Nothing has quite the same impact as a shoe by Christian Louboutin. That ever so recognisable red sole stands out in the most remarkably alluring and seductive way. It was the combination of red Chanel nail polish and the feeling that Louboutin’s designs “lacked energy” that resulted in the incorporation of this distinctive trademark. And so, Christian Louboutin shoes have become the epitome of class and sophistication, while being utterly sexy. This not only highlights the innovation of Louboutin’s designs, but also the stark impact that the colour red has on its audience. It is loaded with extreme connotations – sex, scandal, danger, heat, love – the wearer of red not only embodies these connotations but evokes them in her audience. Which is why, for me, nothing creates more impact than a strong red lip.
Finding the perfect red lip colour on the other hand, is a challenge. When there are so many shades, tones, brands, and textures, finding the right one for you which suits your skin tone and creates the most impact is the hardest part, but once you have found that ‘perfect red’ it will be a classic staple for anytime you need to feel ultra-glam. In this post I want to share with you four of my old, tried and tested favourite reds starting with the first red lipstick I bought as an adult. Before I do so though, I want to mention my three fail-safe rules when wearing red (or any bright colours for that matter). Number One: Exfoliate and moisturise those lips! Bright shades are going to make any sign of chapped lips twice as visible. If you constantly suffer with dry lips then always apply a light layer of lip balm first and avoid matte lipsticks. Number Two: Use a lipliner. Not only defines the lips but will stop the lipstick from bleeding. Number Three: Use a brush to apply the colour. Makes lips look far sharper and polished and avoids any accidental going-outside-of-the-lipline-scenarios. Now for my top four. Ruby Woo by Mac is a gorgeous, slightly blue toned, bright red that will lift any look and provide that vital pop of colour. It is ultra long-lasting with a dense matte finish. The depth of colour and matte texture make this lipstick smudge and budge proof- which means it can be difficult to remove if you go outside the lip-line and make a mistake. It also means the lipstick has a slight waxy texture which can pull on the lips during application however this means that the colour truly holds for hours. The same can be said for Box by Illamasqua, this is a universal deep scarlet suitable for most skin tones and will last hours. For anyone a bit nervous of a matte finish, Illamasqua’s Intense Lipgloss in Succubus applied on top will give you a luscious, glossy finish. For a semi-matte lipstick I love Tom Ford’s Smoke Red. Not quite as “smokey” (muted) as the name would suggest, this shade actually boasts a hint of fuchsia, while not as bright as Ruby Woo or Box, Smoke Red is a deeply pigmented lipstick with a high impact result. While I love the true-red colour of the Mac and Illamasqua lipsticks, Tom Ford really stands out where the former two fail in terms of its packaging. The ivory and gold casing of Smoke Red is the ultimate in luxe-lipstick and makes for a truly beautiful accessory. The gold casing of Yves Saint Laurent’s Rouge Volupté Perle in 111 shares Tom Ford’s passion for desirable packaging and is perfect for those wanting an ultra-hydrating, high shine lipstick. The moisturising formula leaves a glossy finish while delivering long lasting colour. Easy to apply this lipstick is preferable for those not wanting a matte finish.
While these lipsticks are not the cheapest on the market – in this instance the cheapest starts with Mac’s Ruby Woo retailing at £15.00 while the most expensive is Tom Ford’s Smoke Red at £36.00 (Illamasqua’s Box and YSL’s Rouge Volupté retail at £16.50 and £24.50 respectively), I do believe that like a pair of Louboutins, a red lipstick is an investment. It will last a long time and can be a perfect go-to for nights out, statement days, or even just to cheer yourself up when the weather is miserable.