Purple Lipstick That Would Make Prince Dirty Again

How to work up to and around purple lips (and assless pants).
Publish date:
May 2, 2013
blushes, eyeshadows, lipsticks, mac, lip balms, Benefit, Lancome, lip pencils, Blistex, purple lips

Prince doesn't perform his dirty songs anymore. He’s taking his Jehovah’s Witnessness pretty seriously and lately keeps his set lists clean.

I'm not complaining--this isn't LFO refusing to play "Summer Girls" or anything. I saw him live last fall, and there were still plenty of songs left for a good concert. "Purple Rain" alone takes up like 20 glorious minutes with all the guitar riffs and drunken swaying and hoooo-ooh-ooh-oooooohing.

But I wanted to summon the "Do Me Baby"-style Prince songs that make you uncomfortable around the sixth minute because you can't sing along to moaning. OR CAN YOU?

Well, if anything could bring that assless pants sexiness back, it's purple lipstick.


I recommend working up to purple so you don't find yourself peeking into every reflective surface you pass and second-guessing yourself. Magenta is a good transition since it’s bright but pink enough to blend in.

If you're ready for some serious color but not quite committed to a full purple, try MAC Lip Pencil in Magenta, filled all the way in because we're not Nomi Malone.

It's pretty pigmented, but it goes on matte, so it's still daytime-appropriate.

I have a tube of Blistex dedicated to bright lip colors, so I can reapply over liners or stains without getting my regular lip stuff all nasty. I switched the cap from an old berry Blistex tube so I know that's the one already grossed up. Just make sure to really press in the lip liner after applying.

Wait a bit before you start adding balm to it throughout the day, then just dot it on really lightly. If you swipe on your balm like you normally would on bare lips, the liner will smear all over and you'll look like the sixth minute of Do Me Baby.

If you’re really ready for purple, try Rouge in Love 382b Violette Coquette. Lancôme has always had some of the best lipsticks, but I think they're trying to skew younger with the Rouge in Love line. Having Emma Watson as a spokesbabe doesn't hurt. Bling Ring, bitches!

This color looks intense in the tube. Don’t be afraid--it’s not as strong on your lips, and it warms nicely with natural lip color.

Obviously, if you're wearing purple lipstick, you do whatever the eff you please, but I do have some best practices to offer.

A matte pink blush will look better than something peachy or shimmery. In these pictures, I wore the same blush I wear most days, Lancôme Blush Subtil in Cosmopolitan pink but if you have some actual color to your skin, try Benefit Thrrrob or rub a little matte pink lipstick into your cheeks.

A mostly bare eye works best too. I try to do either bright lips or eyeliner for daytime and just wear mascara and an all-over light eyeshadow with some shimmer. I skip foundation unless I'm feeling extra blotchy that day, but I stick a little concealer in the corners of my lips so I don't look like I ate Grimace.

Bright lipstick in general is great when you're running late and don't have time for a full face, and purple in particular just looks so... intentional. It makes you look like you have a plan, even if you're hungover and just ate a double cheeseburger in your car.

For the brave ones among us who would have worn purple lipstick to their kindergarten graduation, go full-on Purple Rain with some eyeshadow. Tap a true purple eyeshadow like Estée Lauder's Cyber Lilac right in the center if you want some straight-up club purple.

A glittery pink or silver would look good, too, or gold if you want to warm the lipstick up to go with your skintone.

If you go with eyeshadow, save it for serious bar time and use a setting spray on top. (More on setting sprays coming soon!)

I also recommend straws, but I’ve always used straws for absolutely everything thanks to some traumatic pictures of neglected teeth post-braces.

Is purple lipstick enough to bring Prince's nasty back? Or do I need to bust out assless pants, too?