Tim Rice, lyricist on Joseph (he of Technicolor Coat fame) didn’t half a make a big deal about coming up with an array of original and obscure colours to list when he was penning the words for the musical. I can imagine him sitting down for a meal with his song-writing partner-in-crime saying ‘this pea puree reminds me of the perfect shade of verdigree… do you think we can work that one in Andy?’ (Disclaimer: Sir Lloyd-Webber is Andy to no one, but hey, this is an imaginary conversation and it’s in my head, so will go with that.) He needn’t have worried about his ochre and his peaches; his indigoes and fawns: not only would Joseph have had, in my humble opinion, a far more fashion-forward coat, but he would have been able to narrow his focus a tad if he had just given it all over to reds. I know, I know, it’s rewriting the bible and all that, but can’t you hear it now? Lee Mead or Jason Donovan standing on stage wearing a decadently patchworked coat, not of many colours, but of many reds… you can almost hear them now belting out ‘I look handsome, I look smart, I am a walking work of art…. How I love my coat of many colours: it was burgundy, scarlet, strawberry, coral, crimson, magenta, oxblood, ruby, garnet, auburn, maroon, raspberry, russet, wine, vermillion, cinnabar, carmine, cerise, and claret and rust.’
I digress. My point, in summary, is this: there are a lot of different names for red. And the simple reason why, is that there are a lot of shades of red.
Which moves me rather nicely (if not entirely logically) onto the discussion for today: red lipstick.
You hear red lipstick in the same sentence as wedding and you may automatically think ‘vintage 1950s,’ and yes, a red lip would be a must-have in this situation, but red isn’t just red: if it were just one colour, there would not be the endless list of names to describe quite the red that you have: Laura Mercier’s ‘Seduction’; Mac’s ‘So Chaud’; my personal must have (I am blonde and pale, and ladies, this rocks) Aura’s Hourglass sheer lip stain in Blush (because my colouring does, indeed leave me susceptible to a little of the old blushing). There are many shades of red, and here at Love Scarlett not only do we love every single one of them (it is no coincidence that this piece is named ‘Lipstick Cherry’, we know how good we feel wearing the right shade of red. And if a red lip is what you want on your wedding day, then we want to empower you to do it; do not be afraid and go for a nude shade because you think that’d be safer. Pah to being safer. It’s about looking your best, and to look your best you have to feel your best: and if you want a red lip we shout to you: DO IT DO IT DO IT DO IT.
But – and this is every so important – do it right. Because it’s not about if you can wear red lipstick, let me just say right now, YOU CAN. It’s about wearing the right red lipstick. And here’s our how to choose guide….
The Make-Up Counter
I was once a bride-to-be and I went to a make-up counter because I thought I should be shown how to do my make-up properly (something I was already pretty capable of). My aforementioned pale skin (I burn or get freckles, the Irish blood in me is strong) got turned orange. This was for one reason, and one reason only; the lady at the counter I booked in to, lovely as she was, put orange on a pedestal. How do I know this? She was orange herself. It was her look. And, in the same way that I basically encapsulate a pale person from pale land, she took her inspiration from an Oompa Loompa and made everyone else up to look like one too. It may be that, as she said, I would stand out more in photos, but this would be for the wrong reasons.
If you are new to the make-up counter makeover world, or, as a bride-to-be, just want your look refreshed and updated then I have a simple mantra for you to follow: book in with someone whose make-up you actually like and covet. If you like what they do to themselves, chances are you’ll love it when they do it to you. Every counter and make-up boutique will offer you this service for free (they’ll try and sell you stuff, but then you’re there to buy): don’t be afraid to take with you images of how you want to look: don’t be afraid to ask how to create make-up to last a day. And please take someone with you who is honest and tell you if you look more Oompa Loompa than Audrey Hepburn (though, truth of the matter is, if you have to ask, you know right?).
The next time I found myself being made over I followed these words of wisdom, and, even if I do say so myself, looked pretty darn fine afterwards… (and, anecdotally, it was with a red lip as well, a red lip I had spent most of my twenties being told by my mother I couldn’t wear due to the blonde hair. Turns out, I could).
Matte, gloss, shine, semi-matte, sheen, stain… I could go on. The finish is as important to your lip as the colour. Kylie would not have been quite so sexy in the ‘Kids’ video with Monsieur Williams if, when uttering the line ‘I couldn’t do what I wanted to do when my lips were dry’, she had indeed licked her dry lips. High high gloss was the order of the day, and my was she foxy with it.
Sexy may be the look you’re after for your wedding day, but probably you’re going to be opting for the matte, low gloss or stain finish. Think about what you want to say with your pout other than ‘gorgeous’.
Follow our top ten tips for how to choose the perfect colour, and how to keep the perfect durable red lips all day long.
1) Try before you buy – not just on the back of your hand, but on your actual lips and wear it for a day to check you still love it
2) Wear it for another day to check you still love it.
3) Apply foundation to your lips before applying.
4) Lip liner
6) Blot again
7) And again
8) Check teeth
9) Nominate bridesmaid/trusted friend to keep checking your teeth.
10b) Blot again
Here are our top five reds, but while they may be for us, they may not be for you. Our words of wisdom are of course, take advice, look at your colouring, and try, try, try (and pocket mirror for teeth checks, and bridesmaid on hand for re-application, sorry to harp on about it, but no one ever said a red lip was a low maintenance look).
1) MAC’s ‘Ruby Woo– a proper pop of red, that never fails to excite
2) Bobbi Brown’s ‘Pink Blossom’ – Sheer lip colour on the coral scale so great with anyone rocking a tan
3) Stila’s ‘ACAI’ – a completely matte stain that we adore for a modern splash of rouge
4) Laura Mercier’s ‘Mistress ’ (so the name might not be that fitting for your wedding, but his utterly sublime burgundy makes for a proper statement lip)
5) Kevyn Aucoin’s ‘ Carliana’ one of our favourite lipstick brands – so creamy, long lasting and dreamy to apply
Photography by Lisa Jane Photography
Hair & Make up Elbie Van Eeden
Words by Harriet Rouse Tigerlily
Location & bridal white Suit Mirror Mirror Bridal Boutique
Model Tigerlily’s Scarlett Muse
Styling Penelope Cullen Tigerlily