Photo Courtesy Givenchy Beauty
I owe a lot of my obsession with the cosmetic world to the women in my life. My mother was literally a beauty queen (Miss Rice Queen, thank you very much!), and was the type of mom who would stand at the foot of the stairs and critique me as I walked out the door. It was not at all unusual for her to ask me if I was absolutely sure I didn't want to go back upstairs and put on a little makeup (especially during college, when I was raging against the machine and refused to wear so much as a swipe of mascara for about a year). My grandmother MiMi was much the same. She always had a vanity full of jars, bottles, pots and tubes of wonderful-smelling, beautiful concoctions. My sister and I were allowed free reign in her bathroom when we went to visit, powdering and painting ourselves and spraying ourselves with ungodly amounts of perfume, until only a Silkwood-level decontamination shower would return us to our natural state.
MiMi also introduced me to high-end makeup and fragrance. Although my mother had me using Clinique skin care by the time I was 13, it was MiMi who bought me one of those huge Estee Lauder makeup purchase-with--purchase sets for Christmas when I was 14. And when I was 15, she bought me a huge bottle of Givenchy's Ysatis perfume. To this day, whenever I get a whiff of that scent, I think of her.
So when I was in Sephora recently and caught sight of the Givenchy Rouge Interdit lipstick display, I decided to take a walk down memory lane and check it out. Always up for a reason to buy a new lippie, I rationalized that I hadn't had a chance to try anything from the French line yet, and it was just high time I did.
The color I chose was #19, Black Plum. It does live up to its name, too---it's a very dark, blackened plum color in the tube. So dark, as a matter of fact, that the SA I was working with tried her hardest to dissuade me from even trying it on. I'm not even sure myself why I insisted on giving it a try---as fair as I am, it looked to be far to deep for my coloring, and goth is not my chosen look. However, I was insistent, and tried it anyway. Here's a shot of the color in the tube. Please forgive the sweating; it's 98 degrees and 92% humidity here, and nothing could be done once it began.
As you can see, this color is dark. However, watch what happens upon application, both as an arm swatch and on my lips:
On me it turns a deep, brilliant, yet sheer plum. Trust me though, this isn't your everyday plum lipstick! It's deeper and darker than fuschia, and even deep for a plum, yet somehow too bright to be goth, and has much more depth of color than the average sheer lipstick...yet I can still see my lips beneath it. The color itself is a plummy, berry-ish, deep bordeaux with the sheerness of a stain, with a satin finish. That's the closest I can come to describing it, at least. It isn't really a true sheer, yet it isn't opaque, either. The texture, in my opinion, is truly unique.
Rouge Interdit lipstick feels wonderful on the lips and gives a plumping effect due to the slight shine. It is not, however, a moisturizing lipstick. As with the texture, the feel of this lipstick is hard to describe. It goes on very smoothly and has a very creamy quality, yet it doesn't feel moisturizing as such. Rather, it simply cushions the lips, much as sheer lipsticks tend to do. However, it does not dry out the lips as with sheer lipsticks. It's simply neutral as far as lip conditioning qualities go.
Staying power is average at best. As this is definitely not a matte formula, and is honestly a bit less than even a cream, it's to be expected that it will not be a long-wearing formula. I got as much wear from it as I do from my Glossimers...about 3-4 hours, depending on the normal factors like eating, drinking, and talking. I do recommend using a lip pencil with this one or you may have some bleeding, but that's to be expected with any lipstick this dark. Of course, with a pencil the wear time increased as well.
Overall, I find this to be a wonderful lipstick. It's a shade I would normally never be able to wear due to my pale skin, yet it works fantastically well due to its sheer, slightly shiny finish and brighter undertones, despite the fact that at the end of the day, it's a deep, deep plum color (hence the name, Black Plum). It's most definitely a very cool color, so warmer girls may need to steer clear, but I'm very neutral and it works fantastically well on me, with the fuschia undertones really brightening my face and picking up what little pink I do have in my skin. This is a definite staple for Fall and Winter, and even for those sultry summer evenings when pink just isn't enough.