Whenever I see a shade I like in a movie or a tv show, I google frantically trying to track down the color. That's how I found my current favorite, MAC's Viva Glam. Apparently Cate Blanchett wore it while portraying Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator; when I saw her in the movie I immediately thought: perfect red! This is the most versatile red I own; I particularly like wearing it with clothing in camels and creams.
Most recently I discovered recommendations from the fabulous Laura Bennett from Project Runway Season 3. Remember her? Perfectly groomed at all hours: smooth, neat hair and a constant slash of red lipstick. According to iVillage, she uses the long-lasting variety: Covergirl Outlast Smoothwear in Cabernet #855 or Maybelline Superstay in Wine #745. I tried a long-wear lipstick when they were first available but the dryness was an obstacle I couldn't overcome and I threw it away. I now read that the formulations have improved and the dryness is less of a factor--I think I'll be giving these two a try in the near future.
Other women who Rock Red Lipstick:
Gwen Stefani: "Gash" by Urban Decay and "Viva Glam" by MAC.
Dita von Teese: MAC's Classic Dame or Russian Red
One evening a few summers ago, when I was supposed to be studying for the state bar exam but was instead finding ridiculous tasks to waste time, I decided to photograph myself wearing every red in my lipstick wardrobe, thus definitively demonstrating which was my "perfect" red. If I was less vain I would share these pictures but they turned out looking pretty much like you would expect a person studying for an impending bar exam to look like: glazed eyes, limp hair, sallow skin and a unnaturally vivid grimace. Plus the light was bad too. So no decision was made, and I continue to wear all my colors and desire more!
I also have:
MAC's Russian Red. Another great basic, but more vibrant than Viva Glam. Elegant with black and white.
Chanel in Crystal Red and Red Red. Discontinued colors, I think. I love Chanel colors, but the lipstick smells--supposedly like roses, but I'm not a fan. I don't wear the Red Red anymore, but the Crystal Red is bright and clear and goes well with equally red clothes.
Sue Devitt in Great Australian Bight. I'm only listing this because I purchased it based on the recommendation of people on MakeUpAlley, but I didn't like it. I found the color too dark but, more importantly, the texture was very drying. I should probably just throw it away.
My most recent purchase was MAC's Ruby Woo. I think I caved on the Ruby Woo because of Jolie Nadine's post here. Previously, I had managed to convince myself that MAC's Russian Red, which I already had worn for years, was sufficient. But it wasn't too hard to change my mind!
Colors that I am currently coveting:
Chanel Hydrabase Creme Lipstick in Coco Red. Last fall I was shopping in Saks and a Sales Associate was wearing this color. She looked incredibly glamourous, although she applied it very thickly. As a librarian, I'd use a lighter hand.
Chanel Hydrabase Creme Lipstick in Fire. Remember the magazine Shop from a few years back? One of their make-up spreads featured this color and it's been on my wish-list since, although I've not yet tried it in person.
Bésame Enchanting Lipstick in Red Hot and Bésame Red. Has anyone tried this? The packaging is completely "enchanting" and totally 40s. Here's how they describe the colors:
- Red Hot Red: "Bright and bold, a bit warmer than besame red, and marilyns favorite."
- Bésame Red: "True red, cooler, not warm. like a navy red, bright and vibrant."
- There's also Noir Red, which is tempting: "Darkest red, very deep berry shade. great on dark skin and on light skin for a bold look."
I need to just buy these, even though they're probably, to the naked eye, completely identical to one of the colors currently in my collection. So I don't "need" them. Right?
Red Lipsticks really show up any dryness or flakyness on your lips, so I wear Aquaphor or Smith's Rosebud Salve under my lipstick. Additionally, the November Lucky recommends a couple of lip scrubs/balms:
- Einstein Lip Therapy Dynamic Duet
- Clarins Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Gentle Exfoliation and Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Balm.
- June Jacobs Lip Kit
I always use a lip liner with Red Lipstick (Chanel Le Crayon Lèvres in Nude) and apply with a brush/blot/re-apply.
Addendum: Like the beauty editors always dictate, I wear a very neutral eye with Red Lipstick. Lately, I've been into the Lauren Conrad look, with barely-there shadow (I use Lancome's Filigree) and black eyeliner on top (MAC's fabulous Fluidline in Blacktrack).