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Seek Adventure with the New Aloha and Jungle Queen Shades from Lipstick Queen

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It’s been quite a few years since I first fell in love with Lipstick Queen after trying one of the red lipsticks in founder Poppy King’s “Sinner” range of lipsticks, which is comprised of matte, opaque shades with pigment concentrations of 90 percent. At the time, lip gloss was dominating the beauty scene and, as someone who preferred the old-school glamour of rich lipstick formulations, I felt slightly adrift yearning for a velvety but pigment-packed lipstick. Compounding my frustration, I also longed for a sophisticated matte finish and yet found that most matte formulas at that time were incredibly drying on lips.  Lipstick Queen’s Sinner range, then, was a shining beacon of hope for a matte lipstick lover like myself.

Over the years, Lipstick Queen’s fan base expanded dramatically — a much-deserved development — and the ever-enterprising King experimented with different colors, formulas, opacity levels, and finishes. Since many women prefer laid-back, barely-there makeup looks in the summer months, Poppy King released two lovely new lipstick shades, each in a different range.

First, she added a fourth shade to her Endless Summer collection which, as its name implies, was inspired by surf culture. All of the lipsticks in the collection are completely sheer, leaving behind just a veil of punchy color, and are formulated with Vitamin E, which not only moisturizes lips but also protects them from UV rays. The new lipstick shade added is Aloha ($22 at LipstickQueen.com and SpaceNK.com), which is described as a “bright, sheer, fire red.” Because of its sheerness, it actually reminds me of a glass of cherry lemonade or even one of Luigi’s cherry-flavored Italian ices, and I’d argue that there’s more blue undertones to this shade that one might assume given the “fire red” description. And yet, there is an undeniable warmth to the color that makes it feel appropriate for the Endless Summer collection. But perhaps what’s most remarkable about this lipstick, beyond its hue, is that it boasts an SPF 15 factor — the result of a combination of chemocal sunscreens like Homosalate, Ethylehexyl Methoxycinnamate, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, and Octocrylene — which is essential when spending a lot of time in the sun.

Next, for women who prefer a lipstick that’s slightly more saturated with pigment, there’s the new Lipstick Queen Jungle Queen lipstick ($22 at Space NK stores nationwide and SpaceNK.com), a semi-sheer coral red with orange undertones. According to Poppy King, she was inspired by the innate glamour of animal prints — particularly leopard spots — and bold red lipstick when creating the Jungle Queen shade. It’s a pairing that has deep roots in fashion history. Back in 1954, screen star Gene Tierney was photographed wearing a leopard print one-piece swimsuit while posing alongside a real-life leopard, her lips a gorgeous red shade. The following year, Marilyn Monroe was photographed in a leopard print dress and bold red lips, practically crawling through a grassy field like the predator after which her frock was inspired. The leopard print and red lip combination, then, has been all the rage for over 50 years and, to this day, you can spot celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Miranda Kerr, and Nicole Richie in looks that marry both style elements.

What makes this particular red lipstick so perfect for pairing with leopard prints? Well, King decided to make the shade more relaxed than the traditional fully opaque poppy reds and candy apple reds by giving it a semi-sheer finish and  a slightly luminous sheen that would play well against the golden tones in leopard skins. The coral red hue, meanwhile, is warmer and sunnier, making it feel a bit more playful and cheeky.

Below, check out swatches of the Jungle Queen and Aloha lipstick hues:

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As you can see, the Jungle Queen shade is semi-sheer, whereas Aloha is fully sheer and, again, Jungle Queen is more fiery and adventurous — perfect for all you wildcats!

Below, check out a couple of photos in which I’m wearing the Jungle Queen lipstick. I don’t have a stitch of makeup beyond the lipstick in these shots, but you can imagine how nice it would look if my face were done up!

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I definitely recommend the Jungle Queen lipstick — not just to accompany or a leopard print ensemble, but to give your complexion a bit more warmth. As for the Aloha shade, I’m not too queen on sheer lipsticks but, if you’re going to the beach or spending a lot of time being active outdoors, it’s a nice way to give your pout a little kick while also protecting it from the sun’s beaming rays.

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