How often do you see images in magazines or online of beautiful women wearing shades of lipstick that you swoon over, only to find out trying to wear it IRL ends up being a total bust?! This year’s Pantone Colors, a light Rose Quartz and pale Serenity blue, had us curious about how exactly you’d actually wear them when it comes to beauty. Then, Pantone answered with its 2016 Sephora collaboration, a makeup line that included a gorgeous pastel eyeshadow palette (“lovely!,” we thought) a collection of tinted lip glosses (we’re already sold on the watercolor lip look) and two pastel lipsticks. Yes, eyebrows were raised at the latter. Of course, we had to try ’em.


I decided to purchase the Sephora + Pantone Universe Layer Lipstick in Rose Quartz ($18) because it appeared to be the more wearable hue, along with two other variations of pastel lipstick, and challenged two gals here in our office with completely different skin tones — Brenda, our Community Marketing Associate with a fair skin tone, and Angela, our Community Editor with an olive skin tone — to give these shades a go and report back. The challenge was to take home each lipstick and really try to make them work with their wardrobe, jibe with their personality and fit within their daily makeup routine. Both veteran red lipstick wearers, these two gals were perfect to call in for a perspective that could cover slightly different ends of the spectrum. Here’s how it went.

Pastel Lipstick 1: Maybelline in Lilac Flush


I came across Maybelline Color Sensational Rebel Bloom Barely Bloomed in Lilac Flush ($8) at a local Ulta store and was blown away by how pretty the pigment is. The light orchid hue has a slight satin finish that leaves your lips looking more hydrated, which I felt was a good (read: safe) place to start on this pastel lipstick challenge.


Brenda: “I’m a solid lover of red lipstick and deep berry shades, so this pale lilac lip color took a little getting used to. But as soon I gave it a chance, I found a new lipstick love. It matched well with my pale skin tone and bright hair, and I had no trouble finding an outfit in my closet that paired well with the color. I would totally buy this color again for spring when it’s all about pastels!”


Angela: “This color made me so happy, I was inspired to wear all of my favorite articles of clothing (chambray shirt + tight black skirt + rhinestone tights + sneaker wedges), which made me even happier.”

“I felt like a more fun and adventurous version of myself! While the color is nowhere near as bright and bold as Nicki Minaj’s lipstick (<3), I felt like I was channeling a tiny bit of her when I was wearing it.”

Pastel Lipstick 2: Make Up For Ever in Satin Bright Orange


The coral pigment in this Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Color Lipstick in Satin Bright Orange ($20) is soft enough to be considered a pastel, and with slightly warm undertones, it’s a more versatile hue — at least in my opinion. Let’s see what the gals think!


Brenda: “Like I’ve said, I’m a dark berry, bold red lipstick kind of girl so it may come as a shock, but I don’t own ANY coral lipsticks. So, this orange-y coral shade was a whole new world for me. I immediately took a liking to the color as soon as I swiped some on, only to look down and realize I would definitely need an outfit change. As much as I love my red plaid button-down, it just does NOT go with a coral lip. It was fun to wear out and about and for some reason, it reminded me of summer and sandy beaches so it put a little pep in my step just because of the memory. Of all three shades I tried, this one was definitely my favorite. I could see myself rocking this shade all throughout spring and summer.”


Angela: “This color was so bright and ORANGE, so I felt like I couldn’t wear any clashing colors with it, hence the giant white sweater. At first I felt super self conscious — It was like nothing I had ever worn and I was convinced it was very out of season. But then I started getting compliments on it and that felt pretty great!”

“While wearing this lipstick, a very cute and friendly stranger walked me from the office to my train stop (10 minutes) because he just wanted to chat. A drinks date turned to tacos. A friendly construction worker escorted me across the street for no reason. I’m not saying this lipstick is magical, but I’m keeping it forever and wearing it at least twice a week, just in case. Needless to say, I now own this color!”

Pastel Lipstick 3: Sephora x Pantone in Rose Quartz


The hue that started it all, Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year Lipstick ($18), appears to be a light pink from the image but when you put it on actually has an extreme paleness to it, almost giving the illusion of a white pigment.


Brenda: “I really tried to rock this color, but everything I tried just seemed to make it look worse. I changed my outfit three different times, played around with different eyeshadows, blushes and bronzers to try to make it look better, but nothing seemed to work. I ended up blotting a lot of it off so it was a really light pigment as I walked out the door. Sad, I know, but I just felt way too self-conscious to fully wear it in public. With my super pale skin, it kinda made me look like I was dead. Definitely not a good look for me. You won’t catch me rocking this shade again anytime soon”


Angela: “The lipstick was so bizarre looking that I felt like I needed to prove to the world that I was a normal person. I played it safe and wore my preppiest sweater. At best, this lipstick looked like I smeared strawberry ice cream all over my lips. At worst… IDK. I never really believed that lip prints were as unique as fingerprints until I wore this lipstick — you could see EVERY line in my lips.”

I, as well as a couple other gals in the office, just had to try this color out as well — it can’t possibly be that bad, right?


or… RIGHT! I think we will leave this hue to high-fashion models and Instagram It girls to pull off. The overall consensus on this hue: NOT WEARABLE IRL!

Well, I have to say that ultimately this pastel lipstick challenge was a huge success! For the most part, wearing pastel lipstick can have surprising results that one would not expect… except for Rose Quartz. It’s pretty and all, but def for the runway, not the real world!

In my perfect world we would try these lip hues on every skin type, so we’d LOVE for you to tag your images of your results wearing similar shades and tell us what you think on Instagram!