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Kiss Me Red: Valentine’s Fabulous Colors

Lipstick has been around for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Babylon days: semi precious stones were crushed and applied to the lips and occasionally around the eyes (I guess that’s where cosmetics came up with glitter). Cleopatra had her lipstick made from carmine beetles, which gave a deep pigment, and ants for base (okay…the ant base is where I draw the line). So basically women have been trying to pucker up for centuries no matter the cost.

Did you know?? Carmine, used as a general term for a particularly deep red color, is also called Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I 75470 or E120. It is a pigment of a bright red color obtained from the carminic acid produced by some scale insects, such as the cochineal and the Polish cochineal. It is used in the manufacturing of artificial flowers, paints, rouge, cosmetics, food additives, and crimson ink.

Now, it’s the season to wear the darker shades of lipstick: “Red” – a color some women are afraid to wear. You may say, “Oh no, not me, I can’t wear the color red…it’s not on my color chart.” Fear no more, depending on your skin tone, there is a red color lipstick out there for you (For those skeptics out there pink is a great alternative).

The Right Shade for You

Red comes in a variety of shades with all kinds of undertones, the key is to find your undertone. Do you have cool or warm undertones? If you are cool, you may burn in the summer and not tan so easily. Most cool tones have a pinky skin tone like the English, Irish, and Scottish. Warmer skin tones are more olive completed like Mediterranean, Asian, French and black skin.

Once you have established your undertone, you can find your perfect shade. Cooler tones should wear True red, plums or pinky reds. Those colors with blue undertones will also make your teeth look whiter. Warmer tones, on the other hand, tend to look great with stronger hues and brown undertones like a brick red. Although uncommon, universal colors do exist. For example, Annemarie Borland’s Poppy Red, found at Vitamin Life, which was voted best lip color in Organic Style 2005.

Getting Smooth Lips

Once you have chosen a lip color, you need smooth lips. Cracked lips can make you look older. A simple solution is as follows: Rub some olive oil or lip balm on your lips. Using an old tooth brush, stroke lightly. This exfoliates and plumps lips up.

Make Your lipstick Last Longer

Have a hot date and don’t want to take up precious time reapplying your lipstick all night? Here are some good rules of thumb:

  • Apply a light layer of foundation on your lips
  • Wait a few seconds then pat lips with loose powder.
  • Outline lips with lip liner and fill in with feather light strokes
  • Blot with tissue
  • Apply color with your lip brush to the center first then brush color out toward edges
  • Lightly blot with tissue, so as to not smudge

Playing it Safe

When choosing lipsticks, know that some may contain lead, so be sure to look for natural ingredients when you can. The higher the lead count, the greater the risk for your health. The Environmental Working Group will tell you which lipstick has the most lead and the one that has the least.

Did you know?? There is actually a plant called the Lipstick Plant aka Aeschynanthus, that has red tubular buds. They are found in southern Asia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Philippines.

Some great lipsticks without the added beetle juice or other funky stuff are: Lip-ink, ZuZu Luxe, 100 Percent Pure, Lavera, Gabriels, Ecco Bella and Hemp Organics. Some mineral lipsticks have carmine, but they are a better alternative then some from the store. My favorite is Jane Iredale, La Bella Donna, Aveda and Paint Me lipsticks. What I love about Paint Me lipstick is that they explain what color works with your hair color and other informative tips.

Well ladies, this should help you save time and money searching for your Valentine day “Red”. The Valentines Day date is up to you! Just remember, the most beautiful thing you can wear on your lips is a Smile (and it’s free)!

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