Code red: the hot new colour for autumn

16 Aug

If trend reports are anything to go by, autumn/winter beauty shades are dominated again by crimson. Celebrities who rock the reds include Dita Von Teese, Kelly Osborne and Gwen Stefani, but without the benefit of a make- up artist to hand, how do you make red your signature look?

Firstly, you need a whole heap of confidence! There is something about red lipstick that literally stops people in the street. You will be looked at. Red lips are so striking and bold, and in fact, despite the glut of every-shade scarlet on make-up counters, few women are prepared to go full on fire engine, especially for day time. But, it looks like closet vamps are coming out of the shadows and eschewing the demure English Rose look in favour of fiery pouts. This year, London department store Selfridges saw a 35% increase in sales of red lipsticks, so we’re definitely feeling bolder!

Make-up artist to the stars Lisa Eldridge has some tricks up her sleeve for ensuring that red lips are foolproof and simply stunning. The look begins with a smooth lip. “Add a tiny amount of lip balm to a cotton bud and roll it around your lips, making buffing motions to exfoliate away any dry skin”, she advises. Apply a coat of your chosen red, and then blot with a tissue. “You aren’t aiming to blot the colour away,” says Lisa, “You are aiming to blot the colour into your lips.” Using a lip brush, apply a second coat into every nook and cranny of your lips to give a lasting stain, and finally, add a third coat by slicking the lipstick bullet over your mouth for a glossed sheen.  You will need to re-apply throughout the day or evening so ensure you take your red lip kit with you – hey, nobody said this was a low-maintenance look!

When it comes to choosing the right red for your skin-tone, the very basic rules are that warm skin tones should look out for orange-based reds, and cool tones will look best with blue-toned reds. Asking counter staff for advice is key; they’re trained to understand about skin tone and will be able to colour match you the perfect red.

New kids on the scarlet block include Rivoli, £21.50; the latest addition to  line that gives a modern matte look, while MAC’s September look includes Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Extended Play – a blackened brick red, and Prolong, a true red, both £14. YSL is set to release a new lipstick wardrobe, Rouge Pur Couture, in September, and includes a white ‘mixing’ lipstick to customise any red to suit your mood. Look out for sure-fire bestseller Rouge Vermillion Noir Laque, £22; a truly vampish, notice-me red.

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