Dark Autumn Blonde: Favorite Everyday Lipsticks for Pale DAs

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Out of everything, being able to wear lipstick is the most important thing I’ve gained from color analysis. As a pale blonde, magazine article after magazine article pointed me towards light, clear colors. I would buy a lipstick, wear it once, and be greeted with comments like, “Oh, you’re wearing LIPSTICK.” The only lipsticks I can recall wearing with any regularity are Belle de Jour by NARS (picked up because Catherine Deneuve in that movie was my high school makeup inspiration) and Julianne’s Nude by L’oreal. On me, both of these take MLBB to WBWL–Why Bother Wearing Lipstick.

So when I realized that Dark Autumn was the season that suited me best, I finally had some direction in front of lipstick displays in stores. I first started with recommendations from Cate Linden’s post on the subject, but after over a year of living in DA, I have my own set of favorites.

My preferred texture for lipstick is cream–opaque but not matte, a little shiny but not glossy. I find this to be a compromise between DA’s matte recommendation and FG’s glossy recommendation. Also, these lipsticks tend to be the most moisturizing and comfortable, without being sticky like gloss. But during the day, I’ll also wear a lot of sheer/balm formulas, and most of the lipsticks in this post fall into this category.

Sometimes, it can seem like DA lipsticks are all a variation on reddish brown. While that’s definitely something you should have in your rotation, DAs can also wear coral or red violet or our version of pink. Here are the lipsticks I personally usually have on my person and reach for on a regular basis:


Albeit Violette. Lately I’ve been into exploring the possibilities of violet for Dark Autumn lipsticks. This is a nice sheer version for testing the look out. Very comfortable and pretty. (September 6th, 2016: I’m wearing it today and I have no idea why I thought it was sheer! It’s definitely opaque.)

MAC Brick O La. It may seem shocking for someone who has the amount of makeup that I do, but this is the first MAC lipstick I’ve ever owned, and I just picked it up last week. I had a very goopy MAC lip gloss once, and the sugar-cookie scent/taste was overwhelming to the point that I didn’t want to bother. Luckily, the scent isn’t as strong with the lipsticks. Anyway, the idea of owning this particular lipstick won me over. It’s DA’s pinky nude.

Lipstick Queen Saint Rust. I’ve blogged about this before, but this is a great brownish-red in a sheer formula. The color also comes in a matte, opaque formula, called Sinner, but unfortunately I find that formula drying and horrible. You can see how much I’ve carried this one around with me–the tube is pretty banged up.

Clinique Mega Melon. A nice pinky coral option. This is one I’ll wear a lot when the weather gets warmer.

So these are my favorite lipsticks for day. Do you change up your lipstick from day to night? What are your favorites?

8 Comments on Dark Autumn Blonde: Favorite Everyday Lipsticks for Pale DAs

  1. Melina
    September 5, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Oh, this is like a post made for me, I feel 😉 As I’ve lately arrived to realize I’m very probably a DA, and while I’m not that pale (more of a medium skin tone), I’m a dark blonde, fairly light in my eye and eyebrow colours, and I find many DA recommended lipsticks to be too dark for me, especially for daytime use. (That’s even made me suspect I might be TA instead, but then again I’m not quite all-the-way-warm enough for that, I feel.)
    For example, I have a dupe of the mentioned MAC Brick-O-La, i.e. Maybelline Glamorous Red (so-called high-end lipsticks are out of my budget), and it too is too strong and dark, especially for daytime use… But here are some of my favourites (bearing in mind that I haven’t been “officially” draped, though):

    * Essence On The Catwalk, which I’ve seen called as dupe of MAC Hot Tahiti, a recommended lipstick for DA (by Cate Linden); it’s an almost perfect match colourwise, and fairly sheer so as not to be too strong for daytime use; my go-to brownish/warm red.
    * Rimmel Lasting Finish Heartbreaker, the perfect rosey dark pink for me, not too cool, as many such are. Also suits other than daytime use.
    * Wet’n’wild Natural Blend lip shimmer, shade Spice
    * Wet’n’wild Copper Dust, a kind of coppery pink.

    Also I still have many coral pink or peachy lipstick from back when I thought I was a Spring, and I find many of those are fine too, especially for Summertime use.

    • stylesyntax
      September 5, 2016 at 8:28 am

      You sound less high contrast than I am… If you are finding that a lot of DA is too dark, I would look at SA, not TA–similar heat level, lower contrast. Brick O La is a lipstick that is different depending on who is wearing it, so I wouldn’t rule it out based on a dupe. Even if you don’t want to spend the money on MAC, you can still test it out at a MAC counter.

