POWER OF RED
RED LIPS ARE SAID TO BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE, WHILE MAKING YOU LOOK YOUNGER. AFTER TRIALLING HUNDREDS OF LIP SHADES, JULIETTE WINTER PUTS THIS ICONIC BEAUTY CLASSIC TO THE TEST.
RED MAY WELL BE THE MOST BOLD
and daring of all make-up colours but, as a dedicated nude devotee, it really pushes my lipstick boundaries. I’ve tried hundreds of lip shades over the past few decades in my job as a beauty editor, but I’ve never found that knock-out hue — a red I felt really suited me. With rich scarlet and deep plum shades on-trend this season, I decided to seek the advice and expert hand of Alphie Sadsad, international pro artist at Bobbi Brown. “Every woman can wear red and look great in it,” he says reassuringly before our 20-minute ‘How To Find The Perfect Lip’ session, a complimentary service available at any Bobbi Brown cosmetic counter. “You just need to fifind the shade and formula that makes you feel confifident.” Red lipstick has a befifittingly colourful history, dating back to the ancient Sumerians and Greeks, who would stain their lips with a mixture of carmine, plant extracts, ochre and fat, among other ingredients. Throughout the ages, red lips have served as a mark of class and social status, yet its appeal has never waned. By the 1940s it had become a visual symbol of female strength and independence. During World War II, Elizabeth Arden launched her famous Victory Red lipstick for women serving in the armed forces — a ripe tomato hue designed to boost morale and encourage a sense of power despite the hardship of the time. Hollywood sirens like Marilyn Monroe ensured red stayed popular into the following decades and today’s young stars — including singer Taylor Swift, who is rarely seen without a swipe of MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo ($36) and model Kendall Jenner, who donned Estée Lauder’s Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Carnal ($52) at this year’s Met Gala — continue to play on its look-at-me appeal. “Red is the most powerful of all make-up colours,” says Jay Jay Rauwenhoffff, make-up artist and founder of Makeup School Sydney and vegan brand Mikatvonk, “It’s also the colour of romance and love, and symbolises good luck. Learn how to use it to your advantage and it can have real impact!” There are lots of elements involved in fifinding the perfect red, but the right lipstick also comes down to personal preference: do you like glossy, matte or satin fifinishes? Moisturising lipsticks, subtle stains or easy-to-apply crayons? According to Jay Jay, the best way to determine a good colour match is to look at your lips’ natural undertones. “For purple undertones, choose an orange-based red to balance it out. For lips with a pink or a very light undertone, use a blue-based red or a true rich red,” she says. Also, the size of your pout matters. “Small or thin lips best suit a brighter, lighter colour as a darker shade will make lips look smaller.” For subtle colour, Jay Jay suggests dabbing red lipstick on with your fifinger as a stain. “It creates a natural, easy-to-wear fifinish,” she says. “A matte fifinish is also very on-trend. It is feminine but more toned down than a very glossy red.” As I take in the rows of multicoloured Bobbi Brown lipsticks in David Jones, Alphie whips out a colour wheel to fifind my natural lip match. He also recommends lining my pout with a pencil to add defifinition and help the colour last longer: apply after the lipstick to ensure the colour fades together. “If you can’t fifind the perfect match for your lipstick, go slightly darker as this is better for defifinition,” he says. Alphie’s choice for me is Uber Red, a voluptuous blue–red from the Bobbi Brown Art Stick Liquid Lip collection ($46). “Blot with a tissue, dust with translucent or sheer face powder, and then reapply,” he advises. “This technique helps keep your lip colour in place longer and reduces ‘bleeding’.” I look in the mirror. My lips are dramatic, but elegant. “Look at how white your teeth are!” says Alphie. It’s true. My skin looks dewy, my eyes clearer and my teeth whiter, but my lips are without doubt the highlight. For the fifirst time, I can really understand why we’re drawn to red lipstick. It feels incredible that a simple splash of colour can make such a difffference — this chic, audacious hue instantly inspires a rush of confifidence. That’s the power of red.