Lip Looks

Defining the Indefinable | The Lipstick Bandits Tackle Coral


On the list of life’s most unanswerable questions, “what is coral?” falls somewhere between “what is art?” and “wots taters, precious?!”

It seems simple enough, a combination of orange and pink resulting in a hue brighter than peach. But when I began sorting through my collection of coral lipsticks, I discovered the only thing they had in common was the word ‘coral’ in the shade name. I think I may have to agree with some of my fellow Bandits (hi, Larie) in asserting that coral is not a real color. It’s just a figment of your imagination!

Knowing the shade I chose would be both coral and yet not coral, I decided to be wildly spontaneous and mix my own shade. I pulled out the most obnoxiously bright pink and orange lipsticks I could find and set about creating a very candid ‘what’s in my wristlet’ setup. The featured iPhone 2, which served a prolonged, glitchy stint in my hands (and my mother’s before that) has now been retired in favor of a smartphone with actual smartphone capabilities. Speaking of which, you can now find me on Instagram under @makeupmorsels.


You may recognize these lipsticks from prior features on the blog, since I was hardly about to bring my entire makeup collection to college, and thus had a limited number of products to pull from. The pink, Milani Rose Hip, has been feature on a prior Lipstick Bandits feature, while the orange, Mandarina, has cropped up here and there.


the amoeba-shaped splotch on the right is what happens when I mix the teensiest bit of both together

To properly create a custom shade, you mix a bit of both together on the back of your hand, and then apply with a lip brush. Or, if you’d like more than one application, slice off a little of each bullet, melt and swirl together in a spoon, then pour the mixture somewhere to cool and harden.

Of course, none of the above sounds like me, does it? Here’s the MM way to mix your custom lipstick: haphazardly smear alternating stripes of each color on, then take your ring finger and rub it all over your lips, adding more pink or orange until you get your desired shade. Hey, it works.


ceci n’est pas coral. shhh


And a few final outtakes from my shoot:




Let’s discuss! Is coral a real color? Do you ever mix your own lip shades? What’s your favorite coral lip product?

P.S. Make sure to check out my fellow Bandits’ picks below! I can’t wait to see their takes on coral:

41 thoughts on “Defining the Indefinable | The Lipstick Bandits Tackle Coral

  1. Oh wow MM, it definitely DOES work! Now I need to mix the orange lippies in my stash with pink and see what happens! PS: I HEART that ring!!!

  2. LOLOLOL!!! ‘Wot’s taters, precious?’ Hahahaha. Awesome.

    I agree coral is a shifty devil, and I think it exists somewhere but probably not in a definable way – least not for our fickle purposes! I was super-impressed at your classy mixing technique and then relieved to find that you mix shades as I do – as haphazardly as possible to stimulate the creative process 😛 What you came up with is what I imagine is coral so I think you have been successful – but what the heck do I know?

    • Because seriously, WOT IS TATERS. I mean Sam’s answer doesn’t quite do it for me. PO-TA-TOES? Umm, could you be a little more clear? 😛

      hahaha one day I just might try those classy mixing techniques, but it is definitely not today.

  3. Beautiful pictures and a beautiful mix of colour! Let’s not get into the coral thing, but I’m learning. Love this challenge because I’m finally getting the hang of coral myself 🙂

  4. Hahaha, I like your strategy for color mixing––it’s what I do, too! I’m far too lazy to bother pre-mixing. I really like the end shade! It’s very coralriffic 🙂

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