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When I was first exploring Dark Autumn, the makeup options scared me a little. No matter how obvious it was in the mirror the colors of the palette were working for me, I was so used to thinking that only the lighter colors in a makeup shade range were appropriate for my coloring. Now it seemed like things were going to change completely, that I would be restricted to the darkest colors, and I wasn’t sure if I would pass the test and be able to pull it off.
I ended up going to Ulta armed with a mental shopping list from Cate Linden’s blog. I’m not pink-skinned, but I am light, so I figured that if these colors worked on a fair Dark Autumn without the super-dark hair you often see associated with the season, it’d probably be my best shot at finding things that work. I did end up picking up Smashbox Fig, which Cate mentions in her blog post, but my true discovery was Lipstick Queen’s “Saint” line of lipsticks.
Among their other formulas, Lipstick Queen has “Saint” and “Sinner” lines of lipsticks, with the same colors, but differing opacities. Saint is sheer, with 10% color opacity, and Sinner is matte and full-coverage at 90%. I picked up Berry that daysite calls a “deep mocha with a delicious pinkish hue.” I happened to be shopping with my mom, and when I put it on, she expressed surprise that it didn’t look too dark or out of place on my face. My mom would totally be the first one to tell me that a lipstick wasn’t right, so I took it as a pretty sure sign that maybe I could handle this dark lipstick thing after all.
A couple of weeks later, my hair salon was having a Lipstick Queen clearance sale, so I picked up another Saint Berry, Berry in the Sinner formulation, and Saint Rust for $5 each. I didn’t end up loving the Berry Sinner–it was very drying–but Saint Rust I liked even more than Berry. It’s a muted red-brown shade, and was one of my go-to colors last summer, along with Clinique Mega Melon. The warmer and clearer Dark Autumn shades definitely feel more summery to me, for obvious reasons. The rest of the DA lipstick wardrobe I had at the time seemed to fall more in the berry family, with crossover DA/DW shades, and felt too heavy for the humidity and the heat. These two colors, I found, were basically at the limit of clarity that I can handle in makeup, plus they both have a similar balmy texture that feels great and moisturizing on.
I highly recommend the Saint lipstick formula for people who daunted by their new season’s makeup, and want an option that will be sheer, but still in the correct shade range. Plus it really feels more like a balm than a lipstick. Just looking at the options, I’m kicking myself for not having picked up Coral already.
What are your favorite “beginner’s lipsticks” for your season?
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