The Femme Fatale Lipstick Trials

Historically, I've always hated long-wearing lipstick formulas, and it is not for lack of trying.  I'm someone who found her red lipstick game in the 90s when we all coveted a dark, moody lip the color of the Chanel Vamp nail varnish (BTW Chanel now makes a lipstick version of Vamp called Rouge Noir).  I'm telling you, my 90s lip game was on fleek - I was wearing Viva Glam v. 1.0, a deep dark matte red, every damn day. There was no gloss, no sheer pink or coral anywhere near my cosmetic bag. I went all in. This was no small feat, because at that time, I also happened to be a full-time professional saxophone player. This is not an occupation that is a friend to the murderous red femme fatale lip, no matter what those late 90's Revlon ads starring Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer might have told you. Candy, Revlon...if you should ever read this, I'm calling both of you out. There is no lipstick in this galaxy that does not eventually end up all over your reed. You know it, and I know it.  My reeds (that's the little wooden part that goes on your mouthpiece and vibrates to make the sound....just in case you're wondering) - my reeds all looked like scene from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre after a night on the bandstand in the 90s. Why it never occurred to me to blot a bit before playing a show, or maybe even just taking it off (genius), escapes me. In my life at that time, the constant management of a red statement lip was just a part of the landscape of life in the 90s. I did not question it.

So the other day I decided to give the whole long-wearing lipstick thing a second shot. Seemed only right what with the femme fatale series on the blog right now. I figured the formulas had to have moved-on a bit since the 90s, and since I'm not playing on a daily basis any more, why not?

Right before the shoot I got caught in the rain. Then one of my photography lights blew up - literally in my face (nobody was hurt, thanks for asking). Nevertheless I persevered. After all, things not going according to plan is literally in writing in the trailer for this video series, right? So I went ahead and shot anyway. Frizzy rain hair, and half in the dark. And as you might expect from yours truly, my ability to take something simple like putting on lipstick and f**k it up is as strong as ever. I literally have lipstick all over my face after like, the second frame.

Also, I still am not a huge fan of long-wearing lipsticks, except maybe if you are going to be on stage with at least 15 to 20 feet between you and the audience, in my case so they can't see that it left a ring around your mouth and you have it on your chin. However, if you must wear a long-wearing lipstick, there was a clear winner here, and it will be staying in my makeup bag.


  1. My favorite post ever! I’ve seen them all. Beautiful. Intelligent. Humorous. Thanks again for continuing to post.

    38M Seattle

  2. This is everything that's fun and educational in the world of beauty! And you are brilliant in front of the camera. And also, must buy good lipstick asap. xox

  3. OMG. Just finding this video now and loving it. Your channel is amazing. Smart, funny, and slightly ridiculous. ALl of the things I love in life. I am dying to know though...what eyeshadows are you wearing? The look is gorgeous!

    1. I think in this video I had on some generic pearlized stuff from a L'oreal "Rose Gold" palette. Generally if I wear shadow at all I'll use a pearlized sparkle and a very natural taupeish shade in the crease.


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