The Red Lip That Works On EVERYONE — & Stays Put

Photo: Courtesy of Stila.
Certain beauty products — think NARS blush in Orgasm or Clinique's Black Honey lipstick — are so good, they're practically famous and have devoted, loyal followings. While we love many of these, we've been wondering why others have been quietly flying under the radar. With that in mind, meet our series,Cult Classics, in which we'll introduce you to the products you should really, truly know about (and try, like, right now). They're not brand-new, but trust us: They've got staying power.

Every year, right around this time, all my girlfriends bust out their signature lip colors. Laura's got her MAC burgundy, Hanna has a deep berry. And while I've experimented with lipsticks before, none of them ever stuck — literally. Within minutes of applying, any and all color would just disappear.

A few weeks ago, I met up with my friend Shoshana and her perfect red pout. All throughout dinner (wine and all), her color did not budge — and not once did I see her reapplying. I finally broke down and asked what she was wearing. "I eat my lipstick," she told me. "Only one works: Stila's liquid lipstick."

The next weekend, I popped into Sephora before dinner, picked up a sample of this stuff in Fiery (a deep, blue-based red, which also helps make your teeth look whiter), and asked a makeup artist to help me apply it. He lined my lips with the tip of a gloss brush, filled it in, and five minutes later, I had statement-making red lips that lasted through dinner (Thai noodle soup, Thai iced tea, and lots of water). I was sold. I bought the lipstick, wore it to a Carly Rae Jepsen concert, had some beers, danced for hours in a sweaty, giant crowd — and still arrived home not looking like a washed-out trainwreck.
Bonus: After letting many friends try out this color, I can say that it is a near-perfect universal red. Fiery isn't as bright as the Beso shade, but its blue-red hue works on a surprisingly wide range of skin tones. Look, I even swatched it for you.
The only downside? The liquid formula is tricky to apply — and difficult to take off. You're going to need makeup remover, and a layer of chapstick prior to applying. If you're a seasoned lipstick vet, I'm sure you'll be fine, but I need to apply this color in the safety of my own home, with plenty of Q-tips dipped in Simple's micellar water to clean up my lip line, and a good amount of concealer to get rid of any lingering redness.

It's a lot of work, but it's worth it. Case in point: Last weekend, I wore it to a party where somebody stared at me, dazed, and muttered, "So pretty." She was drunk, but I'll take it.

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