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!