Some of the most visible makeup trends in history usually involve lipstick; whether it’s the small heart shaped lipstick stencil of the 20’s, or the raging Red lipstick of the 50’s, it’s often the lipsticks that are the most memorable and become the icon of an era in many cases… And I can see why. I fully believe that a Lipstick can make or break a look- more so than any other element of makeup. Because of that, I tend to choose my lipsticks very carefully.
When I say I pay attention to and choose my lipsticks carefully, though, I’m not talking about quality. Quality makeup really is the obvious choice for many reasons, but the products I choose are cheap retail chain products; I don’t drop $50 on a tube of Lipstick- though that’s not to say that I wouldn’t if I had the opportunity and found one that screamed “buy me”. I simply just don’t have access to stores catering to quality makeup. You work with what’s available, right?
What’s more important to me, above quality, is choosing the right colors. This is because every color creates an innate psychological reaction. Part of these responses are Social and conditioned- such as Pink being “Feminine” or Blue being “Masculine”. Some are simply innate, however. All of them cause us to respond in different ways whether we know it or not, and these effects have been well studied.
There is also the fact of what we, as Humans, tend to notice about other Humans. The obvious things like Ethnicity and Sex aside, the first thing that most people tend to notice about a person’s face involves the lips– usually classified as “their Smile“. While the results usually focus on a person’s teeth and whether or not they’re crooked, you can’t help but assume that your lips and the colors you apply to them have an impact here as well, whether or not we consciously notice it.
I’m a huge proponent of the Science of Color Theory- both as an Artist and Photographer, and as a Woman exploring the power of her own Femininity. It has always been fascinating to me that you can change not only your own moods, but the moods and reactions of those around you simply by changing the colors that you wear. All of the above is what really has led to the belief that your Lipstick can make or break a makeup look in many ways- not just on a subconscious one. I tend to stick to three primary color ranges because of it.
Pink Lipsticks are the ones that I wear the most regularly- ranging from bright pink to rosy nude shades.
When I want to appear bright and flirty, I’ll reach for a bright pink- such as my Buxom Lipstick Pencil in Miami, Maybelline 24hr Super Stay in L500, or Menow Gen II Lip Gloss in #17.
If I want something more sultry-flirty, though, I’ll reach for a darker (but still bright) pink with Magenta or Purple tones- such as my Menow Gen II Lip Gloss in #23, or my Covergirl Lipstick in #325 (Spellbound).
And, of course, the Rose / Mauve based nude shades work well for days you want to appear more demure and feminine. For those days I find myself reaching for either my NYC #416 (Berry Rich), Kate #08, or my new favorite #519 (Tender Berry) by Loreal.
Reds are classic, but they also have a lot of Social baggage attached. Still, there’s nothing more iconic, attention grabbing, or just downright powerful as a red lipstick. And don’t be fooled into thinking you could never pull one off, either. It took me years to find a shade range that looked good on me, and I swear by red Lipstick because there is a shade out there for literally anyone. The psychological affects are well worth the search in my eyes.
Speaking of! If I want power I tend to grab a deep, rich red that’s a bit more on the Wine side of the spectrum. Something like my Lancome Breathless, or my Maybeline 14hr Super Stay #075 (Timeless Crimson) makes me feel a bit like Erzsébet Bathory.
If I want something attention grabbing without the power trip, I’ll reach for my Covergirl Lipstick in #300 (Garnet Flame), or my Maybeline 16hr Super Stay in #725. Both of them are especially perfect for those classic 1950’s looks, as well.
But if I want to get a bit more sexy without the sultry mystery of Magenta based pinks, I’ll reach for comething a bit more sheer but which still falls somewhere on the wine spectrum- like my Revlon Colorburst Pencil in #150 (Enticing), or my Revlon Colorstay Gloss in #555 (Overtime Wine).
Purples are a pain. Like black lipsticks, quality matters unless you want to look like a victim of a horror film. That said, I have found a couple that are interesting- such as the Covergirl #440 (Mauve it Up), or the Revlon Colorstay in Relentless Raisin.
The reason I like purples on occasion, though, is because it’s a nice way to add a Gothic touch (and I am still a Goth Woman at heart; my High School preferences are not entirely behind me yet) to your look; it brings an air of mystery without being too overboard like Blacks can be.
So what colors do you find yourself grabbing the most often and why? I’d love to hear from my readers and discover some new shades myself!