I’ve always loved beauty products, but had never worn lipstick until my late twenties, most memorably on my wedding day. Having gone to high school in the ’90s meant that I was very familiar with those iconic shades, you know which I mean don’t you? Coffee Shimmer, Heather Shimmer, Black Cherry if you were feeling super fancy. I used to put the tiniest amount of Black Cherry over my lip balm for a very subtle hint of colour. (I’ve just had a flashback to the perfume we all LOVED – !Exclamation “make a statement…without saying a word.” I can still remember the smell. There’s a whole blog post in that I’m sure. I miss the ’90s.)
While I was working in Paris, I noticed that scores of French women wore red lipstick as they went about their day. They kept their look simple and that was part of the appeal to me. Concealer/tinted moisturiser to even out skin tone or cover blemishes, mascara, red lipstick. Perfect! I was too much of a scaredy cat to give it a go, sticking to ‘safer’ shades instead. My first dalliance with proper blood-red lipstick was about 2 years ago. As soon as I tried it in the shop on the back of my handI knew I loved it, but was still too embarrassed to wear it in public. I forced myself to apply it right before going to my parents house. A safe environment. My brother asked why I was so dressed up, mum said it looked nice and my dad wasn’t really bothered by the incident in the slightest. Success!
Once I had that under my belt, (and realised that people weren’t staring at me because I looked like Dracula) there was no stopping me. I have since gone on to amass a large collection of red lipsticks, but they’re all essential (lies) as they each have slightly different tones, textures and finishes. I know it’s been around for a while but I’m still not over the matte lipstick trend, even though they can be really drying. (To combat this, I add a dab of Lanolips on my lips beforehand – because I use such a small amount it doesn’t hugely alter the final matte effect). There are so many shades of red to choose from, and your skin tone really does make a difference. The reds I wear most often are cool toned, which suit my skin-tone more than the orange reds with warmth in them.
Without sounding cheesy or cliché, wearing red lipstick can be extremely empowering, like applying an extra layer of confidence. For me it completes an outfit, (or detracts attention from the fact I haven’t had my eyebrows threaded in a month) I’ve even been known to centre an outfit around a new red lipstick. My obsession runs deep.
Are you a gloss girl or a lipstick convert?