When I was a little, I used to lock myself away in the bathroom with handfuls of my mom's miniature Avon lipsticks.
I'd run into her room, open her makeup drawer and reach for a bunch of her tiny lipstick tubes and then I'd quickly make a beeline for the bathroom so I wouldn't get caught. With the bathroom door closed safely behind me, I'd try on shade after shade but it was always the classic red that always made my little eight-year-old heart soar. I'd imagine how liberating it would be to finally wear red lipstick in public one day and the thought made me wish I was grown up. As the only girl, my mother was very strict with me and I wasn't even allowed to wear light pink nail polish until I was twelve.
In college, I exclusively wore MAC's Chilli, a brick-red matte shade, almost every day. Anyone who's ever tried MAC's matte formulas knows that the staying power is incredible but the dryness can be overwhelming. Dry lips where my small sacrifice in the beauty world when it came to feeling good and Chilli was my signature shade for two years.
Now in my mid-thirties, my personal collection of red lipsticks can fill an entire shoe box and the reds I prefer have changed a little. These days I prefer brighter reds because they brighten up my skin and give me the appearance of a healthy glow. On casual days, when I want to feel polished, I reach for a cheery orange-red to go with my Vans and leather jacket.
For an evening out, my go-to is a classic red, like Armani's 400, paired with a chic cat eye and rosy pink blush. I keep my hair in soft waves, with one side pinned back to keep the emphasis on the lips. Think classic Hollywood like Liz Taylor meets new Hollywood like Michelle Williams.
Red lipstick is the epitome of timeless elegance and I'm sure as I get older, my collection will continue to grow.
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Giorgio Armani 400
Armani has the perfect shade for those who love a classic red lip. Shade 400, or as I like to call it Iconic Red, is a beautiful blue-based red that's suitable for most skin tones. I have medium-warm based skin and prefer orange-based reds and yet somehow 400 brightens my skin tone and makes me look more lively. The shade comes in four formulas so you can have your choice of matte, glossy or creme lipstick. While the formulas are quality and long wearing, I would recommend a lip liner in a matching shade to truly prolong wear.
Ecstasy Lacquer 400 - High Shine lip gloss
Armani 400 lipsticks featured in this post were gifted by the brand. All opinions and photos are my own.