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 Shine – this 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
image of Isabella rossellini from the financial times
this feature contains affiliate links