a little bit of everything and a whole lot of film

4 Feb 2014

The Perfect Red

Passion. Fire. Love.

All words that come to mind when you hear or see the word, Red. But then the words sophisticated, timeless and classic are also words used to describe the perfect red lipstick.

Red lipstick can be sexy, but can also be classy at the same time. Case in point, world renowned  burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese, who wears red lipstick and only red lipstick. (Some of her favorites are Guerlain's Excess de Rouge, Dior's Rouge Bingo and Dolce Vita and Mac's Ruby Woo). It is interesting to note that no matter what lip color one may wear, it's the way one carries herself that truly comes across, and that's how the world around her will perceive her, not by the color she wears (Although it helps. A lot). Confidence speaks volumes, no matter what the makeup is, but I digress.

Many women I have met are afraid to wear red lipstick. What is it that they're afraid of exactly? Is it the sexual connotations? The association with "call girls"/adult film stars? I must point out though, that the uniform adult film star makeup is some form of smoky eye, bronzed skin and nude, glossy lips. Read it: nude, not red. Red, for them, would be too high maintenance, if you get my drift. Red lipstick requires meticulous application, lipliner is a must and one has to constantly check that their lipcolour has not traveled to different parts of their face or worse yet, onto their teeth. One has to be truly careful, conscious of her manner and still appear lady like when she wears red lipstick.

So one may wonder, why go through all the trouble of wearing red lipstick?

Simple.

Because it's beautiful.

 I, for one, feel like more of a woman (if that is even possible), whenever I wear red lipstick and these are my favourites:

1. Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in # 99 Pirate - blue based satin red, it's creamy, lasts for hours on the lips, and it's Chanel, need I say more? Around 180AED, Chanel counters at Paris Gallery, Sephora, Areej, Harvey Nichols, Debenhams

Chanel #99 Pirate
Chanel #99 Pirate

2. Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Fire and Ice - considered a cult classic; a fire engine red that is leaning towards orange, almost but not quite. The interesting thing about this lipstick is that it changes color depending on the lighting and your skin tone, so sometimes it looks darker, at times it looks a bit brighter. At only 48AED, who can say no? Revlon counters at Boots Pharmacies, Carrefour, Waitrose

Revlon Fire and Ice
Revlon Fire and Ice

3. Makeup Forever Ever Professional Rouge Artist Intense in Moulin Rouge - may you be cool toned or warm toned, this lipstick would suit you to a T. (I know because when I used to work at Paris Gallery, we put this lipstick to the test and had different women try it on and they ALL looked good, no joke). MUFE lipsticks have one of the best formulations, creamy, pigmented and moisturizing (they never flaked on me yet, scouts honor) so I love this brand and I love this color. And with vintage Paris burlesque as its inspiration, how could you go wrong? 98AED at Sephora, Paris Gallery and Makeup Forever Stores

Makeup Forever Moulin Rouge

Makeup Forever Moulin Rouge


4. MAC matte lipstick in Russian Red - Everybody and I mean, everybody has heard of Russian Red. Madonna has immortalized it, Gwen Stefani circa 1997 rocked it and Dita Von Teese always has it in her red lipstick arsenal. MAC describes it as an intense bluish red and classifies it as a matte lipstick but it definitely isn't as drying as say, Ruby Woo. Still, as with all mattes, do not forget to moisturize your lips well beforehand. This lipstick needs no further introduction. 93AED at all MAC stores and counters across the UAE

MAC Russian Red

MAC Russian Red

5. Christian Dior Diorific 013 Rouge Bingo - They have apparently changed its name to Ange Bleu along with new packaging, and before that they also had us baffled with its English name, Roulette Red. Why do they love confusing us no? Anyhow, this is another one of Dita Von Teese's favorites. It comes encased in the loveliest vintage looking gold and blue striped case. Conveying a very vavavoom 1940's/50's screen siren image, this is also a true blue toned red, muted enough for the office or brunch, if you would like to feel glamourous. I know I do! 190AED at Christian Dior counters everywhere

Dior Rouge Bingo

Dior Rouge Bingo

6. MAC matte lipstick in Lady Danger - Showstopping orange red, makes one think of plump juicy tomatoes. With this color, you'll be making a bold statement, one that screams "I am confident and fabulous!" The shade name is right on, too. 93AED Mac counters everywhere
MAC Lady Danger

MAC Lady Danger

7. MAC Satin lipstick in MAC Red - One of my first ever MAC lipsticks - not too loud, in fact, not loud  at all, more muted but still, when did red ever become a wallflower? This is the perfect red for the red lipstick virgins, it's a satin too so it's not as drying as MAC's mattes. Blue toned neutral red with hints of orange. 93AED at MAC counters everywhere but I always go to the ones in Sahara Mall or Marina Mall, their SAs are knowledgeable, helpful and not sulky (in the "I'm too good for you, you lowly little commoner" kind of way) in the least. With that said, MAC in Dubai mall is my least favorite, one particular SA would not know the lipstick shades even if they came alive and bit her on the bum.


MAC Red
Mac Red

8. Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Revlon Red - Ahh the revenge of the Reds. This is an orange based red, but only very subtly so. Creamy, even a little runny but for the price, it can't be beat. 48AED Revlon counters at Boots Pharmacy, Carrefour and Waitrose


Revlon Red

Revlon Red
9. Nars lipstick in Flamenco - Hola mamacita, balair conmigo! This is the sheerest of all the reds in this list, definitely for the newbie, but please do not be fooled by its red hot name. This is a creamy, semi opaque bordering on sheer yet buildable type of red. Hints of blue based red laced with brown. 88AED Sephora stores

NARS Flamenco

NARS Flamenco

10. MAC matte lipstick in Ruby Woo - The lipstick that does not budge. After eating, drinking, kissing (!) this lipstick stays on and on and on. It is the most drying out of all the lipsticks I own though, seeing that it's super matte. Application is a little tricky, you need to press it onto the lips more than usual, it somehow feels like you're gliding chalk onto your lips but trust me, with a little patience and careful precision, you'll have the most vivid true red lips ever. I first saw this color in an issue of Vogue magazine (US) many moons ago, on Caroline Ribeiro if I'm not mistaken, it was a backstage photo, she was being made up, and she was draped across a chair, half done, half undone, with the most beautiful lipstick color I have ever laid my eyes on. The caption said MAC Ruby Woo, suitable for every skin tone, and true enough as Caroline was tanned bronze in that photo and the next time I saw Ruby Woo was on a very pale Dita Von Teese. I need this color always. You need this color always. 93AED, MAC counters everywhere

MAC Ruby Woo

MAC Ruby Woo

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1 comment

  1. On my last prom night, I wore a black gown with light makeup. I did my makeover from Lina Cameron, who trains best make-up lesson by Lina Cameron also in my town! She used Russian Red on me. I so love that formula of Mac and the color is bomb! Its a universal shade and my favorite in my red series! <3

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