Red Lipstick

Red Lipstick

Are you a lipstick, or a lipgloss kind of girl?

Both? Neither? Just lip balm?

When was the first time you wore lipstick? How long did you wear it for, what colour was it, and how long did it take for you to wipe it off…….

Sorry for the excessive questioning, but these were all things that came to mind when I typed the title of this post: Red Lipstick.

I’ve long been a beauty junkie, however, the combination of a) being a teen in the nineties (where Rimmel’s Coffee Shimmer ruled all) along with having pretty large lips sadly put me way behind in the Red Lip wars. I managed to live with not one, but two separate girls who worked for MAC before I gave in to the ubiquitous Ruby Woo. For the uninitiated, Ruby Woo is potentially the perfect shade of Red…..

Red lipstick has more historical anecdotes than just my little musings. Significantly more power too. In fact, in times of recession or ‘austerity’, the sales of lipstick increase. I guess, that little bullet of joy with the power to transform your look, exude a confidence that is lacking within and show the world you mean business — you just can’t put a price on it.

Sure, a Tom Forc beaut will set you back the best part of £50 but some of my favourite lipsticks are less than £10. When you know what shade of red works with your skintone — it’s equal rights in the aisles. My favourites are varied, and have stacks of different textures, undertones and finishes. The beauty is in the playing, creating different looks to suit your mood.

Some have a real affinity with matte, yet hate a stain. Others can’t leave the house without a juicy balm with only the merest hint of colour. All are equal and came to their addictions through swatching, twisting, smearing away.

It may well be all about that base (never more so than when you are wearing a strong lip) but teh finishing touch is on your lips.

The feeling you have when you walk out the door with a beautiful red pout is indescribable. The first few times may leave you feeling a little like you have walked out of the house naked, but persevere as the payoff is worth it. Once you find your Red Lip niche, there’ll be no stopping you.

Think of the Red Lip icons, nay, warriors who have gone before you.

Marilyn Monroe may have gone to bed in now’t but Chanel No 5, but she left the house in Red.

Red Lipstick via Marie Claire

Red Lipstick via Marie Claire

Elizabeth Taylor loved her bold lip so much, that she allegedly banned any other females on set with her from wearing lipstick at all!

It wasn’t always that way. In fact, at various times in history lipstick went from being banned to highlighting your social ranking. To the point where even men daubed a little rouge on their cheeks and lips…..

Putting aside the historical references and connotations, red lipstick is flexible. It looks as great with jeans and a t-shirt as it does with a kick ass dress. If you have mistakenly thought it would make you look too ‘dressed-up’ you are wrong. It exudes power, femininity and death-defying cool.

How do you wear yours? I think this should be more of a thing than the Cadbury’s Creme Egg ‘How do you eat yours?’ adverts. Or not….Do you wear your red lip with a matte base, and smoky eye? Dewy skin & flushed cheeks? A slick of feline black eyeliner?

So many options. So little time.

I personally flit between varying textures, colours and brands, however, I never wear a bold lip and eye together. Mostly because my lips are big, and my eyes are hooded and small….so I just feel a bit like a caricature. My red lip outfit of choice is a flawless dewy base, matte lip, pinched cheeks a la Scarlett O Hara and nowt else. It seems to look a wee bit more moder & wearable for me….for you, it may be different.

More than anything, you should treat your red lipstick of choice as an extension to your wardrobe. When I’m travelling — I am never without it. If you have nothing else in your backpack to add a bit of extra jazz; trust me, a red lipstick will bring it. It’ll bring it more than Beyonce brings booty.

I don’t know one single girl who doesn’t look great in red lipstick, but I hear so many who say that it ‘just doesn’t suit them’. The key is confidence, and finding ‘the one’. As Gwyneth Paltrow famously said:

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”

Red Lipstick smudge on a glass via Flickr

Experiment, enjoy, relish the red lip.

I have written before about prepping your lips for a bold lipstick so if you have been inspired, pause here and head on over to have a read.

If you are a pro already and found this post to be mere frippery: let me know. I love hearing your comments and with my jazzy little comment boxes below, it literally couldn’t be easier. 

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Lucy Lucraft
Lucy Lucraft

Lucy is a freelance journalist, blogger and podcaster based in Brighton, UK.

She started this blog in 2013 and is the host of blogging podcast What She Said.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. 3rd November 2015 / 6:51 am

    I love red lipstick but I can’t pull it off! Definitely more of a gloss girl 🙂

    • Lucy
      3rd November 2015 / 7:01 pm

      Jess – everyone can pull red lipstick off, I promise! It’s all about finding ‘the one’….although a cheeky gloss works too! x

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