So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring… and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

Jason Wu - Spring 2012 lipstick

Remember when fashion had rules? Like no white after Labour Day, and not mixing your metals, and having to match your shoes with your handbag? Then all of that went out the window—VERY out the window—and now I feel like the same thing is happening in Beauty Land.

It’s red lips of which I speak, and they used to be strictly fall/winter territory. I know this because every time I wrote a magazine beauty trend round-up, red lips were inevitably in there. (Do they count as a trend if they happen every single year?) Anyway, then we’d all switch to pretty pastels from May through August. Of course, things started to change with the whole fuchsia and orange lipstick craze of 2010 and 2011. And now, it seems, beauty has finally caught up with fashion. Red lips have officially arrived as a valid warm-weather option… which means there really aren’t any colour rules, or seasons anymore.

Know what else it means? There’s a red lip for everyone. EVERYONE! Let’s take a look at some runway and real-life examples (and why they work) to get inspired.

Orange red at Jason Wu

Jason Wu Spring 2012 lipstick 2 So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

Have you heard? Pantone says orange—well, specifically, a shade named Tangerine Tango—is the colour of the year for 2012. How fitting then, that it’s echoed here in this bright pop art hue. (The model’s lips make it even better. Oh, and the pic at the top is from this show too. Swoon.) I posted both just to show that just like you can wear red at any time of year, you can also wear it on any skin tone. Even an orange red. See?

Glossy red at Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012 lipstick So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

I love a ridiculously glossy, ’70s-style vinyl red… but okay, maybe without this hairdo. For me, this is more of an evening look because I think it needs some eye drama (like these long lashes) to balance out the high shine down below.

Poppy red at Christian Dior

Christian Dior Spring 2012 So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

And this show would be my favourite. Love a poppy red lip, love a poppy red nail (with a round shape, natch) and love it even more when both are paired together. It’s so ladylike yet modern! Notice how the texture here is creamy but not quite matte.

Coral red at Anna Sui

Anna Sui Spring 2012 So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

This version is sort of halfway between the Jason Wu and the Christian Dior. A soft, subtle coral that looks like it’s been blotted down a bit. This would be the way to go if you don’t want to go too dark or too bright. It’s very Mad Men, no?

Metallic red at YSL

YSL Spring 2012 lipstick So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

You know what? I hated this on first sight, but now it’s growing on me. Let’s all tone down the eyes (and not bleach the shiz out of our eyebrows)… now, can’t you picture the lip for a summer evening with hair up, bronzey skin and bare shoulders? I sure can. And I do think we’ll see more of this metallic type of texture in the future.

And now, because real-life examples are always good too, let’s check out some recent celebrity red lips…

Glossy red on Emma Stone

Emma Stone Spiderman photocall April 2012 So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

Ems was looking a tad washed out with the lighter hair colour… but now, with this lipstick, I’m actually getting on board with it.

Matte red on Lucy Hale

Lucy Hale ABC Family West Coast Upfronts So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

This is a perfect real-life example of the Anna Sui lips. Soft colour, and softly blotted so there are no hard edges and the colour is really subtle.

Okay, now take a deep breath and get ready for the next one.

Coral red on… Lindsay Lohan?

Lindsay Lohan White House Correspondents Association Dinner So red lips—yes, RED!—are big for spring... and here are a bunch of ways to wear them

YES. Believe it. I really am using Lindsay as a beauty example… someone pinch me. You know, I still have issues (many issues) with the skin, and the hair, and what’s been put INTO the skin—but I have to give credit where it’s due. And she kind of nailed this lip.

Tell me:

Did you used to save your red lipstick for fall/winter or were you already a rule breaker and wearing it year-round?
Which runway look is your fave?
Will you give LiLo some beauty props here—or does she still have a long way to go?


Thursday, May 3/2012 at 3:35 am

:’) Awesome.


Thursday, May 3/2012 at 8:19 am

Great post, Michelle! So many beautiful red shades to get inspired by, thanks.


Michelle (Lipstickrules)
Thursday, May 3/2012 at 9:05 am

You know I LOVE this, right? I’m all for wearing red all year round :) Great post as usual Michelle!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, May 3/2012 at 12:03 pm

I always think of you when I write a lipstick post! :)


Dot & Lil
Thursday, May 3/2012 at 11:51 am

I love me some red lippie! And I have to say….Lindsay’s coral is my fave from above choices….


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, May 3/2012 at 12:05 pm

Doesn’t she look great? I mean, too much bronzer/fake tan/etc. but I was blown away when I saw the pic. I can’t believe Lindsay has inspired me to bust out a coral again…


Dot & Lil
Thursday, May 3/2012 at 12:07 pm

Ok but let’s be careful about using “inspired” and “Lindsay” in too close proximity haha. :)


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, May 3/2012 at 12:13 pm

Haha! Agreed :)


Thursday, May 3/2012 at 12:24 pm

I’ve worn it for fancy reasons year round, since I usually wear black. (Recovering Goth, I know.) But I never had the nerve to wear it for day wear!

Until! Red lip BALM! Sheer red! (Like Emma.) I can DO this for day! So now it IS all year round!

