Thursday, January 22, 2009
Unless you're spending it alone except for a bottle of gin or with a bunch of bitter singletons, contrary to what cosmetics companies and enthusiastic beauty editors will tell you, Valentine's Day is not a day for red lipstick.
If you're in a relationship, your other half will look like a tranny within 20 minutes, giving you an interesting idea of what he might look like if he were a lady.
If you're trying to lure a man into your life or, from a male point of view, into your slightly scary Valentine's-crazed clutches, you might as well just head for the kebab shop and go home right now, because men are terrified of anything darker than a neutral gloss.
You've been reading magazines and they've told you that, to truly celebrate the occasion, you should go all out - red lips, ruby nails, scarlet suspenders, the lot - what a vamp! Right?
Wrong. To a man, red lipstick is the social equivalent of being tarred and feathered. And it's a bitch of a stain to get out of a shirt.
For other occasions of course, it's absolutely fine, some would say essential. Every girl should have at least one fail-safe red lippy. Finding the right one takes time, it's trial and error. You'll discover the wrong colour makes you look like the love child of Pete Burns and a circus clown. The right one will make you look like a smokin' amalgamation of Dita Von Teese and sex itself.
After many, many mistakes, I eventually discovered La Roche-Posay's 'Novalip' Rouge Satin - this stuff incorporates the micro-exfoliating agent LHA, which their science geeks say "stimulates exfoliation and cell generation".
It comes in 14 shades ( €16.50 from most chemists). Shade 191 (below, right) is a 'just eaten an ice-pop' cherry-red colour, great for partying. No. 198 (below, left) is a deeper, bluer matte red, try these two first to get a feel for what suits you.
And for Christ's sake try not to kiss anyone.