MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

CMAs, VMAs, EMAs: I don’t blame you if you can’t keep track! It was the latter (the MTV Europe Music Awards) that took place on Sunday night in Germany, though… and one thing I DID keep track of was how many red lips were on the red carpet.

Basically, LOTS. And you know what was surprising? Taylor Swift, at least at the start of the night, was not among them. More on that in a sec, but first I want to give Rita Ora a proper BEAUTY EDITOR debut:

Rita Ora MTV Europe Music Awards 2012 MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

If you’re into the music scene—or if you keep up with the Kardashians!—then you’ll already know this 21-year-old British singer. (She also happens to date Rob Kardashian. Gurl, no!) Anyway, red lipstick is kind of her thing, but she usually wears it in a casual, street-style sort of way instead of glammed up like this. (Well, kinda glam. Street-glam?)

Will it surprise you if I say that I love it?

For starters, not too many people could pull off a dress with that sort of neckline and still look cool (instead of like some Ice Queeny Nicole Kidman wearing uncomfortable couture). It absolutely calls for a red lip, but the rooty, faux-bobbed, platinum hair gives it that essential, unconventional twist. Her skin is absolutely flawless, too.

A quick word about those roots: I like ‘em. Which is weird, because I usually hate on roots BIG TIME. But just like they worked on Rihanna when she had that disco-style honey blonde ‘do, I think they work on Rita here. The blonde is so obviously fake that some root action makes it look more like a deliberate decision. I know it’s warped logic, but somehow I’m rolling with this.

Gwen Stefani was sporting my other favourite pair of red lips:

Gwen Stefani MTV Europe Music Awards November 2012 MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

Doesn’t she look amazing? This is what 43 looks like, yo. There’s nothing new here to talk about, just signature Gwen goodness. (Oh, and on her, the lack of roots is very much appreciated. Past a certain age, it stops being edgy and just looks unkempt. Gwen, to her credit, has ALWAYS had incredible root maintenance.)

Are you noticing, by the way, the creamy, matte texture of these lips? That’s the texture to aim for—not shiny.

Here’s another example, on Carly Rae Jepsen:

Carly Rae Jepsen MTV Europe Music Awards 2012 MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

These ones I’m not so in love with but I think it has more to do with the hair than the actual lips themselves. (Because the deep red colour is great and really makes her blue eyes pop.)

I just wish she’d figure out her hairstyle. I love me some long bangs, but these ones are a fraction TOO long—plus the thickness of them (paired with the dark colour) really hides her pretty face. Also, I like the idea of a fishtail side braid, but somehow with the bangs the whole looks seem heavy. If only her fringe was swept to the side, and some of that hair tucked behind one ear… imagine the possibilities!

Another one I’m on the fence about was Alicia Keys:

Alicia Keys MTV Europe Music Awards 2012 MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

She’s quite hit and miss in general, and here I don’t really “get” her choice of dress. (Anytime I see sheer panels I think of skating costumes.) I also think pairing red with green can look a bit Christmas-y… but hey, we’re almost there so it’s not too big of a deal! I will say, though, that I like things a lot above the neck. This sleek, bobbed hairstyle really suits her, and she wears a red lip well. Maybe needs a bit less brown eyeshadow.

And now the time has come to talk about Taylor. My girl Taylor. Remember how, just last week, I said I wanted to look like her? Well, THAT’S changed:

Taylor Swift MTV Europe Music Awards 2012 MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

There’s no red lipstick! Is it even the same person?

I feel… bored. Confused. Disappointed. She looks drab!

So be careful for what you wish for, I say. All of this time when we were longing for her to switch things up and ditch the red lipstick, the minute she does it we’re underwhelmed. Thankfully, she got the memo and swiped some on mid-show:

Taylor Swift MTV Europe Music Awards 2012 2 MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

Ahhh… that’s better, isn’t it? I can go back to my happy place now.

Here’s a pic of Taylor and Rita doing their red lip thing… with some Kardashian who snuck in there, WUT?!

Taylor Swift Rita Ora and Kim Kardashian at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2012 MTV EMAs 2012: Rita Ora leads the red lip brigade (Taylor Swift, why did we ever question you?)

Dontcha want to reach into your bag and pull out a red lipstick now?

Tell me:

Are you into Rita Ora’s red lips ‘n root action?
Do you agree that Taylor Swift should never stray from her red lipstick again?
What’s your top red lipstick pick? I’ve been recommending this cherry shade called Flaming Dust by NARS… you should try it!

17 Comments

HAM
Tuesday, November 13/2012 at 4:32 pm

I hate to disagree but Gwen looks just absolutely awful, plastic. Clearly she’s been overly filled with all kinds of fillers.

Sigh, another icon bites the dust…

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 4/2012 at 5:05 pm

Hey it’s okay to disagree! Actually I think I agree with you now. I was mesmerized by the hair and the lips and thought maybe the skin was just bad lighting, but saw another pic at another event after this, and you’re right – too much intervention.

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Leah
Tuesday, November 13/2012 at 8:23 pm

Ugh HATE Rita’s roots.. I think bleached hair with dark eyebrows looks hideous on everyone…

Gwen also looks bad here.. too much make up for her mature skin. She’d look fresher and younger with less on. In fact I think everyone here is looking pretty bad, except for taylor with her red lipstick!

