Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Eight

Day 8

Red lipstick

Perhaps this is one that is best suited to the female of the species, but I won’t judge you; if Johnny Depp can rock the whole kohl-around-the-eyes scene, I’m sure there’s room for lads in lippy.

Winter is the only time of year I tend to wear red lipstick. There’s reasons for that; changes in the light, being under artificial bulbs, being winter-pale, and also, frankly craving a bit of colour. There’s an awful saying that after 40, women have to steer clear of bright colours especially in make-up. I say, rubbish; if it suits you, wear it whatever your age.

But there is a trick to finding the right red, and it depends on skin tone. I’m very fair but only reds with a blue undertone work for me. Reds with an orange undertone make me look like a jaundiced bride of Dracula. My favourite ever red hasn’t existed for sale for a LONG time; it was called Dragon’s Blood, came in a little glass pot and was made by the company that later morphed into Lush. It was a deep rich blue-toned red with gold in it. I still have my tiny pot, though I think it’s mostly for sentimental reasons.

Red lipstick is festive, cheerful, and if you pick the right shade, can light up your smile. And heaven knows we need a few more smiles. Did you know that during WW2, lipstick was available from the NAAFI for women in the armed forces, because it was discovered to be such a morale booster, and that it was seen as essential to the national morale? So pucker up ladies (and lads!) and layer on the lippy!


10 thoughts on “Things of Winter Beauty and Wonder: Advent Day Eight

  1. I don’t wear red lipstick because it never suited me, even when young, and now I am 56 I have a few lines around my mouth from having smoked to some extent from the age of 16 (down to about 15 a week now!!!). I do, however, never leave the house without lipstick, generally. The colour that suits me most is a very dull, dark dusty pink, so that’s what I wear most of the time. I absolutely agree with you about it being a cheerful thing – and totally get that war time thing!!!

    I too had the annoying thing of Rimmel discontinuing the colour I wore for years. In Boots in Cromer, the tester was still there after the lipsticks were no more, so I nicked it!!! Then they started doing one called Vintage Pink, which is even better for me.

    I love make-up and perfume anyway – it’s nice, it cheers me up and makes me feel good all year round, so who cares if it’s superficial!

    • I’m a huge fan of perfume, and to a lesser extent, make up. I have white eye lashes and the one make up I wear almost every day is mascara, or I look like one of those albino bunny rabbits.
      My usual go-to shades are quite neutral ones, and have found the new lip crayons wonderful as they are both very moisturising (my lips are terribly dry) and sheer, so they don’t end up making my lips feel like they’ve been painted with cement. I’ve never smoked, but my parents both did until about 30 years ago.

  2. Couldn’t agree more about the lipstick joy – and the importance of finding the right tone! The cool/warm axis is crucial and, as you say, depends on your natural eye, skin and hair tones, and the deep/light axis is also important and relatively easy to understand, based on eyes, skin and hair – the one that tends to shift a little with, ahem, age is the bright/soft and most people need to go a little softer as time passes. (This info comes from a previous “life” as an image consultant 😉 so please excuse the sermon!!) x

    • Tricks of the trade, eh, Lizzie? I think we all need to do a sort of stock take once in a while as we get older and things change. I had a colleague who wore exactly the same clothes and make up colours she wore in her 20s and 30s, in her late 50s; they were too brash and made her look somewhat clown-like at times. That’s why I generally avoid bright reds anyway, but have found a couple recently that are smashing, under artificial light and in winter daylight.

  3. I never have been one for make up – I can’t stand the feeling of it on my skin most of the time, but I do love lip salve – my favourite lipsalve is the tinted vaseline one – it has rose and almond oil in it so it smells gorgeous. It’s the closest that I get to lip stick!

    Lush has some lovely coco butter based ones – the one that smells like chocolate actually got eaten by my daughter (she was 3 at the time) so I know they’re not toxic!

    • My dog once ate a Lush chocolate massage bar. I was annoyed then worried, then annoyed. It was one that was discontinued so I couldn’t get a new one!
      Might I suggest that you ditch the vaseline one? Vaseline is a horrible product, a by-product of the petroleum industry, and actually makes dry skin worse long term (it’s to do with the way it makes the skin drawn moisture from the dermis to hydrate the epidermis, which eventually means the skin becomes very dry indded). It’s also not something you want to swallow (which you always do). Burts Bees do very good tinted lip balms as do Lush.

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