Red Lipstick

I was once told that you should only marry a man who faints in your presence. I’m not sure whether, in our romance-devout times, that is entirely practical, but I do know that being a woman can be a powerful thing.

Everyone remembers the first time they realised they could get something they wanted by being a girl. I’m not talking about getting the job by flirting with the boss which is, of course, despicable but something much more innocent.

Perhaps the cute 15 year old boy allowed you to go through the door first or the bus conductor let you to buy a ticket despite being 5p short. That first little thrill of power is addictive and will stay with you forever.

We all know the girls who go too far; no one wants to see you flirt with a tutor to get an extension and don’t even think about wearing a low cut top to an interview. Still, there are moments when a little dance with debauchery (or at least looking like you do) can do wonders for your self confidence.

A friend of mine once told me that she thought red lipstick was only for the so-called ‘pretty girls’. This is ridiculous. The benefit of red lipstick is that it’s all about authority and aggression and raw sexuality. Those aspects do not coincide with being merely ‘pretty’. Red lipstick is donned, like armor, by those who believe themselves truly fabulous. And this is half the appeal.

Girls, I present to you: my three favorite red lipsticks.

Chanel in New York Red – my Grandmother (the Beauty Dowager) told me that a girl’s first lipstick should always be Chanel. Yes, the money would be better going to world hunger but I always think that if you’re going to splurge you should go big. This color is intense and bold as well as moisturizing. Those interlinked Cs don’t hurt either.

Guerlain in Folie de Grenant – The color name is a bit pretentious but don’t hold that against it. There are few colors dramatic enough to require almost no eye make-up and this is one of them. Wear with caution, my friends. Once they faint over you, you’re stuck with them.

Nars in Jungle Red – This is as strong and sexy as the Amazon women inhabiting the jungle it’s named after. Perfectly matte and incredibly pigmented, it seems as if your lips are naturally that color, creating a ‘geisha’ effect. I absolutely adore it and have been known to wear it and heels and nothing else in my bedroom after a hard day. Preferably with a glass of champagne.

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