|image courtesy of harpers bazaar |

My pursuit for the ultimate red lip started in July on an Elsie Green sourcing trip to France. While in Paris I was asked, “what’s the one thing you hope to take back with you?” There were many things, but in terms of one material item, I wasn’t sure. I knew I wanted to bring home something that captured the feeling of the fashionable Parisian culture. I channeled the street style and confidence of the buzzing city and and set my attention on the unapologetic bright red lips that ruled the city streets.

My girlfriend and I ventured into Citypharma (the French pharmacy) to find a red lipstick for our evening excursion. I scooped the most neutral red I could find, a La Roche-Posse similar to the classic Dior 999. With our lipsticks in hand, we found a little cafe to settle down for some aperitifs with a view. There, at the table using my camera phone as our mirror, we decided to go for it! We carefully lined our lips and put on a pout. Of course, she looked fabulous, but somehow the color quickly turned pink on me. This wasn't my winner, but it made for an adorable video of us I’ll always cherish.

red lip smile

| image courtesy of @sarahhalliwebeauty |

The following day, after strolling down the streets of Saint-Germain, surrounded by gothic architecture and chic locals, I found myself once again inspired to find a makeup store en route to dinner. It was here that I found it, my perfect red: Mac Ruby Woo, a vivid blue-red.

I knew I had done well when I texted a picture of my new look to the Elsie Green chat and the girls cheered me on. Now, the sentiment lingers whenever I pull this lipstick out of my handbag. I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have gone on a Parisian adventure, found inspiration, and discovered a new layer to myself.

Yes, I’m romanticizing a lipstick, but the moral still stands: don't be afraid to try something bold and channel inspiration from the world around you.

Being a lover of the matte look, my search yielded some of the most beautiful reds in a cheeky color range:

True (Neutral) Red

Rare Beauty Lip Soufflé Matte Cream Lipstick in Inspire


Westman Atelier Lip Suede in Tomato Red (pictured above)

Blue Red

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Starwoman 

 Dark Red Tones


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Laurie Furber