I made a rather shocking discovery recently. I own 12 different red lipsticks. 12. And they’re just the ones I’m using. That doesn’t include the ones I’ve stock-piled during the sales period when makeup was half price and I went a little crazy like somehow the world would run out of red lipstick in the year 2015 and I’d need to sustain myself.
I can trace back my obsession with red lipstick to Ireland and my beautiful friend Annik. I was living in the UK and we had met on a tour in Europe. We decided to rent a car and drive around Ireland for about a week. I say ‘we’ but I mean Annik cause I was too terrified to drive. Anyway, I noticed she wore red lipstick a lot and not just on special occasions or nights out. She wore it (shock horror) during the day. For some reason I found this very daring as I had always associated red lippy with being extremely dressed up and had always shied away from the attention I felt it attracted. Plus, I just figured I was one of those people who just couldn’t wear it. Annik completely disagreed and during our week in Ireland she taught me the fundamentals of red lipstick wearing and before long I was completely hooked.
Fast forward 7 years and 12 lipsticks later.
I get asked a lot what red lipstick I wear and to be honest it can change from day to day. Having said that I do have some favourites. Here’s my current top 3.
For crazy long lasting colour I go for Natio in Rush. It can be a little drying but as my lipstick has a tendency to bleed this is perfect for me. It is a slightly darker red so I find it particularly great for the cooler months. My friends are amazed when I wear it as I can go through an entire day – eating, drinking, talking – and only reapply once, maybe twice.
A more recent favourite is Revlon’s Fire & Ice. This gorgeous bright red shade has been around since 1952 and being a vintage lover yes, this does add to its appeal. I’ve always been a fan of Revlon and over the years have tried several of their lipsticks and always been happy. What I love about this one is the colour and it is more moisturizing than the Natio. So if you’re after a bit more moisture this is the ticket.
Only recently did I splurge and buy myself Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Ultra in Rouge. I confess, ever since I was a child I always wanted a lipstick in a gold tube. I think it stems from watching my Grandmother applying lipstick from a gold tube and equating that with beauty. So when Elizabeth Arden had a sale last year I nabbed one. Now it’s my ‘special occasion’ tube and when teamed with my 1950s Stratton compact there is a part of me that feels a little glam. Oh and the actual lipstick is very moisturizing and long lasting too!
Although to be perfectly honest, the real secret to long lasting red lipstick is in the preparation and a really good lip liner. A lot of people shy away from lip liners cause they were scarred for life by images of Pamela Anderson in the 1990s but that is a lesson in how not to apply liner. I searched for ages for a really moisturizing pencil lip liner for under my red lipstick and finally came across Savvy in Brick. Aside from being super inexpensive, this liner is very moisturizing and it sticks. I mean really – if a fleck of this ends up on your carpet it’s there forever.
So here’s my step by step guide is red lipstick application. I find this works for me but always take it as a guide and find out what works for you. Everyone’s mouth is different.
1. Seems obvious but brush teeth.
2. Apply a lip balm. I love Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream.
3. Blot off excess balm.
4. Apply a light covering of concealer or foundation all over the mouth.
5. Using the lip liner begin to colour in your lips – the whole thing – not just the outline (that was Pam’s mistake). Take your time with this and don’t worry if you stuff it up. I often end up with one side of my top lip bigger than the other (God knows how!) so I just wipe off that section, add a bit more concealer and start again. I also over-draw my bottom lip a fraction.
6. Using a lip brush apply lipstick to your whole mouth. I also use the brush to give my mouth a really clean, sharp edge.
9. Now this will sound odd but I grab a tissue, split it so it’s only half the thickness, then place it over my mouth and using some loose powder I apply it over the tissue with a brush. I can’t explain it but this seems to really cement the lipstick in place.
10. Also be careful your lipstick doesn’t bleed at the corners of your mouth.
And that’s it. Seems complicated but once you get the hang of it, it will only take you 10 minutes.
So here’s a chart of all 12 of my lipsticks. I know they all look the same but I swear they are each a different shade of red! At some point I would like to just have one ‘signature’ shade but I don’t know if I’ve found it yet.
How many red lipsticks do you own? (She asks hoping someone will have more and make her feel better) And what’s your favourite?