Lady In Red: Celebrating Classic Elegance

Published on October 25, 2014 by   ·   4 Comments

Any longtime readers of the Makeup Forum will know my love for crazy colored cosmetics, especially anything green (if you missed them, there are a couple of pieces HERE and HERE that really explore my love of color), but there is something to be said for classic elegance.  And nothing is more classic than the ruby red lip.

00000000000000 MarilynProbably the first face anyone thinks of with the red lip is Marilyn Monroe.  There are countless prints of Monroe with a fire engine red pout, but in reality Marilyn’s signature “red” was actually more of a berry pink (if you’d like to read my blog about my fascination with Marilyn, which includes a video tutorial I found about her signature makeup look, you can find that HERE).  The nice thing about red is that there is a shade for everyone from deep wine to candy apple to pink-tinged berry shades.  Some have more of a blue base while other’s tend toward a yellow-y tomato red color.  But let’s not discount the true, primary red.  I firmly believe that ANYONE can wear a red lip; the key is how you do your eyes.

I true red lip is a strong statement, and so how you do your eyes can make or break your overall look.  In most cases, the best option is to choose an eye that is more subtle: a nice neutral eye with some champagne shimmer and a strong black eyeliner is always a good choice.  If you want to go bolder, stick with a smoky eye to keep your look monochromatic.  Use blacks or gunmetals/grays to create the smoke, and white, either matte or with shimmer, as your highlight.  If you get too many competing colors, it can quickly turn into a Technicolor nightmare.  If you want to get crazy and have competing colors on your eyes and lips that still create a balanced face, I suggest sticking with black and white and adding strong touches of green.  Green is the direct contrast to red and as long as you use the color with black and white, instead of bringing in a range of other colors, you can create a strong eye look that will contrast the red lip while also creating a balanced face.

As you move away from the true, primary red, you can start to bring some additional color into the eye look.  Love a wine or burgundy lip?  Do the smoky eye, but blend in some plum or purple shades with the black and use lavender as your highlight.  If your chosen red is more of an orange-y red, bright that citrus freshness into the eye area with orange, tangerine, and yellow, and finish off with a strong black liner.  Of course if you’re an enormous drag queen like me, go ahead and use your whole palette!

We are living in a makeup moment where people are open to vivid colors, and using gorgeous colors all over the face.  Red is no longer assigned only to the lips and nails: you can find scarlet shades making appearances across cheekbones and on the eye area as well.  As part of this celebration, I thought I’d share some of my favorite red products with you!

I love that the NYX Sex Bomb palette gives you all of the colors for a nude or smoky eye, and then throws in that great berry red color to help you mix it up.  You can go super classic and add a flash of red or smoke out your red for a very seductive look.  I love all of the lip colors, but the Dior is one of my favorites; the smell is a little disappointing, but the applicator is divine and it glides on smoothly.  It’s a bit pinker than the rest, but I threw it in as a tribute to Marilyn.  I’ve been obsessed with Lit Glitter since I discovered them, and Heartbreaker is an amazing holographic glitter that is absolutely to die!  Perfect to glitz up your lip look a la Hedwig and the Angry Inch or to use along with the Sex Bomb palette to add some sparkle to their matte red shadow.  The Hard Candy gloss has a delightful vanilla smell and great chunky glitter.  Russian Red is one of MAC’s many great reds (I first fell in love with red lipstick with the original Viva Glam, back when there was only one member in the Viva Glam family!) and the Wonder Woman packaging is fun (sorry about all of the fingerprints in the pics!).  And the Formula X for Sephora is a special Rouge VIB Members Only color, but look for your chance to win some coming soon to the Makeup Forum!

000000000000 Sugar PillAlso related to both red-themed makeup AND upcoming giveaways, I also love, love, LOVE Sugarpill’s Limited Edition shadow, @#$%!, a berry red shade with metallic shimmer that will be part of a very special giveaway once our upcoming site renovation is complete!  We’ve been talking about it for a while, but the World of Champagne is getting a “cosmetic overhaul” and we’re going to be doing a very special giveaway of Sugarpill products to help celebrate.  Look for both of those giveaways coming to the site very soon!

Now Go Forth And Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (4)
  1. Nikki Q says:

    awesome post. I totally agree with the smokey eye, monochromatic look…makes the red lips even better!!!

  2. Brandy L. says:

    Love a good red lippie

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