The parties are upon us and with their arrival comes the temptation to try too much. With so much sparkle and shimmer on the make-up counters, you could easily overindulge and over-apply to the point of resembling a Christmas bauble.
We all suffer from the desire to appear as a new and improved version of ourselves at this time of year, but the change does not have to be extreme. Nor do you have to try out a new look at every party. Our seasonal suggestion is that you add just one thing to your make-up bag this December and what could be more Christmassy than a splash of scarlet?
There are red lipsticks in abundance this winter and your choice should be made according to texture — matt, gloss, shimmer or stain — and your skintone. If you have warm-toned skin, opt for brick reds; if you have very pale or pink-toned skin, try reds with a blue tinge, which will also make your teeth seem whiter. A pinkish shade is good for those who won’t go all-out red, or, if you’re truly terrified of a scarlet pout, try it on your talons. Then you’re all set to ho, ho, go.
Chanel Rouge Allure in Palpitante, €30.50, Chanel counters nationwide In autumn, this brand relaunched the Rouge Allure lipsticks with a formulation that is high on hydration and pigmentation. Which is to say that these lipsticks have amazing, lasting colour but they are not drying. They also launched a range of scarlets, with one to suit everyone. This shade is classic pillar box. “Satiny scarlet — so luxurious,” a panellist said. “The finish is velvety and plush, being neither matt nor shiny, which makes it easy to apply, maintain and, most importantly, carry off.”
BEST NOEL NAIL
Essie Nail Polish in Fifth Avenue, €9.99, selected salons nationwide This bright red is reminiscent of the packaging of Elizabeth Arden’s iconic Red Door perfume, which ties in with the New York name of the polish. It’s a creamy red with a good dose of orange, which renders it fully festive and very bright, particularly in this gloom. “I’m not brave enough or fond enough of my smile to wear red,” a panellist said, “but this is the perfect party-sandal shade.”
BEST SHINY SCARLET YSL
Rouge Pur Couture in Rouge Eros, €31.50, YSL counters nationwide If you feel you need amazing application skills to get scarlet right, then go for a gloss or a buttery-soft lipstick that will slide on easily. Red doesn’t have to be old Hollywood, with a perfect, exaggerated Cupid’s bow and lip liner. It can just as easily be light and luscious and this lipstick will allow for that. “This cherry red is very pretty,” said a panellist, “and I like the slipperiness of the texture. It’s extremely pigmented, while not looking too try-hard made-up.” BEST
Revlon Nail Polish in Revlon Red, €9.15, Boots nationwide This nail colour was first produced in 1932 and it remains the brand’s best-selling colour, a true go-to for a classic, movie-star shade. It’s a perfect red for nails, which is an area where you can get away with more drama as well as a shade that might not necessarily flatter your face or your teeth. “The shade is deep, dark and dramatic,” one panellist said. “It also looks good on short nails, swiftly lending sophistication and a sense of being polished and party ready.” BEST
Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Rouge Hypnose, €25.41, Lancome counters nationwide There is a pinkness to this lip colour, which makes it rather less attention-grabbing than other very red colours. It’s a very nice, creamy formulation, which goes on easily and lasts quite well. Also, with this colour, you can wear rather more eye make-up than is possible with a scarlet lip, which demands that all other features are toned down. “Stunning, but not traffic-stopping,” said one panellist. “Ideal if you are old enough to worry about feathering and pigment straying beyond the lip line.”