There are several bold and beautiful interpretations of red lips for Spring 2012. Jason Wu looked to pop art, Jean Paul Gaultier and Yves Saint Laurent explored glamorous, high gloss textures, Rick Owens delved into the world of minimalism, and Christian Dior brought us a fresh take on the classic. Whether you’re a
red lipstick queen, or a fresh red lip newbie, with so many variations there’s a red lip option for anyone.


1. Crayon red
As seen at:

Jason Wu

The inspiration behind Jason Wu’s matte, crayon-like red lipstick was pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and his saturated comic book colour palette. Keeping the rest of the face fresh, dewy and neutral, makeup artist Diane Kendal added a hint of fluorescence to compliment Jason Wu’s graffiti-inspired, yet expectedly ladylike collection. The result is a bright matte red lip, with just a hint of neon orange, somewhat similar to Pantone’s colour of the year, Tagerine Tango.

MAC Lipstick in Scarlet Ibis by Iris Apfel.

Use blotting paper after application to get the matte finish on your red lipstick.


2. Glossy red
As seen at: Jean Paul Gaultier

Channeling the glam goddesses of Guy Bourdin’s iconic photographs, the look at Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2012 runway was all about high gloss and high glam, with glowing complexion, big lashes, and the brightest, shiniest crimson lips. Makeup artist Stéphane Marais applied red lipstick on first, and then finished it off with a layer of clear lip gloss for that extra sheen.

Try: NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Norma.

Tip: Skip the red lipstick and take fewer steps with a highly saturated lip gloss.


3. Metallic Red
As seen at: Yves Saint Laurent

Forget the “lips or the eyes” rule, because legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath certainly did when she decided to create this intense look for Yves Saint Laurent’s Spring 2012 presentation. Somewhat reminiscent of the iconic 1970s Helmut Newton photographs, this look is both dark and glamorous, with a lined dark eye and a
metallic red lip. Not to be confused with a glossy lip, a metallic lip can be fairly matte but with a foil-like sheen.

Rimmel Metallic Seduction Lasting Finish Lipstick.

Tip: Keep your skin matte by using a mattyfing powder for the ultimate contrast.

More fresh takes on red lips on the next page …

4. Vintage red
As seen at: Rick Owens

It sits on the edge of the red colour spectrum, but this vermilion-saturated red seen at Rick Owens’ Spring 2012 presentation has that wonderful vintage feel, echoing Betty Draper’s preferred shade on
Mad Men. Makeup artist Lucia Pieroni kept the rest of the face clean and minimal, eschewing both mascara and blush, which results in this powerful lip being a strong focal point.

Try: Tom Ford Lipstick in Ginger Fawn.

Line your lips on the outside using a highlighting pen for a youthful look.


5. Classic red
As seen at: Christian Dior

Let’s not forget about the
classic red lip, that quintessential shade that sits right on the line between glossy and matte, fiery and cool. The classic red is that one shade that compliments most complexions, and most generations. Envisioned by makeup artist Pat McGrath, this look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2012 collection captures this classic so brilliantly, with the red lips set against a neutral face palette and an elegant Grace Kelly-esque chignon. Bold, yet understated, but never overdone.

Try: Dior Rouge Dior Lipcolor in Ara Red 999.

Tip: Apply lipstick using a lip brush for a more precise execution.

Read more:

The top red lipsticks of the season

7 red lipsticks under $30

Our favourite celebrities sporting red lips

Test out the latest beauty looks with our Virtual Makeover Tool!