This $8 Lipstick Pays For Itself In Compliments

My journalism skills kick into high gear any time I get face time with a celebrity makeup artist. I just have to know the name of that secret go-to mascara, or which shadow gives the best color payoff. (And if that pro wants to spill a little Hollywood gossip along the way? Then I’m there for that, too.)
So when a veteran of the biz complimented me on my lipstick recently, I was thrown off my game. It was a color that I had put on and taken off many times in the wonky light of my bathroom, but had never actually worn out of the house. By the time the pro had table-hopped to the chair next to me, I wasn’t even sure that my lipstick — with its non-drying, totally weightless matte formula — was still visible. Plus, surely the shade had faded after I had just consumed a three-course meal.
But it was there, all right. And the pro not only approved of the color, but she had to know what it was. As I reached in my bag for the party lantern-festooned tube of Sephora Collection #Lipstories Lipstick in Celebrate (the collection of 40 shades all come wrapped in different graphic designs, like the Bay Bridge, hundos, even a pug), I whispered, “It’s only $8!
“I don’t care if it’s $80 if it looks that good after dinner,” she said, taking the shade from my hand. I expected her to examine the bullet and shade name before handing it back, but girlfriend swatched that sucker on the back of her hand right then and there. After pressing into her skin to rub it off, the color stayed. “I need this for red carpet,” she declared before handing the tube back to me.
I left that dinner in a tempest of emotions. The lip color I had been iffy about was a triumphant win. I had clued a makeup artist in on a beauty find for once — and that felt good. But I couldn’t shake the image of my personal lipstick being smeared across the back of someone else’s hand. Am I being a total germaphobe? I guess it doesn't matter: At $8 a pop, a re-up is easy.
Sephora Collection #Lipstories Lipstick, $8, available at Sephora.

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