Monday, December 11, 2006

Red Lipstick

Red Lipstick
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
Ignore, for the moment, the fact that the microphone on that table looks as though it is interviewing Lionel Ritchie's crotch.

Look at Sharon Stone. Not at her leather pants: you cannot wear those. You are clergy. Not at her outfit at all, in fact. At her lips.

Now imagine that instead of being a kind of wacked-out Hollywood star and philanthropist, you are you. You are dressed in a tailored suit or a skirt and sweater. Your hair is lovely, your accessories are understated, and you're wearing a pair of fabulous shoes. You pencil in your eyebrows, smooth out any blotchiness in your complexion with foundation, and apply some mascara and a bit of blush. Blend, blend, blend.

You moisturize your lips, let the balm sink in for a moment, then blot. You line your lips in a neutral color, then put apply a lipstick of approximately Sharon's color over the lip liner. Blot. Put the lipstick in your pocket and you're ready to leave for the day.

Wouldn't you just *know* that you totally rocked?

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Anonymous Jess said...

Nope, sorry, PB, but I think Sharon looks gawd-awful here. Pasty, plastery skin, skinny, skinny lips, overly-processed hair... the lip color is just too much and washes her out even more.

The super pale girls just can't wear this color effectively.

6:12 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

I didn't say it looked good on her. That's why I wanted people to imagine it was THEM wearing it, with nice hair and some color on their face. Hence the direction to use blush and be dressed elegantly, etc. Her hair is atrocious. The lipstick is a GREAT red, however. Just not on her.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

I want to weigh in on pale gals and red lipsticks. I'm one who can get away with a cool red (cherry), but it's not a good look for me. I have to go with a deep mauve or an elusive pink that is almost red, but not quite. I've tried, really I have. But I inevitably get "Aren't you feeling well, dear" comments when wearing true reds or wines/berries. Conversely, I get compliments on how I'm "glowing" when I wear the deeper pink/mauve shades.

It's strange, because I can wear red clothing. But one advantage of living to middle age is that one learns what works for her. So Revlon's "Love that Pink" and whatever the Wet 'n' Wild mauve color number is, I'm trusting them to keep working their (cheap) miracle on me.

One of my ideas of hell is lipstick shopping. Ugh! Whether in the chain drugstore or at the ritzy cosmetic counter at the ritzy department store, what I think looks good in the store NEVER delivers once I leave.

To be fair, PB, I agree with you that that shade of red would look fabulous on so many women if they'd only dare it. I wish I were one of them.

12:39 AM  
Blogger peg said...

RealSimple magazine swears they can find you THE red that looks good on you in this month's issue. Anyone have thoughts one way or another?

Signed, Doesn't Usually Wear Red

10:04 AM  
Blogger peg said...

Lipstick, that is. Although it's true I don't have much red in my wardrobe, either, and it's a great color.

10:04 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Pale women can most certainly wear red lipstick -- don't be afraid, gals! You just have to find the right shade for you, and apply it carefully. Red lipstick should be applied more carefully than other shades, as it can too easily look waxy and scary.

Upon closer look, I dig Sharon's lips. In the larger version of the photo she looks pretty strung out. In the smaller version (from "farther away"), she looks fun and vibrant.

The thing about RED is that there's a thousand different shades, both in clothing and in lipstick. It's really worth paying some attention to finding the right one. Red clothing is very difficult, I think. It often looks cheap and overly-orangy. It can do terrible things to the complexion. But when you find the right red garment -- ooh, baby! FABYLOUS!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Amy - said...

The best line in this post:

"Not at her leather pants: you cannot wear those. You are clergy."

3:51 PM  
Anonymous SOPB said...

Just thought I'd chime in as a non-clergy...You know me, I have TRIED to wear La Rouge for EONS! But I just feel weird in when i do wear it for half a day (and then change back to mauvey/pink sheer) my tiny students pay more attention to my mouth than what comes out of it! I think one needs to own the red to wear it well.

5:28 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

Does anyone else have the problem I do, that lipstick appears much darker on the lips than it does in the tube? That's what seems to happen with reds, wines, and berries, no matter what brand I've ever tried.

I agree about red clothing, PB. I feel fortunate that cherry red, not flame red, is in my color family. It's not as easy to get taken in by a red garment when you limit yourself to the cool shades. Some stores sell the most hideously orangish red garments. I don't doubt that it can be a good color for some people, but it had better be a smashingly good fabric, cut, and style, or it will look super-cheap.

I found a luscious red cape-like thing to use in lieu of a coat this winter. I use a big silver pin to hold it at the shoulder. Together with a beautiful (yet TJ Maxx bargain priced) red shoulder bag, I feel like a million bucks in it. Lots of compliments.

(So why can't I find a lipstick that does the same??? --shrug--)

10:08 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

On the other hand, with all that red on your body in the form of a big cape and bag, you're probably doing fine in more neutral lips.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

(chuckle) I didn't mean red lipstick to match all the other stuff. I meant, it's too bad that I can find the perfect red for attire, but not for lips.

Thanks for the tip about toning down red with the beige. I hadn't thought of that, as beige-ish neutrals alone are hideously awful on me and I haven't tried one since I was about 20 (well over half my lifetime ago).

One other question occurs to me, given the number of older women I've seen wear highly unflattering makeup: Is it reasonable to think we may need a slightly different palette every decade or so? I don't mean for fashion's sake (not entirely), but because of the effects of time on a woman's coloring. I see women still using a dark brunette hair color, shazaam red lipstick, and stark black eye liner, and it just looks all wrong with their skin; I'm nearly certain they are trying to use at 65 what they wore at 35. Since I fall smack between the two, I'm wondering what you think. (And no, I'd sooner die than wear the hideously wrong colors I was cheerfully wearing 20 years ago!)

8:08 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Psalmist, you are RIGHT ON. We must consantly reevaluate our coloring, our complexion, the way shadows play on our face, and what make-up and hair works best for our age and our look.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous semfem said...

Wait...we can't wear leather pants? Crap. *mutters to self*

(Not even when we are on vacation in a different state and being decidedly non-clergical?...please?)

1:05 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Sem Fem, when you're in a different state and being non-clergical, you can wear leather pants AND black nail polish.
Just be prepared for shocked looks when and if your clergy presence is unexpectedly needed. But don't let it keep you from the leather!

8:36 AM  
Anonymous semfem said...

Whew! What a relief.

I was asked once by a colleague when I took my Sabbath. My answer: whenever I put on something that I couldn't wear as a pastor, that's my Sabbath.

So, you see, wearing leather pants is a spiritual discipline for me.

12:59 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

I am SO going to quote you. Brazilliant!

8:15 AM  

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