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Megan
Wednesday, November 14/2012 at 4:37 am

I thought Taylor Swift looked lovely. The different eye makeup and no red lips were really refreshing. She is so young, there’s no need to wear that red lipstick all the time.
I found a pic at Just Jared: I know it’s just the lighting that makes her hair look this way but isn’t she just gorgeous? I wish that hair colour was real.
http://www.justjared.com/photo-gallery/2755323/taylor-swift-lana-del-rey-mtv-emas-2012-red-carpet-02/fullsize/
On a side note: That girl can dress!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 4/2012 at 5:06 pm

I agree, I love dark blonde hair! So much more natural-looking than platinum or even sometimes the honey shades…

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Jas
Wednesday, November 14/2012 at 9:36 am

LOVE Rita’s red lips. I just can’t get over how her foundation seems to be so much lighter than her and a different tone. But she’s a pretty lady! First time I saw her, I hated her hair but it’s grown on me for the very same reason: deliberate decision

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Laura
Wednesday, November 14/2012 at 10:19 am

I think Taylor looks healthy and fresh with the pink lips, and tired and old with red lips. Maybe it’s the jet lag, but almost everyone here looks tired and terrible except for Taylor pre-red lipstick. I do usually hate red lipstick, but not always – I think the problem with everyone here is that the application is pretty messy and imprecise. I can see everyone’s shakey-handed lipliner, which just screams “I am a 45-year-old hooker and I couldn’t put my lipstick on right but I still think I look hot.”

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 4/2012 at 5:08 pm

Haha! Well that is definitely NOT a beauty look to aspire to. I agree, this night wasn’t everyone’s best… with the exception of Rita Ora, I just think she looks very cool.

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Lexie
Wednesday, November 14/2012 at 12:24 pm

Yeah none of these women look good at all for one reason or another. Alisha Keyes – wtf?? There is nothing about her look here that looks good, IMO, and I normally can find at least one thing. Side note, I just found your blog about a month ago and I am SO addicted now!!!!!! :) Love it

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 4/2012 at 5:09 pm

Thank you! and welcome! :)

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Sophia
Thursday, November 15/2012 at 2:28 pm

Maybe this sounds stupid, but when I look at someone like Rita Ora, I don’t think of her as a blonde, but as someone with blonde hair. I feel the same about Beyonce with light hair or Emma Stone with red…it’s just an accessory or part of their outfit. I think it has to do with their commitment to the colour – Christina Hendricks is absolutely a redhead in my mind, and Gwen a blonde, probably because of their enduring allegiance to the colour.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 4/2012 at 5:12 pm

No that’s not stupid at all. I know exactly what you mean. Some celebs, even if they don’t have roots, play with colour all the time so you never fully identify them with one shade. But as you say, the ones who stick with their “look” AND commit to touch-ups every 10 days make you really believe they were born with it. I really appreciate that about Gwen.

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Rebekah
Wednesday, November 28/2012 at 1:44 pm

Ugh I need to find a red lipstick. I’ve been trying for years but everything I try is just way too much for my complexion. I am a “soft autumn” I believe so I have a hard time wearing makeup statements without it overwhelming me. Any suggestions are welcome!

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Jas
Wednesday, November 28/2012 at 2:13 pm

I don’t know what “soft autumn” means, but I used to be a total chicken when it came to lipsticks. Especially RED! But I found one I love, Revlon’s “Love That Red”! I love that red and it’s really cheap!! Hope this helps!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, December 4/2012 at 5:20 pm

Well there really aren’t any hard and fast colour rules that you have to follow anymore for choosing makeup colours. I’ve heard it all from makeup artists – some say warm skin tones should wear warm lipsticks while others tell me you should wear the opposite (cool makeup on a warm face or vice versa).

So you kind of just have to experiment and see what you like. If you want a really subtle look then I would go for a soft, sheer, orangey red – even a tinted balm instead of a lipstick. Revlon, Chanel and YSL make great tinted balms.

I find wearing cool on warm is more face-brightening though. I probably have a spring (warm) skin tone and Chanel’s makeup artist recently told me that I should always wear cool, pinky reds. So you could experiment with that too… but again a tinted balm would probably be the least “scary” way to start.

Hope that helps!

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Jessie
Wednesday, December 5/2012 at 12:28 pm

I was thinking the same thing about Rita’s roots. The eyebrows need to match somewhere and having that little bit of dark root, it all just makes sense. I really would love too see her with darker hair one day.

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Katie
Saturday, December 7/2013 at 3:45 am

God help me, but I think I’ve gotten so used to seeing the blonde-hairdark roots with dark eyebrows that I was staring at Gwen’s picture going, “why does her hair look so washed out?” (Strange too, since I’m a blonde w/brown eyebrows — so irritating when people think I dye my hair.) Agree that it’s totally trashy and lazy past a certain age – or in general, maybe.

Different for Rita or people w/darker skin tones- I think if it was all blonde it would look bad b/c it’s so clearly an unnatural hair color for her. Reads to me more like a reverse ombre (if such a thing can even exist)

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