I'm on a bus to Bethesda, Maryland as you read this, assuming you're reading it within the four hours it was posted; any time after that (but before Sunday night), I'll be hanging out with my family, who's assembling for the most important day in my niece Elyssa's life thus far: her bat mitzvah.
At least I assume it's the most important day in her life; I didn't have one I can use as a reference point. Although I can lay claim to some of the most beloved Jewish personality stereotypes -- you haven't truly lived until you've heard me kvetch about the weather -- my parents didn't raise me religiously, so neither my half-sister, Diane, nor I went to Hebrew school or had a fancy puberty party when we turned 13. I've definitely thought about what my theme would've been, though; probably the Mickey Mouse Club reboot.
Anyway, Diane's ex-husband's family was more involved in the religion than we were, so their kids are doing the whole coming-of-age, child-of-the-commandment thing. My nephew, Adam, had his bar mitzvah three years ago -- same temple and same Maggiano's as the ones Elyssa's will be held at this weekend. Because nothing says "Jewish" like an Italian restaurant headquartered in Texas.
I bought two dresses -- most of the dresses I already owned are pretty cleavage-y and didn't feel quite right for partying with seventh-graders -- and I'm bringing them both with me so I can get my mom's and sister's opinions on which one to wear.
Since I'll be wearing either black or black and white, the lip-color options feel almost endless. Luckily, one of my favorite beauty brands, BITE, narrowed down my options from endless to six by sending me the newest shades of their Matte Creme Lip Crayons, and I would love your opinion on which one to wear to the bat mitzvah. (Sorry, Mom and Diane -- you only get input on the dress.)
So, let me tell you a little about these crayons. They're very long-wearing and water-resistant -- and hopefully wine-resistant, because middle schoolers -- for a formula so moisturizing. They go on smoothly, are more precise to directly apply than lipstick thanks to a narrower tip, and are instantly opaque, which I love. All of BITE's lip products (which are the only kind of products they make) smell great, and these are no exception; they have a somewhat fruity sweetness, but it's very subtle -- it won't interfere with anything you'd be eating or drinking, like wine. Did I mention I'm going to want wine?
There were already six very excellent colors available, but I'll be picking from the six new ones (each $24) launched for fall. (I already packed my dresses, so for the sake of trying them out, I threw on a random black sequined shirt to set a bat-mitzvahesque mood.)
Sephora, the only place you can get these, describes Leche as a dusty pale pink, and I concur.
I like it with my coloring, and I think it reads kind of retro-sexy, but I'm not sure it feels dressy enough for an event at which my niece will be wearing a sparkly, strapless dress. (By the way, 13-year-olds wear strapless dresses now.)
This is about as hot of a pink as I feel comfortable wearing. Sephora calls it a "muted raspberry," but I don't think raspberry can be muted, you know?
This color definitely feels more party-appropriate, but I'm not quite sure if it's my favorite.
I can't believe how much I like this rich, dark, chestnut brown.
Brown lipstick is probably not the best shade to wear with a mostly black outfit, but it was the color du jour when I was 13 in 1992, so perhaps I should wear it in solidarity.
Definitely not the color of actual amaretto, Sephora calls this shade a "peachy nude," but I'd call it light beige. Leche, the first color, is way more peachy, at least on me.
This is a great lip color to balance out dramatic eye makeup, but I doubt I'll be doing a sexy smoky eye considering the ceremony gets underway at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. And at a place of worship. Temple, I mean -- not Maggiano's.
The deepest of the new shades, Truffle comes across as a dark-chocolate plum. I love that as a color but cringe at the idea of that literally existing as foodstuff. And it does, in fact, literally exist as foodstuff. (How is that a snack and not a laxative?)
I will be wearing the hell out of this color throughout fall and winter, but if I end up wearing the all-black dress, I think it would read less "cool aunt" and more "goth aunt." (Not that those things are mutually exclusive.)
Aubergine implies eggplant, but this shade is exactly what I picture when I picture magenta. And I spend a lot of time picturing magenta. I mean, who doesn't?
Not gonna lie -- I saved this one for last because I think it's the frontrunner. It's bold without being too dark for daytime, and I love how it looks with black; it's a nice alternative to the orangey-red lip I usually fall back on.
Despite my bias, I want an objective opinion, so let me know which one you think will make the guests I don't yet know instantly identify me as a New York City-dwelling relative who works in a creative field and is probably friends with at least one C-list celebrity. Or just whichever one looks prettiest.
Oh, by the way, I didn't have to scrub my lips raw between each color because BITE also sent me their awesome Lush Lip Wipes, which, like their lip colors, are hydrating and full of antioxidants. So much gentler than scrubbing away with a regular makeup-remover wipe.
And Elyssa, if you're reading this...