Australian born, NYC transplanted Poppy King (aka, The Lipstick Queen) has been addicted to lipstick since the dawn of her time. Unable to find the 40’s inspired pigments she craved, she launched her own line called ‘Poppy’ at the age of 20 out of pure necessity.
Poppy was approached in 2002 to move to New York and join Estee Lauder. Last year she re-launched her own line under the name Lipstick Queen.
Her lipsticks come in one of two ways. Sinner shades are all pigment with no shimmer or frosting. “It is positively naughty to get lipstick this opaque, rich and creamy with a matte yet silky finish.” Saint shades are sheer and moist with just a hint of beautiful color but enough depth to make an impact whether it be a pink nude or a deep blackberry.
Lipstick Queen lipsticks launched at Barneys New York last month and will be launching soon at Barneys in Chicago. As a woman who won’t get the mail without lipstick, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to interview Poppy. Immediately it felt like we were old friends. Not only do we share the need to coat our lips, we adore, wait, are obsessed with handbags.
SCS: If your name was Jane Smith do you think you would be a lipstick diva? You expect Poppy to have great red lips, but Jane might wear “nude.”
PK: I actually hated the name Poppy when I was little and insisted everyone call me Debbie. I wanted to fit in. However, the name definitely affected my psyche. I eventually realized my name is a statement and just as wearing lipstick is a glamorous statement about being a woman. Mind you, even now in the 21st century it can still suck being a woman. Yet, there is a lot to celebrate…lipstick is a celebration of your own gender.
I adore being female and all the accoutrement…and commitment. I love handbags and lipstick because they are very girlie, whereas I’m not into shoes. Something about them is for the pleasure for men.
SCS: So I have sampled both of your lipstick types. Sinner which is more opaque and Saint which is more sheer. Are you a sinner or a saint?
PK: I tend towards sinner. I’m a red sinner. Now and again I’ll mix it up with a saint. I love my Saint Rose color because it has a hint of antique doll pink.
SCS: I love red lipstick but I admit I am afraid to wear it other than at night. What’s the biggest mistake women make when sporting red lips?
PK: Easy. Wearing too much eye makeup. Wear as little eye makeup as you possibly can with red. It is a very old fashioned look, but still looks so stylish today. Red lips with a smoky eye and you are heading into drag territory.
SCS: Did you wear a lot of makeup when you were young?
PK: By the age of 14 or 15 I was going to night clubs. I’d pile on as much eye makeup as I could thinking it would make me appear older when actually I looked like Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver. I stopped wearing masses of makeup at 18.
SCS: How can one tell if a lipstick shade is right for them?
PK: If you look in the mirror and the lipstick makes everything come alive, then it works. If you put on a color and it drains the life force out of you, it doesn’t.
SCS: In an age where lips go up and down at the drop of a needle, do you prefer them pumped or natural?
PK: Without a doubt natural. Surgically enhanced goes into that territory of sexy scary. Glamour is about how you carry yourself and what you do with your features.
SCS: What are your thoughts on lip liner?
PK: I’m not a fan of liner unless it’s matched exactly. Or go with a slightly lighter lip liner and make sure your lipstick covers it.
SCS: Who’s got the best lips in Hollywood (besides Angelina Jolie)?
PK: Chloe Sevigny in red lipstick…I love her look and style.
SCS: Who’s the best person you’ve kissed while wearing your lipstick?
PK: I didn’t kiss him, but I was wearing my red lipstick when I met Mick Jagger.
SCS: What’s the best thing you’ve ever written on a napkin?
PK: My name signed in my lipstick.
Lipstick Queen will launch the week of January 22, 2007 at Barneys in Chicago. Poppy will be in Chicago in person to launch her line and of course, Second City Style will keep you posted on the details as they are made available.
If you can’t wait to try Lipstick Queen visit Barneys Online to order.