"Beauty to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass lipstick." Gwyneth Paltrow
I must admit I have to agree! As you all know, makeup for me is one of the most personal and individual elements of any woman, its not a one size fits all and wouldn't it be boring if it was! Each woman, unique in their own way, finding the products and techniques that give them that daily boost of feel good. I always feel the magic from that and I hope my Sunday school sessions will do that for you too!
After today's session of all things red lips, I wanted to leave some info for you here as a point of reference when you need to look back. (here's hoping this is the only time in your life you need to look back 😉)
Let me give you a little insight into why a red lip is so much more than just makeup! Throughout the centuries it has been deeply connected to some of the world's most powerful women and has also represented the rise of femininity throughout time.
Popular it may be now but that wasn't always the case. Red lips were seen as demonic in the Dark Ages, women who wore a red lip were deemed to be fraternising with the devil. The Lord bless us and save us 🙈
Thanks to Elizabeth Arden handing out red lipsticks to the protestors in the suffragette marches on fifth avenue in New York, red lips became symbolic for women's rights, it wasn't long before it spread across the oceans and became a worldwide symbol for activitists far and wide. By wearing red lips, protestors all over the world have replicated the same power the suffragette movement created.
Red lipstick became a political statement and to this day is seen by all as a symbol of confidence and empowerment.
Moving from the flapper era of the 1920s to early Hollywood, red lipstick started to signal glamour. With so many hues, it became a weapon of confidence, an intimidation tool, so much so, the renowned Adolf Hitler couldn't stand to see a woman wearing red lipstick, when I say makeup has power, I mean that more than you probably realised!
Love it or hate it, it is one of thee most powerful bullets in the world.
"Read my red lips, it is extraordinary to be normal, normal is real" - Sandra Gillen
Two major factors in choosing YOUR perfect red:
Below is the perfect pictorial explaining each undertone by Stephen Dimmick.
The finish of your chosen lipstick can determine a couple of factors, comfort, longevity, application, touch ups etc.
From liquid matte to stains there is a finish to suit every eventuality and ocassion.
Mattes tend to last longer with less maintenance but are very drying on the lips (not always the easiest for touch ups though)
Satin/lustre/cream/gloss finishes are more comfortable and hydrating.
Tints and stains are for those who don't like the full on look of a bold lip however like a little colour for their complexion.
What you choose is completely up to your personal preference, there is no right or wrong, only what makes you feel good and gives you that boost of confidence in your day.
As you can see from the above MAC swatches the undertone we talked about earlier is pretty clear.
MAC Red has a cool undertone (always makes teeth appear whiter, there is a blue undertone)
Ruby Woo (my fav) is quite universal flattering pretty much every skin tone.
Lady Danger is geared towards a warmer skin tone as it has an orange undertone complimenting the yellow tones of a warmer skin tone. (think sunset colours)
Application is your next and final step to nail down.
Here's a couple of guidlelines to help you along!
Exfoliate and hydrate (probably the most important step) Do this at the start of your makeup routine, your lips will be perfectly prepped when it comes time to paint them.
Remove dead skin. DO NOT apply lipstick on top of dead skin 🤢
Use a lip liner to fill lips entirely, it will help prevent bleeding and your lipstick will grab to the wax of the pencil. When your lipstick wears away, you will be left with even coverage not an outline 😳
Blot and powder in between layers for longevity.
Use a little concealer on edges to tidy and sculpt.
Finish with a little translucent powder on edges to further prevent bleeding especially if you have fine lines/wrinkles.
Full demo below at
Before I leave you, here are some of thee most popular reds worldwide.
Nars Dragon Girl
MAC Ruby Woo
Pat McGrath Elson
NYX Pure Red
Nars Don't Stop
Lancome Isabella 189
I choose shades that are universal, won't make your teeth look yellow, have different textures and will give you that red lip worthy status we all desire!
I hope you enjoyed this little 101 and history on why I dedicated a whole Sunday session to perfecting your red lip, looks like it is pretty powerful after all!
Until next time!