I love red lipstick, but it doesn’t love me. It’s odd, because in theory, I’m the perfect partner for red. I’m brunette, have pale yet olive skin and dark eyes, but the crimson lip just makes me look too try hard. And coupled with my regular eyeliner, I look like a reject burlesque act. I’ve tried dropping the eyeliner and I end up looking tired or like I’ve woken up in last night’s makeup.
Red hates me: Yes, the face doesn’t help - I look like Hatchet-face from Cry Baby in Givenchy no less.
But lo and behold I made a surprise discovery. A friend who works at Revlon sent me a glossy orange lipstick out of the blue. I tried it on and it was a revelation. Who would have thought orange could look so great? It never occurred to me to try it before. Pinks I can do, browns make me look dead, but orange? Blow me down.
And so began my mission to find the perfect orange lipstick, and yes ladies, I do believe I’ve discovered the holy grail of the tangerine dream.
It’s NARS' velvet matt lip pencil in Red Square(£17.50, asos.com). It might look red, but once applied it goes on a smooth intense deep orange. The general rule is if you have a small mouth, stick to glossy shades, but this dense matt colour does wonders for my titchy lips.
Red Square: Me doing my best Blue Steel. I frickin’ love this stuff.
And it’s also because of my stupid wee mouth, I think this only adds to red's problem with me. It shrinks my mouth into a cat's arse.
See what I mean – the very reason no man has thankfully ever said to me “you’ve got blow job lips”. Thankful for small mercies, eh?
Some other rocking oranges I’ve come across which are definitely not to be missed include Clinique’s limited edition Runway Coral (£16.50, selfridges.com) – if you’re tan and blonde, this stuff was made for you but it seems to work on most skin tones. And if you fancy going down the '80s neon route, try L’Oréal’s Color Riche Magnetic Coral (£8.19, boots.com). This lippy smells exactly how I imagine Alexis Carrington would have. That and Giorgio Beverly Hills perfume.
L'Oreal coral - metallic, bright and easy to pull this bad boy off
Runway Coral: a great shade – amazing on blondes.
Honourable mentions also go to Clinique’s Chubby Stick in Two Ton Tomato (£16, boots.com) for a super moisturising, sheer wash of colour – perfect for daytime wear.
If you’re interested in some of my red failings, they go to Givenchy Shopping Red and the classic Laura Mercier Sexy Lips which is supposed to suit everyone, but just makes me look blah.
This is Laura Mercier’s Sexy Lips which apparently anyone can wear. I bought it, cause it was ‘must have’. It does nothing for me.
So, I’m leaving red behind for the time being, and coveting my super intense NARS lip pencil. It’s my new best friend. You know, it could be yours too.
What can I say, she asked me if she could wear the L’Oréal, I said sure.
The collection: all the colours – the good, the bad and the damn excellent.