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Red lipstick revealed as the sexiest
Scientists at the University of Manchester found that red lipstick draws attention to the mouth and is more likely to attract a second glance, most notably from the opposite sex. The researchers tracked the eye movements of 50 men who were viewing different images of women and found that men spent longer fixating on the women wearing red lipstick.
Breaking it down further, men spent 7.3 seconds staring at women with red lips, 6.7 seconds on those with pink lips, and 2.2 seconds on those who wore no lipstick.
Another study, conducted in France, found that waitresses who wore red lipstick on the job received tips 50 percent of the time from male customers, while those wearing brown, pink or no lipstick were tipped 30 percent of the time. The study concluded that men tipped the waitresses wearing red lipstick more because they found them more attractive. The researchers noted that the rise in tips by male customers could be due to red lips being “associated with an indication of estrogen levels, sexual arousal and health”.
I can’t wear red lipstick, can I?
“Many women shy away from red but they’re missing out,” says makeup mogul Napoleon Perdis. “Wearing a red lip is the fastest way to upgrade your image; it’s face-brightening, teeth-whitening, and mood-altering.”
Every skin tone and hair colour can pull off a red lip. Put simply, red colours are divided into two main groups. Coral reds have an orange undertone and work well on darker complexions. And blue reds, which have a blue base, are best suited to fair tones and are said to make teeth appear instantly whiter.
To test what colour red suits you best, try a test patch on the tip of your index finger. The colour on the pad of your finger will be a closer shade to your natural lip tone than on the back of your hand. Or, if you’re undecided on a shade, visit a cosmetics counter where a professional can match you to your ideal lip shade.
How to apply correctly
First things first. Buff away any dead skin from your lips using a lip exfoliating cream, or brush gently with a toothbrush. Secondly, moisturise and prime with a lip balm or, even better, a lip primer. Without this prep, a bold lip colour will attract attention to any cracks or flakes. Don’t coat your lips with too much, and blot away any excess, otherwise the lip colour will then find it hard to stick.
To emphasise the colour, prevent it from bleeding and help it to last, you can use a lip liner that matches the red you’ve chosen. Before applying your lipstick, you can either outline lips with the liner or colour them in completely. Both ways will give your colour super staying power.
It’s always a good idea to use a lip brush when applying lipstick as it assists in creating a precise, even line while staying within your natural lip line. Start in the middle of your mouth, moving out to the corners.
When donning a red lip, stick to a more natural eye and a nude face. This will balance your overall look and keep the lips as the focus. During the day, use pencil to define your brows and a couple of coats of mascara for a subtle but powerful look. When going from the office to drinks, winged eyeliner paired with your red lipstick makes for a classic, but not over-the-top, combination.
Glossy vs matte
The main difference between glossy and matte lipstick is that a matte option, quite simply, does not make the lips look shiny. Matte lipsticks come in deep, bold colours and generally last longer than their glossy counterparts. Matte finishes make the lip pop for a glamorous look, whereas a glossy lip conveys casual elegance, with more focus placed on the eyes. However, there’s no moisture put into matte lipstick, so ensure you hydrate your lips before application.
Glossy colours add a look of shine to our mouths while enhancing the dimension of depth. Wear gloss alone or teamed with traditional lipstick, but note that glossy textures tend to run and bleed easier than a matte one.
As Gwyneth Paltrow famously said: “Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick.”