Forget it, Jessica; It's Chinatown
China Girl: A review of Chinatown Glossy Pencils from Lipstick Queen
By Jessica M
Earlier this summer, Lipstick Queen released its “Chinatown” collection of glosses in pencil form. In creating these pencils, Poppy King (the Queen herself) had two main inspirations. One was New York’s Chinatown, and all the unexpected items sold by its gift shops and sidewalk vendors. Another was the movie “Chinatown,” directed by Roman Polanski. The five shades are named for different elements of film noir: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Genre, and Chase.
These pencils are thick but sleek; they look like black lacquer, and they’re labeled “LIPSTICK QUEEN” in English and Chinese. Each shade has a different illustration on its box, and a special sharpener is included. I actually didn’t rush right out to sample the Chinatown glosses, because I’ve had bad experiences with other lip crayons that looked, and felt, harsh on my mouth. However, the last time I visited Henri Bendel, a nice makeup artist named Andrew persuaded me to give them a try. I sat down in the makeup chair and closed my eyes for a second when he was about to apply one of the pencils. I had to open them again because I was surprised: the Chinatown pencils have a completely smooth application, with no drag, no waxiness, and no splintery scraping.
I liked several of the colors, which look very bright in the pencil but apply as more wearable fruit-punch shades. I ended up choosing Chase, described as a “sheer lush watermelon” on the Lipstick Queen website. I’m pale, and I tend to wear a lot of black (even in summer), but this shade gives my face a quick, flattering “lift.” For daytime wear and a sheer, fresh look, I’ve been dabbing Chase onto my mouth over lip balm and spreading it around with a fingertip. For more intense color in the evenings, I apply it directly and more firmly. Either way, it looks dewy but not shiny-wet. And the pencil is modern, a bit glamorous, and definitely fun to use.
Polanski’s movie closes with violence and disillusionment, and with the famous line, “Forget it, Jake; it’s Chinatown.” Chinatown Glossy Pencils, on the other hand, are another story, and one with a much happier ending.
Lipstick Queen’s Chinatown Glossy Pencil sells for $20. To purchase, or for more information, go to http://www.lipstickqueen.com.
Lipstick photos by Jessica M.
Film still of Faye Dunaway in Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown,” 1974.