Sunday, September 4, 2011

Brick Red

Red lipstick is definitely making a come-back for the fall (even though it never should have left in my opinion).  I adore red lipstick and I love the variety of shades that are available (i.e. a classic true red, a cooler blue toned red etc).  Right now I am really inspired by a brick red colour!  The rich brick red shade looks amazing on brunettes (especially with green-ish or hazel eyes) and also looks stunning on a blonde or redhead with a bit of a warmer/spring-like complexion (i.e. Cameron Diaz, Nichole Kidman, Diana Argon).  I recall when I was about 15 or 16 walking into an expensive department store - my mother was looking for a lipstick for a wedding we were supposed to go to.  Being bold AND already obsessed with makeup, I started an in-depth conversation with the woman working there - she was older and seemed to have so much knowledge about colour.  I learned that she went to the same art school as John Lennon while he was attending there.  I asked her what types of lipsticks I should be wearing and without hesitation she said she's been studying my face as we were talking and that 'Brick Red' is the shade I should stick with.  Interestingly enough, my signature 'Bois Des Iles' by Chanel with Sienna lipliner creates a perfect Brick red shade!  I decided to do a little bit more research and went to sephora yesterday to try on various lipshades in a brick red colour - I finally found one that I think, is the more perfect brick red out there - NARS Shanghai Express:

Shanghai Express is described on the NARS website as being a warm brick red and it lives true to its description, except that it is not 'overly' warm.  It definitely has a warmer red base, but there is no overpoweing orange or yellow undertones.  If you look at the last photo of Shanghai Express compared to Red Lizzard, you can really see how it has that brownish brick undertone without being too warm.  At first glance, it looks like a basic red with brownish undertones, but on the lips, it is the perfect brick red shade.  I paired it with MAC's Auburn lipliner to create a stunning deeper brick-red look.  After trying on this shade at sephora, I met up with my mom and one of her friends for lunch, they both asked me right away "what lipstick are you wearing?  That colour is amazing on you?'  That was the confirmation I needed that this shade definitely works for me.  I still love wearing a true red lipstick, especially Moulin Rouge by Make Up For Ever.  However, I think I'll reserve that colour as an evening/glam look and wear my Bois Des Iles and Shangai Express as my signature day looks. 

I recently came across an Essie nailpolish called 'In Stiches' - I got it because I wanted a more sophisticated neutral to wear to work and keep my favourite OPI 'Big Apple Red' for special occasions!  I noticed that when I was wearing Bois Des Iles and then tried on Shanghai Express, this colour was almost an exact match to those brick red lip-colours!  I was stunned and excited to hold up my nails to the lipsticks I had on and discover just how perfect a match it really is! 

Last night I needed a little bit of R and R and decided to watch 'Leap Year' - one of my all time favourite romantic comedies!  At the very end of the movie, Amy Adams character Anna realizes and says "I had everything I wanted, but nothing I really needed".  This kind of struck a cord with me because it made me think about what we purchase and spend money on - are they things we really need or want?  I think sometimes we can't even tell the difference.  All I know is that I don't need 30 different lipsticks - I only need a handful that I can mix and match and play around with.  In my two favourite 'how to be french' books, the authors state that you only need about 2 lipsticks - one for day and one for evening.  I 'tried' my hardest to stick to this, but have such a hard time since my makeup looks often are centered around my moods.  One day I feel bright and happy (hence needing a brighter colour), other days I feel soft and relaxed etc etc.  But I understand the simplicity and sophistication behind having just a few signature shades.  My mom, who is the queen of simplicity and elegance' and can't understand my obsession with makeup told me that a woman needs only 4 shades, one for day, two for evening and one for those in'between' times - For me, its Bois Des Iles for day, Moulin Rouge and Gabrielle for evening and Shangai Express for those in-between times!  I'm finding that the older I get, the more my style and what important for me as a look is changing - I no longer want to be stuck in makeup and clothes trends.  Its not about 'fashion' for me anymore, wanting the latest label or buying what everyone else is buying in an attempt to be seen as cool and 'in' - I'm moving more in the direction of finding my own style, having signatures, sticking with it, even when the fashion industry is going in the oppposite direction,  Its not about being 'in', its about being 'me'.  I think that lady who went to John Lennon's art school saw something in me that day, she knew instinctively what shades work for me and I just had that 'simplicity' mindset then, I would have stuck with a brick red shade all those years ago and saved myself a lot of money!  Live and learn I guess!!!

Wow - I didn't realize this post would become a venting 'light-bulb' moment post, but I'll 'Let It Be'!!!

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