I own nine tubes of red lipstick. All are unapologetic reds. There’s nothing natural about them. Pressed against a white shirt, all leave a mark. None look like anything other than what they are: paint. These nine tubes have names like “Rioja,” “Outlaw,” “Vampira,” and “Red Velvet”; two are the same shade (“Port,” a dark blood red that a wicked stepmother would wear) because I was afraid I’d lost it and bought a new tube.
I don’t limit myself to red lipstick, though I favor it. I also have three tubes that fall in the family of exuberant, optimistic pinks; a couple that err on the cranberry side of natural; and one really lovely violet.