Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2013 collection was all about opulence. Girls sauntered down the runway in Byzantine and Venetian mosiacs, dripping in jewels and gold reminiscent of royalty. So it wasn’t at all a leap for the brand to venture into jewelry terriority with its holiday makeup offerings, too. The Sicilian Jewels collection features four lipsticks in ruby, emerald, amethyst and topaz (amber).  As much as the ESSENCE beauty team loves glittering baubles we weren’t so sure they’d work on our lips. So we roadtested the shades, boldly taking violet and forest green pouts from our offices and into the streets. Here’s our take.

Andrea Jordan, Beauty Assistant, in Ruby

“My typical lip shade of choice is a nude lip balm, so I gravitated toward the golden topaz first. But it ended up blending in with my skin tone too much. It’d be a great shade for a darker-skinned girl. I’ve always wanted to experiment with color, but I tend to shy away from beauty dares when it comes to makeup. Ruby shade is great for those who love a simple look, but still want pop of color. The red isn’t too bright, it’s deep boardering on wine, which keeps the look subtle and sophisticated—just the way I like it! Paired with a sparkly, neutral eye, I’m sure I’ll catch some extra attention at all the holiday parties this month.”

Crystal G. Martin, Online Senior Beauty Editor, in Amethyst

“Emerald was my instant fave. I immediately pictured the shimmering deep green lipstick smeared beautifully on a magazine page. Unfortunately, the love didn’t translate to my lips. I wore emerald around the office for a day and got mixed reviews.  Our photo editor said pleasantly, ‘It would look great paired with a funky goth outfit.’ Trouble is, the two leather jackets and moto boots in my closet do not a goth make.  I had much better luck with amethyst. The shade had a nice iridescence but was still opaque. And where emerald might be a shade to shake things up, amethyst is definitely something you could wear any day. I’ve worn it four times, including when I cheered on the Balitmore (Purple Pain) Ravens on Thanksgiving Day. My expression of team spirit was a big hit.”  

Aretha Busby, Beauty Director, in Emerald

“Emerald is perfect for any occasion where you want to make a bold statement: New Year’s Eve, any special work events (I am a beauty director after all) or when pics of me may appear on Instagram. I wore the Emerald green for a full day and was amazed by the amount of compliments I received from both men and women alike. ‘That color would be perfect for my upcoming holiday bash!’ and  ‘You look like Rihanna!’ were just a couple of the comments I heard that day.   Tip: I wore only mascara and a CC cream so that the green would pop! The Emerald was particularly striking while wearing all black clothing.  Make sure to reapply often for a consistently even coat.”

The entire Dolce & Gabanna Sicilian Jewels Collection ($35 each) is available at Saks Fifth Avenue.