Thursday, January 22, 2009

Red Alert

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.


Anonymous said...

Ah, but je suis une gingre, which renders red entirely out the window (and not for the want of trying!) I've made my peace with it, though, and go for smoky eyes and vampy nails instead.

(word verification: rockin!)

The Sexy Pedestrian said...

Even the cherry shade? I have a ginger friend who wears it all the time, depends on the shade of your hair though I guess.

Aaah, ginger people, your hair is naturally vibrant so tough luck, you can't have it all.


Anonymous said...

I never thought I could wear red lipstick. It always looked wrong on me or made my eyes look kind of demented or something BUT THEN I tried smudging it on with my finger - result!

Manuel said...

"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. "

that's just sublime....

MJ said...


I'm a (quite boring really) pale-faced dark-haired chica who actually had a moment of madness not 2 weeks ago.

I usually wear the safe bit of little-colour gloss just to bring a bit of sparkle to the paleface.

Then the moment of madness: I bought bright red lippy.

Haven't had the balls to wear it in public yet. It really is rather dramatic for me :)

The Sexy Pedestrian said...

The first time you put it on is always weird, but you just have to pick the right colour and brave it. A healthy disregard for what other people think is also handy here.

Anonymous said...

You're so right about men being scared of too much lippy. I remember a male friend of mine sending me one of those stupid emails where you fill in favourite foods, favourite holiday, etc etc. Under 'things that scare you' he had put down too much lipstick

Needless to say I toned it down in his company from then on, lol.
Great post :)

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