From the moment I first picked up a lipstick, I’ve known that strong colours were for me. I don’t have a signature shade. Scarlet, black cherry, fuchsia, tangerine are all fine, but my lips must be bold – lots of oomph; no namby-pamby nudes allowed.
A few years back, I even had my teeth whitened just so I could wear Nars’ Schiap, an arresting, fuchsia pink hue that can make less-then-perfect gnashers look yellow. I opt for a black, grey and navy wardrobe because I want my lipstick to stand out.
So when I first heard about the current hottest colour in beauty, I responded with a big fat “no”. Rosy pink not only on the eyes, but also lips and cheeks? Yawn.
Early commercial beauty products for lips came in dark colours like plum, aubergine and, of course, red, but there was always a certain connotation that came with them. These shades were sexy and provocative – for “fast” women. At the end of the ’50s, brands began to launch pink lipsticks, only for them to be promptly adopted by teenaged girls who were otherwise forbidden to wear makeup. Compared to their gutsier counterparts, rosy pink was seen as a safe, non-threatening, youthful option.
In the ensuing decades, this delicate pink has become a perennial in women’s makeup bags, reaching new heights of popularity with this millennium’s K-wave, a culture all about prettiness and looking girlishly young. But for the most part, it’s been considered more of a staple than a statement maker; never trendy – until now.
In S/S ’17, fashion labels such as Paul Smith and Erdem sent out models made up in a kind of beige, tawny rose. And now in F/W ’17, the look has gone paler – a more ethereal kind of pink – as seen at brands like Altuzarra and Simone Rocha. The most important thing about this beauty trend: It’s monochromatic, with the same hue used on eyes, cheeks and lips.
And if you’re wondering, it’s not the much vaunted millennial pink – less pastel than it is powdery, and far less saccharine and girlie. Overall, the effect is fresh and modern. Leave the rest of one’s face mostly natural, right down to showing off one’s freckles, and the rosy hue comes across as sweet without being insipid – and oh-so pretty.