& Lilo… Better with the reddish hair! Now, someone needs to take away her spray-tan…


Thursday, May 3/2012 at 1:02 pm

I love red. all. year. round. I always try on pinks and then end up purchasing a red instead. I’m still loving orange red, although I know it’s feeling a little 2011. Last I got a matte orange coulour, which is a pain to apply so it’s a nighttime only colour. This year I bought a limited ed. colour called Korean Candy from MAC’s Sheen Supreme line. Easy to apply and do that blotted out thing all the celebs are doing. Another day-safe option I love is Tarte’s natural lip stain – it’s a stain-gloss hybrid and the ‘lust’ colour is a nice cherry red, I’ve gone through the whole bullet in a year.I think it also comes in a more ‘poppy’ red as well – which is clearly on-trend so i may try that next.


Thursday, May 3/2012 at 1:31 pm

Lindsay looks so much better with the red, but it could be darker still. I think she got veneers or something and it’s recent, because I just noticed it in this pic.

I like reds but usually only when I have a little color from the sun.


Thursday, May 3/2012 at 2:50 pm

Who makes all the shades!??! I would love to buy.. I usually go to MAC but they seem to have been lacking in the updating of their reds collection.


Thursday, May 3/2012 at 10:38 pm

I am one of those women who does not look good in red lipstick. Recently though, I was on the hunt for a red (I tried almost every red in Sephora) that could pass for something other than garish or harsh looking & happened to try on a Nars shade called “Red Lizard” with the pencil in “Jungle Red” as a base. For some reason, this works on me without any Joker or Bozo vibe & I don’t feel self conscious wearing it at all. I hopes this helps another non-red wearer.


Friday, May 4/2012 at 9:39 am

I think I figured out what’s wrong with Emma Stone as a blonde: it’s reminiscent of Lindsay Lohan’s descent from up and coming starlet to washed up Hollywood freak! I mean look at them two pictures you posted here above!

I watched Mean Girls with a girlfriend tonight, and we were commenting how perfect Lohan looked with her “real” hair, and somehow I think the fact that she went downhill (fast!) after going blonde made us like.. subconsciously associate the “going blonde” with “going badshit crazy Hollywood-style” :P


Monday, May 7/2012 at 1:52 pm

I am cracking up at this!!! I am totally going to be using the phrase ‘Going batshit, Hollywood style’ soon! Thanks for the laugh!


Friday, May 4/2012 at 11:23 am

I really love the orange red at Jason Wu. I think it looks so great on that model.

Whenever I attempt to wear red lipstick (which, okay, was only once) I felt like a clown! Perhaps I just wasn’t used to it, but it was probably the wrong shade of red. Since I have a similar complexion (minus the fake tan, ugh) and hair color to Lilo I’m tempted to try the coral red, because I do think it’s a gorgeous color. My 83 year old grandmother rocks a shade of coral all the time and it looks so great on her. :)

Love this post!

The Good Life


Friday, May 4/2012 at 6:23 pm

Does LiLo have the same colorist as Blake Lively? What is with that ketchup chip hair?! Shout out to whichever commenter it was who ID’d that shade of red so perfectly when Blake had it.

Emma looks fab – I’m really into the hair. Looks like a good dupe would be that Baby Lips red (Cherry?) or one of those Revlon tinted balms she reps.


Saturday, May 5/2012 at 12:06 am

OMG. Blake Lively’s hair on GG was soooooo brassy. It had me in a wth? moment when watching her. I seriously wanted to email the people and ask them why the stylists were making her and Ivy’s hair so brassy. It looked like they finally gave her a toner, bc last week’s show it wasn’t like that — finally.

Never heard ‘ketchup chip’ hair before, lol.


Thursday, May 10/2012 at 2:03 am

Bahahaha that was me with the ketchup chip comment… i feel famous? or something? :)


Sunday, May 6/2012 at 1:07 pm

i am a red fanatic, and had decided to introduce new colours to my lippie wardrobe, looks like that is not happening any time soon.


Monday, May 7/2012 at 4:27 am

Michelle have you got any suggestions to replicate the Poppy Red look? I love the lips and especially those nails! But where to begin??


Monday, May 7/2012 at 8:29 am

I second that. This color is so beautiful – but I’m awful when it’s time to chose a shade in store, so suggestions would be very helpful. :)


Monday, May 7/2012 at 11:12 am

@claud revlon’s brick red is a nice cross between orangey red and poppy red, revlon has another more blue toned shade misleadingly called spice red. MAC has Ruby Woo , which is a perfect red for yellow toned skin. also u can try the cult classic, cherries in the snow for a pinkish red.


Tuesday, May 8/2012 at 12:40 pm

Oh thank you :) *take notes*


La La
Monday, May 7/2012 at 2:49 pm

ruby woo is def my go to red…very matte though so you’ll want to make sure your lips are exfoliated…having pretty dark skin i was worried about wearing it at first but it’s gorgeous…def recommend it to anyone with gold/yellow undertones in their skin


Sunday, May 13/2012 at 4:03 pm

Hi! so i am 14 but i love fashion, it’s my life. (no hollister for me!) and i love bright lipstick, but i cant pull of bright pinks or reds because wearing it to school is to crazy or I look trashy! any good lip colors for a pale blonde?


Wednesday, May 16/2012 at 3:07 pm

I have dirty blonde/mousey brown hair. Does anybody know how I would get my hair colour to look like the girl in the Coral red at Anna Sui photograph?


Friday, May 18/2012 at 6:19 pm

Bring that pic to a hair colorist. It will be easy for them to get you there with a full head of highlights. Don’t try it yourself, you don’t mess with highlights on your own.


Wednesday, May 23/2012 at 2:11 am

The Jean Paul Gaultier model – I love Victory Rolls, but the visible hair sponges underneath? Noooo….


Wednesday, May 23/2012 at 3:44 pm

Thanks Cassandra!


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