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(Illustration By Susana Sanchez -- The Washington Post)
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Thursday, October 23, 2008

We've always been rather fond (some would say too fond) of deep, dark lipstick. Burgundy, Chianti, merlot. The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice. For us, it conjures images of glamorously boho expats indulging in too much bubbly at louche Left Bank salons, waxing philosophic with the likes of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Stein and Sartre.

It's cigarette holders and clove cigarettes, garter belts and bobbed hair. It's Josephine Baker, shake, shake, shaking it up onstage, all bananas and studied insouciance.

We like lipstick that you have to commit to, lipstick that commands: Come close. Look at my lips! Why bother otherwise? Then there's the pragmatic consideration: We figure there's no better tool to distract the eye from the pasty yellow-green color that our complexion takes on in January.

So we're delighted to report that darkly vampified lipstick is making a comeback. And there's truly something for everyone, whether you are porcelain or ebony of skin, or somewhere in between. For the bold and the brave, there's always Chanel's iconic Vamp. And for those who're weaning themselves from neutral (neutered) glosses, sheer lip glazes get the point across without shouting.

It goes without saying that with this dramatic a lip, everything else should be kept to a minimum, makeup-wise. Mascara, a teeny bit of liquid eyeliner. Done. The Vegas showgirl thing is so not the look we're going for.

-- Teresa Wiltz


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