Reviewed: Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick

Amanda Montell

Tatcha Kyoto Red Silk Lipstick ($75)

If I had to choose one single product to represent makeup as a whole, without a doubt, it'd be red lipstick. There's no look more timeless. Ancient Egyptians wore red lipstick; medieval queens wore it; off-duty models in 2016 wear it. Growing up, my mother didn't wear much makeup, but on those rare occasions when she got all dressed up, there was always a tube of cherry-coloured Revlon involved. To this day, a crimson pout is the one look I associate with effortless glamour.

Needless to say, I hoard the stuff. When a brand comes out with a new red lip colour, I have an almost visceral reaction of gimme, gimme, gimme. So when editor-favourite skincare brand Tatcha launched its Kyoto red lipstick last year, I was at attention.

The product was inspired by Japanese geishas' iconic vermillion lip, remastered for the 21st-century woman. I admit, when I heard the lipstick was $75 a tube, I scoffed. What about this red lipstick, out of the hundreds already in existence, could warrant the cost of a bottle of Veuve Clicquot?

Let me cut to the chase: I would buy this lipstick if it cost twice as much. I'm not exaggerating. Open the glossy black tube, which weighs heavy in your hand, like an elegant little weapon, and you'll be met with a gemoetric jewel. The angular sculpture of the lipstick itself is a work of art. But the formula is even better. First, it applies like air. I could spend a whole day in this stuff (without the need to reapply, might I add), and I'd never even feel it on my lips. And the finish—oh, the finish! It's matte yet radiant. In fact, it's so pigmented that when I wear this lipstick, I feel like my lips are in living colour and the rest of my face is in black and white. 

Somehow, I feel as though every red lipstick in history has all led up to this. I know I'm gushing, spilling my guts for this little red object. But what can I say? I'm in love.

Want more product reviews? Don't miss our take on MatchCo's Custom Blended Foundation!

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