Why red? Why not red!

I remember being shy and timid; the time when I used dull pink lip colors and never wore highlighters. I can’t believe I was missing out on the most essential and accentuating color of my life: red. My red lipstick, after I entered the corporate life ans started making bolder choices, made me the charismatic, clever and fearless linchpin of our office. My scarlet lips signaled like a red flag that I was in charge, if not of the office, at least of myself. It took me years to practice the right shades but in the beginning, the simple smear of red gave me the confidence I so needed. It erased years of self doubt and confusion. They are right when they say the right cosmetics are all you need, once you know how to dress for the occasion.

Only even the act of applying red lipstick is empowering. By dressing your lips in red, you draw people’s attention to you, especially your mouth, and subsequently, the words that come out of it. 

However, if there’s one thing I have learnt from my long years (and I can’t emphasize enough on the longevity of these years) of desperation and doubt, it is to try everything and then cherry pick the best. Here’s a list of all the beautiful, bright reds I love and you must try.


Truly reddish.


A true, brilliant – in both senses of the word – red, Dior’s punchy 999 offers great coverage and a choice of a matt or satin finish.

Dior Rouge Dior Lipstick in 999. £27.50; available at Dior.com.


The right mix of red and maroon.

For long-lasting, highly-pigmented colour, Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks are among the best. Red Carpet Red is a classic, suits-all hue.

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Luminous Modern-Matte Lipstick in Red Carpet Red. £24; available at Charlottetilbury.com.


My favourite red that is pigmented and a good friend of orange.

Bold, long-wearing and smudge-proof, Topshop’s Rio Rio is a favourite. A bright orange-red, it suits most skin tones.

Topshop Lips in Rio Rio. £8; available at Topshop.com.


The best shade for those who don’t like matte.

lip stains are glossy without being sticky, hyper-pigmented,  and last all night. The shade Ravageur is a warm, copper-toned red.

Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Color in Ravageur, $53; tomford.com

For all those who are still stuck with light pinks, all I can say is that try. Try red. Try dark purples. Go peachy. Be the boss.