My sentiments towards orange lipstick are similar to those of my freshman year blond highlights: good in theory, not so much in real life. Sure, celebs like Jessica Alba and models on Spring 2014 catwalks may look fantastic rocking this fiery hue, but trust me—the one time I tried a tangerine lipstick, the figure staring back at me should only ever be seen at children's birthday parties (complete with face paint and an ability to make balloon animals).
That’s why I was surprised when I opened an orangey-red lipstick called Mangrove ($22) from the just-launched Proenza Schouler X MAC collection and felt a strong urge to apply it to my lips immediately (I blame the gorgeous packaging). Against my better judgment, I tentatively swiped the poppy hue across my mouth and stared at my distinctly non-clownish reflection. The pigment was perfect, the hue settled comfortably between a true red and a bright orange, and the finish was beautifully matte. Had one product just singlehandedly changed my entire perception towards the color orange? Yes, yes it had. I kept the color on for the rest of the day, and wore it again the next day. Chances are high that I will continue to don this perfect orangey-red in settings not limited to children’s birthday parties--and you should seriously consider trying it too.