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Love Letters to New York: the West Village

As told by Laurel Pantin. In collaboration with Make Up For Ever.

Love Letters to New York: the West Village

New York is nothing if not a city of contrasts. You can start your night drinking $25 cocktails and rubbing shoulders with black tie-types in a pretty dress and your highest heels, and end it with a $2 slice of greasy pizza on the sidewalk at 4 in the morning, and no one would so much as blink an eye—this is all in the same neighborhood, mind you. To navigate it all requires a steely sense of determination—something that comes along much easier when you can power through with a little lipstick.


Let’s rewind for a second, because we realize how that last sentence could easily induce a healthy eye roll, and we’re being nothing if not sincere. So much of beauty (and fashion)’s potential and power comes from the idea that you’re actively making a choice about how you want—demand, even—to be seen by the world. And it’s undeniable that a swipe of bold lipstick makes you feel instantly just that—bold—regardless of whether you’re wearing a ballgown or an old t-shirt and sweatpants. And no one knows that better than a New Yorker.


In this series, we’ll be telling the stories of New Yorkers and their neighborhoods—and for us, that starts with the fashion and beauty choices they make when they experience them. What can we say? We’re suckers for occasion dressing. To start, our Editorial Director Laurel Pantin is giving us her tour of the West Village.


“I’ve lived in New York off and on for the last twelve years, and even though I’ve moved a lot, I’ve spent the majority of that time in the West Village.

Obviously this is me projecting, but it seems like the neighborhood has evolved with me—when I first lived over here, Beatrice Inn was *the place* and I was going out in the Meatpacking District. Now, it’s mostly families over here, and my husband and I have super mellow date nights.


During the day it’s great to go to The Whitney, and we’re close to the galleries in Chelsea—we spend a lot of weekends going around to check them all out. But in the West Village, you don’t have to try so hard—a fun outfit and a swipe of lip color and you’re ready. I love wearing bright lipstick, but for a quieter night out I love a brick red. I’ll blot it a little with my fingers and dab the excess on my cheeks and eyelids. My theory is if it looks good on your lips, it will look good sheered out on the rest of your face. I’m all about one-product beauty. I like a matte color for date night because it doesn’t kiss off as easily, and it looks really sophisticated, but still makes a statement.


When I go out, I prefer places that aren’t fashion-y or scene-y at all, which the West Village is perfect for. Daddy-O is one of my favorite secret spots in the neighborhood. I had a major birthday party here, and it’s one of the places my husband and I have gone to together since we met. They make hand-made meatballs on Sundays that are insane. Somehow the lack of scene makes it that much more fun to get dressed up and go out. I’ll honestly take any excuse to get dressed up—I’m really living out my Sex and the City fantasies over here! My ideal party outfit is a sequined top, a swingy skirt, lots of mascara, and a bright orange-red lip. I love bold, matte lipstick If I think about the women whose style I admire most, color is a common thread. I love bright colors, bold patterns, and things that make a statement, and lipstick definitely does. It brightens up your face and takes an already fun outfit to an even more fun place. When I wear a bold lip color I feel like the bravest, most put-together, stylish, sexy version of myself.”

Laurel is wearing Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipstick in M402 Brick Red, C104 Praline Beige, and M300 Red Orange. Pretty, right? Find your shade (and then some) at (where else?).

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