It was the best of times, it was the worst of times when this bundle of makeup magic arrived from L’Oréal Paris.
In much the same way as they took the headache out of choosing your perfect nude, the brand are now helping us to master that boldest of beauty statements: the red lip.
The idea is simple, but genius: L’Oreal have matched shades to celebrities of different skin tones, to help you identify your most flattering colour match. Four shades have launched in Ireland and the UK: Julianne's Red, Blake's Red, Eva's Red and Liya's Red - and the first three landed in my lap. (The 4th seems to have mysteriously vanished immediately on taking this photo. Spooky!)
|Before the Pure Reds collection came into our lives!|
Oho, sez I, in a sudden brainwave: let’s get goldilocks Allsun and the flame-haired Emily in on the ‘stick swatching action. And very pleased with myself I was, till I took a good look at the shades – and decided I’d much rather keep Julianne’s and Blake’s to myself.
Eva’s Red, pitched, obviously, at warmer skintones like Ms Longoria herself, is not a colour I’d ordinarily choose (check out some of my favourite red lipsticks here). It’s a brickish sort of shade, and looks almost brown in the bullet. I was not enthused.
The bright, raspberry tones of Julianne's Red, now, were a different story – but I dutifully handed that off to Emily, and gorgeous it looks with her pale complexion and lovely green eyes. The pink undertones are designed to enhance auburn hair, and Emily reckons “it brings a brightness and colour to my face with very little effort.”
Allsun’s been searching for her perfect red for ages – so was Blake’s Red the one? “This is a gorgeous colour on blondies like myself; it’s a classic red with blue undertones and I’m pretty much in love.”
And when I finally got around to trying Eva’s Red? Well it was time to eat my hat, because with my sallow skin and dark brown hair, this works. This really, really works. It doesn’t look brown at all on my lips, but has nice orangey undertones – and lord knows I love an orange lip.
Formula wise, these are pretty damn good: long-lasting, pigment rich, a satin finish and infused with jojoba oil so they glide on easily and won’t turn your lips into raisins. For €11.99 they’re a bit of a bargain, and you know what? I’ll be treating myself to the rest of the range. I never was one for living by the rules…