It’s moody, smouldering and ultimately the best deep rich cranberry (almost plum coloured) lipstick that I’ve worn since I was a 16-year-old hanging out at goth parties and generally finding my independence. Back then, I saved up for a brand of lipstick called Poppy, which you could only buy from Plume in Christchurch; a store that stocks Zambesi and Nom*D.
Revisiting a dark lip has taken some consideration.
While the lipstick fiend in me has never died, my fondness for a dark lip has been and gone along with the pair of black leather Red or Dead boots that I mourn having thrown away, which, as a teenager I had saved to buy for months — the heels had worn down and back then I couldn’t be bothered getting them fixed. I was also stupid enough to discard some Zambesi pieces that I would still be wearing today, had I known that beyond my uni days and a shifting identity into adulthood that I’d ultimately still be drawn to the same things.
But growing up is all about making mistakes and changing our minds…
Come 2016 and while the dark lip has been around for a while, I decided to give it another whirl. Quite a few months back I went into the M·A·C store in Wellington and tried on some darker colours, only to walk straight back out completely abandoning my mission.
So the question I was left with: how do I return to a darker lip without reverting back to my 16-year-old self, or feeling like I’m trying to be a teenager whose loving the 90’s revival?
The answer: Just hint at it, rather than fully going there.
During my week in Auckland for NZFW 2016 I met a lovely woman who had been given a M·A·C Retro Matte liquid lipstick in ‘Dance with Me’ and the colour popped against the backdrop of her fair skin and dark hair. I was sold — I guess that’s the idea. I happened to be in Ponsonby so I dropped by the M·A·C store and tried it on. Needless to say, I immediately fell in love.
The matte texture and opaque colour is rich, slightly daring and lasts all day with only a tiny reapplication after eating, and in general it has serious staying power. However, it can be slightly drying (although, nowhere near as much as the Stila liquid lipsticks that I’m used to), but it doesn’t tend to flake off like the Stila ones. Bonus! The makeup counter guy tried to convince me to buy an even darker lip colour, and while I quite liked it, it still reminded me of being a teen.
I love this lipstick. The only thing is that I have to consider my outfit choices much more carefully. It’s great paired with black, which feels like a more sophisticated version of my 90’s self.
I made the mistake of putting this lip colour on and then changing my top before heading out the door for work last week, only to realise when I arrived that the colours were totally off. Whereas, I generally find a red will work with almost everything in my wardrobe, depending on the depth and tone of the red.
What I love about Dance With Me is that it is sultrier than the other colours in my lipstick arsenal, and it’s perfect when I don’t feel like a super bright or a nude lipstick.
There are twenty shades available in the entire collection, although I’m not sure if all of them are available in NZ. It retails for around NZ$50.00, but its worth every cent. Next on my lipstick list: ‘Fashion Legacy’ and ‘Feels So Grand’ are two red M·A·C Retro Matte liquid lipsticks that I’ll be hunting down.