Woman Seeking: An Everyday Marsala Lip

Every year Pantone, a leading expert in color and color matching among artists, home decorators, and beauty experts, announces their color of the year. Although I am not someone who awaits the announcement eagerly or plans my entire year around the designated color, I was very pleased when I caught a glimpse of 2015’s winner, Marsala.

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Marsala is an earthy, browny-nude that, in my opinion, is easily wearable for almost everyone. If you remember the cool brown lip color the 90’s are infamous for, think that…only warmed up. It’s a great nail color, cheek color, and lip color especially. After taking a look at my own lipstick stash, I realized I have quite a few in my collection that fall in line with this new trend. If you’re looking to get in on the Marsala craze, or simply could use a nice everyday nude, check out my selections below.

(For reference, all shades are swatched without lip liner)


Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in 001 Honey – If you’re new to the lip game and want to ease into it, this balm is the way to go. The convenient crayon shape makes it easy to handle and the formula is soft on the lips. It is fairly sheer, but can be built up to about a medium coverage. It has a strong scent of mint, which isn’t my favorite in a lip product, but it’s nice in a pinch if you’re short a stick of gum. Be mindful, however, that it does not taste of mint. With tones of pink and purple, this is more on the mauve end of Marsala.


Clinique Chubby Stick in 04 Mega Melon – Another lip crayon, this version doesn’t have anything minty about it. More of an orange toned Marsala, the lasting power of this is pretty decent for a balm stick that doesn’t claim to be long lasting. The formula is smooth and doesn’t cake up, regardless of how many layers you put on. A great version for spring and summer.


BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in a Rebel – This gloss is minty, but has a gentle tingling sensation to go along with the smell. This is a thicker formula of gloss, but I don’t find it overly sticky. The dusky rose color is subtle, which makes it perfect for casual events or running errands. It could also be layered to give some depth and shine to another To another Marsala lipstick.


Bite Beauty Lush Fruit Lipgloss in Guava – From a company that boasts natural lip are products that are “healthy enough to eat,” one whiff of this gloss will make you want to do just that. This smells of pure fruit, without the sickeningly sweet chemical smell. Divine. The color payoff is amazing for a gloss too! This gloss is just thick enough to be substantial, but thin enough to be able to slick on without much thought. Deep enough for winter but punchy enough for summer, this is a good year round option for those who like a glossy finish.


Bite Beauty Mini Lipstick Duo in Fig/Date – While Date is one of my favorite light nudes, Fig is perfect for the Marsala trend. It’s on the lighter version of The Marsala spectrum, which makes it easy to wear in the day time. Although these mini duos are limited edition, they are still available so grab it while you can! The formula is creamy, opaque, and so smooth I can’t even believe it. Be mindful not to push too hard, however…the extreme creaminess makes these prone to breaking if you’re a rough user. Bite Beauty has definitely burst onto the lip scene with a bang, and I would recommend their products to anyone.


Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N9 – If you are a Sephora VIB member (Sephora’s rewards program), then this is the mini lipstick that came in your birthday lip and lash set from MUFE. I found this to be an excellent my lips but better color. Although it has that old school lipstick powdery smell that I am not fond of, the color payoff for this little mini is good enough for me to overlook it. You can dab it on for a sheer wash of color, or build it up to a beautiful medium to full coverage color. I wish this particular color was in a matte formula for some reason, but a quick blot with a tissue gives me the color minus the shine I’m looking for. This is also one of the cheaper high end versions.


Nars Lipstick in Dolce Vita – A popular color, this is extremely similar to MUFE’s N9. This is lighter version that can be put on sheer and built up to about a medium coverage. I prefer this one for the simple fact it doesn’t have that awful smell that N9 does, but that is a personal preference. I also like that this one can be layered over other lipsticks I own without it looking or feeling caked on.


MAC in Creme In Your Coffee – Not only is the lipstick bullet iconic in terms of packaging, the signature MAC lipstick smell is an amazinggg French Vanilla. So yummy! This is one of my newer purchases, and my first MAC purchase ever, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I love the cremesheen formula, which as you may guess from the name is a creamy formula with a bit of a sheen without being glossy, and the color lasts hours without a lip liner. It’s one of the more brown colors I own, and to be honest, when I bought it I was debating between this and another more pinky color and was extremely unsure when I purchased it, but once I used it the next day I fell in love. It looks so beautiful on! It’s become my go-to lipstick for just about everything. This is also the cheapest of any of my high end lipsticks, not just those on this list.


L’oreal Colour Riche Balm in 818 Nourishing Nude – Probably my favorite drugstore nude, this color is so effortless. The smell is a light, sugary vanilla and it glides on effortlessly. It is a balm, and because of the buttery formula it is prone to breaking (see how in my picture it’s a little lumpy? Yeah…it doesn’t come like that, and I can’t make it keep it’s shape for the life of me). The gold and pink packaging is also so luxe. This is like a lipstick and gloss in one. If I use my beloved MAC, and don’t want to bring it with me (I may or may not be paranoid I’m going to lose it. Hey, the MAC counter I can go to is 2 hours away!), then I will pop this in my purse for touch ups.


Napoleon Perdis a Divine Goddess Lipstick in Atalanta – The most bronze of the Marsala shades I own, this is something I am dying to use in the summertime with a hint of a tan. And the packaging! I am not one to get overly excited about packaging for the most part, but the Napoleon lipsticks are gorgeous. Acrylic and gold with the color of the lippie at the bottom. Swoon. And the tiny buttercup is whimsical without making me feel like a child. These lipsticks have more of an old school waxy smell, which is a negative for me, but the formulas are smooth and easy to work with.


Napoleon Perdis Divine Goddess Lipstick in Olympia – the color payoff of this shade is unreal. One swipe gives you full on opaque color. A bit deeper on the Marsala scale, this is a nice color for a night out. This particular color has a stronger smell than the prior color for some reason, which is probably why is don’t reach for it as often as I might otherwise. Or it can be that I’m rationing it…while I bought all of my Napoleon Perdis products from Ulta, now these babies can only be found at Nordstrom from what I can tell, and I don’t have one of those anywhere near me.


Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig – The deepest on my list, this Fig is nothing like the earlier Fig color from Bite Beauty. This Fig is a Marsala that boarders on berry. It’s a great night color or a color to wear with sunglasses (my favorite trick for when I need to look pulled together but have no energy whatsoever). It leaves a light stain on my lips as well, but that may just be me. I love to pair this with a gloss to make it conform to the shade I want, whether more nude or berry.

With this year being the year of Marsala, I’m more than happy to wear all of these shades in the name of being on trend. It’s a flattering color that really works on an everyday basis. Are you into the Marsala shade? Let me know in the comments below!



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