Lipstick Chronology #22: MAC Pink Nouveau

Name: MAC Satin Lipstick in Pink Nouveau

Date Purchased: Feb. 2013
Grade: A
Notes: The end of one series means the resumption of another! It’s time for an installment of my Lipstick Chronology. For the past few months, I’ve been reviewing my lipsticks and lip glosses in the order in which I bought them. I chose the phrase “Lipstick Chronology” in part because it evokes one of my academic interests, the history of time measurement. In the Renaissance, scholars used to compile “wonder cabinets” filled with artifacts from different eras; these cabinets (or, in some cases, whole rooms) served as timelines of a kind, illustrations of the development of human culture. I think of my blog as my own wonder cabinet, a timeline of my approach to beauty.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how best to complete my chronology. I still have a lot of lipsticks to get through, so I might end up reviewing some of them in groups (e.g. all five of my Maybelline Vivids in one post). Pink Nouveau is pretty much sui generis in my collection, though. I’ve never been crazy about medium pink lipsticks, but this one is a notable exception.
Many mid-tone pinks lean nude-ish, but Pink Nouveau is too bright and clear to read as neutral. At the same time, because it’s not pale and white-based, it doesn’t look porny (Snob and Saint Germain, I’m looking at you). It’s a happy, summery, vaguely retro color, a slightly dusty blue-based pink. I can imagine Mrs. Robinson wearing this with a turquoise paisley shift dress and big pearl earrings.

I’ve now tried five MAC lipstick formulas–Matte, Amplified Creme, Satin, Cremesheen, and Lustre– and Satin has to be my favorite. It’s a semi-matte formula lying somewhere between Amplified Creme, which is so soft and creamy that it has next to no lasting power, and Matte, which can be drying. Pink Nouveau is fully opaque and lasts several hours, but it sits comfortably on my lips and wears off evenly. It also looks good with polka dots.

Outside on a sunny day:

Indoors, still in natural light:

Yes, I’ve given up all aspirations to creative makeup in this weather. Taupe eyeshadow, mascara, bright lip, out the door.

I made some comparison swatches to give you an idea of how bright, yet how un-fuchsia, Pink Nouveau really is. Left to right: Maybelline Make Me Pink (lighter, sheerer, cooler), Pink Nouveau, Maybelline Fuchsia Flash (darker, brighter, glossier), and MAC Candy Yum-Yum (darker, brighter, more matte).

Surprised at the similarity between Pink Nouveau and Fuchsia Flash, I decided to do some creepy half-and-half lip swatches. Here’s Pink Nouveau on the left and Fuchsia Flash on the right, in direct sunlight:

Not dupes at all, it turns out! Fuchsia Flash looks almost purple next to Pink Nouveau.

Finally, I’ve decided to go on a no-buy for the month of July. There’s nothing I musthaveomg right now, so I’m content to rotate through my fuchsia and coral lipsticks and save my money for some new clothes. Can you believe I don’t even own a maxi skirt? Scandal.

8 thoughts on “Lipstick Chronology #22: MAC Pink Nouveau

  1. You are too adorably chic with shades in the sun! 🙂 I love these types of posts because even colors that one thinks would be near dupes are so different when compared side by side. Pink Nouveau is very pretty and practically subtle compared to her hussy-like fuchsia sisters.


  2. Haha, thanks! I love those sunglasses. I think my mom bought them for me…I had the hardest time taking color-accurate pictures in today's light, so I'm glad the difference comes through! I think Pink Nouveau is the lipstick version of NARS Mata Hari blush–just bright enough to make a statement, just subtle enough to avoid gaudiness. It's a very delicate balance.


  3. There is something deeply satisfying, to me, about wearing bright pink lipstick with polak dot/dark clothes. My last indulgence was Revlon Sweet Tart lipstick with a navy-with-white-polka dot dress from TopShop. Full marks! :-DAlso, I like the idea of blog-as-Wunderkammer. Makes me feel more like an eccentric curatorial type, and less like…well, a supremely uninteresting person who likes to photograph lipsticks with minis, hah! 😀


  4. I like to think of myself as both. 😀 And yes, what IS it about bright pink lipstick and polka dots? I have enough polka-dot clothing that I've investigated this issue thoroughly by now, and I find that red lipstick with polka dots is a little too HEY LOOK I'M ~RETRO~ (not that I don't indulge in that aesthetic now and then), while pink just feels right.


  5. Do you know, I don't own a single item of polka-dotted clothing. A few stripes here and there, but no spots! I did buy some sheer polka dot fabric with the intention of lining one of my jackets and making a singlet but, oh yeah! I can't really sew.I also like the blog-as-Wunderkammer idea, as Syl put it. It's why I liked Tumblr so much, even though I'm rarely on it these days.


  6. A stripes person, eh? I actually own more stripes than polka dots, but some days I just want to feel extra-girly. I like polka dots because they're playful without being over-the-top twee.The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that one of the chief functions of the internet (cat videos and porn aside, obviously) is to supply the aesthetically oriented among us with our own Wunderkammern. Pinterest and Tumblr are especially good for this. You get the satisfaction of curating collections of pretty things without the expense and hassle of owning and maintaining them.


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