By Lisa Somerset
Red lips were all over the place for fashion week S/S 2012, but my love for red lips goes back as far as I can remember. Jayne Mansfield, Liz Taylor, L.A.’s own mysterious Black Dahlia, even Elvira – in my mind, all the sexy chicks wore red. Fiery lipstick always had that little bit of bad ass about it that I was drawn to.
In high school I rocked the cheap Wet’n'Wild reds but my first memory of owning a prestige red lipstick starts with a trip to Nordstrom at the Glendale Galleria with my mom. After much whining and nagging on my part, she bought me a tube of Russian Red from the (barely heard of at that time) MAC counter. From that day on, I knew that there is no pick me up like a bright red lip. I wore that lipstick and worked my skirt at the Scream club and later on, the King King every week, feeling like the coolest girl in L.A. with those fifties bombshell-style lips.
Wearing the right red can give you both old Hollywood style allure and modern glamour, the wrong red can make you look like Bette Davis in her later years and make your teeth look like candy corn. I know that a lot of Angelenas are into low maintenance lips so I’m on a one woman mission to bring back foxy lip colours to our fair city! Some girls (and boys) are deathly afraid of red, but there’s nothing like it to up the oomph.
Classic bright reds are really looking fresh and new right now. Here I’m going to go through the best classic reds that will give you a sassy mouth everyone will remember.
MAC Russian Red will always be one of my favourites. It’s an iconic true red. Ruby Woo is Russian Red’s slightly more blue-tinged sister.Both of these lipsticks are matte texture so make sure your lips are exfoliated and well hydrated before you wear these. Lord knows there are few things as unsexy as a withered, flaky, grandma-esque pout.
Illamasqua’s Maneater is flawless red. This is a slightly more satiny matte texture than MAC’s, but just as voluptuous and intense. I heart this brand and their saturated colours. NARS has a velvet matte lip pencil called Dragon Girl that I adore for it’s vibrant pigment. The fat pencil works especially well if you’re trying to manage reapplication after a few drinks in a cramped, dimly lit bathroom *cough*threeclubs*cough*
A fairly recent discovery for me are the Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tars in NSFW and Stalker.Stalker is a little bit more blue but both of these are classic reds.These aren’t lipsticks in the conventional sense, they come in a tiny squeeze tube. These go on like a lipgloss but have heavy-hitting colour and a soft texture. Love!
Number one on my list for bright reds? Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte #17 Rouge Muse.You better ask somebody, this is the most audacious red on the block. A real head turner that has that film star vibe. Vivid beyond belief, this is a true couture red. Hot, hot, hot. The moist silkiness will seduce you, the polar opposite of matte. That perfect colour and texture that manages to nod to the classics but not box you into a retro look.
Some people like their red straight out of the tube but I’m a true believer in lipliner. This will help to keep your bright lips from traveling onto the rest of your face. My personal fave is MAC Cherry, it works with every bright red without giving you that repulsive darker lipline.
Please keep in mind that when you’re wearing these kind of lips, there are a few situations in which you need to completely remove and start all over again. The first being when you’re eating. No one wants to see your red lipstick-wearing sandwich or your lips looking jammy and covered in crumbs after a meal. Also, if you’re planning on kissing anyone, anywhere, be sure to be kind and remove your lips first because these colors grind into the skin (and clothing) and stain. Lastly, If you need to reapply, completely remove and then reapply or you’ll look like a smeary mess and that’s NEVER pretty.
You can find MAC and YSL at most major department store but you will have to look a little bit harder for Illamsaqua. It’s on the Sephora website but only the Hollywood and Higland and Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica locations carry it locally. The Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics lip tars can be found on their website or at Cinema Secrets in Burbank.
Are you red-dy for super bold lipstick?