The colour for now: RED LIPS
The power of an intense lustrous pout is not to be ignored. Emily Cronin explores how you can update your look instantly.
Call it the red-lip renaissance. Notice-me pouts were all over the runways, from a matt stain at Marni to a deep burgundy at Louis Vuitton, and a glossy opaque at Antonio Berardi. (“When I think of a strong, sensual woman, I can’t imagine her without a bold red lip,” says Berardi.) Off the catwalk, rouge-loving ladies from actress Emma Stone to J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons – the namesake of a best-selling orangered Bobbi Brown lipstick – are making the look their signature. No longer the preserve of pin-ups and well-heeled grandmothers, today’s red lips feel anything but retro. And the new formulas make them incredibly user-friendly. Forget brushes, lip pencils, and constant reapplying – the liquid lipsticks from Stila, Shiseido, Elizabeth Arden, and Estée Lauder go on wet and fast, then dry down and don’t budge. (For you die-hard Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil fans, we won’t argue with you: Those chubby pencils are still the easiest way to apply bright crimson or wine in the back of a swerving car.) Between the vast range of shades and finishes
matt, velvet, shiny – there’s a scarlet lip for every wearer. “Red lipstick is my superhero cape,” says Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King. “It’s hugely empowering and always makes me feel a little bit stronger and more in control.” Perennial attractions, yes, but what’s new is how well-suited red lips are to the season’s key looks – from Marc by Marc Jacob’s ’70s glamour-pusses to Nina Ricci’s cherry-lipped ballerinas. Red provides an immediate punch of polish, for a fraction of the price of a designer dress. For those as yet uninitiated into the ranks, here’s how to do it: paint your pout first, then decide how much other make-up you need. It’s modern to keep the rest of your face fairly bare, with just a hint of blush and a couple of coats of mascara. Then prepare for people to notice. “It does create a character,” says Tom Pecheux, creative make-up director at Estée Lauder. “It’s a kind of cold sexy that says, ‘Look at me, I’m luxurious, I’m extremely feminine – but just look, don’t touch.’” This is red, the colour of confidence, which, come to think of it, may be the most ravishing one of all.