Do This Don't: Purple Lipstick in the Summer

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Wendy
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We do what we want.

Traditionally, the beauty world reserves all vampy lips--including purples and crimsons and cabernets--for the fall. But you know what? To heck with traditions. This summer, I'm all about experimenting with color and texture and new looks, and so far, that's included incorporating more purple—yes, purple—into my lipstick rotation. 

I've had a few hits and certainly a few misses. Below are some of my favorites, which represent the purple spectrum, as well as a variety of finishes and price points. 

L-R: Urban Decay Revolution Gloss in Bittersweet, NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Dominique, Ilia Lipstick in Ink Pot, Arbonne Glossed Over Lipgloss in Hyacinth, Kevyn Aucoin Matte Lip Color in Deep Violet, The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Velvet Stick, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv.

L-R: Urban Decay Revolution Gloss in Bittersweet, NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Dominique, Ilia Lipstick in Ink Pot, Arbonne Glossed Over Lipgloss in Hyacinth, Kevyn Aucoin Matte Lip Color in Deep Violet, The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Velvet Stick, NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv.

Let's dig in. 

Urban Decay Revolution Gloss in Bittersweet, $22

One of my favorites, for sure.

One of my favorites, for sure.

I actually think this color works better in the spring/summer months than the fall (though it'll certainly transition nicely). Bittersweet is one of five of Urban Decay's High-Color Revolution Lipglosses and it applies nicely. This is two coats and the formulation is not too tacky or too runny. Definitely less shiny than some glosses. 

NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk, $6

NYX calls this one a "blue violet."

NYX calls this one a "blue violet."

Oh NYX, how I adore you. As you can see, Hunk leans more pink than it does purple, but it's definitely still got that cool, purple tint to it. Perhaps this is a good one for someone who doesn't want to go full-blown purple but still wants to make an impact. A smooth formulation, easy to apply, lots of color payoff. 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Dominique, $32

Bold, but gentle. 

Bold, but gentle. 

There's no arguing with the velvety, luxurious goodness that is NARS lipstick. This dusty dark lavender, called Dominique, is not a common color to come by; perhaps that's why I was so drawn to it. I'm not quite sure it's perfect for my complexion, but there's something so daring (or should I say "audacious"?) about it that I can't help but reach for it. 

ILIA Lipstick in Ink Pot, $26

You can build up to an even darker purple than this. I'm wearing three coats here. 

You can build up to an even darker purple than this. I'm wearing three coats here. 

ILIA is a brand that's new to me, so I was excited to try their lipstick. Like the NYX butter lipstick, this has a pinkish tint to it, though it's certainly a very cool one. The formulation makes Ink Pot easy to build up, intensity-wise, and I love the semi-matte finish. It almost has a stain-like quality to it. I also appreciate that ILIA uses organic ingredients. 

Arbonne Glossed Over Lip Color in Hyacinth, $37

The glossiest of this grape bunch, for sure. 

The glossiest of this grape bunch, for sure. 

This ultra shiny lip gloss by Arbonne, called Hyacinth, is a standout. It's a deep berry, purple-meets-pink and features lots of shimmer and dimension. It's a thick gloss that's somewhat tricky to apply because of its dark color, but this one earns me oodles of compliments. Bonus: it smells like berries. 

Kevyn Aucoin Persistence Lipstick in Deep Violet, $33

A semi-matte, impeccable shade of purple. And it smells good.

A semi-matte, impeccable shade of purple. And it smells good.

Kevyn Aucoin's Persistence Lipstick in Deep Violet is one of my favorites featured here for several reasons. First, the formula is buttery and easy to apply. Second, I adore the semi-matte finish. Third, the color is basically perfection. Notice how it both cools and warms my ultra-pale complexion at the same time. How is that even possible? Well worth the $30+ price tag!

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick in #50 , $16

Don't let the color from the tube turn you off. 

Don't let the color from the tube turn you off. 

This Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick by The Body Shop is brand spanking new, and should be available soon. It's #50, a rich, berry purple that gives lips a stained, bitten effect. Like some of the other "purple pinks" here, it's easy to build up intensity. The more you apply, the more purple it becomes. I'm wearing about three coats here, which is how I usually wear this one. It's also really nice with one coat, slightly enhancing your natural lip color. 

NARS Audacious Lipstick in Liv, $32

Goth girl?

Goth girl?

And here we have a color choice for the ultra bold. This is absolutely the darkest lipstick I've ever worn. And I should be honest: I've only worn this once, at night. That said, I felt like a whole new woman that evening, almost as if I were wearing a costume (damn, can we talk about the power of makeup?). NARS Liv is so purple it's almost black, as you can see. Primer recommended.

  • Which of the above do you see yourself wearing?
  • Is purple in the summer going too far? 
  • What's the last "beauty don't" you committed?