Red Hot

Red lipstick is a signature of vintage glam.  Popular in the 1930s and 1940s this is a must have item for all vintage lovers.  It’s also an easy and affordable way to infuse vintage style into your everyday routine.  

Now I’m not usually a bright lipstick girl and my work is pretty casual but some days you just need to break out that red lipstick and go for it.  It’s amazing how something that simple can change your outlook on the day and add a bounce to your step.  Similar to a great pair of heels, red lipstick gives you that “I am a strong, beautiful women so look out world” feeling.  And don’t we all need that some days?

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

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I will admit that I was afraid of red lipstick for a while though.  It can be intimidating.  Do I go with cherry red?  Brick red?  A blue undertone or orange for my skin tone?  How do I keep it from smearing all over my face?  Never fear, we are here with a quick guide to all things red:

1.  Picking your shade:  This was always the most difficult part for me and there is lots of conflicting advice out there.  The best and most useful advice I found is that choosing a red is less about the shade (orange-red, blue-red, true red) but how bright that color is against your skin tone. So for instance if you have fair skin an orange-red will be a really bright pop on you.  Doesn’t mean it won’t work but it’s something to note and adjust the rest of your makeup accordingly.  More information and examples can be found in this article.

On a recent shopping trip to a local vintage store we were very excited to find this line of cosmetics.  The packaging alone is worth checking out Besame cosmetics.   I have their classic color lipstick in Red Velvet, described as a “deep, rich red flattering on most skin tones. Great for office wear or everyday red, neutral and not too bright.”  It looks great on my fair skin. 

2.   Keep the rest of your makeup simple and clean, especially for a day time look.  Personally I just do my basic foundation, blush, powder and mascara routine and let the lipstick be the star of the show.

3.  Prevent color bleed:  Find a lip liner shade that’s close to your natural lip color and use it to outline and fill in your lips.  This will help the color to not bleed and avoiding red liner will prevent a two-tone effect from mismatched shades of red.  An alternate option for preventing “bleeding” is to apply a little concealer around the border of your mouth.

Do you have any favorite red lipsticks or great tips for wearing red lipstick?  Sound off in the comments below.

“I said pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”  

 ― Marilyn Monroe


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