Red, red lipstick: A true story

Tara and her fabulously red mouth.

I have two professional lives – one as a writer and one as a photographer. That’s me — the man who picked two careers that bring most of its practitioners very little money. And no groupies. What was I thinking?

 Long ago, I frequently photographed a woman named Tara. Tara was (and still is) a pretty woman fond of very red lipstick. I learned from Tara that red lipstick photographs well, even in black and white pictures.

 I liked the look but never really thought much about it. Then many years passed and I photographed a woman named Courtney.

 We were in Courtney’s backyard, and halfway through our photo session, she said she wanted to put on lipstick. She asked me if I had a preferred shade.

 Me, always accommodating, asked, “What shades do you normally wear?”

 “Earth tones,” Courtney answered. “Browns and beiges, mostly.”

 Courtney was surprised when I responded, “Put on the reddest you’ve got.”

 She went inside and probably had to rummage through her sister’s and mother’s makeup to find red lipstick.

 She returned outside looking perfect, and I shot a picture that her mother later told me “took her breath away.”

 Red has impact. I’m probably not the first person to tell you that. In my humble opinion, it’s a good look for blondes, brunettes, and most species in between.

 These days, it’s almost a religious tenet, me telling my subjects to wear red lipstick.

 I’ve expanded my vocabulary beyond “reddest you’ve got” to describe what I’m after. These terms include, but are not limited to, very red, red red, and super-red.

 In the interest of performing a useful act here, I decided to move beyond a list of different ways to say red, and name a specific lipstick that gets the job done.

 I just checked with Melissa, the official Sally Beauty Supply makeup maven, who also blogs here. Melissa likes Femme Couture Ultra Hydrating Lip Color in Runway Red.

 So there you have it. Give Runway Red a try and tell me what you think.

Agree? Disagree? Have a yummy chicken recipe or a clean joke? I invite you to click on the blue “comments” link at the top of this posting and let me have it.

  • Ana

    August 13th, 2010


    I never thought about red lipstick standing out in black-and-white photos, but now I want to try it. Thanks for the tip!

  • ghdhairs

    August 14th, 2010


    never heard

  • Nancy

    August 14th, 2010


    Thank you for the tip. From now on I will be red lips all the way! I will send a clean joke if I can ever remember one!

  • William

    August 16th, 2010


    LOL. We’ll be waiting!

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