To the uninformed viewer, the image of a destroyed lipstick might seem like NBD. Chopping off slices of red lipstick is small potatoes with so much else falling apart in the world, right? But once you can put a price on a tube of Tom Ford, there’s no going back. Over $50 worth of wax and pigment on a plate suddenly starts to look like a bone-chilling crime scene, not a fun, artsy way to earn a double-tap.
That’s exactly why people are reacting to one beauty editor’s recent Instagram videos in the same way one might react to hearing a bit of bad news: with shock, horror, and even rage. For the past couple of weeks, Elle beauty and fitness director Emily Dougherty has been working on an experimental series of sorts, in which she mashes perfectly good (and frequently expensive) lipsticks to a pulp.
The process is painful at first, but then, like a phoenix from the ashes, you watch as the once-destroyed lip colors are blended together to form something brand new — and beautiful. This is not an accident: Dougherty is just following the orders of some of the industry’s leading makeup artists, including Jeanine Lobell, Troy Surratt, and Peter Philips, who’ve passed along their secret recipes for fully customized color.
Still, the end goal — to mix existing colors to make cool new ones — is lost on some, who have responded to Dougherty’s videos with zero chill. In fact, they’ve gotten downright aggressive. One likened it to the “equivalent of Jesus’s crucifixion.” Another says it “broke [their] heart.” Others can’t quite put their feelings into words, writing simply, “FUCKING STOP.” All this, over lipstick!
But the concerned and angry alike have no reason to fear, because Dougherty is simply transferring the blends into individual cases — and she doesn’t waste a drop. Every little bit, she wrote on Instagram yesterday, “is carefully and gently and lovingly scooped into these little cases where they happily hang out all day with other lipsticks!” Now can we all just sit back and enjoy the mesmerizing videos without losing our shit?