Red Lipstick - A Display of Confidence or Sexiness?

30/01/2014 11:42 | Updated 01 April 2014

How controversial is wearing red lipstick?

Luscious scarlet lips have hit the headlines as a BBC producer bans children's TV presenters from wearing it on the basis it is "too sexy".

There is a fascinating history to red lipstick.

In the 1920's flapper days wearing dark red lipstick was a sign of being an independent woman.

During the 1930's and 40's it was seen as a symbol of adult sexuality.
Teenagers wearing it were thought to be rebellious. They were discouraged from wearing it as they could be mistaken for prostitutes. A study in America in a 1937 survey revealed that over 50% of teenage girls fought with their parents over lipstick.

However in the 16th Century Queen Elizabeth I set the fashion by wearing elaborate make-up. She had a very pale face with bright red lips and a rouge stain on her cheeks. This looked more in line with what today's clowns wear and bear little relationship with our current notions of what is sexy. Her wigs and petticoat dresses were definitely not provocative.

Stories in the British press recently put red lipstick in the centre of a debate here in the 21st Century - especially in children's media.

Children's CBBC's presenter 17 year old Dionne Bromfield was told she shouldn't be too sexy by BBC boss. She was apparently 'forced to wipe off her red lipstick and dress less provocatively before going on air."

The image promoted by the media to our children can have negative or positive effects.

Whilst I agree with the BBC for banning children's TV presenters from looking too sexy on air with their clothes, I disagree with them stopping red lipstick being worn on children's programmes.

Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz had red lips and so does Snow White. Does that make them provocative? Their clothes are very cute and sweet and they have skin as pure as snow!

When my daughter and her friends were children they loved playing with lipsticks. That was for fun. But I insisted all make-up came off after play-time.

As adults how sexy is the red lipstick look to you and does it make you look confident with an air of positive energy and impact - or does it cheapen your image and give you the smutty look?

If you wear a bright red lipstick that is smudged around your mouth and there are stains on your teeth then yes I would class this as smutty. Choosing the right red tone for you can be key to ultimate classy red lips.

Choose Your Lipstick
Tom Ford, Mac, Chanel and many more well known cosmetic houses have a selection of fabulous red lipsticks.

Different reds to match your skin tone and your outfit can make or break your overall look. You may be a red/blue kind of woman or a red/orange girl. Maybe different seasons bring out a different red in you.

Think about what compliments your skin tone and the type of clothes you are wearing. Cosmetic companies in department stores and individual shops will help you make those decisions and guide you to the sophisticated red you need.

When it comes to image I am a great advocate of 'the red lipstick' to give you confidence from the inside out.

There may be occasions when you can still feel great and look good without putting it on and still give the right messages.

Here are some top Mind Makeover Artist Tips to give you Confidence - with or without the red lipstick!

1. Positive Self Talk - If you want that extra boost of confidence from the inside out tell yourself 'I am a beautiful woman' and 'I can do this.' Look for the good things about you, don't stare in the mirror searching for flaws. Adding a physical element can - like a slash of fabulous red lipstick - can give you that extra lift you need.

2. Make an effort and feel better for it. But always do what you feel comfortable with. There are times when you may want to keep your toned down look. Going paler with lighter shades - taking your child to nursery, and walking your dog may be one of those au natural moments like having a sun kissed tan. Going light with a subtle pink lipstick or gloss can still give you the positive but natural effect to still feel fabulous with a dash of mascara because you never know who you will bump into!

3. Red lipstick occasions - there is no doubt red lipstick can brighten up any outfit. Red does send out a message - it has the confidence to say 'look at me'. Feel as confident as the colour.

But if a bold red makes you feel uncomfortable find out what works for you. One of my clients felt she was stepping out of her comfort zone wearing bright coloured lipstick and felt more confident wearing a red dress and toned down lips.

Confidence is about believing in yourself. Once my client started to believe in herself again she also learnt what she was comfortable with - that gave her the confidence to wear what was right for her and express her unique personality.

You may love wearing your red lipstick, like I do, or prefer the lighter shades. Whatever your shade, make it 'you', wear it with confidence and feel good from the inside out.

You certainly need confidence to be a television presenter - as I know from experience - and if your image is a very public one you may be required to compromise, especially where children are involved.

In my view wearing red lipstick as a television presenter is about expressing personality, which is not provocative but oozing confidence.

Is red lipstick overtly sexy? Should childrens' TV presenters be banned from wearing it? What do you think...?

Nicci Roscoe
www.nicciroscoe.com

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