Can you rock a red lipstick? Should you?
While watching the 72nd Golden Globes I couldn’t help but notice the quintessential red lipstick making an appearance on a fewer of the older women at the awards. Now, red lipstick is one of those makeup statements that becomes tricky as you get older. Personally, I hate any makeup trend or makeup advice that dictates how we choose to look as we age, after all, you’ve got so far in life. Do what makes you happy right? Well, sort of.
Unfortunately, as we age, our ‘makeup look’ can become dated, or the choice of colours that once looked amazing just doesn’t seem to work any more. Last decades look begins to make us look older than we actually are.
The lipstick conundrum.
Okay, why the conundrum? If red lipstick no longer works, just stop wearing it! Well, sure, but then there is the dilemma of the pale lip, which is often opted for by many women. Most of the time it looks amazing, especially with a smokey and dramatic eye. But, how does this look translate for the older women? As ‘pinched lipped’ as a big bold red can make you look, if it’s the wrong tone, the gorgeous pale, barely-there lip, can leave you looking washed out and, well, a bit drab. A hint of colour will always be the best alternative. But, how much colour? When it comes to red, it’s a fine line to tread upon making sure a big bold red looks beautiful at any age.
The key to choosing a beautiful red lipstick.
First up, you need to work out your own natural complexion tone. Be that cool and light, warm and light, warm with darker tones or warm with lighter tones. Whichever tone you are, there is one universal truth which should be upheld when it comes to choosing a red lipstick.
Avoid the reds with too much depth or where there is too much brown, dark plum or brick colour, they will give the mouth a harsh appearance.
Whether you choose a warm red or a cool red, make sure your lipstick has brightness over depth of colour. Or if it is deep and intense then apply in a ‘just barely there’ fashion to avoid it looking too heavy against your complexion. This is especially true if your natural lip line is on the thin side and avoid dark or matching lip pencils, instead opt for a few shades lighter than your chosen red lipstick, or even better, try one of the newer pencils that define the lip and soften the lip line without adding any colour at all, such as, Estee Lauder’s Stay in Place Lipliner in Clear or Christian Dior’s Universal Contour Lip Liner.
I’ve picked 5 women who truly rocked the red lipstick on the Golden Globe Red Carpet earlier this week.
Viola Davis (49)
Viola was nominated for her performance in the television series How to Get Away with Murder. She lost out to Ruth Wilson for her performance in The Affair. However, what she did get away with was a big, bold red lipstick. I think Viola could get away with anything, but on the occasion of the Golden Globes, she chose a warm red to match her beautiful skin. Giorgio Armani’s, Rouge Armani #401 would be perfect for anyone with warm tones to their skin.
Naomi Watts (46)
Starring in the Golden Globe-nominated motion picture, St Vincent. Naomi chose to go bright with a gorgeous cool lipstick. With Naomi’s light blonde hair and equally light complexion, a cool red is perfect. Something like Mac’s Russian Red would be a perfect choice if like Naomi you have cool, pale tones in your skin and hair.
Patricia Arquette (46)
I love Patricia Arquette, a great actress who seems completely unaffected by Hollywood. Patricia was nominated and won the best actress in a supporting role for her performance in the film Boyhood. Even though a blonde, Patricia has warmer tones in her skin so a soft, warm red is going to work for her, something like Chanel’s Rouge Coco in #19 Gabrielle, will give her the bright pop of red without to much intensity. Perfect.
Meryl Streep (65)
Once again Meryl is nominated for yet another brilliant performance, this time in deep character as the scary witch in the film, directed by Rob Marshall, Into the Woods. A clever screen adaptation of some of our most loved and remembered fairy tales. Meryl chose a red bright enough to get noticed, but not so intense as to create a pinched look. Meryl is a light, but a warm-toned woman and a soft, almost neutral red are perfect. Something like the absolute classic red lip of Estee Lauder’s Signature Lipstick in Rich Red.
Helen Mirren (69)
Does this woman ever get it wrong? Hardly ever! This year nominated for best actress in the film The Hundred-Foot Journey. Didn’t win this year as Amy Adams stole the show for her role in Big Eyes. Helen always looks amazing and a true pin-up girl of sorts for how to age magnificently. Helen is a cool, cool blonde and needs a soft, cool lipstick. Nothing too matt or intense. In fact, just a soft shine in a lipstick like Lancome’s L’ absolu Rouge in Caprice #132 would be absolutely perfect if you have colouring similar to Helen.
You’re still not convinced?
If you are the practical type like me, then you may like to keep your options open and mix your lipsticks until you find the perfect blend. If so, you may like, actually you may love, my favourite from Makeup Forever. Creamy perfection in Rouge Artists Lip Palette with 5 colours. I choose the palette warm beige, but there are 8 palettes in the range.
See you next time,