Red Vs. Nude: Which Hue Reigns Supreme?

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embeddedIllustrated by Ly Ngo.
It's true that some of the fun of being a girl revolves around trying out new beauty products. Yet, at the same time, it can feel just as fabulous to have a tried-and-true, carefully honed beauty look that perfectly complements your features, your wardrobe, and — most importantly — your personality.

To demonstrate the benefits of having a go-to beauty look, we approached two staffers whose makeup is always on point — managing editor Jessica Teves and beauty assistant Gabrielle Korn. Here, they explain how they came to claim their signature hue, plus why they think their lip color deserves to be crowned the victor.

Read on to hear the ladies' passionate defense of their fave lippies, then tell us: Which lipstick shade is your go-to?
LW_Slide_2_Photographed by Rockie Nolan; designed by Ly Ngo.
In defense of nude: Jessica Teves, managing editor

"I love a natural beauty look — less is more, in my opinion. I'm also not really into trends—especially when it comes to beauty—so, because of that, I've always gravitated towards really subtle, neutral colors. It's not that I don't love the newest, brightest shades when I see them on other women, it's just that every time I see them on myself, I feel like I'm 'in character.' I can't say I hate any one makeup look, but I know what works on me. I LOVE a matte-red lip on a woman — nothing is sexier! — and from time-to-time, I do wear it with a little bronzer and mascara. That said, I always end up at my fail-safe nude lip...what can I say, I know what I like!"

"Classic and timeless is definitely my end goal. As well, I like big hair and dark, smoky eyes, so I feel like the lips are where I achieve that balance — I definitely don't want to veer into Dolly Parton territory (not that I don't love her, too!)."

"My little trick to get a nude lip look right is to outline your lips with a nude lip pencil, and then go over it with a matte lipstick or gloss. It helps everything stay on longer, and it gives the illusion of fuller lips. My three favorite nude lipsticks are Bare Escentuals Buxom's White Russian (I go through a tube a month); Aerin in Beach Beige (just don't layer it on too thick); and NARS Belle de Jour (in the lipstick form, or the matte lip pencil)."
LW_Slide_1_revisedPhotographed by Rockie Nolan; designed by Ly Ngo.
In defense of red: Gabrielle Korn, beauty assistant

"I've always admired red lipstick on other women. I guess I started wearing it frequently when I went to college and moved to the East Village, where my beauty inspiration came from the tough-yet-pretty girls with tattoos, leather jackets, and red lips. My personal style has always danced the line of androgynous and feminine and, for me, seeing red lips as a signifier of edginess — rather than prettiness — was a revelation. I don't like makeup that's too pretty; I'd rather it be cool and interesting, and a red lip with the right makeup and hair can be just that."

"I also love that red lipstick has the power to make any outfit, no matter how sloppy, look totally intentional. It's like, 'Oh, check out my ratty jean jacket, I got it from Old Navy when I was 13, but look how trendy it looks with my bold red lip!'"

"From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I also just hate the way nude/light pink lipstick looks on my face. I'm already so pale, so when my lips are subdued, they kind of just disappear. I also feel like, what's the point? Why wear lipstick if the goal is to be subtle? I can wear plain Chapstick for that. If I'm making the day-long commitment to wear lipstick, it might as well be bright red."

"In terms of how to get it right, I don't believe in rules. I don't think you shouldn't match a bold eye to a bold lip — that's so boring! I wore gold and black eyeliner with red lips to Fashion Week and got so many compliments from makeup artists. But, it is important that the lipstick be perfectly applied. While a smudgy eye looks rad, a smudgy lip looks like a mistake. I usually do a thin veil of foundation over my lips before applying. Then, I build the color up, staying within the lines of my lips. When the color is as intense as I want it, I apply my foundation right up to the edge of the line, so that it looks crisp."

"My top three reds are Sephora's Cream Lip Stain in True Red (which I'm wearing here), MAC's Ruby Woo (or Dangerous for a good orangey-red), and Chanel's Rouge Allure Velvet in La Somptueue. I'm also recently loving Lipstick Queen's Velvet Rope in Brat Pack. But, picking a favorite lipstick would be like picking a favorite kid. Not that I have kids. This is theoretical."


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