Instagram/Anne T. Donahue

What A Time To Be A Lipstick

A review of Tom Ford’s Drake-inspired lip color.

I want to be above buying a lipstick because it’s named after Drake. I want to walk by the Tom Ford counter with dignity instead of saying to my friend, “Oh, hold on, there’s this Drake lipstick I want to get,” before stage-yelling “I want to buy this!” at the salesperson (as if Drake himself is about to sneak up behind me and buy them all before I can). I would like to be the person whose loyalty to Leonardo (DiCaprio, another Tom Ford lipstick namesake) trumps my loyalty to October’s very own Aubrey Graham.

But I am not, and here we are. And I regret nothing.

Admittedly, excitement over finding this shade is at least a little bit warranted. As part of Tom Ford’s Lips & Boys collection (which launched in 2014), Drake was added to the mix late last year; upon being released in December, the shade sold out on Net-A-Porter in a matter of minutes, then sold out in New York and Chicago Tom Ford boutiques, and then started going for up to $118 on eBay. In response, Drake blamed his mom for the freakish level of sales, and the rest of us laughed and suppressed tears and carried on with our lives as though lipstick named after a rapper didn’t matter and we were fine buying a similar color from MAC. (Though no shade to MAC; I bought Ariana Grande’s “Viva Glam” this weekend, too, and it’s spectacular.)

Billed as a “metallic violet,” Drake’s shade IRL is a little lighter than the official Tom Ford campaign would have us believe. It’s shimmery without being sparkly, but instead of a vampiric-like tone, it’s softer, much more romantic. And this makes sense: Drake isn’t an artist to whom you’d pin a dark, '90s goth aesthetic. Instead, Tom Ford’s tribute creates an accessible type of drama. It’s obvious you’re wearing a metallic purple shade, but it’s not loud enough for anyone to remark on your lip color. That’s why the tone walks the same fine line as Aubrey himself does: It's trendy, but hardly disposable. Risky and easy to consume (although not physically -- do not eat this lipstick, what’s wrong with you?). Ultimately, it’s the cosmetic equivalent of one of Drake’s sweaters: It wears easy, looks good on everybody, and can be worn while dancing iconically.

Which is exactly why I bought it. Not because I consume pop culture tie-ins like the teen I never stopped being; not because I want to brag about buying Drake’s lipstick on Instagram like a caricature of myself. I bought it because I’m a grown-ass woman who can handle a so-called “metallic violet” lipstick and believes she deserves to treat herself at the Tom Ford counter. And also so the first thing I can say to Drake should we meet is “I bought your lipstick!,” because everybody knows that’s how true friendships are forged.