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There’s something about French women. Time and time again they’re exalted in magazines and books, on movies and Instagram. So many layers contribute to the je ne sais quoi of these mysterious creatures- both physical and emotional. They’re comfortable in their own skin, they don’t care what anyone thinks-or at leat they pretend not to- and (this is something I find more relatable) they love good food. But perhaps their most quintessential trademark is the perfectly imperfect red lip.
Over the years I’ve had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the red lip. Love how it looks; hate how scared I am of getting it wrong. Love how much attention it draws; hate how much attention it draws. Love how many variations there are; hate the thought of choosing the wrong shade. But, in the interest of self-development, I am making a commitment to myself to branch out more into the world of rouge (not the Moulin kind).
The perfect red lip is so powerful. When done right, it can make the wearer feel powerful, feminine, free. Bold and brave. Sexy and sultry. Depending on the shade, it can evoke a Parisian jazz bar in the 1930’s, or a weekend at Coachella with your best friends three years ago.
Blessedly, more and more companies are establishing themselves on the clean beauty market, meaning we have a larger range of red lipsticks to choose from than ever before. I’ve rounded up my favourites so we can all start leaving cherry lip stains on the mirror. But, before we get into that, I want to share the top tips I’ve learned for rocking a red pout.
- Find a shade you’re comfortable with. I have ivory skin, and some shades make me look sickly white, while others transform me to a 1920’s glamour girl (well, in my head at least). Choosing the right shade for your complexion is key!
- It doesn’t have to be perfect. My favourite Youtuber ever Violette is so gorgeously French, and doesn’t buy into the whole perfectionism of wearing red. Seriously, I am obsessed with her- her videos are works of art- I literally watch them on repeat to relax. She has a wonderfully relaxed approach to makeup and rocks a red lip like no one else.
- Maintain your pretty pout. If, like me, your lips err on the side of dryness, keep them well scrubbed and hydrated before wearing red which will draw the eye. I also look for hydrating lipsticks as many matte shade dry my lips out, and the result is not pretty.
- Keep the eyes subtle. Allow all attention to be on your gorgeous red lips, and keep your eye makeup understated. You don’t want your features fighting for attention, and nothing is more alluring than a ‘I just threw this on’ red lip.
- Play around with it! Really, let’s not take it all too seriously. It’s just makeup- an expression of our creativity and our beauty! Try new things- some you’ll love and some you’ll realise don’t work. Who cares!
So now that you’ve got some tips for feeling gorgeous while wearing red, here are some of my favourite shades from clean beauty companies.
Vegan, Cruelty Free, Zero Waste.
Wow, I love being Australian. Because really, only an Australian would call their cosmetic company ‘Dirty Hippie’ #aussiepride. Anyway, this stunning lip and cheek tint comes in a 14g option packaged in compostable and recycled paper push up and the 22g option is packaged in a reusable aluminium tin. The Blood Moon tint is deep and exotic- how could you not feel sexy and powerful rocking this stunning shade??
Cruelty Free (PETA & Leaping Bunny Certified), Toxin Free, Vegan, Sustainable Packaging.
Elate Clean Cosmetics is all about embracing your beauty routine- the act of it and how amazing it should make you feel. But, they love to do it with your health and the earth in mind. The Grace shade is a balanced, bold red that just screams Parisian girl on a night out.
98% Natural, Certified Cruelty Free, Gluten Free
These gorgeous Creme Lip Crayons are designed to have a matte yet hydrating finish- super important if you have sensitive lips like I do! This stunning deep colour is sultry and seductive.
Certified Cruelty Free, Toxin Free, Non-Vegan
Luk Beautifood is an amazing Australian-based company who creates nourishing makeup tinted with fruit pigments. They create a range of lipsticks but I love their Cherry Plum Colour which will suit most complexions. It’s filled with avocado oil and cherry oil for a hydrating, buildable finish.
Certified Natural by NATRUE (requires No Animal testing and no GMO), gluten-free, sustainably produced
Lavera have been creating natural makeup for over 25 years, using certified organic ingredients where possible. All of this German brand’s cosmetics are made without synthetic preservatives, colors or fragrances so you can enjoy your day knowing no nasties are sneaking into your bloodstream. Their Wild Cherry lipstick will easily take you from day to night.
Another Aussie company, Inika has been awarded with over 35 cosmetic awards and their lipsticks are certified organic- #greenandclean. Their After Dark shade of Vegan Lipsticks is warm-toned with a slight shimmer. Packed with avocado and Argan oils, this lipstick is deigned to hydrate your lips all day long.
Cruelty free, certified COSMOS Organic and 100% natural.
This fire-cracker red is for the brave at heart, and will warm you up with its orange undertones. Living Nature focuses on creating natural, sustainably sourced cosmetics and skincare. They source the finest ingredients from New Zealand’s unique eco-system and harness their powers to make you feel beautiful!
Certified natural, non GMO, Sustainably Sourced
How divine is this pinky-red shade? This would be so easy to rock on a summer evening- it has the perfect balance of a classic red lip, with feminine pink tones. Dr. Hauschka is one of the big players in natural beauty, and you can see why when they create such glorious lipsticks!
Vegan, Cruelty Free Certified by Leaping Bunny and PETA
This beautiful warm shade is filled with fruit pigments, and is designed to be long wearing. If like me, you find your lips dry out, you’ll love this brand. Their lipsticks are filled with Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter and Vitamin E to keep your lips hydrated all day long!
This stunning shade of red is summed up perfectly by its name. The colour will put you in an immediate party mood, so ship it across your lips, put on your party shoes and dance the night away!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this round-up of pretty red lipsticks! Bonus tip– I love using lipsticks as a cheek blush too (don’t buy into the cosmetic company marketing that you need a different product for every part of your face). Use your finger to gently dab the colour from the stick on to your cheek and blend in. I find a red blush gives me so much more life than a soft pink, and puts an extra spring in my step!