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making faces :: wherein i meet my vampy lip match

if you've read through the beauty posts on this blog, you'll likely have gleaned that i have a bit of a thing for dark, dramatic lips. yes, i adore my reds and berries, but i am forever in search of the ultimate dark lipstick. i've already done a post on what i consider to be some of the "classics of the genre" and i stand by those. but recently, i met up with something that may in fact be the end of the proverbial road when it comes to the vampy lip. it may simply be impossible for things to get more intense without moving into purely black territory.

le metier de beaute lipstick in "bali" is truly an awesome thing to contend with. i've talked before about how the perfect vampy lipsticks are a combination of red, purple and brown held in balance and while "bali" has these elements, what's truly impressive about it is how intensely, powerfully dark it is, while not looking black. it's a rich, deep, blackened red with definite hints of purple and a warmth that comes from brown tones, but what you're likely to notice is that it's dark.

bali
in all my life, i don't think i've ever seen a lipstick this dark before. that's saying something, because i'm the girl who always reaches for the darkest colour in any range. tom ford "black orchid" came close, but it's still just a hair brighter [plus, of course, it's browner and, sadly, discontinued]. even le metier's own deep red-purple vamp "kona" is noticeably lighter.



"bali" is much more red than "kona". although you can see some purple in it when swatched, that element is very downplayed. it's an incredibly deep wine, like a rich zinfandel in the glass. i'd say it's a warmer-toned lipstick, but not so warm that it won't work on neutral-cool complexions.

bali
the formula is typical of other le metier de beaute colour core lipsticks i've tried: very smooth, highly pigmented [no kidding], a little on the dry side, but not drying. i would say it is slightly drier than other lmdb lipsticks i've tried, probably owing to the amount of pigmentation. the lasting power is very good, although it will wear off over the course of a meal. the colour fades a little after a few hours of wear, but it stays very deep for a surprisingly long period of time. after that, it fades pretty much completely, without staining. seen up close, it does have a tendency to grab on to imperfections in the lips, which you can probably see in the above photo, but i truly find that this isn't visible from a distance either freshly applied or after the shade has worn off a bit.

doing comparisons to other shades in my collection, i couldn't find something that matched the intensity of "bali":

rouge d'armani "611" is lighter, brighter and redder

tom ford "black orchid" is browner and a little lighter.

mac "media" looked remarkably similar when swatched, which mystified me, because when i've worn it, "media" looked much more purple, cooler and lighter. go figure.

rouge d'armani "609" is lighter, browner and not as opaque.

l to r :: armani 611, tom ford black orchid, bali, mac media, armani 609
in fact, i find that "bali" appears lighter when swatched compared to how it looks applied [even over my pale-ish lips]. once applied, it is completely striking and demands attention.

here's what it looks like in action:





for this look, i kept things as simple as i could muster. i'm not even wearing eye liner, for crying out loud. i'm using some of the lighter shades from the urban decay "naked 3" pallette and a couple of coats of hourglass film noir mascara. i don't mind the eyes, but i sort of wish that i'd gone with my original inclination, which was to use slightly warmer shades of beige and brown.

on the cheeks, i did a little bit of contouring with hourglass ambient lighting powder in "radiant light" and ducted guerlain "terra inca" radiant powder on my cheeks. i thought that having a slightly bronzed look would compliment the warmer tones in the lipstick. do you agree?

the question with this sort of colour is always: am i going to feel overwhelmed by it? the answer is going to vary by person. darker-skinned women of colour would be able to pull this off with no problem. deeper olive skin tones would likewise probably find it easier to wear. if you're paler, like me, it's probably going to depend on whether or not you feel at home wearing intense colours and whether or not your natural colouring can stand up to something so intense.

in sci/art terms, i would say that this is a shade that's reserved chiefly for the two dark seasons. i don't know that i fall within that group- i suspect i'm a bright season- but i don't find that the colour is so intense that it looks like the rest of me is fading or disappearing. maybe it's because i'm wearing a shirt with a similar colour that balances it. on particularly soft or delicate complexions, anything this intense is going to be a nightmare. it's strong enough that it will just steamroll over more muted complexions.

if you live in the united states, the good news is that you can just go to a counter [le metier is available at neiman marcus and at some nordstrom locations] and swatch it against your skin. if you're outside of the states, things get a little trickier. best to look at how very deep colours work on you in general. if you're comfortable with them, then "bali" is going to be something that you will likely love. if you're at all hesitant, it's likely to be more than you can handle.

i can honestly say that i think i've met my match. i really don't know that i could go any deeper and darker than this without just wearing a black lipstick [which is a totally different thing]. now i need something new to hunt for.

Comments

Subway Dreaming said…
It looks amazing on you!
Kate MacDonald said…
Thanks SD! I really like this kind of dark lip/ pale skin look, although I know that some people find it too much. LMdB has some great options for those who love a dramatic lip!

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