it outside the beauty blogosphere and my occasional trips into New York. I can count on one hand the number of people I see every day wearing noticeable lip color–and that’s any lip color, no matter how subdued. Someone must be buying the 38457 variations on fuchsia in YSL’s Glossy Stain line, but who? The most popular colors still seem to be nude pinks like Revlon Primrose and MAC Creme Cup. Maybelline Make Me Pink is a little too bright for that category, but I threw it into this installment of the Lipstick Chronology anyway, since I bought it around the same time and for the same reason: I wanted a lipstick that looked “mod.” My mother has told me that she wore white lipstick in high school during the mid-’60s, so I hate to apply the word “mod” to a shade as tame as pale pink, but here we are. Left to right, cool to warm, matte to shiny: Make Me Pink, Primrose, Creme Cup.

Beauty blogging has presented me with a number of unexpected challenges. For instance: how to photograph three pale pink lipsticks without making them look pornographic? This is not the answer:

These shades look fairly similar in their tubes, but arm swatches tell a different story. Make Me Pink is a cool-toned medium pink, a color I find it hard to get excited about. It’s…fine. It’s pink. Perfectly unobjectionable. Primrose is a pale pink that’s cooler than most nude pinks; Creme Cup is her warm-toned, slightly shimmery sister. MAC’s Cremesheen formula is, duh, creamy and shiny. I’ve always been averse to shimmer or glitter or, God forbid, frost in lipsticks; my stance has softened over the years, but when I bought Creme Cup I inspected it very very closely for shimmer particles. It has some, but I think they make this pink-nude look more vibrant and alive than it would otherwise.

Left to right: Make Me Pink, Primrose, Creme Cup.

Make Me Pink is a good deal more matte than the other two, and when I swatched it today, I thought it resembled a semi-matte cool pink very dear to my heart, MAC Pink Nouveau. But it turns out that Pink Nouveau (right) is brighter, more opaque, and a little cooler.

Of the three, I find Primrose the most flattering by far:

This is a photo from a few weeks ago. I’ll spare you my face today (besides, the light was so bad this afternoon that I found it hard to take color-accurate photos), but here’s a creepy triptych of lip swatches: a liptych, if you will. Same order as above.

I told myself that I could make a NYX order when my application was done, but now that it’s done I keep fussing over my cart, deleting and adding and deleting; there’s just too much that I want. Typical. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to try some colorful eye makeup and break out of my taupe-bronze-gray rut. I’ll let you know what I decide.

4 thoughts on “Lipstick Chronology #14: Three Mod Pinks (MAC, Maybelline, Revlon)

  1. I was so disturbed by that photo that I couldn't not post it! It's very…evocative, isn't it.I'm as pale as they come, but I find that these colors wash me out because they match my skintone so closely. I wonder which complexions they actually flatter!


  2. Aww, thanks! I seem to go through cycles when it comes to lipstick colors, so it's entirely possible I'll wake up one morning and want to wear nothing but Creme Cup again. It's happened before, as evidenced by how much is gone from the tube. I'm so fickle…


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