What is it about the colour red?
It is a colour to make you pause and pay attention. We have it in orbit in our lives in everything we do – traffic lights, warning signs, symbolism (code red), temperature (red hot), food (red lentils, red apples, red ginseng) and even feelings (seeing red)….the colour is everywhere.
We even have red and all its shades in our beauty regimes. Lipsticks, eyeshadows, glitter, you name it, I’m pretty sure it exists. And who can forget Dorothy’s sparkly Ruby red shoes in The Wizard of Oz? But what makes the color so… Eye-catching?
I can tell you I’m seeing red…for myself. For a long time, I’ve been afraid of the colour on my skin because I didn’t have the confidence to pull it off. For instance, with red lipsticks, I felt it looked too harsh and made my mouth look smaller than it already was. But over time, I started warming up to it (see what I did there?). I think my first red lipstick was from Revlon – it was the just bitten range when Jessica Biel was ambassador.
From then on, I’ve had a few trial and errors on the subject of red lipstick. I’ve tried (mostly) drugstore brands. Some I’ve liked (Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine). And some – not so much. And the more I delved into the world of red lipstick, the more I learned about subtle nuances and colour bases that can make a red work for you.
At the time I avoided red, I was totally focused on the orangey, bright reds that were popular on celebrities. The ones that made me look like I’m a chain smoker with yellow teeth. Or like my mean teacher who used to always pick on me at school. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore this shade on some people – it just makes their eyes sparkle and their skin look that little bit brighter. But on me, it didn’t work. It was only years later that I discovered the reds with a blue base. These are the ones that appealed to me and suited my skintone.
Over the years, I have seen my collection of red lipsticks grow. It’s gone from a measly one that I was iffy about to a collection of 5 lipsticks unique to its shade, coverage and longevity. For a lot of you, 5 red lipsticks may not seem like much, but for me, it’s testament to how much my confidence in being able to pull off something as showstopping yet classically chic colour as red has grown. Its my way of saying “I’m comfortable in my skin and confident in myself”, without having to hold a sign up to state the obvious.
What are the red lipsticks that I’ve amassed over the years?
This is one of my first purchases from Bobbi Brown. I walked into a sale at Myer in the city and was overwhelmed by the sheer range of colours this brand had in the lipstick pencils. All wearable for a work day or amped up for the night.
To be honest, I thought I’d purchased a nude rose shade on the day and was devastated to find out that I’d actually been given a wrong shade. But you know how some things are just meant to be? Well, this was one of those moments. I didn’t touch the lipstick for a week thinking I’d exchange it for the nude rose shade. But eventually I grew curious about this one. The first time I used it on my lips, I was thrilled because somehow this lipstick made my lips seem so much plumper. And because this is a pencil lipstick, it easily doubles as a lip liner too! It was a great way to ease into the world of red lipsticks as this has a combination of red and brown.
No surprise that it’s one of my Ride or Die products. It lasts fairly well on its own, but fades over the course of the day and can look a bit patchy if your lips are a bit dry.
After writing about the other two shades (008 and 004), I had to go and get another one to add to my collection. The red was just too pretty to pass up.
This red is almost borders on the orangey based red that I tend to avoid. But the beauty of this lipstick is that it can be layered on for a controlled intensity. It is a lovely cherry tomato red that I sometimes find a challenge to pull off.
I actually love this shade layered on top of the Bobbi Brown art stick. It brings a depth of vividness to the brown-red shade of the Bobbi Brown lipstick.
This is a matte lipstick and can highlight dry lips. I recommend using a lip scrub and a balm before using this. I just need to find a good occasion to use this lipstick. To get a better understanding of this product, read my in-depth review here.
I saw the Rimmel ad with Kate Moss and I believe she was wearing this shade. Back then I was really into berry shades that had a subtle hint of reddish pink.
To be honest, I rarely wear this lipstick straight from the bullet. I use a lip brush, which is why there is a dip in the bullet (if you were wondering).
I bought this one as well as a nude shade; not a big fan of the nude as its a bit too glittery and metallic for me. But come back in a year and I’ll probably change my tune.
This lipstick fades down to a berry pink shade. It is a satin finish and lasts a fair amount time. I did notice that when you touch up, it’s better to clean up whatever is on your lips first before a fresh application. Otherwise it balls up and gets grainy. I haven’t been reaching for this one as much this winter.
Maybelline Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine
This is by far my favourite red lipstick with a berry undertone. I have been reaching for this one a lot this winter. I purchased this at 1/2 off from Priceline earlier this year.
I used it for my birthday post (check it out here). This is the lipstick that garners me a lot of compliments.
To get this lipstick to last a long time, I layer it on top of my E.L.F. lip liner in Berry.
I won this lipstick in a competition that Mecca had when they relaunched their store at Highpoint Shopping Centre. In the tube, this lipstick reminds me of the ones that I used to avoid – bright orangey red and harsh for my skin. But I’ve noticed that in different lights, the color looks completely different. When applied in layers with a lip brush, I control how much pigment goes on and it makes for a longer lasting stain too. For a lipstick I never thought I’d even use, I do reach for this one every now and then.
This is a matte lipstick that can be a bit drying on the lips. Not as drying as some liquid lipsticks. But not as hydrating as some other ones. That said, it is comfortable for a matte lipstick – it doesn’t crumble and pucker (like peeling paint) when you talk. In the bullet, it looks a lot more orange than on the lips. It lasts a bit of eating and drinking, but needs to be touched up throughout the day if you’re looking to maintain that beautiful vibrant red.
I use a red when I need a simple pick me up or when I want to be glam. Effortless glam (a red lip, a coat of mascara and a light blush) is my favourite way to go – makes me feel like a celebrity while doing a grocery run (is that weird?).
The right shade of red can make you look so much brighter, your face lights up, you look more sophisticated. It’s a great pick-me-up with its magical mood enhancing quality. So, what is it about the colour red?
Do you use the colour red in your beauty routine? What are your favourite Red lipsticks? Share it below!