When The Cut posted The 50 Best Cult and Classic Lip Shades of All Time, it really got me thinking. What makes a cult lipstick shade? When does a lipstick become a classic? My first thought was that while any cult lipstick can become a classic, not all of them do. The brand, shade, and formula all need to wear superbly if the lipstick is going to stand out.
The brand needs timeless packaging…no gimmicks, no fashion forward coloring. Something that looks sophisticated coming out of any handbag. The shade itself requires the ability to flatter most skin tones and it can never lean so cool nor so warm that it can be dated by its undertones. On trend colors often come with on trend textures. Think glossy or matte. Metallic or glitter. They can be fun for a season or for particular events, but i a lipstick is going to stand the test of time the formula needs to always work. With nudes this tends to mean satin or gloss finish. Bold require a matte or semi-matte. When all of this is added together, a cult shade is well on its way to becoming a classic.
In studying my theory, I decided to focus on the four shades The Cut chose from NARS because they span a range of shades that tend to work really well or not at all. No surprises here…three of the four lipsticks are bold.
If I had to choose a shade from these four as least likely to be a classic, it would be Funny Face because the nuances tailor it for a specific crowd (namely the in-your-face lip lovin’ gang). However the subtle differences compared to the standard fuchsia are what make it so incredible. More red than the typical magenta and with a very muted shift. This is bold lips done well. Very well.
No lip collection is ever complete without a proper nude. A peachy satin nude is my favorite and Honolulu Honey is smokin’ hot with a dramatic bold eye or a bronzed look. Easily flattering on a number of skin tones, Honolulu Honey is a quintessential choice.
Hey, mama! Schiap is not for the faint of heart. Go bold or go home! This is another spectacular T-shirt and jeans lip color that brings its A-game to any table. While the the pink itself runs on the cool side, the depth of color is what makes it so flattering for the fairest of fair to the deepest of deep skins.
My favorite reds come from NARS and with good reason (more on that later). Jungle Red is packing some heat. NARS describes it as, “Bright red from the 1950s silver screen.” It definitely falls in the range of historical reds and the neither too-warm-nor-too-cool color is what makes it so timeless.
Did you know that Schiap and Jungle Red are also nail polish shades? You’re welcome.
Brand? Check. Shade? Check. Formula? Check! These four cult shades most certainly reach the ranks of classics.
Shop This Post