Historically, red has had some of the most powerful associations, including courage, strength and gentility. “Red is the colour of the first chakra, the root of all colour, associated with physical strength, confidence and vitality,” says Rosamund Kavander, owner of Roomworks, a colour and interior consulting firm, and member of the Color Marketing Group. That’s why it’s a particularly influential shade to paint on your lips, your greatest point of communication.
“I think red has always had a positive connotation and been the ultimate colour of beauty,” says Trinidad Rivas, director of education for Make Up For Ever Canada. “It represents femininity, elegance, sexuality and power all at once.” The original red pigments were sourced from South America, where they were highly sought after and painstakingly created using the blood of cochineal beetles.
“Red is a lifeblood colour,” says Kavander, who uses the power of a red dining room to stimulate appetites and a red lip to warm up and empower a tired face as examples. “It adds power, fire, stimulation and warmth.” Bright lips have trumped the runways for several seasons, which has created a resurgence in bright fuchsia and red lipstick spotted on women in everyday life – a trend that Kavander suggests is also part of the current women’s movement. “Red makes a statement,” she says. “I think it’s part of the trend right now for women to be more forceful and proud of who they are – to enjoy their femininity without being demure.”
Tip: If your veins look more blue than green, your skin probably has red undertones. Wear shades of pink and true-blue reds, and steer clear of coral or orangey hues.
Clockwise from top left: Joe Fresh Long Wear Lip Liner in Deep Red, $8; Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Shine Sculpting Shinr Lipstick in Empowered, $34; Rimmel London Oh My Gloss! in Ooh La La, $8; Formula X Nail Colour in Haute Sauce, $16