Beauty Classic Revived: The Red Lip

The red lip has to be one of if not my all-time favorite beauty statement. I mastered the art of red lipstick application at the age of 5, which seems to be a critical beauty age of mine. My cousin, Terri, worked in cosmetics at the time and gave me the option of digging my hands into whatever I could find. It was usually shades of red lipsticks. Women would crowd around the beauty counter as I sat on top of it, applying directly from the tube onto my lips, remembering always to blot lest it manifest itself on my teeth. Ick.

The red lip epitomizes glamour, confidence, sophistication and sex appeal. If done right. I am a fan of both the vintage and modern versions of the red lip, of which there are many. The classic version, like that of Marilyn Monroe, often involves layering  many shades of deep blue-reds to accomplish the most elegant, teeth-whitening shade. Marilyn’s makeup artist, Allan “Whitey” Snyder, layered and mixed 5 shades of red to get her iconic lip look. Marilyn knew every beauty trick in the book, but that’s for another post.

The more modernized version of the red lip is often more warm in tone, and has a glossy rather than matte finish. There is also still mixing of shades, a lot of times placing a much more pink toned red right in the center of the lips to add dimension and fullness. Some cult favorite shades of red are that of MAC; Ruby Woo, Viva Glam I, Russian Red and Ladybug are tried and true and cover a range of shades that would suit a myriad of skin tones. They vary in terms of finish and texture, and of course there are many shades of red in many brands across the board. Guerlain’s  Rouge Diabolique was made famous by Marilyn’s lips, which is still available today and is renamed  Insolence de Rouge #522.

No matter what your take on the red lip, there is a shade for everyone. Rock yours with confidence, and please, remember to blot.


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