Beauty Icons: Killer Red Lips

Growing up, makeup had an utilitarian significance. Besides the obvious allure of embodying a persona which was still very much unavailable in terms of both years and experience – as an actress rehearsing for a grand part she knows will eventually be granted to her – it had a purpose, and the one at the time was to perfect a skin which presented itself less than perfect. With that in mind, I would spend a considerable amount of time in front of the mirror trying to lie my way out of all manners of imperfections – by employing an array of lotions and potions and the latest in cover-ups – but not much thought would be given to the colour of my lips. One day, a girl I knew dropped by wearing bright-red lipstick. Casually-clad and on her way to play football, she was boyish and slightly disheveled, but even so her look was so very appealing. Although not the prettiest of girls, that bold punch of colour made her face come alive and portrayed her as slightly dangerous in my 11 year-old eyes. And whether you’re pre-teen or 90 years old, that still remains the power of red lipstick.

Kiss and Tell

Crimson lips have always been linked to seduction, and it’s hard to not see why. From Helmut Newton’s highly-sexualised heroines to 1930s glamour pusses, red demands attention, begs to be kissed (and perhaps even licked), and looks best on your lips, crisp white men’s shirts, and your lover’s neck. There’s a shade for everyone, and either matte, satin or glossy, do kiss, and prey tell.

Matte: 1950s Screen Goddess

Think Rita Hayworth. Or Bettie Page. Vargas girls also spring to mind. Whatever your inspiration, take it seriously indeed. After prepping lips with a moisturising balm and blotting excess with tissue paper, you can either go for a matte lipstick or straight to the jugular with a lip pencil. The pencil remains my preferred modus operandi, and NARS does a stunningly rich classic shade  – Jungle Red – whilst MAC’s one in Redd  is a beautiful crimson shade, applied by starting on the lip line and then working towards the inner part of your lips. The colour will last for hours and you’ll almost forget you have it on. To apply or touch up on public transport (yes, it is permitted as long as done in a tasteful way), the matte lipstick is certainly the best bet, and NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Mascate, a stunning bold red, has a wonderful, mistake-proof applicator and the sultriest of shades.

Satin: Contemporary Elegance

The satin finish is the most wearable way of turning your lips ruby. There is an array of shades out there, but NARS Jungle Red is a very pretty one in a semi-matte/satin finish, as well as MAC Russian Red. Be prepared to apply frequently, but remember, not many things are as seductive as applying red lipstick. Do it with plenty of flair and enjoy the attention.

Glossy: Late 70s Glamazon

Glossy lips are reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty having a taste of the poisoned apple, late 70s glamazons and beauty photoshoots, but this look is surely the hardest to maintain. Stay away from French kissing whilst wearing gloss or, better yet, take a cue from Dita Von Teese and apply Lip-Ink, a natural, vegan, kosher and organic glossy mouth’s BBF, which is hardwearing and let’s you do what your lips where intended to without any remorse.

Add a sexy grasp to your hands with matching nail polish, and paint the town your favourite shade of red.

One Response

  1. Isabel

    I have naturally red lips and usually acentuate them with justa a tiny dab of coloured red gloss on top of Homeoplasmine. It works wonders for me!!

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