50 Shades of Pink (Lipstick)

by Rosie Narasaki

Okay, not 50. More like 7.

But quibbles about quantity aside, today, Tuesday, July 29, is National Lipstick Day! Yes, there is an entire day devoted to the appreciation of lipstick. Hey, it's well-deserved — imagine what life would be like without our favorite tubes of lippy. Personally, I'd have a very hard time: Lipstick is my one vice (okay, maybe it's not the only one; I also have a pretty serious bubble tea habit — I just cleaned out my wallet and found like 15 Volcano Tea receipts).

Anyway, I have a hard time walking into a drugstore without checking for one of those "buy one get one 50% off" deals, and if I happen to find one, it's game over. Same goes for the department store: it looks like that Nordstrom gift card I just got for my birthday also will likely go towards my ever-growing collection of lipstick.

Long story short, I have a lot of lipstick. I went through a gloomy berry period freshman year of college, and a brief fire-engine red phase a couple of years ago, but now? I'm all about pink. Shocking pink, mauves, natural shades with a touch of pink and coral — I love it all. So, to celebrate National Lipstick Day, here are a few of my favorites from each category of pink — AKA all the shades in my regular rotation:

1. Natural

Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick in Glam Pink, $29, Laneige Silk

I splurged on this soft pink (Laneige Silk Intense Lipstick in Glam Pink) after reading that South Korean superstar Song Hye Ko wore it in That Winter The Wind Blows (yes, that's really the title). It was a little out of my price comfort zone (at around $29, it's comparable with luxury brands like Lancôme and NARS), but the formula is super moisturizing, and it boasts some of the most subtle glitter I've ever encountered.

2. Neon

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in Fuchsia Flash, $7, Maybelline

Okay, I'll be honest: this shade (Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in Fuchsia Flash) doesn't make it out of the house often. It's intense; even more so than it appears in the photograph. I've heard it's similar to NARS' infamous Schiap, and it's also a bit like the limited edition Kelly Yum Yum shade at MAC. That said, the color payout is amazing, and the formula is quite nice. It leaves behind a fetching stain, and it doesn't dry out my lips.

3. Mauve

Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Rose Blossom, $29, Bobbi Brown

If that last color was too much for you, this one (Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Color in Rose Blossom) might be more up your alley. This pinky-purpley-mauve is actually pretty high-impact in its own way.

4. Almost Coral

Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Flamingo Pose, $6, Milani

I think this coral-y pink (Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Flamingo Pose) might just be the color for summer. Funnily enough, it's another Korean Drama-inspired buy — Jun Ji Hyun wears a similar shade in My Love From Another Star. It's kind of the perfect balance of pink, peach, and orange, and it's the kind of bright that brings melting popsicles to mind.

5. Hot Pink

Maybelline Color Sensastional Vivids in Vivid Rose, $7, Maybelline

If you're looking for a good hot pink, Maybelline Color Sensastional Vivids in Vivid Rose is your girl. I'd call this a true pink, as it doesn't seem to lean either orange or purple. Okay, on me it leans a touch on the cooler fuchsia side, but that's because my bare lips are naturally an unfortunate corpse-like violet.

6. Almost Red

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherry Blossom, $9, Walgreens

It photographed more berry, but in real life this Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Cherry Blossom is almost true red, with a dash of pink thrown in. With some winged liner, it's perfect for achieving that retro look, but with a pink kick.

7. Berry

Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge in Hibiscus Pink,$22, Lancôme

If you like your pink lipstick to have a touch of vamp, you should give Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge in Hibiscus Pink a try. The fact that it's a limited edition shade is bringing out my hoarder tendencies, because there's something magical about this color — it somehow manages to simultaneously be a vampy deep berry and youthful bright pink. Don't ask me how that works!

I generated well more than what Peggy Olson would refer to as a "basket of kisses" for this post, and am now (after a lot of vigorous scrubbing) slightly worried that my lips may be permanently pink. Oh well, there are worse things in life than a wastebin full of lipstick-stained tissues and accidentally-tattooed lips!

Images: Rosie Narasaki