Why I’ll never stop wearing red lipstick… and why you should start
By Sharon Miki, Contributor
“Talia took chances. She wore lipstick to class. She did everything right.” – Hannah on Girls
Look, I get it. There are certain beauty trends that can be intimidating and eye-roll-inducing. For example, personally, I would rather suckle a tube of BB cream than be caught dead wearing the turquoise-blue eyeliner that magazines claim is “back!” every God damned year. Alas, sometimes trends are perennial for good reason. This is where red lipstick enters the equation.
Red lipstick—when done right—will give you an instant 150 per cent boost in confidence, credibility, and sex appeal. It just will. Why? I’m only a pseudoscientist, but my theory is it makes you look put-together (it takes effort!) and classically feminine (ladies have been rocking rouged lips in one form or another since Mesopotamian times), while simultaneously drawing peoples’ attention to the amazing, hilarious, and intelligent words coming out of your mouth. Win, win, win.
So why don’t all grown women rock the red lip, at least on regular occasion?
Many women are afraid of it. Lipstick can be intimidating to apply correctly, and the wrong formula can leave you constantly checking your teeth for embarrassing stains. The solution to this is simply to find a long-wear colour that you can just apply and forget about.
If you’re nervous about precise application, try a durable yet easy to wear lip stain. Benefit’s “Benetint” lip and cheek stain is a no-brainer: paint it on with approximate correctness and you’ll have subtly stained lips all day. Benetint is a bit pricey ($36 at Sephora), but honestly, a bottle of this will last you years. If you want a cheaper option, Revlon’s Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm series can be found at drugstores for around $10.
If you feel like you’re capable of drawing within the lines of your lips (and, I mean, you should’ve learned how to trace shapes in kindergarten, so come on), go bold with a long-wear lipstick. My favourite is an affordable one: CoverGirl Outlast goes on smooth and, while it doesn’t last me the promised 16 hours, it will stay put through food, coffee, and low-key kissing for eight-ish hours without reapplying. I have Outlast, which retails for between $10-$15 at drugstores, in every shade of red, but my favourite is “Ever Red-dy”—a true bright red.
Speaking of shades, this is the second hang-up you’ve got to get past on your quest for a poised and popping mouth. Not all reds are created equal. While I love a pure, true red (think Marilyn Monroe) against my skin tone and colouring, red lipsticks can be shaded to be more orange-reds or blue-reds. I’ve read a ton of advice for who should lean orange or blue with their reds, and—just like with political affiliations—it’s usually not helpful to generalize. Instead, each individual should shop around for the best shades for their unique colouring and disposition.
Once you’ve found your perfect shade and formula, go forth: you’re ready to take on the world with your confident, babe-worthy self. Seriously, wear it to class and lick up the positive vibes that are sure to waft your way. Don’t worry about smudging your lipstick—if you’ve done it right, it will stay perfectly put.