Friday, November 20, 2009


Some time ago I saw an ad for Avon's Spectracolor lipstick featuring Reese Witherspoon, darling of the direct selling cosmetics universe. It's supposed to give you 7 colours in 1 lipstick, enabling you to carry only a very small purse to the Emmy awards, just like Reese Witherspoon. I talked to a friend about it, who also confessed to having an urge to buy this lipstick after seeing the ad. We're not really huge Avon people and I have only seen Reese Witherspoon in God-awful movies like Sweet Home Alabama (Legally Blonde was kinda good), so it was all a bit odd.

Anyway, I ended up buying that lipstick off Ebay and it's a total lie.

Does this look like seven colours to you?

No. It looks like two, maybe three different shades if I'm being generous.

The pretext for this lipstick is a terrible pretense. Most of the colours are the same, and the dial exists mostly because we're suckers for gimmicks (see: Vibrating Mascara). There's a dial which ostensibly allows you to 'turn up the intensity' but realistically, since the lipstick is much lighter and less pigmented than real lipstick, you have two shades to work with: sheer pink, and sheer purple which, to its credit, if you layer it on does look kind of like what Reese Witherspoon has on in the commercial, if you'd applied it carefully and heavily and used lipliner.

Which is another thing. What are these seven lip products that this chunky plastic monstrosity wishes to replace? I need lip balm and possibly a lipstick or a lipgloss, or for very fancy occasions, a lipliner. Any spare lip products rattling around in my bag remain because I'm lazy. I suggest that most of this lip product handbag clutter that supposedly inflicts women on a regular basis revolves around things that a 7-in-one lipstick and lipgloss can't replace, like lipbalm, lip pencils, and lip brushes. Anyway, why would I take a bulky twisty lipstick with a cap that keeps falling off, when I can pack a flat lip palette that will take up less space. The lipstick itself is huge, far bigger than any normal lipsticks I have. A lipstick, lipgloss and lipliner would take up less space in my bag than this Spectracolor thing does.

The applicator sucks ass too. It's similar to the Too Faced Glamour Gloss applicator except with a weird smooth plastic tip with large perforations instead of a sponge-tip which would make more sense, and feel less cold and hard and cheap on your mouth.

The other colour you see in the swatch is Mary Kay's Apple Berry lipstick.

I'm not really sure why I have it even.

It's apparently Mary Kay's best selling colour, and the colour of choice for "A Kiss of Country", a campaign that country music, battered women and Jewel Kilcher. I got it from Ebay which is apparently what you do to a) buy Mary Kay lipsticks for 1.99, and b) avoid scary Mary Kay ladies.

It's okay. I'd describe it as a very Mary Kay colour, a kind of grown-up colour that is mostly inoffensive but just a little bit in your face.

It's a kind of metallic berry-orange-red and I mean, it's okay. It looks like it's an attractive colour on camera so maybe I'd wear it if I needed a photo taken. Otherwise I'd wear this colour to work or an official worky thing or a (large) family dinner or something, but not for fun. No. Not fun.