There’s little more sensuous and powerful than leaving lipstick stains on a glass of wine. Somehow, it doesn’t have the same effect when you leave lipstick marks on a tumbler or a cup. We’re not going to get into the cutlery side of things though, because this is all about lips – dangerous, fiery, seductive, passionate and loud red lips.

Irrespective of the drink being a white, a sparkling or a red, seeing an imprint of puckered lips on a wine glass is too sexy to resist. It puts your personality in the spotlight and tells the world that you’re not ashamed of making a fashion statement. Red lips are your way of speaking out loud in public without even opening your mouth. There’s a level of confidence, pride and exuberance that comes with red lips. It would be unfair to class them as a mere hue on the lips because, unlike the colour’s other half-cousins – nude or pinkish shades – red stands out. You can’t hide when you have red lipstick on. You won’t be able to kiss your man without leaving your evidence on his lips (or collar!). You also need to be careful to not get its sneaky tint on your pearly whites, as that could look rather trampy.

Most important is to know the shade that will suit your hair colour and skin tone without pulling your face down. A bold red lip has a nasty reputation of making teeth look yellower and crow’s feet more prominent. Be wary of the colour you’re investing in, before you leave your pout on every wine glass around town.

As much as the person sitting next to you may argue, red lipsticks cannot be generalised as all being the same. They all can be categorised into a variety of shades, be it cherry, blood or tomato.

Fashionising.com will take you on a tour of the five varieties of shades that need to find permanent residence on your beauty shelves. To inspire you further, each tone of red comes with an editorial inspiration, so please do try this at home, age no bar.

Watermelon

Sit by the pool in the hot, summer months and drench your lips with this refreshing shade of melon. The watermelon variety of red has undertones of orange, with a bright and punchy pick-up from the family of red. This shade often travels between coral and classic red, but when you kiss the flute of sparkling wine, it will be melon-y in all its delight.

Editorial inspiration: Everything about this powerful shot screams summer holiday, fun, attitude and courage. The watermelon lips that clash against model Barbara di Creddo’s blue eyes are enough to make the surrounding rainbow of colours seem insignificant.

Our product pick: Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Colour in Wild Ginger.

watermelon red lipsticks
Carmelita Mendes by Barbara di Creddo for Elle Brazil; Tom Ford Wild Ginger

Berry

This one takes a lot of courage to pull off. It’s not for everyone as it’s the deepest tone of red to be painted on the lips. But in this scenario, you’re lucky, because berry-stained lips will prevent you from acquiring ‘wine lips’. If mulberry, blueberry, cranberry or deep maroons are due to take possession of your lips, then their appearance on a wine glass will almost be forgone. This is a mature colour, so slather it on for a date, order a bottle of shiraz and watch as your man leans in.

Editorial inspiration: The glossy berry lips seen in this image by 35mm already seems stained around the edges. It has a tint of cherries blended in a rich plum and cranberry sauce. Christmas anyone?

Our product pick: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pourpre

ysl lipstick poupre
Natascha in ‘That 70s Groove’ by 35mm; YSL Rouge Pourpre

Fire red

Just as a glass of wine warms your blood, a blazing fire red would also serenade the lips with its raw and alarming shade. Bringing instant alertness to the lips, the fire red will be a definite head-turner in terms of the wine glass collection. Let the chilled chardonnay cradle in the flaming hotness of your lips, because as they say, opposites attract.

Editorial inspiration: The fire engine red seen on model Paulina Wyka’s lips, in this editorial image, is accompanied by a wet-hair sleeked back hairdo. Wear this strong tone of red with tints of tangerine with almost nil eye make-up, as you wouldn’t want to take the attention away from the blaze on the lips.

Our product pick: NARS semi-matte lipstick in Heat Wave

nars heat wave lipstick
Paulina Wyka by Z.Berhan Yilmaz; NARS Heat Wave

Rose

Soft, silky and gentle – this puckered colour of red melts into the lips and only blooms on seeing a smile. The rosy red tones of lipstick are mostly velvety and glossy, as they have to live up to the personality of a flower. Hurry and leave traces behind for this one before the petals dry up during the course of the night.

Editorial inspiration: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s editorial shot for Harper’s Bazaar UK, in January this year, has the perfect velvet soft pout. The dewy petals are pressed against her lips while her glittery accessories play the main role in distracting her lover boy.

Our product pick: Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Satin in Excessive

rose red lipstick
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley by Tom Munro for Harper’s Bazaar UK; Chanel Rogue Allure in Excessive

Classic Red

Between you finding the courage to wear a red lippy and then chasing the best one in the market, it might get too late for you to wear the colour with pride. If you’re one of the indecisive kinds, then forget everything and invest in a classic red lip colour. This colour has a matte vintage charm to it; it’s romantic and alluring. A classic red is a trance between a fire red and watermelon, as it’s still a bold statement lip and with this, you can always put the blame on Madonna and Marlene Dietrich. After glamourising your lips with this solid shade, you would want to kiss every glass in the vicinity.

Editorial inspiration: The vintage curls, winged eyeliner and matte skin are enough to indicate the ‘classic’ quality in this editorial shot. But the bright red lips take the image on another journey through time.

Her classic red pout channels the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn who popularised the original hue of red. Flaunt it with as much grace and poise as you can; you’re paying an homage via the lips.

Our product pick: MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo

classic red lipstick
Mane Attraction by Chris Nicholls for Flare Canada; MAC Ruby Woo

Which one will you be trying?

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