My childhood memories can almost be classified by color palette.
Especially around the holidays, I start to conjure memories—the deep burgundy of the mulled wine my dad loves, the navy blue and forest green of my mom’s favorite pajamas that have made many Christmas morning appearances, the red-white-and-green of my grandmother’s cookie and peppermint bark combinations, and oddly enough, mauve, for the winter lip color my sisters and I have sworn by for the past four years.
I have three sisters and many of the beauty decisions that we make are made together. From our favorite tinted moisturizer (NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer) to our favorite bronzer (Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer), we take word-of-mouth beauty recommendations to each other seriously.
It was after I bought myself the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Pepper that I thought we might have another Cain Girl staple on our hands. And yes, we have been identified as a unit, The Cain Girls, for as long as I can remember.
Shortly after my introduction to this shade, I bought the holiday kits from Bite and distributed them to each of my sisters on Christmas. Each contained a pint-sized version of Pepper. As I suspected, this particular color was a runaway hit.
Classified as “dusty rose” on Sephora’s website, I will forever argue that this lipstick is more “rose mauve.” Consistently, we found ourselves trading our mainstay oxbloods and berries for this subtler option. It was the year that my unexpected love affair with mauve lipsticks began.
Since then, I’ve tried many mauves from many brands. NARS Sex Machine is great for everyday wear, BITE Beauty Chai and Thistle hit the unique brown-mauve and taupe-mauve ends of the spectrum, and ILIA Beauty has a few not-quite-but-very-very-close to mauve options for the natural beauty lover.
A true sleeper in my opinion, mauve has transformed for me from something that brings up recollections of potpourri bowls and chenille toilet seat covers at my elderly relative’s house to a winter lip color staple. It’s subtle while still being detectable and it’s universally flattering. Mauve lipstick also has other benefits that are less obvious.
Have you ever been to a family gathering where one or more of your makeup choices is deemed “interesting” or “different?” There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking for a lip color that won’t become a conversation piece for your grandparents, then try mauve.
Mauve lipstick can also help you find your drink at a holiday party. It’s hard to differentiate your wine glass from others when you’re all wearing the same deep cherry color. Most importantly, you can also kiss your S.O. on the cheek with reckless abandon when wearing mauve lips. They will hardly be able to detect the transferred color.
Certainly don’t take it from me, though. Explore the options for yourself and allow mauve to wedge its way into your own holiday memory color palette.