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