There are some staples to a woman’s wardrobe that simply cannot be ignored. A little black dress may catch a fella’s eye and strappy heels may turn a gentleman’s head but nothing puts the shine on the apple like luscious red lips.
Briefest history? Babylonians used ground jewel powder (expensive, no staying powder), Cleopatra used ground beetles (yuck and yes, I know we’re still doing it but we hide it well and let’s leave it at that, shall we?), less affluent Egyptians used henna and ground leaves (poisonous mercury-based plants no less). The long and the short of it: women figured out thousands of years ago that red lips look lovely and who are we to argue with history. Time has marched on however and there are almost as many styles and brands as there are women to wear them. Glossy, matte, pearly, metallic – have a little fun with it, I’m here to talk about the color.
I know that it’s hard to resist the rainbow that greets you when strolling up to your favorite cosmetics counter – nor should you have to, that’s what samples are for, darling. Pink, peach, even plum (if you must) may put you on the cutting edge but the right red can be your best friend long after those others are relegated to the bottom of your oldest clutch purse. Are you a Blonde bombshell? An exotic Brunette? How about the Girl Next Door? No matter – there’s a red for you.
Picture it. You’re in your sweetest frock, smartest suit, or slinkiest strapless number. Your hair is a masterpiece and your eyes sparkle, shine or smolder. Your beau is waiting but you’re still missing that certain je ne sais quoi. Jewelry? Right where it belongs. Shoes? Perfect match (and comfortable to boot, after all, it’s your fantasy). What could it be? The right red on your lips brings your face to life. You’re still you, just more so. Paint on a little glamour and prepare to get noticed.
MAC Dubonnet. Chanel Barcelona Red. Cover Girl Really Red. Lancome Red Desire. Anna Sui Rouge Chine. Mary Kay Red Salsa. Elizabeth Arden Slink. See what catches your eye. Just between us, I can’t tell you which brand I use – no endorsements darling – but I don’t leave the house without it. So put on a little lipstick dear, there is a whole world waiting for you to make your appearance.
—I wrote this a few years ago for RetroRadar—