Can’t stop, won’t stop. Though it’s only been a few weeks since her epic On the Run II tour with husband Jay-Z, Beyoncé has shown no signs of slowing down, even for a moment. In the weeks since, the superstar has found time to sing at the annual City of Hope gala in Los Angeles, as well as blessing the Hive with some requisite stunts for the ‘gram.
On Monday night, the self-proclaimed (and world acclaimed) diva debuted a bit of subversive chic, pairing a checked pantsuit by Prabal Gurung and plaid Self-Portrait overcoat with fishnet heels by Alexander Wang and a striped bag by DVF. But the ultimate accessory to this look? A matte gray lip. Honey, it was a lewk.
Of course, Beyoncé stans everywhere went wild over the shade, clamoring to find out what it was, and where they could find it (since, as usual, the Queen presented the look without comment.)
Now, let’s keep it real. This is neither a look Beyoncé originated, nor one everyone can pull off. It’s kind of the difference between “grey” or “gray”— do what feels good to you (on that note, I’ll be spelling it both ways in this post). But if you’re going to attempt it, we’re here to provide an assist in finding your perfect shade and finish.
Like foundation, conventional logic states that finding the perfect lipstick is all about working with your undertone—which is generally true when it comes to reds. However, with duller neutrals like gray, taupe and beige, the contrast in tones is actually what can make the shade pop (and keep you from looking like you’ve been embalmed—or worse).
For instance, Bey is quite clearly a golden-hued girl, but her chosen lip is a cooler tone, making the color a stronger statement. As for the exact color she’s rocking for the ‘gram? We don’t know for sure, but the closest approximation we’ve seen is “Chill Zone” liquid lipstick by Smashbox ($24), a deep, cool gray with a matte finish that promises to stay put for up to eight hours. The shade is also available in a metallic matte finish called “Punked Rock” ($24), and also in a conventional lipstick option called “Punked” ($21).
A perfunctory search of “grey lipstick” on Sephora brings up at least a dozen other contenders, including Anastasia Beauty’s Matte Lipstick ($18) in “Smoke,” and the warmer “Griffin.” But if $18 feels too much to drop on anything but a signature shade, ColourPop’s “Chalk and Roll” ($6.50) is a cool gray bordering on charcoal, similar to Bey’s.
Looking for low-cost, black-owned options? Consider Coloured Raine’s “Of Stone” (currently on sale for $8.50), which has a slightly blue undertone. For a lighter, more pastel take, try Ka’Oir cosmetics Kashmir Matte Lipstick in “Storm” ($17.99), a flat, matte shade that promises a full 48-hours of wear.
But don’t rule out the drugstore. NYX carries several shades of gray in a variety of finishes, including their Suede Matte ($8 each), classic Matte (currently on sale for $4.14), Macaron Lippies ($6.50) and metallic Wicked Lippies ($6.50). Maybelline is also in on the act; their Color Sensational Vivid Matte in “Sinful Stone” ($7.99) is a strong imitator of Beyoncé’s hue. For a warmer take, try their Superstay Matte Ink “Huntress” shade ($9.49). Then there’s Wet n Wild, whose MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick comes in a high-pigmented grey called “Sleepy Hallow” ($4.99), which promises not to budge.
Which brings us back to the metallics: As I mentioned, Bey’s not the first to rock a gray lip; in fact, fellow superstar (and makeup mogul) Rihanna has been showcasing the look lately, as well. At her annual Diamond Ball and a recent promotional stop in Sydney, Rih wore her new Fenty Beauty shade “Fog Snog” ($36 as part of a three-shade set). If like me, you’re a bit of a punk about the idea of wearing a flat, gray lip, adding a little shimmer is an ideal way to ease into the trend ... with a sparkle for the holiday season.
So, is it a do, or a don’t? We already know what Beyoncé would do, and we’ve provided you with plenty of options to try for yourself. At the very least, you can experiment with it on the 31st, and call it your costume.