I have a past as a part time promo model, meaning I have been dressed up as anything from Mona Lisa to sexy alien to Janice Dickinson lookalike to 60s gogo girl, handing out gifts and talking to people on the streets of NYC. Sound horrible? Oh, yes indeed. About three years ago I worked the "Go Red For Women Day", being decked out in an ill-fitting red Victoria's Secret coat (that I did not get to keep) and handing out bright red lipsticks to women who looked like they were old enough to start worrying about heart disease. However, those damn lipsticks were hard to get rid of... most 30+ New York working women are pretty stylish and turned down the freebie, deeming the shade as "way too 80s". And you know what, I was completely with them! I would rather have died than worn that tacky Madonna lipstick myself!
Now, however, that bright red shade seems to be back. I've noticed lately when I'm in someone's makeup chair that more and more artists love to put a bright red lip on me.... and every time I open a magazine there seems to be 80s red in abundance! On the left is the September '09 subscriber cover of ELLE Sweden (note that gorgeous fuchsia Chanel too while you're at it), and on the right a runway look at Alexander McQueen and behind the scenes at Giorgio Armani, respectively. I'd say don't try the McQueen lips at home...
But how DO you do it at home, anyway? I'm a lipgloss girl and barely own any lipsticks at all. However, I recently decided it's time to start experimenting a little more... so I picked up a few tubes, went crazy in front of the bathroom mirror and compiled this little checklist:
1) Don't go drugstore! To avoid smudging and a tacky look overall, go for a brand name: I like Chanel, NARS and Dior.
2) Keep your hair, nails and the rest of your makeup in check! No crazy hair, dark nails or smokey eyes, unless you're a goth chick or being made up for the runway or a photo shoot, where everything definitely goes....
3) Don't forget the liner! Bleeding lipstick looks horrible, so do use a liner. It should be neutral colored, typically just a tad darker than the natural color of your lip (MAC Spice is a favorite!).
4) Blend different shades for a better result! Take note from the MUAs - I have almost never seen an artist slather one shade of lipstick on me straight from the tube. Use a lip brush and apply from the center and out to avoid an overly made up look, and do experiment with different blends of color to see what compliments your skin tone the most.
Also, needless to say, be careful with your wardrobe choices when wearing your bright red... I tend to think this look works best for clubs and catwalks, and not so much for any other occasion. But you never know until you try it first, right? Maybe even those 80s hating business women would give it a shot now, three years down the road! :)
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
4 years ago