Product Smackdown: Red Lipstick

PS_IntroSlideillustrated by gabriela alford.
Ah, the end of summer. Nothing left to do than pour yourself a drink and toast the tragic end of warm weather and long days, right? Well, let us suggest a little something to help you celebrate the dregs of August in style: the newest red lipsticks, all in fabulous, long-wearing formulas that beg to be worn out on the town.
We rounded up three new, intriguing lippies and matched them up with three of our gorgeous staffers for a good old-fashioned product smackdown. Our ladies wore their lipstick all day and reported back on how they felt, looked, and wore through a busy afternoon. Here, their full reviews of each shade and exactly how they performed. Which one are you dying to try first?
PS_Lipstick_Shawnaillustrated by gabriela alford.
Shawna Strayhorn, director of business intelligence
The Contender: OCC Metallic Lip Tar in Role Play
"When it came to the application of the Lip Tar, there was an immediate decision to make: to use the brush, or not to use the brush? In the spirit of embracing the smackdown, I used the brush, and, only then, searched Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics to see what others were doing — no brush. I regretted my choice. I can be heavy-handed with lipstick, and the brush seemed to give me a glob-like effect that I had to smooth out a little bit.
"This Lip Tar is glitter of the soft and subtle variety (not the '90s kind). The color pays off in spades. In the future, I'd wear this for a holiday or winter event or, maybe, summer evenings. I wouldn't say that the shade is a daytime red. The lip tar isn't moisturizing so much as it has a gloss effect. It seems to coat your lip and make it shiny, but I certainly don't think it truly moisturized my lips.
"During the course of the test, I had three Diet Cokes (I know), popcorn, Greek salad, and I licked my lips three times. By 3 p.m., the Lip Tar was long gone. It seemed to wear out through the center, creating a comical red line around my lips.
"My lips felt comfortable while I was wearing it. Because it's gloss-like, the product seemed to sit on top of my lips more than anything else. By the time it wore off, you couldn't really tell a difference."
The Result: "I liked the formula, and I'd love to try more Lip Tar Shades! OCC sees to have lots of unique bright, colors that I'd be interested in trying."
OCC Metallic Lip Tar in Role Play, $18, available August 27 at Sephora.
PS_Lipstick_Seijaillustrated by gabriela alford.
Seija Rankin, associate news editor
The Contender: Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Lipstick in Mod
"I would say my lipstick was relatively easy to apply. I'm kind of picky about smoothness, so I wish it went on with a little bit more moisture (more like a lip balm), but overall it was pretty painless. One coat was definitely enough here. Maybe it was because it was a shade I'm not used to wearing — a little shock to the system, if you will — but a gal only needs so much tangerine lipstick, if you ask me.
"The texture of the product was definitely a little too dry. I love my lip balm, so not feeling like my lips were moisturized was kind of torturous. I definitely licked my lips a lot — blame it on the lack of moisture! And, I drank a fair amount of water, so that could have contributed to the color fading. The color definitely faded throughout the day, but at least it faded evenly. It kind of just felt like it disappeared into my lips, but it could have been all the water and lip-licking, too.
"All in all, I did like the product. The color was a bit of a surprise at first, but after I got used to it, it was really quite sassy. For future uses, I'll definitely go crazy on the lip balm first before applying, and then reapply throughout the day to keep the color vibrant."
Laura Mercier Rouge Nouveau Lipstick in Mod, $24, available at Laura Mercier.
PS_Lipstick_Gabrielleillustrated by gabriela alford.
Gabrielle Korn, beauty assistant
The Contender: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in Fashionista
"I was so excited to try out this pretty brick red Revlon stain. It's such a good transitional color — not too dark for summer, but definitely reminiscent of fall. It's small, and went on easily like traditional lipstick. The first coat was pretty sheer, but the color turned out to be buildable. I did a lot of coats to get it this dark and opaque. I realize it wasn't completely necessary to take it that far, but I love a bright lip, so why not?
"Surprisingly, it felt really moisturizing — rare for a stain. My only complaint about the texture was when I pressed my lips together, it felt kind of sticky. Not in a big deal way, but definitely noticeable.
"After putting it on, I drank two cups of coffee and, I don't know, like a million gallons of water. I also had a bowl of cereal, and some leftover sushi because I'm classy. This lipstick stayed in place through all of that. I expected it to be all over my face because I'm not a polite eater, but it wasn't. After a while, I forgot it was even there.
"By the end of the day, it had faded a teeny-tiny bit, but still basically looked freshly applied. My lips weren't chapped. Everything was perfect. This is my new favorite thing. I'm wearing it as I write this, and I don't even have to be. I want one in every color."
Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in Fashionista, $7.48, available at Walmart.
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