That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but would it be the same color?
Recently, brands have been skipping descriptive lip color names like Fig or Pinkberry to give their new releases ~hip~ modern names like Hangry and Bae. The classics will always endure, though, and one shade name that's stood out to me as being particularly enduring is Tea Rose.
I noticed the proliferation of Tea Roses (or Rose Thés, if you allow for the French variation) when I worked in a department store, and my colleagues and I would play with and compare colors from each other's counters when it wasn't busy. There might be a more common lipstick name, but Tea Rose is certainly up there, with 15 lip colors named this that I can definitely identify.
I wanted to know, though, whether they were the same color. Obviously, they wouldn't be identical between brands, but how much variety could there be?
Getting my hands on Tea Roses was trickier than I thought, given how common they seemed. I often source product from PR companies for articles like this, but Tea Rose shades tend to be in brands' classic lines which aren't always available as samples, so I couldn't track down a Clarins Joli Rouge lipstick in Rose Thé. YSL, Bobbi Brown, L'Oreal, Maybelline and Laura Mercier have made Tea Roses in the past, but they aren't in their current lines. Lancome has a Rose Tea in their Rouge in Love line, but it isn't stocked in New Zealand (which is a shame, because I love that formula). And Burberry Beauty isn't sold in New Zealand at all, so I couldn't find their Burberry Kisses Sheer Lip Color in Tea Rose either.
I've managed to find and try seven Tea Roses on my lips, and the variation is surprising. That might be because, as it turns out, there's no actual rose called tea rose; in the botanical world, the name comes from a group of cultivars so named because they smelled like black tea, so there's not even a definitive color to compare to. Tea roses can range from white through to yellow and pink. The name for lipsticks more likely comes from its vague evocation of non-threatening pink and brown, but the results range from mauve to coral.
Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Rose Tea
This is one of those lipsticks that suits a lot of people, and therefore ends up in Gifts with Purchase a lot. It's a nice formula, and a very unremarkable color.
e.l.f. Matte Lip Color in Tea Rose
This product, and this color in particular, is quite popular online, so I was very disappointed when I saw it in the flesh. The lipstick itself was loose, it was hard to get even coverage, and it's far too cool-toned to look good on me. Perhaps at $3, you get what you pay for?
NYX Round Lipstick in Tea Rose
I have to take that back about getting what you pay for, because NYX products are so consistently good and affordable.
NYX Matte Lipstick in Tea Rose
Bizarrely, this is not identical in color to NYX's Round Lipstick in Tea Rose. I can understand a difference between brands (there's no universal color reference chart out there) but I had assumed that Tea Roses in different finishes from the same brand would still be the same color. Nope!
Chantecaille Lip Chic in Tea Rose
At entirely the other end of the price scale, it's not hard to feel a little ripped off when your $36 lipstick isn't as pigmented and long-lasting as its more affordable same-named equivalents. The Lip Chic range is sheer and glossy, though, so it has a different goal. To be fair, these are incredibly comfortable on the lips.
Kleancolor Everlasting Lipstick in Tea Rose
Kleancolor is not a brand I'd used before, and all I can say is that it's not a brand I'll use again. This $1.99 lipstick was greasy and kind of grainy — the graininess left streaks on my lips. It's also a very bright coral and nowhere near tea or rose anything.
Kleancolor Kleanista Lipstick in Tea Rose
This one wasn't quite as bad as the last. It has a distinct synthetic grape smell that immediately took me back to playing Detective Barbie in the Mystery of the Carnival Caper when I was a kid (I think my friend and I ate grape Hubba Bubba while playing).
I deliberately kept this experiment to lipsticks, but in my searching, I also found Elizabeth Arden has a Tea Rose cream blush (which you could probably use as a lipstick!), and Coastal Scents does a Tea Rose eyeshadow.
- Did I miss any Tea Roses?
- What other super-common shade names have you noticed?