Ask any of my friends about my signature makeup look, and they’ll tell you that I love a bold lip–either red or purple–it doesn’t matter as long as it’s noticeable. But lately, I’ve rediscovered my favorite lip color in high school — IMAN Citron. I used to slather on this gold lipstick when I wanted to feel older than my 16 years. And now at almost 31, it’s strange how this lipstick color reminds me of my youth … and the different beauty looks of my life. I had discovered Iman’s line of cosmetics at JCPenney, and you couldn’t convince me that a drugstore brand could match a department store one. I was a lipstick snob and actually thought I was somehow better than my peers who were still wearing Wet N’ Wild’s 99-cent lipsticks. I also wasn’t one to take risks in the beauty department, so it’s no wonder I went with a “safe” matte gold for my skin tone. Back in the ’90s, reds and pinks weren’t conventional lipstick choices for the average black woman — we (and beauty brands) were convinced we couldn’t wear those colors.
But then in college, I got my nose out of the snob clouds and realized I’d rather spend my hard-earned telemarketing and dorm-assistant money on shoes, not makeup. So I went through a no-makeup period that coincided with growing my natural hair. Then came the shiny lip gloss stage. Ugh! I blame MAC Lipglass on that one. And let’s just say I’ve had enough embarrassing white gunk build up along my mouth to know that the Lipglass phase shouldn’t be revisited.
I actually started feeling like an adult when I entered red lipstick territory. There’s still something really glamorous about red lipstick, and fortunately, many beauty brands, like MAC, now realize that any complexion should be able to wear any family of colors. So for about two or three years I went on a quest to find the “perfect red lipstick” … as if there is such a thing. Really, I just enjoy any and every red lipstick I come across.
But even I know there can be too much of a good thing. So in the last few months I’ve diversified my beauty look with the Citron lipstick, which is now sold at Target and Walmart. I tend to keep my eyes and cheeks simple, but the gold lipstick adds just the right amount of visual interest without looking as if I spent all morning primping. Plus, in the day and age of the bold lip, gold lipstick seems unexpected and less ostentatious.
While Citron brings back memories of posing for pics with my high school boyfriend and my first pair of knee-high boots, I think it will also be a memorable color for you. Surprisingly, Citron looks amazing on a myriad of skin tones–from fair to olive to dark brown because it’s not shiny and will pick up the natural brown tones already in the skin. And, IMAN lipsticks are long-wearing and only cost $9.99!