Painting the Town Red

Although summer is my favourite season for more reasons I can name (high temperatures and sunshine are the obvious, endless ice-cream cone consumption and constantly being barefoot score high summer points for me as well) fall seems to be the fashion and beauty world’s favourite season. With summer comes a carefree attitude and approach to dress and makeup; cutoffs are a casual staple, and some SPF-laced tinted moisturizer and blot of lip stain fancy up the face just enough in the August heat.

But ah, fall. Fall is the fashion New Year. Exciting, buzzy, a little more formal (if not solely for more coverage) and often more creative than spring collections, more trends are started and always feel fresh. This season, designers sent models marching down the runway in everything from 70s inspired pieces to Courtney Love-esque grunge to the classic all-American look, but despite the tremendously varied collections, many had a common ground: red lips.


Evoking instant sex appeal, red lips go back to Mesopotamian times when women crushed gemstones to decorate their lips and have pretty much been a staple in women’s beauty loot ever since. Certain shades, application techniques and finishes create different moods, which is exactly what backstage makeup artists considered when creating red-lipped looks for the slew of designers who presented their shows with their models’ lips blazing.


Beautifully bare-faced and naturally luminescent skin is the epitome of Italian glamour, if only when paired with a classically sexy cat eye and a perfectly stamped-on crimson pout like at Dolce & Gabbana. Deep yet still a bit bright, this red was neither matte nor shiny, dark nor light, stained or glossy – just a perfect, chic red lip. Prada’s wet haired and dewy skinned models had their lips painted as if they had just finished a cherry popsicle; a hint of red with a super natural finish looked just right for the no-makeup makeup look. Paul Smith’s tomato-red was a touch orangey and looked fresh feathered and faded a bit in the centre of the mouth. Whichever look you like best, slick some on and pucker up. Bisous!