07/06/2012 08:21 am ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Lipstick Trends: Why I Am Afraid Of Ditching My Natural Shade

Confession: I am afraid of wearing lipstick. Because of this, I always let my lips go bare, even when wearing makeup on the rest of my face.

A few weeks ago, my fears were put to the test when I attended a dinner celebrating the re-release of Ruffian x MAC bright red lipstick. At the coaxing of the editors sitting near by, I decided to try on the shade I had heard so much about. While my dining companions said I looked great, I was still skeptical about the color (and mirror-less). After a few glasses of wine, I forgot all about my Ruffian Red lips and joined some other friends for a drink.

"You look great!" they all exclaimed. "What's different?"

I immediately became self-conscious again, but it was hard to dismiss these compliments. I started to think about why I feel so opposed to wearing lipstick. Is it because it can look messy? That I hate how lipstick looks on a coffee cup? That it can get on my teeth? That it makes me feel like my mother? Or grandmother? Is red lipstick too much of a feminine cliché?

While all of the above anxieties may be true, I think my real fears about wearing lipstick have more to do with what it says about who I am as a person. Although I wear makeup in some form every day and have enough product in my bathroom to open a medium-sized boutique, I like to think of myself as a more low-maintenance type of girl. My daily 5-minute face includes foundation, blush, eyeliner and mascara... and hopefully reads as minimal. When I look in the mirror when I wear lipstick, I somehow look much more "done," more "polished." And this makes me wonder: Does wearing lipstick scream, "I AM WEARING MAKEUP!"? Do I look like I am vying for attention?

I decided to experiment with lipstick again this week. Was liking my red-colored reflection just a wine-induced fantasy or did it mean I could actually wear lipstick and feel comfortable? Take a peek in the gallery below to see the five shades I tried: nude, orange, pink, purple, and, of course, red. While I might not be ready to give up my clear lip balm just yet, you may see me around sporting one of these shades this summer:

Want more? Head over to for ten bold lip looks to try now, and be sure to check out Stylelist on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Lipstick Fears