"Lipstick is primitive, and symbolic of an almost ancient and evocative language," began Alessandro Michele in a press email regarding Gucci's new Rouge à Lèvres Mat Lipstick. "Something that sends a precise message even when it’s no longer on. The beauty of putting it on is also taking it off." This intriguing thought is reflected in the campaign for Gucci's latest beauty installment, which arrived online at the beginning of December (and will show up in-store at Sephora on Feb. 21, according to the retailer's website); a model wearing "25 Goldie Red" — the Gucci red — is seen holding a teacup emblazoned with a leftover lipstick print.
At other times throughout the campaign, the new $42 matte lipstick is exclusively represented in this form: A memory left on a mug, written in bright red or berry pink. "Lipstick marks on the teacup are a nod to beauty’s outdated standards, a world where lips have to remain perfectly made up, and women are expected to not transfer their lippie while they eat or greet," explained the house in an Instagram post on @GucciBeauty.
Gucci takes its play with opposite imagery right into the color story, as well. The highly pigmented Rouge à Lèvres Mat Lipstick debuted with 28 matte shades, mostly a mix of neutrals, pinks, and reds that beauty fans can (and will) easily integrate into their everyday makeup routines. But there is one standout: The cool-toned "704 Valentine Verdante", described as an "imperial green" — although Gucci aficionados will recognize it as the crimson-complementing green that regularly walks down the house's runway.
The vintage-inspired components are noteworthy, too, continuing a deliberate theme established by the inaugural Gucci lipstick collection; for this launch, each shade is wrapped up in a slim gold-toned tube decorated with thin grooves. “When lipstick tubes were invented they became technologically interesting objects and a great expression of design so I started from this idea,” Michele explained in the same email.
To explore all 28 matte shades for yourself, visit Gucci's website — or pick up a tube from other retailers like Sephora, Net-a-Porter, or Saks Fifth Avenue. Below, the five Gucci Rouge à Lèvres Mat Lipstick shades to check out first.