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 looks...how 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.


  1. I love it, no matter how many "rules" I am breaking. xo

    1. You are not breaking any rules. We love red lipstick on a woman and I love kissing it off of my wife. Red lips rock 🙂

  2. I have always been a fan of red lipstick, although it is important to find the right shade. Too red and it looks "painted on", too warm and it's too in-your-face etc.... These days I prefer a bit more muted, berry red. Sort of "natural" looking colour that goes with my skin and hair color. But one thing is for sure, I will never do nude lip, it makes me look sick. And why would I downplay yhe best feature of my face? By the way, I loved both red tones you have here, they look very good on you.

  3. I have worn red for years and continue to do so. I think men love it! Red gets the look like no other lipstick. Ah, but a blue red, I don't do orange red.

  4. HA! That first pic totally cracked me up!!! Is there nothing worse that lippy teeth?

    My husband likes the look of the red lips but doesn't care for kissing me with them.

    You look fab with the bold lip. It really suits you.


  5. Nice looks, both of them. I struggle with stopping with the eye makeup with the 'classic' look. I have kinda squinty eyes so I always want something to define the crease.

    As well as pure red, there are almost reds which are much more wearable for daytime i.e. coral, brickish red, pinkish colours etc. I love Revlon's lip butters as they can easily be quite bold or a much softer gloss effect.

  6. I just jumped back on the red bandwagon about 6 mos ago. I missed it and don't think I will ever part with it again. I love the red with your LBD.

  7. I LOVE red lipstick! As a blonde with pale skin, it's usually the only make-up I wear (aside from a little powder to keep the shine at bay). And I am a huge fan of ColorStay. I get what you're saying about some coming off (usually on something plastic, like a straw) but I have rarely had to reapply. My go-to shade is Stay Currant. I also like L'Oreal Grenadine and Clinique Red Drama. Long live the red lip!


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