Red lips have power

Calgary Herald New Condos - - Weekend Life - EVA FRIEDE

“Beauty, to me, is about be­ing com­fort­able in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lip­stick.” — Gwyneth Pal­trow

It’s a hol­i­day clas­sic, the in­stant fix that says glam­our, el­e­gance and con­fi­dence. Think Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor and Scar­lett Jo­hans­son. Or Rita Hay­worth, Tay­lor Swift and Pene­lope Cruz.

The red lip is like the high heel, says Neil Young, M.A.C’s se­nior artist for North Amer­ica. “It makes a woman look pow­er­ful,” he said.

But red lip­stick is no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to ap­ply and make stick — bleed­ing red pig­ment on your face and teeth is the last thing you need at the of­fice party, or worse, a hot date.

As for colour, it has to match your skin: try the wrong red and you can ap­pear gar­ishly made up.

But a funny thing hap­pened on my way to find out what red lip­stick suits whom and how to ap­ply it. Ev­ery makeup artist I con­sulted — and they were the top artists for many ma­jor brands — rec­om­mended a red that they said suited ev­ery woman.

The rule of thumb is this: If your skin tone is warm, you go for an orange or coral red; if it’s cool, you look for blue un­der­tones, so the hue leans to fuch­sia and rasp­berry.

A true red has nei­ther orange nor blue pig­ments, ac­cord­ing to Julie Cus­son, na­tional makeup artist for Chanel, Lora Spiga, Lancôme’s go-to pro, and Ed­die Mal­ter, the L’Oréal makeup mae­stro.

“True red is the eas­i­est, most ver­sa­tile red to wear. It’s a clas­sic, time­less. It suits every­body,” Spiga said, rec­om­mend­ing Lancôme’s L’Ab­solu Rouge in Ab­so­lute Rouge. And make sure that it is a creamy red with­out sparkling light re­flec­tors, which mir­ror light and can pick up other tones like pink and orange, Spiga says. “Pure red is neu­tral in tone. That is the good news. It suits every­body,” Cus­son said, sug­gest­ing Chanel’s Vel­vet Al­lure in La Pré­cieuse from its hol­i­day lim­ited col­lec­tion.

And Mal­ter points to L’Oréal’s Colour Riche Red Pas­sion. “It’s the one I use for all com­plex­ions. It mar­ries well with warm and cool tones.”

Bruno Bernard/Files

Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe was said to have used at least three shades of lip­stick at one time.

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