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How I Learned to Wear Red Lips: Guest Blogger

Raw and honest, Rachel Wilkerson’s blog, The Life & Lessons of Rachel Wilkerson, is captivating and heartfelt. Covering the trials and tribulations of her personal life, her blog gives advice on everything from the serious (like moving house, which is so stressful) to the mundane (fun nail art!) and everything in between. We appreciate anyone that keeps it real the way she does, so we’re excited to have her as this week’s guest blogger. 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved iconic red lips. But loving red lips is different from wearing (and rocking) red lips. Here’s how I learned to pull them off.

1988. My dad gives me an acting kit with waxy stage makeup pencils in blue, black, red, and white. I request red lips and a beauty mark. A three-year-old with red lips? Alas, the lips are wearing me and not the other way around.

1992. As as second-grader, I read my grandmother’s Good Housekeeping and find out a way to make your lips look fuller is tracing just outside your natural lip with lip liner. I convince my mom to let me buy cheap makeup for “dress up,” then sneakily try the technique with red lipstick. Unsurprisingly, I look like a clown.

1998. My mom lets me wear makeup, but draws the line at red lips. For her, that’s just too much. I realize the only way I’m going to get away with a red pout is for educational purposes: during the school plays. From eighth grade on, I wear red lipstick for almost every role I play.

2007. Now off to college and free to look like a harlot whenever I choose, I buy a tube of Clinique Vintage Wine. It’s really red, and makes me feel incredibly glamorous. At first, I save it for special occasions (formal events) and always play it safe: I put my hair in a pretty, low ponytail and stick to very basic makeup. It’s a good introduction.

2008. I move to NYC to work at ELLE Magazine and am empowered by all the fabulous, fashionable women in the city. One day I decide to try red lips with my hair down and a neon green T-shirt. As I walk around SoHo, I feel fantastic and confident. I know it’s bold but I don’t care—which is exactly why it works.

2010 and beyond. I wear red lips whenever I feel like it. I try to avoid pairing them with retro dresses but I’ll wear them with pretty much anything else: jeans and a T-shirt, a semi-formal dress, a sweater. I still stick with my Clinique Vintage Wine—why mess with a good thing? 

Not ready for full-on red? FInd the perfect ladylike pink to try first!

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