Get the perfect crimson pout with these great tips.
The beauty spy: the perfect red lips
When you think of red lipstick, who do you think of? Elizabeth Taylor? Marilyn Monroe? It will amaze you to learn that it was Queen Elizabeth I who first popularised red lips. Apparently she used a concoction including egg white and cochineal to create the trademark pout. Happily, nowadays it is much easier.
There's no great mystery to lipstick in general, but there are a couple of tips I can share. If you can, apply it with a brush, as it makes all the difference. Or use your middle finger. If you want fuller lips, then apply lip liner to the outer contours of your lips.
The most crucial thing is the shade. Bobbi Brown, the make-up guru extraordinaire, says: "If I had to teach someone just one thing about lip colour it would be this: find a lipstick that looks good on your face when you are wearing absolutely no make-up."
I am into lips this week in part because I have fallen in love with a little box of tricks Bobbi Brown has brought out to celebrate her 20 years of making our lips more luscious. The Limited Edition 1991 Palette is so dinky you can keep it in your handbag, but caters for your every mood. At a recent meeting at work I went for Lady Ruba, and very impressive I was, too.
But back to red, which is more complicated than most shades, because it can look so wrong. I mean, who doesn't want to look like Monica Bellucci in the Dior ads? But how many manage that? The trick to looking good and not like a failed Goth is to pick the red with the right undertones. You English rose types should go for cherry reds, whereas dark skin craves deep reds. The olive-skinned (à la Bellucci) can handle fire-engine red.
Whatever else you do, don't wear too much heavy eye make-up if you are going big on the lips, as you can end up looking like a clown. And never try to match your lipstick with your outfit. Ugh. Don't wear it with red nails either, unless it is exactly the same colour red. Go for a pale colour, or even clear polish.
Red lipstick does tend to bleed, so do use some lip liner, and as you get older, go for lighter shades of red. Don't be scared to wear red in the day. As long as you go for a matte lipstick, it's the make-up equivalent of wearing a full-length dress with flip-flops: casual but striking. I like the MAC Ruby Woo. My favourite glossy is the Dolce & Gabbana Iconic. The Estée Lauder Rich Red is also a winner.
It takes a certain amount of confidence to wear red lipstick, which comes with experience. So get on with it, ladies...
3 of the best
Give your skin a boost with these luxurious face masks
RODIAL GLAMOXY SNAKE SERUM MASK, DH390 A jet black peel-off treatment that makes skin feel silky smooth and gets rid of impurities. Containing dipeptides, which mimic the potent effects of the temple viper venom, it brightens and tightens the skin in a flash.
GLAMGLOW, DH320 Designed as a "facial in a jar", this exfoliating mud mask helps soften skin and minimise pores. A real treat to use.
SISLEY BLACK ROSE CREAM MASK, DH545 Just 15 minutes is all it takes to achieve a radiant complexion using this anti-ageing elixir. A soothing mask rich in vitamins and plant extracts, it instantly restores vitality to the skin.
Tea and beauty
Blame it on stress, the sun or too much frowning. If your skin is in need of some pampering, then look to Silkor salon, which today invites M readers to an afternoon tea and beauty session. Activities include complimentary skin analysis, live beauty demonstrations, a raffle, vouchers and discounts on treatments, plus goodie bags for every M reader. What are you waiting for?
M magazine and Silkor afternoon tea, 4pm today. Silkor, Villa 1 Khalidiyah, Sheikh Zayed the 1st Street, next to BMW showroom and The One, 02 681 6070