Get Over Your Fear of Wearing Red Lipstick

There are women who will proudly wear purple mascara, blinding golden highlighter, and black eyeliner—but they won’t go near a red lipstick. It’s not that they don’t want to, they just claim that can’t for a multitude of reasons. They’ll say they haven’t found a shade they love, or a formula they love, or they just feel too bold while wearing a bright red lipstick.


We posed this dilemma to makeup artist Nicolas Degennes, the mastermind behind Givenchy Beauty’s groundbreaking makeup formulas. We spoke with him to fête the launch of the brand’s new Le Rouge Liquide lipstick, a semi-matte and weightless formula that totally changed the liquid lipstick game when it launched earlier this summer. Le Rouge Liquide which comes in 14 shades, half of which could be considered in the red family (but Degennes told us he designed over 80 shades, so it’s safe to say more are on the way).

“You may look to yourself quite a bit too much,” Degennes says about women who claim they can’t wear red. That particular shade of lipstick, he says, can be used as both a distraction from something you don’t like about your look that day, and/or a vehicle for drawing attention. “If you don’t feel good, for instance, and you want someone to stare and to look at something other than yourself,” he says.

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His first piece of advice is to choose a red lipstick formula that feels weightless. The more you feel it, the more you’ll think about the fact that you’re wearing something out of your comfort zone. Le Rouge Liquide’s airy, whipped texture is the perfect example. “Try not to see it by yourself in the mirror, but go outside with it, with that kind of texture that you don’t feel at all on your lips. At a certain point of time you’re going to forget about it. You will be very surprised by the others because everyone is going to stare at your lips and say, ‘Oh, how beautiful and bright you are today.'” To Degennes, wearing a bright lipstick can bring a burst of confidence and positive attention into your world, even if you’re unsure about wearing one at all.

“Once you have that [attention], you’ll always wear red. When you don’t feel good, wear that bright colour. Colour for me, especially red, it’s the blood, passion, the love, it’s exercising the beauty,” he says. “It’s such a incredible femininity to wear red. It makes others compliment you—sometimes it’s a need.”

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But when it comes to bold colours other than red—green, blue, yellow—Degennes isn’t here for it. “When I was really young I loved to go the circus and see some clowns,” he says with a laugh. “Some brands are putting that kind of texture and colours for clowns and think they’re totally right. For example, black lipstick—I could wear it, but not entirely black. We have to add one more thing. A little slip that turns it into a beautiful thing, and the texture does it a lot.” Givenchy Beauty has launched blackened lip glosses and lipsticks, but they always have an element of shimmer to make them more beautiful and luxe than just bold. “I am working on that kind of [colourful lipstick] idea, but I am hoping they are going to be much more wearable than what’s on the market right now,” he adds.

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From: Harper’s BAZAAR US