Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Certain...I Don't Know What

As I've explained about a thousand times before, I'm somewhat of a francophile. Not that this is uncommon, but I've spent countless hours poring over the photos of Garance Dore's blog and Charlotte Gainsbourg and trying to decipher the keys to their style.

The only problem?

I have a pretty quintessentially American look. Actually, the best I ever did when I lived in France was passing for British or Canadian.

But that never stops me from trying.

Lately, I've been obsessed with the no makeup-bright red lip look that is totally le dernier cri right now. So, one bright early September afternoon, I enlisted the help of the staff at MAC, thinking if anyone has a perfect red lipstick, it would be MAC.

(I think it was the shock of the end of recess. It makes me do some crazy stuff.)

My first try, I stopped in the store in Georgetown and explained to the makeup artist what I was looking for and explained that I am typically a pretty pink gloss kind of girl. She nodded empathetically and began pulling from the counters.

She explained, over my protests, that lipliner was essential for the red lip and lined away. She topped it off with Ladybug, an entry level red that goes on sheerly.

I walked out of the store feeling like everyone on M Street was staring at me trying to figure out what kind of drugs I was on.

It was bold, but pretty. Then I noticed that as it faded, it look on an orangey tinge that left me feeling a little more Eastern European-pre fall of the wall than French glamour girl.

So, last weekend in San Diego, I popped into the MAC store in the Gaslamp and tried again.

This time, I went bolder and picked Ruby Woo, a deep matte red. Apparently it's a fave of Dita Von Teese (and let's just say it's going to be the only trait we share). It definitely requires more maintenance than my swipe of gloss, but I can certainly say that I turned heads in the good way.

In my one night wearing red lipstick, here is what I learned:

-Make sure you moisturized your lips. Chapped and flaked makes you look like you stopped dancing at the Lido in 1962 and never washed your face.

-Seriously, make sure you keep the rest of your face bare.

-Excuse yourself seductively to go to the bathroom to touch up. You'll definitely need to, but it also just seems to keep the illusion of mystery and glamour alive.

-You will want to draw attention to your lips, but try not to overdo it with the straws and champagne glasses, or then you'll REALLY have to excuse yourself a lot.

-Tip well at restaurants, you just ruined their white cloth napkins.

-Air kiss.

So, next time I'm in Paris, I can pass for Belgian.'s step above being called a Canadian from them.


Princess Freckles said...

I'm inspired to try it! I bet you look fantastic! I'm not so brave. Maybe the red gloss is for me!

Jess said...

Hahahaha - I went to MAC when I wanted the same thing! I'm a very fair girl but wanted that vampy look and I walked out of there with the Russian Red lipstick, Brick lipliner and the clear lipglass so that they would be really shiny.

Loved the look, pretty high maintenance though. And the rest of your makeup had better be flawless!

Faye said...

I have spent years wanting to try the minimal makeup but red lips look but my eyes are pretty non existant without tons of makeup so I am never brave enough to give it a go! After reading this I think I need to pay MAC a visit and see what they can do for me!

Jacki said...

I still haven't found my perfect red and mostly have given up. Ruby Woo sounds interesting, will have to give that a shot!

Red Lipstick Style said...

I love the Mac Ruby Woo! I know what you mean, we have an office in DC and when I'm there I feel the need to wear lighter lipstick when walking on the street ;-)

Anonymous said...

Subtle swipes at both Canadians and Eastern Europeans in just one post - impressive! I suggest you try Chanel's Rouge Allure Lacque in Dragon (a true red) when you graduate to the master's level of red lipstick. There is also Coromandel, a more orange-based red, available. Of course, being Eastern European (and Canadian as well, coincidentally) I myself wear the latter.

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temptu said...

I am big fan of red lipsticks.

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