Why You Need to Own a Grey Lipstick—It's a Game Changer

dark grey lipstick portrait

Ohlamour Studio / Stocksy

It was back in December that I heard Smashbox was launching a grey lipstick for spring. I was both parts intrigued and horrified. Grey is an absolute staple colour in my makeup bag housed happily within a Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette, but on my lips? I wasn’t convinced. The shade in question, called Punked (£17), is part of the new Be Legendary Matte Lipstick collection. I’m not really a punky kinda person; I’d choose natural, pretty or sultry over edgy when it comes to my makeup look any day. Of course, the team at Smashbox saw this as a challenge and they invited me along to the Smashbox Studio in London to try and change my mind. What’s crazy is that I’m now convinced everyone should own a grey lipstick, keep scrolling to find out why.

Davis Factor


The idea was for me to try the grey lipstick in three ways, worn alone and then layered with other lipsticks—the results were really quite surprising.

Davis Factor

The Grey

For me, a bold lip comes down to confidence. You can wear any makeup look you want, but it’s the ones you feel most comfortable wearing that will look best—I totally believe that makeup is 70% application, 30% attitude.

First, Smashbox’s Global Pro Lead Artist Lori applied the grey lipstick alone. I was pleasantly surprised! It has a slight lilac undertone, meaning it’s more flattering than a typically cold grey hue would be. But then being real for a minute, I really loved when Lupita Nyong’o rocked a blue lip to the Star Wars premiere last year, but that didn’t mean I went out and bought a denim-hued lipstick to wear IRL. I showed my boyfriend the picture and told him to be completely candid, “I don’t like it, but then that’s just me,” he said. “Maybe if you didn’t have blue eyes, but you just look like a zombie.” I can see how, on the right person, this lipstick could totally work, but that person just isn’t me. Problem is my go-to lipstick is a nude-rose kinda hue, so it was back to the drawing board…

Davis Factor

The Ombré

Next Lori applied Punked over Be Legendary Cream Lipstick (£17) in Nude Beach. Despite adding a pretty, natural lipstick into the mix, the darker shade worn on the edges feels a little too eighties (okay, a lot eighties). Fun for dressing up in, but not a look I’ll be adding into my repertoire.

Davis Factor

The Red

Third time lucky? Lori applied Be Legendary Cream Lipstick (£17) in Red Rage, a punchy scarlet hue, and this is where the Punked lipstick really came into its own—she then layered the grey over the top transforming the red into a berry hue. Woah.

Davis Factor

The Red + Grey

This one grey lipstick has the potential to transform the colour of every lipstick you own—game changer. Depending on how much of the grey you apply, and whether you wear it underneath or layered over the top, will mean a different effect each time and an endless number of possibilities. So while I wouldn’t necessarily brave wearing the lipstick alone, it’s still won a place in my makeup bag next to that eyeshadow palette. 

Keep scrolling for three more lipstick transformers.

Illamasqua Lipstick in Pristine $20

Layering black with a bright lipstick will deepen the shade.

Estée Lauder Lip Flip Shade Transformer $16

This yellow lipstick by Estée Lauder (available at Sephora) will brighten your existing lipsticks. It will also turn a classic red into a neon coral. 

Smashbox Insta-Matte $18

Another clever Smashbox invention, this balm will make any lipstick in your collection matte. Ideal if you haven't been able to snap up a Kylie Lip Kit.

What do you think of grey lipstick? Or custom-blending your own lip shades? Let us know in the comment box below.

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