Growing Up With Red Lipstick


When I was 5, I had red lips because of the candy I was eating and I made sure it left stains, not only on my tongue but also, on my lips.

When I was 13, I found a red lip liner from a 99 Cents Only store. I used it to fill my lips and it was the most empowering color of red that I’ve ever seen. It had the right matte finish and it wasn’t too dry and thick to the point that it becomes difficult to apply. I wore it with my everyday makeup and I always got complimented because of it. Red lipstick taught me how to be confident.

A few months later, when my mom arrived from a trip to Singapore, she bought me a red Chanel lipstick. It was a gentle red, almost peachy when thinly applied. But because it was Chanel, it was valued and adored.

When I was 15, I went out on my first date. It wasn’t in any way romantic because it was a formal event that my friends and I attended, and I just asked the guy I’ve been texting to come with us. It wasn’t romantic, but I considered it my first date. I wore a simple, borrowed black gown and I accessorized with pearls. My lipstick? Red.

I was hesitant to wear dark lips back then because I liked my date. He might think that I look like a clown especially since my guy friends think it’s unnatural. Maybe a sweet shade would do for a fifteen year old. Maybe red lips are too strong for a first date. But I was in a black dress. With pearls. It had to be red lipstick. It taught me how to be independent and make my own decisions. By the way he looked at me, I knew I made the right choice.

When I was 16, a junior in high school, I became the student of the most fabulously dressed English teacher in school. I didn’t know her name then, but I knew her by her clothes. She was the fabulous English teacher. She probably didn’t know my name either, but she knew who I was. She approached me and said, “You were the freshman that wore red lipstick to the fair! You stood out and I could never forget you. Fabulous! I love it.” The well-dressed English teacher remembered me as the girl who wore red lipstick. It taught me the rewarding feeling of recognition.

When I was 18, a freshman in college, I began to know myself better. I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. I spoke words of strength and truth, and I stood up for what I believed in. I wanted to write my thoughts and share it to other people. I wanted to be recognized for something, whether it was a good outfit I put together, being on TV, or an article of mine they related to. I wanted to be a red lipstick – strong, independent, and interesting.

The following year I was introduced to the most famous red lipstick, MAC’s Ruby Woo. It’s gorgeous and undeniably powerful. I have no words.

When I became a makeup artist, I learned to work with all kinds of lipstick shades and finishes. There were nudes, peaches, oranges, pinks, purples, and even blues, blacks, and greens. But red is a classic. To me, any woman I put red lipstick on, instantly became more radiant and more beautiful. Red is the color of a woman. It’s timeless and it will never go out of style.

Up until this very day, I wear red lipstick with my boyfriend’s over-sized shirt to add femininity to my look. I wear red lipstick with something sexy because I still want the attention on my face. I wear red lipstick because it says party and professional at the same time. I wear red lipstick with a powerful mind. I wear red lipstick with all my womanhood.