Think about how many different lipsticks are tucked into makeup bags, rolling around the bottom of purses, and waiting to be rediscovered in random kitchen drawers (just us?) around the world. Yet, somehow, the same shade of red — not just any red, but a very specific brick red—is currently a favorite in 19 countries.
Last year, people on the planet Earth bought 2.4 million bullets of MAC Chili, an intense red with warm orange undertones. (That’s nearly five lipsticks sold every minute.) According to MAC, it’s a top seller in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam… still with us? The U.S., Canada, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Taiwan (almost there!), Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Ghana.
“It’s brought the ‘brick-color boom’ to Korean beauty,” says Jae-Hyun Park from KakaoTalk Gift of Kakao Corp, a leading retailer in Korea. The reason a brick red, of all things, is so globally popular? “The mix of colors makes it much less intimidating than a traditional blue-red lipstick,” says makeup artist Allan Avendaño. “Its brown-orange [undertones] give it the ability to be worn day or night.”
Here, four Allure editors put the fiery lipstick to the test.