A Brief Analysis Of Lipstick Shapes

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Through experience, time, and the careful, conscientious examination of other people's habits (in an attempt to steer away from analyzing my own), I have learned a few funny, odd, and unimportant things. One of these things is about how people use lipstick.

People who love lipstick—and I mean really love it—wear it down, but not everyone wears down their lipsticks the same way. I've noticed three distinct archetypes among lipstick users, and they are The Flat, The Curve, and The Slope.

The Flat lipstick shape comes from a hard-pressed, quick-and-dirty style of applying lipstick. The inner psychologist in me wants to believe that this lipstick shape is created by a girl on the run with a no-bullshit attitude. This person usually applies lipstick throughout the day—and often. It's probably a nude color or a red that's been saved for years—the classics.

The Curve is that of the rare user. The roller, the color-curious person ends up with a bullet-like shape here. Lipstick is trivial to this girl—she considers it something to try once in a while, occasionally for shock value, sometimes for trend. She usually finds more pleasure in the process of selecting the right color rather than the wearing it all day.

Then we have The Slope. This is the dramatic drop-off only created by a serious lipstick-committed individual with a solid collection of both the best, most-luxe, and drugstore-priced options. She takes care in the application, spends time considering lines, but she doesn't press so hard that she ends up with the aforementioned Flat.

For proof, I've gone around the office and asked our editors to show their the lipsticks. The results are quite pretty, actually, and very real. Nothing looks as good as a lipstick loved. With that in mind—what does your lipstick look like?

—Jen Steele

Illustration by Julie Houts.

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