Rock a Red Lipstick

8th April 2016

‘Give a woman the right lipstick and she can conquer the world,’ the saying goes. So arm yourself with one of these gorgeous, vibrant new season reds, suggests Lisa Botwright...

The classic red lipstick is enjoying a spring revival. Beauty blogs and YouTube tutorials abound with suggestions for a fresh take on this universally-loved look.

According to celebrity make-up artist Lisa Eldridge, the key to wearing red lipstick in a modern way is to “keep everything else about your look very fresh and natural”. Eye make-up should be kept to a flattering minimum – some neutral eyeshadow and a slick of mascara is all that’s needed, in contrast to the highly defined arched brows and thick sultry lashes of our vintage heroines.

Ruth Crilly, creator of the beauty-insider blog A Model Recommends agrees, and suggests using a bronzer with a tinted moisturiser instead of a foundation to try and keep things juicy and sheer. “[With] bronzey cream shadow all over my eyelids and no hard lines around the lashline, the look is rather more Ibiza than Old Hollywood.”

But what if you’re more daunted than delighted with the thought of red lipstick? Poppy King, founder of Lipstick Queen argues that “while not all women feel comfortable wearing red lipstick, the truth is we all look wonderful in it” – but there is such a bewildering array of textures and shades to choose from, that it’s hard to know where to start.

I have very fond memories of a Saturday job working behind the beauty counter of a very well-known department store, though I do recall that it took a while to get to grips with all the different colours. When one woman marched up to me and asked for a blue-red lipstick I was completely nonplussed. Was she dressing up as an alien? But I soon learned that all this means is that there’s a spectrum between cool and warm. The warmest shades will have the greatest element of ‘orange’ –the opposite to cool ‘blue’.

Its helpful to try and figure out of you’re ‘warm or cool’, but don’t be fooled by beauty experts who say that warm shades suit fairer skin, and cool shades suit dark. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as that. My blonde-haired, blue eyed-friend looks fabulous when she rocks a bright coral orange-y red. I’m fair too though, but manage to look decidedly ill in orange; instead my pale skin comes alive with a vivid, cool deep pink or red.

If this all sounds rather confusing or technical, the best approach is to put some time aside to spend at your favourite make-up counter and try on lots of different shades and textures (matte, gloss, pencil...) – experiment to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

World-conquering, however, is optional.

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