Much unlike many a magazine editor who recommends you buy all sorts of crap that they most likely got for free, your Jezebel staff doesn't get jack shit (other than books, unsolicited). And that's how it should be. But on our own time, in our personal lives, we still buy stuff. So this is Worth It, our recommendation of random things that we've actually spent our own money on. These are the things we buy regularly or really like, things we'd actually tell our friends about. And now we're telling you.

Bright lipstick is one of those things that everybody loves yet hardly anyone thinks they can pull off. When faced with the option to wear it, it can feel like loud colors should be reserved for the Nicki Minajs, Katy Perrys and RuPauls of this world — not us average plebs with our chapped lips and haggard peasant faces. If that wasn't enough to intimidate us, the additional complications of a less than natural lip color certainly will. Do it right and maybe you'll look like Debbie Harry. Do it wrong and it will look like you've spent the past half hour making out with a circus clown (get down with your freaky-ass self).

The fact is that all of us can pull it off — it's just that cosmetic companies don't make it easy. So many lip colors will dry out your lips, wear off too quickly or smear all over the place, making it entirely not worth the effort. Then there's this whole business of orange undertones and blue undertones, something that I won't begin to explain because, frankly, I don't understand it.

And so I have been on the hunt for a bright lipstick for a long time. I've gone to Sephora. I've asked sales associates for help. I've tried and I have failed. Until now.

This past weekend, I had a good friend visiting me from San Francisco. Because I am the worst, staying with me comes at a cost, and that cost is that I get to go through your luggage (with your knowledge) and try on anything I want. This is a terrible friend policy, I know, but I apologize for nothing because this is how I discovered NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, a beautiful true red that doesn't leave me looking like the Master from Buffy. It's matte (obviously), it doesn't dry out your lips, it stays in place and it's BUH-RIGHT. Also, I am a redhead, so finding a red lipstick (in this case, it's more like a crayon) that doesn't make me look totally bonkers is a huge accomplishment. And, hey, if I want to tone it down, I can always blot a few times, then cut it with a little bit of Vaseline.


Because NARS is a higher-end cosmetic company, the Velvet Matte Lip Color runs a little steep at about $24. Still, can you really put a price on va-va-voom?

Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, $24 at Sephora.

Worth It only features things we paid for ourselves and actually like. Don't send us stuff.