Why Red Lipstick Scares Me (And Which Other Shades are Hot for Fall)

Total Beauty

Posted 09/03/10 at 10:36AM by Total Beauty

The good news for those of us who loathe to wear bright shades of lipstick is that this fall we actually have a choice! According to the people who know this kind of thing, this season is all about being either understated or glam so, you can wear nude or crimson on your lips and still be "en vogue." (Because, of course, we all spend a great deal of time worrying about whether we're "en vogue.")

Even the idea of wearing bright red lipstick instills a serious fear in me. I just don't have the moxie to pull it off, I guess. In my mind, it just screams, "look at ME and my mouth" and begs for a gross "lipstick-on-the-teeth" moment that makes the people around you cringe.

Having said that, many people pull off red, pink and even this fall's crazy-popular purple (like YSL Rouge Volupte Perle in Mesmerizing Purple,$34) with aplomb. I think it's all in the attitude. Think Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson -- those two have the cojones to pull off anything.

My mom is a big lipstick person and has forever been trying to cajole me into putting "some color" on my lips. She even went so far as to teach me that putting a bit of concealer around the edges of the lip will keep darker shades from bleeding (such an attractive look), but, still, I shy away from it.

Back in the 80s and 90s, I was a big fan of the pale, frosted lip look. Think Heather Locklear circa "T.J. Hooker" and that was me. Big blonde hair, big frosty mouth. Big fat groan when I look at pictures from those days.

And, while I've moved beyond the frost, I still like a more natural mouth with some shine to it, so this fall I'm sticking with tried and true shiny nudes. However, as a nod to my mom, I'm going to start incorporating some touches of pink and/or peach to my lips in the hopes that they'll bring some color to my face. (All of this staying out of the sun and wearing sunscreen has really made me pale.)

Happily, these pinky nudes are in style and there's no shortage to choose from. I really like Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok, $25 and Tarina Tarantino Conditioning Lip Sheen in Cameo, $22. And, when it comes to a super shine gloss, CoverGirl ShineBlast Lip Gloss in Ignite, $8.49.

Are you a color chicken like I am? Tell us which shades you gravitate to.
And the survey says...
1-6 of 10 Comments

  • Posted by GigiSD on 05/21/13 at 01:15pm

    I avoid very dark lipsticks and nude shades--I stay with mid tones, generaly in the rose family.

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  • Posted by EricaF123 on 04/13/13 at 01:45pm

    No thanks!

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  • Posted by powerwoman033 on 03/13/12 at 08:27pm

    Dark lipsticks freak me out. I love that nude lips are in! I play up my eyes and wear Mac Creme de Nude lipstick that is the perfect nude!

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  • Posted by shandimessmer on 02/05/12 at 09:47pm

    I don't know how women can wear purple lipstick and pull it off, but more power to them!

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  • Posted by Shawnalaa on 01/28/12 at 07:24pm

    My Mother is a huge lipstick junkie as well! I am definitely red-shy but other than that I'm okay with color. I think peaches look really good with my olive skin tone.

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  • Posted by Miavita on 10/25/11 at 09:21pm

    I definitely don't shy away from colors. I wear lipstick or lip-gloss, or tinted lip-balm depends on my mood of the day. Everything I own is in noticeable colour. Many kinds of pink, soft purple, and red. But all of them are considered "normal colour". You know, no metallic or green or blue ones.

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