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making faces :: up for some tricky lips?

one of the most laudable things that mac cosmetics has done throughout their existence is to create, maintain and promote aids fund to help raise money and awareness for victims of the disease worldwide. every year, they have introduced a new shade of lipstick and a complementary gloss, all proceeds of which [not just the profits- the entire selling price] are donated to the fund. there are six permanent shades dubbed "viva glam" and in the last few years, mac has brought in a celebrity spokesperson to promote two limited edition versions [one released in the spring and one in the fall] per year.

this year's celebrity is rihanna, to whom i am supremely indifferent, but i really liked the first shade in their partnership and was curious when i saw the fall version, which is a considerably more challenging kind of a shade. but i'm always up for a challenge.

mac describes the shade as a "warm mauve with silver frost". to that, i say that "mauve" is one of those terms like "plum" that needs some kind of intervention to determine what it is exactly. when i was growing up, mauve was a muted, slightly warm medium pink with purple and brown undertones. there were variations, of course, but that was more or less how you'd describe all of them. so by that definition, viva glam rihanna 2 is not mauve.

clearly, it's a shade of brown or taupe. there are hints of purple and pink in there, but they're more limited to the shimmer. the base colour is a toasty cocoa powder brown. i do agree with them that it is warm, but the silver/ pink/ purple shimmer makes the overall effect of the shade quite a bit cooler. in fact, it can look almost like a gunmetal grey sheen when the light hits it.

viva glam rihanna 2
i really don't have anything very close to this colour, which is both futuristic and retro, harkening back to some nineties shades of frosty brown. "belladonna" from armani's spring collection, is in the same neighbourhood, but is still a pretty distant neighbour. more than anything, it reminds me of a lipstick version of mac's best-selling "satin taupe" eyeshadow.

the formula of viva glam rihanna 2 has some definite drawbacks. it immediately feels dry, although it's less drying over time than i expected it would be. like a traditional frost, it does pull into lip lines with a vengeance. if your lips are moisturized, this won't trouble you as much, but if they're dehydrated, your mouth may end up with that unfortunate "pinched" effect.

what i did like about the formula was that it's very lightweight- once it's on, it feels like nothing. even better, despite the fact that i could see some unevenness in the distribution of the shimmer when swatching, it looked very even on the lips and once applied, the relative dryness of the formula meant that it didn't budge. there were no nasty little pockets of silver grit marauding from one side of my mouth to the other, no little barren patches left behind. and it lasted a good three to four hours on me, fading gradually to a very pretty stain [that actually did look kind of mauve, although i have no idea how that happened]. even lasagna didn't totally remove the shade, which to me indicates a pretty impressive lasting power.

i think that warmer, softer complexions will look lovely with this shade, particularly lighter-to-medium skinned women of colour [like rihanna]. the colour can be built up enough that it will show up on very dark skin, but keep in mind that building up the colour also means building up the frost level, so you'll end up with something quite metallic.

on my complexion, i found i had to be careful or else the brown in the base drained the colour from my skin and aged me. applied as a single coat, which isn't quite opaque, enough of the pinky-plum colour of my natural lips is there to keep me from looking too zombie-tastic. that said, if you do want to go for a very cyber-chic kind of look with sharp minimal silhouettes and polished surfaces, this would definitely be a great option. [you could also combine the lipstick with its pearly pink and grey gloss counterpart and support the aids foundation twice as much.] all that said, i do like the colour as something that's a bit different from the everyday, but can still fit just about anywhere.

here's the look i'm sporting today:

 


the base ::
ysl fusion ink foundation "b10"
dior star concealer "01"
mac paint pot "painterly"

the eyes ::
marc jacobs style icon no. 3 e/s "the punk" [shimmery grey platinum, matte red violet, frosted cool orchid]
marc jacobs style icon no. 3 e/s "the glam" [matte buttercream, foiled copper, warm deep brown]
mac e/s "dazzlelight" [shimmery neutral highlight]
mac fluidline brow "deep dark brunette" [used on my brows and as a liner on my upper lids]

the cheeks ::
mac blush "overdyed" [cool magenta]*
chanel poudre signé highlight powder [white gold]*

the lips ::
mac l/s "viva glam rihanna 2" [warm taupe with silver pink shimmer]

*suggested alternates :: overdyed = nars desire; poudre signé = nars albatross [brighter and frostier] or hourglass luminous light [more muted and warmer]

like all the celebrity viva glam shades, "viva glam rihanna 2" is limited edition, however it will be available until next spring and it's always in stock both on the web site and in all stores where mac is sold.

Comments

Ooh, I really like this one on you! The color reads as nude on first glance, but there's something slightly off about it that makes you look twice. I used to be opposed to frost and metallic finishes in lipstick, but some of the new releases this year have me reconsidering.

I agree that the word "mauve," much like "coral," needs an intervention. It's come to mean way too many things. I wish there were an Académie française for makeup...
Bellyhead said…
Kate, I am totally digging this look, too. The funny thing is that though the lipcolor isn't a coventional "pretty" lipcolor, it reads as very flattering on you. I wouldn't even just call it an "interesting" shade either, which would kind of suggest that there is something unwearable or ugly about the shade. How do you do that??!!! Also paired with the red tones on your eyes, this looks amazing.
Kate MacDonald said…
Thanks ladies! I wasn't really sure about it, because the colour is the sort that can make me look very Walking Dead (in a bad way). Maybe I'm being too narrow in thinking what works for me, which might be why I have about three thousand berry-coloured lipsticks...

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