Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Q: Do Men Like Red Lipstick?

A:  Who the hell cares? It's awesome. 

A bit of work, yes, but awesome nonetheless. I recently took to wearing a red lip again. I was big into it in the 90s (as we all were, in a burgundy sort of way), but had sort of laid it aside for lower-maintenance shades, glosses, tints, and whatnot as we moved into the 2000's. I am back on the bandwagon again after years of the smoky eye and nude lip (which I also still love). However, a red lip does require maintenance; there are many dangers lurking beneath its placid scarlet surface. Wine glasses, teeth, shirt collars, and...well, you know, whatever things you might come into contact with basically risk looking like The Victim from the opening three minutes of the first scene of Your Favourite Network TV Crime Drama.

Actually, the few men that I did ask about the red lip (not exactly a stellar research sampling population, I know) did say that they in fact do like a red lip, if it is in the right context and shall we say...tidy? So yes, you have to touch-up throughout the evening, and you just have to be okay with that if you want to wear a red lip.

I really want to stress here that there is no such thing as a lipstick that doesn't come off, no matter what anyone says. Remember in the 90s when Revlon first came out with their Colorstay lipstick and they featured Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer as a spokesperson? On the advert, she was sexily claiming that Colorstay lipstick never came off on her saxophone reed. I would like to officially cry shenanigans on that one. I made a living as a saxophonist for years, and ruined many a reed with my 90s vampire lips. Not that it ever kept me from wearing it, mind you. My point is, it simply cannot be done. There is just no substitute for maintenance.

The consensus then, is that with a little due diligence, the red lip is a look that always makes an impact (and I mean that in a good way). Here are my two favourite permutations of the red lip, done with the same tube of Maybelline Fatal Red.

The Classic red lip is utter perfection if you are planning on wearing a little black dress. I like to make it the focus of my face, making sure that my skin tone looks as even as possible, and use just a swipe of black liquid liner and a coat of mascara on my top lashes only. If I do wear any eyeshadow, I make it of the white sheer pearly variety. That's it. Any more and The Classic becomes The Robert Palmer Girl.  That can be fun too if that's what you're going for, although I find stopping at The Classic is most often all you need. To get this look, I use a liner first (either red or nude...doesn't seem to matter much), then fill-in slowly by dabbing the lipstick on and blotting off. Layer up like that, and finish off the top layer with a lipstick brush to get that high-lacquer shine.

The berry enthusiast is essentially an everyday look you can do with any shade of lipstick. It does work remarkably well with a true red, as shown here. All you need on the rest of you face is just a bit of a once-over for your skin tone (tinted moisturiser, concealer, mineral powder, what have you) a flick of mascara, and you're good to go. The lipstick is just dabbed lightly on your lips and blotted into a stain (I use my fingers). The edges are not perfect (no liner!), hence the "I've just eaten a pint of raspberries" look.

Make Red Happen.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The £20 Nude Goddess Dress

In a convergence of universal forces that simply cannot be scientifically explained, two of my favourite things ever met in the aisles of a Glasgow TK Maxx this week.  Greek mythology and bargain hunting are now officially having an affair.

This is an Amanda Wakeley draped cocktail dress, crafted in nude silk. I found it sort of wadded-up at the very end of the sale rack looking sad, with absolutely zero hanger appeal to recommend itself to anyone. I think it was missing a belt. Who cares? I took one look at it's bones, checked the label, and saw that it was a draped, Grecian-inspired dress.  If you are tall and athletic and not always comfortable in hyper-girly evening wear, the Grecian-inspired dress is an excellent choice. It hides a multitude of sins and always looks elegant. Needless to say, I grabbed it and went Gollum-scampering back to the dressing rooms. My precious. 

I always have loved the principals behind the Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology - it's like the ancient version of separation and division of labour. There's Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, Dionysis, God of High Spirits, Strong Emotions, and Wine (yes!), Poseidon for the sea (and horses !?), and so on and so forth. At least back in those days, if you had an issue, you knew what department to direct your query to. I've been thinking about it, and although most of the good jobs have already been taken, if I were a Greek goddess, I would like to be Veggiedipodes, Goddess of Healthy Vegetarian Snack Foods. It's not the sea, but it's an important job. The people need snacks.

Amanda Wakely Grecian silk dress (not available any longer online), similar / Via Spiga shoes (old), similar

This post has been happily shared with Not Dead Yet Style

Now go, mortal! Find thee a Grecian dress, for it is the will of Veggiedipodes.