5 Dec 2020

Be Brave: The Top 5 Reds

Be Brave: The Top Five Reds on vickiarcer.com

What a wonderful portrait of a very beautiful woman.

Isabella Rossellini has one of those unforgettable faces and age has only enhanced her beauty. If Better, Not Younger had a pin-up girl, it could be her. Everything works for me in this image – the shirt with cufflinks, the earrings and the simple red lip with little eye makeup and a strong brow. The old beauty rule of strong lips and light eyes is absolutely perfect.

Her signature, a red lip, is the kind of look I love.

Some will say a red lip is too difficult to wear or it’s for a younger woman. You might have heard it makes the skin look harsh or a red lip is too difficult to apply. I agree to disagree. I adore a red lip and if there is ever a time I need a lift a red lipstick is my solution. It’s the quickest fix to a brighter mood and the fastest way to dress up in a hurry. All black, a red lip and earrings to go is oftentimes my motto.

I believe the success of wearing red lipstick comes down to the texture, the shade and the application. Forget shiny; that’s a messy world we don’t want to enter into. Matte is a winner every time and the formulas now take away the dry and pulling sensation of the past. Pick your application. Are you a pencil, a brush or a straight to the point kind of girl? Do you need a blood-red, a vermillion red or crimson red with an undertone of plum? The shade makes all the difference and a little bit of trial and error goes a long way.

Red lipsticks are like a fetish for fabulous shoes; there are never too many.

We need a wardrobe of reds because different days call for different reds. Summer, I wear brighter, more luminescent reds and in autumn and winter, my choices of colour become darker.

It’s true I have been wearing reds for more than 30 years, always matte, even back then. A lip gloss is all well and good in a neutral shade or as a dab in the centre of the bottom lip but as an all-over dark colour, there is only one place I end up – in trouble. Lip gloss can be messy and it doesn’t last; neutrals are the exception because a natural shine is a great look with enhanced eye makeup.

Hourglass has an amazing gloss called Opaque Shinethis is one to try for the days a red is not in the mindset.

A simple trick makes application easy. Layer up, tissue bite, layer up, tissue bite and re-apply. Another tip a big smile check for teeth before exit. 

Whether you use a lip pencil or not depends on your lip line and whether you need it or are comfortable working with one.

I’m on and off with that one.

There are 5 can’t-live-without starters in my lipstick wardrobe.

Bobbi Brown Art Sick in Harlowe Red

Estee Lauder Envy Matte in Decisive and Persuasive.

Kevin Aucoin Unforgettable in Blood Roses.

Nars Matte in Force Speciale.

Chanel Rouge Allure Liquid Ink in Signature.

Let’s be brave, we can always go bare another day. xv

Coming Red-y or Not

harlowe red   ||  persuasive  ||  decisive   ||  blood roses ||  force speciale  ||  signature

image of Isabella rossellini from the financial times

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So agree with you about red and its power to uplift. BUT, do you have a technique for wearing lipstick when also required to wear a mask? I find no matter the type of formula or technique of application, the color ends up on the mask. Do you have a secret for keeping lipstick on the lips and off the mask?


Not really… I do only wear matte now and I blot the lips quite a few times before putting the mask on. I haven’t had too many problems so far.


I have a tendancy to wear red in the fall and winter months and lighter colors in the spring and summer. Love that red! Vicki, I hope you can help me with my question. I have lines around my mouth and reds have a tendency to bleed into the lines. Do you have any suggestions on a product that I can use on my upper lip area?


I’d suggest a lip liner if you don’t already Jeanne.. and always stick to the very matte and make sure to blot the lipstick many times :)


I think I’m going to take the plunge here Vicki. Never really dared to wear a full red but I seem to be wearing a lot of black or navy at the moment which clearly needs a colour. I do like Bobbi Brown Art Stick and find it easy to apply and love how it lasts. Your recommendation for the Bare colour is my favourite but here goes for the red! I do adore a deep red nail polish too and having recently bought a beautiful dusky pink from Chanel love the application of this with their brush it’s so easy to put on. Any deep red recommendations for Chanel nail polish? As I’m stuck in a tier 3 at the moment most shopping I’m doing on-line as I don’t fancy the shopping experience in stores at all. How I’d love a large pharmacy visit in St Remy at the moment!! Hope you are keeping well Vicki.


I’m finding that a red lip is just the thing these days, as I’m well on my way to grey (last color in early March 2020) and really benefit from its face brightening effects, so thank you for this post! I wanted to mention a particular red that I’m finding very comfortable to wear at home, as well as under a mask – Glossier Generation G in the color Zip. Very easy and forgiving application, just a swipe or two for a soft pop of color that still reveals the lip underneath (the only way I can describe it:)) and the color can easily be built up if desired. It also fades gently and evenly, which I really appreciate. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the MAC Powder Kiss line (which I also love and thank you for introducing me to!), in that the Gen G also produces a kind of blurred effect.

Michelle à Détroit

Ruby Woo, the “red badge of courage!” I also love Mac Diva, a deeper, plummy red and a Maybelline shade called “Cruel Ruby.” I must try Russian Red. I agree that it’s matte all the way when I wear a red lip.


RED IS BEAUTIFUL…………..but now with MASKS NO CAN DO!!!
Wore one the other day and OPPS……all over the skin!


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