Unless you’re a modern day Veronica Lake, it’s safe to say you could use a little extra red carpet glamour in your life. (If you are a modern day Veronica Lake, let’s be friends.) Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King believes that nothing helps women feel more beautiful, powerful, and alluring than wearing lipstick. Velvet Rope, debuting in September, is her cosmetic homage to the high drama and sense of occasion of Hollywood’s golden age.
Paying tribute to the strong, sophisticated movie stars of the 1940s, Velvet Rope is designed to be rich and luxurious, yet feel no heavier than lip balm. King describes her ideal juxtaposition as “super lightweight, but also super intense,” which aptly describes the lipstick queen herself! Available in five densely colored shades, from nude to deep red, Velvet Rope’s Deco-inspired golden tubes evoke luxury and decadence, but with a modern twist. The innovative formula incorporates silicone elastomer, suspending the pigment above the lips. The resulting stick is intense yet velvety soft, and glides on as smooth as silk, providing high-impact coverage with a single application. I was able to slip past the Velvet Rope last week, when Lipstick Queen previewed the new collection at the Norwood, a private club hidden away in an 1840s townhouse. I made a beeline for the testers, and I was amazed at how soft and silky each shade felt going on. Lipstick can feel heavy or waxy; Velvet Rope is smooth and feather-light.
The all-star cast, L to R: Entourage (wine), Brat Pack (red), Black Tie (deep red), Private Party (hot pink). (Star System, the nude shade, is still in production.) The lipstick case, inspired by King’s love of retro compacts, is weighty and features a magnetic closure, so it feels special and significant before you even apply a single swipe.Last but not least, this is a special note for anyone who isn’t a fan of lipstick. (Dedicated lipstick fans have already stopped reading and are making a mental wishlist.) Think of everything you know and don’t like about most lipstick: the heavy feel, the waxy taste, the routine of lip pencils and brushes and blotting. Now take those notions and mentally chuck them out the window. If a high-impact look and silky-soft feel aren’t enough to convince you, Lipstick Queen wants to seduce a third sense: smell. Velvet Rope is infused with a high-quality mint oil, which is subtle and refreshing. This unexpected, invigorating touch is a nod to the modern woman’s busy lifestyle and the many things we need to accomplish while we’re wearing lipstick.
Disclaimer: We got a sample at the event!