      In my mind, Hot Tahiti was a lot more orange than it actually is… It looks kind of like a red I mix myself. So I might have to pick that one up 🙂

      I gave away all my Spring lipsticks. Spring lipsticks looked artificial/chalky on me.

      • Melina
        September 6, 2016 at 9:21 am

        Hmm, I’ve quite certainly ruled out any Soft season, as soft colours don’t suit me at all in clothes… I do need contrast or darkness in clothes (and accessories etc.), and also in eye makeup, in everything apart from lipsticks really… But from what I’ve heard, lipsticks can’t really be used to decide your season anyway, as they work so differently for everyone. I actully asked Christine Scaman on her 12B site whether one can still be a DA if medium darkness lipsticks are the best ones, not dark ones, and she said absolutely 😉

        (Oh, and I’m not sure if there are any MAC counters locally – I’m in Northern Europe – and not sure if they’d offer testing (plus artificial store lights never show colours correctly anyway!) but will look at that, or try to hunt eBay for an affordable “real” Brick-O-La :))

        • stylesyntax
          September 6, 2016 at 10:27 am

          I live close to you and we have MAC counters in department stores, the main branch of a major makeup store chain, and then some individual MAC stores in some nicer malls. I would go on the MAC website for your country and do a search. Also MAC counters in general are all about testing the products on you. Most non-drugstore brand counters are.

          I just meant that if you were having issues with DA to the point where you were questioning it, the place to look might not be TA, but SA. 🙂

          • Melina
            September 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

            Oh, I wasn’t questioning it at all, though it sounded like you were 😉 I’m pretty sure I’m either DA or TA, by now (it’s been a long and winding road), but definitely not SA. Like I said, it’s only the dark lipsticks that don’t suit me well, but since practically everything else does, I have no reason to question it.
            It may also be due to personal preference, as these days I prefer a less contrasting make-up look, and also because where I live, heavy or visible make-up is frowned on, especially on daytime… And also my style ID, which I recently discovered to be probably some kind of Ethereal blend, which doesn’t really suit strong make-up… (Not very easy to try combining that with DA! ;))

          • stylesyntax
            September 13, 2016 at 1:48 pm

            I don’t follow any systems with Ethereal, but my suggestion would be to look for makeup that matches the lighter colors on the fan–corals, pinks, orchid, etc. It can be hard to find exact matches for these colors, but the Facebook group for DA has a list. You will still need enough darkness for things to look natural on you, but they should blend into you and not be disruptive to the overall Ethereal look.

          • Melina
            September 21, 2016 at 10:07 am

            Ethereal is one of the categories used in e.g. the Truth Is Beauty website, I find them much more to the point than the Kibbe ones. 🙂

            But in truth, since my earlier posts I’ve found out that what was wrong for me in many of those DA lipsticks wasn’t the darkness per se, but the hue… I realized I do better in cooler lipsticks, in them I can go much darker, for example Revlon HD Iris and Rimmel Berry Queen – both great for me. So I’ve started to suspect I may be a Dark Winter after all… (Which I earlier believed for long, too.) But very close to DA. Maybe I’m one of those (rare) persons whose colouring is 51% in one season and 49% in the other, as described in one of the articles at 12blueprints site 😉

  2. Melina
    May 30, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Just a “pingback” – back in September you questioned my being a DA, and while I didn’t agree at the time, in hindsight you were probably right 😉 A few months ago I realized (for several reasons too long to go into here) that I’m more likely a Spring… Bright Spring most likely, but I’m open to other possibilities, on the TSp – BW spectrum. for starters, my best lipstick shades are like a textbook example of BSp lipsticks… Both warm and cool darker pinks and corals, and sheer reds. (You see my Rimmel Heartbreaker recommendation above? 😉 How could I ever have considered that an Autumnal shade… Oh well.)

    I really tried to so hard to make Autumn lipsticks work! (The clothes somehow did, or I thought they did, but not makeup.) But most were too brown for me, I see it now, and some (DA ones) too dark… Only those with plenty of red, coral or peach in them looked half-ok – yes, you see the conclusion 😉
    And interestingly, BSp is one of the earliest seasons I considered… I guess you should trust your instincts, but I guess I just thought I didn’t look “bright” enough… And golden yellows, warm greens & oranges just looked so great on me! So I thought that, among other things, proves I’m an Autumn… Of course I still don’t know for sure, as I haven’t been draped, but it seems much less likely now. 😉


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