the power of red

An assortment of reds.

It’s spring. And as far as beauty trends are concerned, many tend to gravitate towards “lighter” looks…pastels, neutrals and use less of nearly everything, too. Meaning no heavy smoky eyes in the middle of May with that summer dress, or red holiday dresses in June.  I’ve been known to have a thing for red. Red lipstick, that is. With MAC Cosmetics’ Ruby Woo being the color of choice (or culprit) no matter what time of year.

During the monthly product purge earlier this year, I noticed the number of “red” items on my desk, in my bathroom and elsewhere. Lipsticks aside, multiple polishes, glosses and the random accessory lay toiling around. The holidays had just come and gone and things were still looking festive, so I hung on to a few items including Zoya’s “Gia” red polish and CND’s Rouge Red.

Sometime before New York Fashion Week, I caught up with celebrity manicurist and entrepreneur Deborah Lippmann in New York. Lippmann has collaborated with more celebrities that I need to mention on color–from limited edition polishes to some that remain in her permanent nail color collection. During the interview, she expressed her enthusiasm for “red” and just how yes, one can rock the often provocative color year-round. The transcript of our interview is below. Seek inspiration, and enjoy!

An assortment of my favorite reds.

Is red a year-long color, or do you think more of it as a seasonal color?

“Red is definitely a classic, seasonless color.  There was a time in the ’50’s and ’60’s when red was worn year round and then it transitioned into a seasonal color with orange-reds strictly for the summer months.  Now shades of red can be worn any time of year – dark, bright, sheer formulas, anything goes!”

What is the inspiration behind your collection of reds?

“Inspiration behind my red lacquers comes from old Hollywood, current Hollywood, what happens in fashion. I could come out with a new red shade every six months, I love red so much!”

How can different skin tones rock their favorite reds? In other words, are crams more suitable for certain tones or not.

“Those rules don’t apply anymore!  It’s like not wearing white after labor day, we just don’t have to do it that way.  If you want to go the traditional route, blue, cool undertones should wear cooler reds and people with yellow undertones should go for warmer, orangey bright reds.  Often someone with porcelain skin like Nicole Kidman will tell me that they have such white skin, but they want to wear red.  To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the palest skin with gorgeous dark red. Medium and darker skin tones are lucky because they can wear anything from orangey and bright reds to the darkest plummy reds, they are all stunning!  A good tip for when you’re shopping for red nail color is to bring your favorite red lipstick with you as guide to find your perfect shade. However, when wearing red lips and nails, don’t be afraid to break that old rule of matching your lip and nail color.  I think a classic red lip looks beautiful with a deeper red nail.  Old school red rules are irrelevant!”

 –As told to Dawn.

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