Red lip contrast


I like the idea of being the woman in red lipstick.

Perhaps more than actually being the woman in red lipstick.

It takes courage to wear red. Real, tangible, serious confidence. I wouldn’t have had it a year ago, when I was heavier and downtrodden and uncertain about life in general. But 2013, for as tough as it’s been, has also provided opportunities to grow and change and act a little wild.

I walked in from my lunch break yesterday wearing a bright, bright, really really bright red shade. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect kiss-proof shade for the last few days, knowing I want to rock a red lip for the wedding but decidedly do not want my soon-to-be husband to do the same.

A trip to Ulta yielded a sample of a Stila color, but it had flaked and kissed off on my diet soda by mid-afternoon. When Spence and I met to grocery shop in the evening, I “tested” it with a smooch — and, um, yeah. My guy looked freshly kissed, all right. Kind of cute in a romance-novel way, but definitely not going to work before 150 of our nearest and dearest in a few weeks.

A coworker is lovely and quite knowledgeable about all things makeup — and she was impressed with my choice. Though I never leave the house without something on my face, I rarely rock bold shades. I spend way too much time drinking and eating on the job to worry about mussing up my looks and, to be honest, I’m just not that fussy.

But she liked the red lip. With my fair skin, super-dark hair and brown eyes, the red really pops. “You’re high contrast,” she said. “Has anyone ever told you that?”

They hadn’t. But I like it.

Though I feel like a vampy vixen in red lipstick, I also feel a little self-conscious in the shade — almost like I’ve worn a too-revealing dress, you know? Lipstick is reserved for special occasions. And as we draw closer to W-Day, I’ve had to get serious about finding one. I’m having a professional do my makeup that morning, but she recommended getting my own lipstick so I can easily reapply throughout the day. I agreed easily, not too concerned, but I really should have been.

I should have been.

Because finding the perfect no-smudge, gorgeous red lip color ever for my wedding?


Like always, I’ve turned to the trusty Internet for help with this life-altering decision — and found several lists of recommendations. I imagine I’ll be off to the drugstore on my lunch break for a little research. I’m leaning toward the Revlon or Maybelline products because, well, they’re in my budget. But if anyone has a favorite or some advice, please feel free to share!

I know I’ll find something — and hopefully something my fiance won’t have to wear, too.

And either way, I like the idea of being high contrast . . . a measure in extremes.

I want “bold” to suit me.

Red sunglasses

17 thoughts on “Red lip contrast

  1. I adore lipstick. I never leave home without it. I wear it allll the time. Bold and dark colors are my thing. But for some reason I always feel like a hooker in red lips. I love it on other people though. I reallllly need to get over it.


  2. I’ve heard that the best lip color for weddings is to find the shade you want in a lip pencil. Then, fill in your entire set of lips with the pencil! This supposedly stays put and keeps its color without rubbing off on anything. If you want more of a shine, just add a long-lasting lip gloss….

    So there’s my two cents…it’s been the thing recommended to me, but I have yet to try it. You’ll have to tell me if you do and how it works =)


  3. I have several reds from Clinique that I wear. I have always worn red and one day I decided to use more of a “natural” color and everyone wanted to know if I was sick. Back to red! The trick (and mine stays on all day) is to begin with a lip pencil (I really like the Rimmel for staying power) that matches your lipstick. Trace the shape you want (doesn’t have to be your natural lip) and color in. Then apply your lipstick. The mattes stay longer than the glosses. I rarely reapply anything during the day. Another trick and people don’t believe me is to brush your teeth before you begin applying your makeup. This way all residue is gone by the time you get to the lipstick. I also sometimes brush after if I forget. Never affects it. Rock that red and have a wild time!


  4. I can definitely vouch for the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain! It’s awesome. It comes on like a balm but after the balm comes off it leaves a red stain that won’t budge and sometimes even requires effort to remove. You can always reapply the product at that point or just add chapstick if your lips feel dry! Very low maintenance. It’s definitely my go to red lip for special events. But I have almost all the colors i love them so much.


  5. I love my Beauticontrol lipstick! If you want it to stay all day/night, try applying lipstick, dab it off, dust with a translucent powder, then apply another coat! It’s a red lip saver!


  6. Mac lipsticks are awesome! If you blot, in my experience it doesn’t smudge at all. And I completely agree with you about red lipstick, it def requires confidence and (or maybe because?) something about it makes you stand out. I also never thought I could pull off red lips because I like to keep my makeup very subtle/natural-looking but now I wear it pretty often and love it! Good luck with your search 🙂


  7. I’m so scared of a red lip 1) because I have thin lips and it seems pointless 2) I don’t reapply. Ever. I think I’m going more golden/sparkly/ethereal for my own wedding, but I LOVE your pop of red for yours. So dramatic and vintage FABULOUS (from what I envision of your dress/shoe/makeup combo)


  8. Love the red lips! I almost wore red lipstick for our wedding (we tried it out at the make up trial) but I was concerned about the lip imprint it would leave on Eric, too, so I ended up going with a different shade. I loved the peachy-pink shade we chose, and it worked better with the overall “look,” but I’ll still wear red lipstick whenever we go out. 🙂


  9. I find the matte lipsticks by wet n wild rather longwearing! 🙂 They come in lots of different shades (nude to bold to vampy) and are very affordable.
    I love wearing reds and bold lipcolours in general. To me they’re not reserved for special occasions. If I feel like it, I’ll just wear them 🙂


  10. Nars is my fave…they have a satiny lip pencil sort of thing that is awesome and I use a clear lip pencil to keep it in the lines…lol…I just got a red lip pencil from Topshop @Nordstroms that I also love…and I still love Clinique’s Chubby Sticks…my fave is tomato! Have fun choosing!


  11. Lipstick is the one bit of makeup I feel fraught about. I feel phoney with anything more daring than a pink toned nude. One thing I have found that I’ve enjoyed is the Tarte Matte Lip Tints. Also I’ve heard tell of lip primer, though I’ve never tried it out. Maybe it’s the solution to bleeding colours?


    • Seconded! And I’m not a red-lip wearer regularly, but I wore this for Halloween and loved, loved, loved it. Such a classic red shade and it stayed put even through a meal!


  12. Woo hoo! I’m glad I am late in commenting, so I see your end result. I’m not a huge red lipstick person (wrong coloring)…I normally go for the mauvy or natural stuff but I knew they had no smudge stuff out there that was affordable. Red lipstick suits you!


  13. They’re more $$$, but I love NARS Red Lizard and MAC Ruby Woo. Classic, gorgeous matte reds that you can have for years. I have a great red from Bobbi Brown, too, but I forget the name of the shade.


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