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August 1 2014

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J.Crew X Poppy King

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Avid readers of the J.Crew catalog have likely noticed a certain constant of late, aside from its reliable selection of chinos and an increasingly impressive collection of accessories. That’d be a specific shade of orangey-red lipstick, frequently donned by models like Mona Johannesson and Jacquelyn Jablonski. “There has been this cult following with the color,” makeup maven Poppy King says of the fiery hue—which is precisely why J.Crew decided to collaborate with King to turn the custom pigment “concocted” on set into a marketable, in-house lip color. “They wanted to do it with someone who really knows their stuff,” King says, tooting her own horn a bit for good reason. A veteran of the beauty industry, King has become a resource for all things pout-enhancing since launching her mouth-centric product range, Lipstick Queen, in 2006. But experience aside, this particular shade of papaya stumped her. “It was one of the most labor-intensive shades I’ve ever done,” she admits. “Initially I did it as a red base and put orange in it. But it just wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it. So I flipped it, doing an orange and putting a little red into it.” The result is a highly wearable version of the catalog mainstay that’s slightly sheer—”I wanted the natural lip color to show through underneath so it’s not garish,” King says—with a touch of shimmer to provide dimension. “It’s like a really chic tinted lip balm and it suits every single person, like a mood ring!” She’s not kidding. The color is so universally flattering, it sold out almost instantly when it was quietly released on J.Crew’s Web site last week. But a new shipment is a-coming—as are other collaborative efforts from King. September will see the debut of her four-color lipstick range for Kate Spade, and “The Magic of Lipsticks” collection inspired by Bakelite jewelry that she created for Boots No. 7 hits Target stores in November. “I’m kind of having a little bit of a moment,” King jokes justifiably. It’s about time, if you ask us.

Photo: Courtesy of J. Crew

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