In modern society colour red has become synonymous with romantic love, desire and fertility, however it’s use in cosmetics dates back more than 10,000 years, as it is believed that women in ancient Egypt used red lipstick and rouge to enhance their appearance.
Those ancient Egyptian women were certainly onto something as pioneers of the painted red lip, and it’s power – which to this day should not be underestimated. Someone else who truly understood and capitalised on this was Coco Chanel, who when launching her own cosmetic line did so with a red lipstick. Since the launch of that the very first Le 1er Rouge in 1924 to the most recent Rouge Coco range, Chanel lipstick has evolved over the decades to become one of the most iconic make-up products of all time.
Having spoken to many women about make-up through my work it seems to me that feelings about red lipstick are as varied as the range of shades out there on the market! From loving the look, but feeling it’s not for them, to not feeling complete without their ‘trademark red lippy’ everyone has an opinion about it.
My personal belief is that there is a red lip option out there for everyone. From the classic statement bold red lip, to the sheerest lip tint or stain so why not have fun finding, or even challenging your own red lip rules?
To help, here are my top red lip tricks and tips
When choosing a new shade If it’s not possible to test the product on your lips then apply it to the pad of one of your fingertips instead. The fingertips contain lots of blood vessels and are the closest skin colour to that of your lips. You can then hold your finger next to your face and see whether the shade works with your skin tone. This is more accurate than testing the lipstick on the back of your hand.
Find your perfect shade by first identifying your skin’s undertone. Cool skin tones suit true reds and blue-based reds, whereas coral or orange-based shades work well for warm skin tones.
If you have a red lipstick in your make-up bag that isn’t working for you don’t be too quick to throw it away, you can adapt it to suit you either by applying either a sheer pink gloss over the top of it to make the shade bluer, or a gold gloss to make the shade warmer.
For the best result always prepare your lips prior to lipstick application. Use a lip scrub to remove dry or flaking skin and follow with a moisturising lip balm. You can also use lip balm to add gloss to a matte lipstick by applying it over the top.
Precision is key when applying red so outline your lips with a matching lip pencil to prevent bleeding, fill in your entire lip area with the pencil to create a base for your lipstick. This will ensure a longer lasting finish, and finally use concealer along the border of the outer lip to prevent the colour from bleeding.
Now go rock that red lip!