“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.” -Gwyneth Paltrow

Lovely Lipstick Review: Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick #26, Nectarine

So, it seems that orange and coral are THE colors this Spring. At first, I wasn't overly thrilled about it, not being much of a fan of sunny colors. I also find that with oranges, it's brutally easy to veer unexpectedly into "old lady" land. And frankly, given the amount of money I've invested in looking young, that doesn't appeal to me, even a little bit.

Up until a few weeks ago, I was pretty adamantly anti-orange. I have cool/neutral skin, so I never thought it would work for me. Then a funny thing happened. I fell for all the marketing out there, what with Sephora's "Color of the Year" campaign featuring brilliant oranges for lips, cheeks and eyes and all the orange clothing being featured everywhere I look. So I decided to give orange a fair shot.

What I found was shocking...I can actually pull off this look! Of course, I don't do an entirely orange face all at once...I do one feature, and tone down the rest. But I have found, much to my surprise, that when used with discretion orange can, indeed, make a statement that doesn't scream "retirement home in Miami."

One of my favorite oranges is my new Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in #26, Nectarine. I figured I'd start my orange series (yes, there will be a series of various products and hues) with this one since it's more subdued than the other lip and cheek colors I've chosen for this season.

Pure Color Long-Lasting Lipstick is a long-wear, highly pigmented lipstick with a wide array of shades. The first, and very first, thing you need to know about the Long-Lasting Lipsticks is that you do not want to purchase them off the Estee Lauder website. I don't think I've ever seen such inaccurate swatches in my life. For instance, the swatch for Nectarine, although described as "medium orange red" actually shows a medium rosy mauve. I hovered over the swatch several times just to see if this was for real and not a mistake, and nope...it kept coming up the same color. So please, please, please visit your local EL counter before purchasing these colors!

The second thing to know is that the packaging, to me, is not necessarily the most gorgeous or sophisticated I've ever seen, but it does make a lot of sense and will make your life easier. How, you ask? Here's how:
It's a relatively nondescript gold case. However, the saving grace is the clear panel at the bottom of the tube that clearly shows the color inside. For someone like me who has 800 lipsticks, this is HUGE. It saves a ton of time in the morning when I'm pawing through my lipstick drawer trying to find a lipstick if I can actually see the color right there in the tube. Not to mention how much easier it makes things when I'm digging in my purse for said lipstick, since I always have at least 5 colors floating around in there.

So anyhow, the color itself is aptly named Nectarine. It's a slightly subdued but still brilliant orange with a soft shimmer. It's not nearly as bright as a lot of the oranges out there, but I certainly wouldn't call it coral or anything that sounds remotely neutral--it is, without a doubt, orange. And a beautiful one at that.
In this shot you can see the soft shimmer, which is slightly more apparent on the lips but still fairly subtle. 

On the lips, Nectarine tones down a bit. It can be worn semi-sheer or opaque, with the color becoming more intense with each additional coat of lipstick. 

Bottom Line: I love this lipstick color. The formula is a good one, and does last a good while. I did experience a little feathering, but I was testing it without a liner, so that's forgivable. Because the color is a bit more subdued than an all-out orange would be, it works well with both bright oranges and subdued orangey-corals, making it quite versatile. And it never strays into octogenarian territory. That's a win.


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