It’s party season…a time to dress up! Along with the little black dress (LBD), red lipstick completes the look for any festive occasion.
Red lipstick has been in and out of favour for thousands of years. Cleopatra was one of the first to wear a red lip but all through the centuries, society has had a love/hate relationship with it.
Religious leaders often discouraged women from showing their independence and pagan beliefs claimed that red lipstick was tied to witchcraft. Hitler, who strived to create a pure Aryan race, strongly opposed women wearing lipstick, let alone red lipstick. Along with banning the bra, the women’s liberation movement in the 1960-70s also frowned upon red lips.
Strong women, however, throughout the ages have decided to do things their way. During the early 1900s, Suffragettes wore red lipstick as a symbol of feminism, 1920s flappers wore red lipstick as a carefree youthful statement and the female workforce of WW11 wore red lipstick as a sign of resilient feminity. Actresses like Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe wore a red lip beautifully and rebellious pop idols Debbie Harry (Blondie) and Madonna made the red lip their trademark. Today’s celebrities, Angelina Jolie and Gwen Stefani have also discovered the power and beauty of a red lip.
The shades of red above are among the most loved and worn lipsticks of all time. There is a perfect red lipstick at every price point and one that will suit everyone. MAC sells 7 Ruby Woo lipsticks every second around the world! The added bonus of a blue/red shade of lipstick (if it suits you) is that your teeth appear to be whiter. Nude shades of lipstick have been popular over the last decade and supposedly like red, there is a nude lipstick that will suit every complexion. I have been on a quest for many years to find that shade for me but to no avail. So from my perspective, it has always been easier to wear red or pink lipstick. I attended a wedding this past month and found it interesting to see the number of younger women wearing a red lip. Possibly it’s the time of year or is red lipstick the new nude?
As always, every cosmetic company includes a beautiful shade of red lipstick in their much anticipated holiday collection. Chanel’s limited-edition collection this season included several exceptionally beautiful reds, however, the demand was so high many stores were sold out before they were even on display.
What I’m most thrilled about is that there doesn’t seem to be an expiry date as to when you can wear red lipstick. I have loved a red lip for many years. The reality is that as the ageing process takes hold, adjustments have to be made regarding the colour of red you wear as well as how you wear it. When you’re younger, the options are unlimited. Once skin tone changes, hair turns grey and lips get thinner, red lipstick is still an option, however, it may be more wearable in a sheerer formula or worn as a stain. Regardless, if you have the confidence to rock a red lip, I say go for it no matter what your age!
Hmmm….which one should I wear today?
“A woman who wears red lipstick asserts herself and her freedom to make her own choices.” from ‘The Undeniable Power of Red Lipstick’ Danielle Decker