April 07, 2010

Pout in red

I was recently at a cocktail party and while freshening up in the powder room, I got into a conversation with a couple of black women. You see, I was freshening up my lipstick and it caused a few quick stares. I happen to be wearing a deep shade of red. I love red lipstick and for me, it's not strictly for evening wear. I wear it comfortably with both a black cocktail dress and a white t-shirt and blue jeans. It brightens up my face AND my mood.

Back to the ladies in the powder room. The consensus amongst the sistas was that red lipstick doesn't work for black women. They said it works for some women and Marilyn Manroe, Gwen Stefanie were mentioned. I concede that it does in fact work for some women and not others. But it has nothing to do with race. Some women like it and some feel too self conscious or might just feel they prefer more conservative make up or they just don't want to bother.

But if you do love a red pout, here's a few tips, specifically for black women when wearing red lipstick:

Skin tone: For black skin, a deep red lipstick with a burgundy, plum, chocolate undertone is the way to go. Stay away from cherry, siren true reds if you’re on the darker side of the scale! Orange, golden, or brown-based reds work best. Although on very dark skin a cool blue fuchsia-red can look beautiful. If you find a matte red intimidating, take baby steps and try a sleek red gloss.

Colour bleed: Because red is a colour that bleeds, be sure to line lips first with either a matching or nude lip liner to prevent colour transfer.

Application: For even application, use a lip brush.

Rest of the Look: Because red lipstick is very dramatic the rest of your look needs to stay subtle. Light eye shadow ( go for one shimmery, allover eye color if you have to wear shadow at all), black/brown eyeliner as close to the lashes as possible and a coat of mascara. For evening make-up, keep blush to a natural tone. And remember, red lips + red nails = TACKY.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this! Your best post yet - I found it useful as I'm trying to get into the make-up thing and, with winter approaching, for glam few things beat fiery red lips against an understated background.