• Red hot stunner



    My first encounter with red lipstick was in my senior year of college. I had to find a red lipstick that would fit my role for a play. It was the typical, worldly, vain, flirty character and I figured the best way to translate that for the audience with one look was with red lipstick. I even had my nails painted red to match the lip color if it was not enough to get the point across.

    Red was something I never thought to consider for my lips or nails. It was so out of my character to use it and I felt that I was too conservative to pull it off. The hot siren and flashy color just wasn’t for me. Whenever I would put red lipstick on for occasions other than when we would have a show, it would feel alien to me. I just felt that it did not look good on me.

    But, it made a comeback in my later years. When I went through a major breakup, which ushered in a lot of critical changes in my life, I rediscovered the red lipstick. I was starting with makeup back then and freelancing. My mentor suggested an image that was more aligned with who I was and what I wanted to achieve — along with a cropped haircut, and a more streamlined wardrobe, she presented the red lipstick.

    I hesitated. I wasn’t sure I was ready for it. I was in my mid-twenties by then, but still unsure of who I was. So I had to come to terms with how I then viewed the red lipstick.

    Growing up, we were taught that red lipstick was not something a conservative woman would choose to wear. But the truth is, red lipstick is the choice of the empowered, liberal woman. Apart from the negative connotation society has imposed upon it, red is not something to be feared but to be embraced. What woman does not want to be empowered after all?

    I decided to go for it and found that it helped me become more confident. It somehow felt like a badge of honor and reminder for others not to mess around with me. Pretty handy for someone trying to regain footing after a bad episode in her life.

    Since then, I have had red lipstick in a lot of different shades and brands. I think I have lost count of how many I have, and those are just my personal ones.

    My current favorite go-to red lipstick though is the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored.

    It comes in a unique little bottle that is well-made. Does not feel cheap at all. Probably because it really wasn’t cheap to begin with.

    This is a photo of me still wearing the lip paint after 10 hours during a long workday.

    It’s a bright, orangey red when you look at the bottle. I admit I was a bit scared to use it because orangey reds do not look good on me. I tend to gravitate towards deeper reds. But I have read and seen good reviews about it, so I got myself one from Sephora Philippines.

    I swatched it on my hand before putting it on my lips.

    I wanted to make sure it wasn’t orangey at all or too bright — and it wasn’t orangey, but it may be just a tad too bright for my taste. However, Rihanna did say it was a red suitable for all shades and skin tones. The online reviews also said as much. Plus, lipstick on a swatch looks different when applied on the lips.

    True enough, it did not come out weird on my lips at all. It adjusted nicely and translates well in photos. It is a bright red, but not too bright that I won’t be able to pull it off. I find that it works well with my morena skin.

    It’s highly pigmented and a little goes a long way. The texture is more on the liquid side rather than cream, so it gets a bit tricky to apply. You have to really be careful to paint it on especially around the edges. I think I might prefer using a brush with it just to make sure I put it on with more control. You can line your lips with liner around the edges, but with the Stunna Lip, there really isn’t any need to because it doesn’t bleed like other products.

    However, it smudges and is not exactly transfer-proof. That is my only reservation about this product.

    This product boasts of a 12-hour lasting wear. That is a very conservative estimate.

    I wore it for almost 18 hours straight and it stayed put. From 3AM to nearly 9PM. At the 10 hour mark it still looked like I just applied it, as you can see in the photo above. That was already after breakfast and several drinks. I cannot think of any other lipstick that has looked or felt that great and lasted me that long. It didn’t feel drying at all and it didn’t sit heavily on my lips like other matte lip paints. No need to apply lip balm prior to wearing it, which was a very welcome surprise. I was used to matte lip paints that need a well-prepped and hydrated lip prior to application.

    At the end of my day, I brushed my teeth for good measure, just to see how it would hold up:

    As you can see, it is still there. Sure it faded slightly at the middle, smudged and feathered a bit around the edges, but do keep in mind it has been there for 18 hours straight. I just put on a little at the start of my day, careful to wipe off excess against the bottle first before applying.

    Removing it needs actual makeup remover though. I don’t think wiping it off with your usual tissue will work. I used Banila Co.’s Clean it Zero and had no problems. It came off nicely just leaving a bit of product in between the creases of your lips.

    The bottle costs around PHP 1,200 on the Sephora Philippines website. That’s close to the price on the US website as well which is USD 24. (Actually, with the current exchange rate, it comes out cheaper on Sephora Philippines. Eep.) It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it lives up to the hype so I do not mind paying a premium for it. I can imagine this little bottle lasting me for a very, VERY long time. It’s a pretty big bottle at 4ml of liquid-like textured product as opposed to the usual 3ml tubes for other cream-like textured lip paints.

    If you’re ambivalent about trying red lipstick and want to be sure about purchasing one that works and will last you for a long time, this is it. If you have a friend who has this lip paint, ask for their help to let you try it first just to be extra sure. But, the people I know who have this have not regretted their purchase at all.

    It’s the current, perfect red lipstick for the season. Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day are coming up after all, and red should fit right in — but this is just enough to make sure you still stand out.


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