I can't believe we made it almost a month with this column without me shoving something orange-red in your pretty faces. But the time has finally come, y'all. I'm sure I'll be sharing with you many an orange-red lipstick in the weeks ahead, but I wanted to start with Tell Laura.
One of the new Hot Lips shades from Charlotte Tilbury, Tell Laura is a bright, warm, matte lipstick that Charlotte describes as a "fresh geranium red" that's "the perfect addition to the seductive vintage vamp look" — or if you're me, the perfect addition to a hanging-out-in-a-green-T-shirt-on-the-Time-Inc-cafeteria-patio look.
Like so many people, I need a lipstick to lean pretty damn orange to read true-red on my face — as opposed to pulling hot pink — and Tell Laura fits that bill. Plus, even if that wasn't some weird skin-tone requirement for me, my brain just prefers orangey reds over cool reds in general — from makeup to throw pillows to vegetables.
Speaking of skin tones, I love that Charlotte Tilbury shows Tell Laura on 10 different women, so if seeing it on me or my arm doesn't help you picture it on yourself, perhaps that will.
So, about the formula: Charlotte uses "a perfect blend of oils, triglycerides and waxes" that "glide on for buildable, long-lasting colour." I know, lots of mattes are long-lasting, but she's not kidding about the gliding. It's one of the more flexible matte lipsticks I've tried in while, which is apparently due to softening, hydrating orchid extract and — get this — lipstick tree seed extract.
Yep, there's a plant called "lipstick tree." Known more commonly as achiote (and in the ingredients as Bixa orellana), it got its nickname from historically being used for red lipstick pigment; in this case, however, it's being used mostly for its antioxidant properties.
Another cool thing about Tell Laura (and all Hot Lips lipsticks) is the packaging and bullet. In addition to being absolutely gorgeous and having an adorable lip print intaglio, the square-angled tip allows for more precise application sans lip brush.
All of this is great, but the main reason I wanted to get Tell Laura in front of you ASAP is because, for the first two months after the collection's launch, $2 from every purchase of a Hot Lips lipstick goes to Women for Women International — and there's only about a week left! (They launched in late June.)
And here's a lipstick-irrelevant epilogue...
So, while I have your attention and since Your New Favorite Red Lipstick will be serving as your Open Thread for the foreseeable future, let’s talk about what a lot of commenters have been wondering/complaining/conspiracy-theorizing about lately: the decrease in original xoVain content and the increase in syndicated content from other brands.
First of all, I want you guys to know that I don’t like it any more than you do. In fact, I guarantee I like it a whole lot less. If I had my way, you’d see twice as many beautiful xoVain freelancer faces a day, not fewer. The decision to decrease original content was not mine; however, it’s one that I’m reluctantly yet optimistically complying with because of the great things it’s poised to mean for us down the line.
As for why it’s happening, you might have read in the news that there were some staff changes and restructurings and layoffs at Time Inc in the last couple of months. This is public knowledge, and unfortunately, the effects of those things trickle down to all the brands here, including xoVain and xoJane. It’s just a lot more obvious with us when it happens because a) you’re so used to seeing familiar faces a certain number of times each day, b) regular commenters talk openly about it, bringing it to the attention of others who might have not noticed, and c) you’re seeing more syndicated content to help fill in the gaps, but to frequent readers, it’s immediately obvious when it’s not in an xoVain-y voice. (There’s a lot more I could say about syndicated content, but I’ve already said it right here.)
Honestly, there’s not much more I can tell about this temporary situation, but let me try to paint a little silver lining into this poopcloud:
- We’re adopting Tynan! Because all beauty posts are movin’ over to xoVain, you’ll get to see his face each week here.
- You’ll also be getting more writing from me, Caitlin and Dan — and maybe even xoJane’s new deputy editor, Jamie — because we’re going to try to give you more in-house content.
- You’ll still see all of your favorite xoVain writers, who I want to group-hug so hard as we wait for the aforementioned poopcloud to lift. No, you won’t be seeing them as frequently, but they’re still here… and we may pick up a few new people along the way, too.
Remember how I just said, like, a minute ago that changes are more obvious when they happen on XO? There’s another reason for that: you guys are an amazingly connected, tuned-in community. And while I don’t love some of what I’m seeing in the comments — mostly the incorrect assumptions and hostility toward the work of writers and editors from other publications — I do love how fiercely loyal you are. I hope you’ll try to remain so as we wait out this phase.
As per usual as we enter the weekend, feel free to chat about lipstick, not-lipstick, and anything else on your mind in the comments.