Crimson Pouts – Status Symbols

I recently had the opportunity to interview designer and cosmetics historian Gabriela Hernandez of Bésame Cosmetics and asked her various questions, but two questions were about our favorite hue.

Courtesy of Gabriela Hernandez – The Original City Girl in Red Lipstick

What makes red lipstick a status symbol: I think red lipstick is timeless because the color red has so many connotations as being a sign of health and fertility. Having red cheeks and lips was a sign of youth and indicated a good partner to marry and have children for the opposite sex. Ideas might have changed from that notion, but the appeal of red still has a subconscious pull for those reasons. It is also a color associated with defiance, as used by women during the suffrage movement in 1918.

Victory Red
Victory Red by Bésame Cosmetics $24
Red Velvet Lipstick 1946 – by Bésame Cosmetics $24
Red Velvet Lipstick 1946

Why are most people intimidated by it: It continues to have the power to be noticed and to be taken seriously. It is a favorite of politicians, since it does command attention and it completes a look without having to wear the makeup. It is so powerful of a statement that it is often used without the use of other products like shadows or blush. I think some people might find it intimidating because they do not want the attention it brings, but when they try it, it is hard to go back.

Cherry Red Lipstick 1935 by Bésame Cosmetics $24
Cherry Red Lipstick 1935

Here’s to Running Around Chic, in Crimson Pouts!


Published by Anita Rivas

Founder, Writer& Editor of and - you can also find me on

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