Dec 02

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Taylor Swift: Red Lipstick is About Attitude

Taylor Swift in Red and Pink Lipstick

Taylor Swift - Smoky Eyes and Red Lipstick

Taylor Swift will be 23 on December 13. Too young to wear red lipstick many would say. Red is a state of mind, and that includes red lipstick. It’s not how old you are, it’s your attitude. 

Whether she’s portrayed as sultry or sweet, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that she knows she looks good  – and it shows.

If you’re afraid of red lipstick, it also shows. So, gather your courage and go for it this holiday season – like Taylor Swift. You may never return to your blah “old ways.” Faded lips are so “last century.” 

Look at Taylor in the photo to the left. Her eyes look “too dark” – and that’s because there isn’t balance between the dark dramatic eyes and her teenage lipstick color. In the other two photos, there is harmony with the red lips and smoky eyes.

Give red lipstick a try and post your feedback and comments. Remember, red is a “big city” color, so you need to wear smoky eye makeup or your red lips will dominate. That’s the number one reason red lipstick is given a bad rap. You must have total harmony with your look.

Permanent link to this article: http://sandydumont.com/taylor-swift-red-lipstick-is-about-attitude/


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  1. Barbara

    I think red lipstick on an older woman depends on how well she applies makeup overall. In general, I don’t like red lipstick on much older women. It can look clown-ish and usually makes old looking teeth look even older and draws attention to less than perfect skin.

  2. FancyMomma

    I love the look of red lipstick, but hate wearing it. It doesn’t wear off nicely so I constantly have to be double and triple checking it to make sure it is still on. The “long lasting” ones don’t work well either…they seem to leave the inside of my lips bare…and they are much lighter so it still looks weird (I think it is the shape of my lips). I love the way it looks though, and wish I could figure out a way to have it look nice on me for longer than 10 minutes! I have bought Chanel, Dior…and cheaper brands. No matter, always issues!

  3. Sandy Dumont

    Hi Fancy,
    Those long-lasting lipsticks from the expensive brands and the drugstore brands don’t work. The only one I’ve had success with is Lip Sense. They have a color called Cherry Red (or Red Cherry). Email me and I’ll give you details.

  4. Sandy Dumont

    Barbara, I agree with you. Older women look better in cherry red than true red. Both will make the teeth appear whiter. fAnd yes, wearing red lipstick or rd garments requires harmony with your appearance. Red is an exciting, dynamic color, and wearing it with baby blue for example, is out of sync. It signals, “What are you doing with your mother’s red lipstick, little girl?”

  5. sarah

    I think some older ladies look wonderful in red lipstick, depending on their underlying colouring and personality. I myself find it a difficult colour to wear as I have soft summer colouring and the slightly yellow teeth that can go with it. I do manage to use a cherry red, but I use a translucent one and remember my mother’s trick of making a little go a long way – I sort of use it as a stain and then apply a lip conditioner over the top. And only for going out – I do not work in a “power” field – although I have much personal power, married to a medical specialist, have my own career as well – but I know when to amp the ante when I have to pull rank. My posture usually does it, but their are times….

    Sandy, I do like your videos on your tube and am most upset for you that some peoplke are ill mannered enough to make uncouth comments. Sarah

  6. Sandy Dumont

    Sarah, you have a sharp eye and I agree with your comments.
    A strong personality or a woman who wears high-fashion garments and accessories looks “right at home” in red lipstick. So does the woman with dramatic black hair. Too many people think in a one-size-fits-all manner and don’t think about the psychology or personality of the color. Red, like black, is a strong color, and you must wear it with the utmost respect for the color’s unique personality.

    A lot of image consultants cling to the rigid ideas from the last century, when color analysis was just being discovered. Those old “rules” said that blondes and redheads couldn’t wear black. That’s because they “imprisoned” blondes in a pastel prison that personified them as sweet, nice and feminine. Not exactly a description of black. However, as every artist knows, you can “defeat” or tame black with a bright color – and the simplest use of this rule is to put on red lipstick or bold earrings (or both!) Try it – and with red lipstick. Let me know how you feel about the red lipstick with all the image tools. Some women even need ore tools than lipstick and earrings. They may need to change their hairstyle to a much more sophisticated one, for example.

    For example, I had a woman who was 27 years old, but appears to be about 16, and she was a TV personality and wanted to wear black desperately. I tried lipstick, brooch, and even a bold Omega necklace. It still wasn’t enough. Then I took her long, beautiful blonde hair and arranged it in the very sexy “French Maid” style. It worked. Of course, I’m not suggesting that for everyone – a sophisticated haircut would work better. But it worked for the purpose of getting her to see what was necessary for her to wear black. She needed to look worldly and sophisticated – not like a long-haired teen.

    It would be great if you would go to YouTube and express your thoughts. I was hatefully and aggressively attacked by a California image consultant for a while on YouTube, and it got so bad that YouTube took his entire page down. He still has some followers, obviously.

  7. sarah

    Hello Sandy

    I would love to put comments on You Tube but at the moment I can’t work directly with You Tube – I have to download the video to another program. I’m not sure why, but the computer guru in the family does. I guess I can say to you though that it is hard to believe an image consultant could tarnish their own image enough to behave in such a fashion. Also quite dangerous, as social media is actually publishing and there have been one or two court cases about people’s comments.

    I do like how you made your TV presenter more sophisticated – up styles always add elegance. I might try the bold earrings and red lipstick a little more – I could certainly do with being taken more seriously sometimes.

    Kind regards, Sarah

  8. sarah


    I agree with your comments about colour analysis being so last century – I do wear black although I spent many unhappy years convinced it did not suit me due to the very rigid rules that you write about. I am just aware that if I wear black and bright pink lipstick it will not flatter me as much as a rich raspberry shade – because that tones with my skin nicely. I would be confined to denim and pollyanna clothes with my summer colours – pink blouse and blue grey pants – not suitable for me at all because I am actually inclined to classic lines. I also have an angular frame and boyish figure, so soft colours look all wrong.

    It seems to me that all people should be considered as a whole, which you seem to do.


  9. Sandy Dumont

    Sarah, you have light skin and hair like me, so red lipstick will ofteb appear “too strong” – except with black and red. But, each person has to try this to find out whether or not red goes or not. One thing I’ve noticed is that any lipstick with blue init will form a “hard” line – while an orange red has yellow undertones, and the lines “bleed out” subtly. Thus, red can seem severe as a result. The solution is easy. With a lipliner, you make your lips larger. Small lips always look pursed or severe.

    When I lived in Europe (London and Brussels), I noticed that culturally, the English love pastels (Laura Ashley colors), so everyone wants to be in the category with Muted Cool colors. In Belgium, everyone wants to be an Autumn. Most other European countries wear Autumn colors in the autumn, Spring colors in the springtime, etc. There are very few people actually in the Summer ( I call it Winter, incidentally) season, because these colors make most people look washed out, even tired and older (when compared to brighter versions of Summer colors.

    I disagree with the popular theory that personality plays a role in discovering the colors that make you look better. As a teenager, I continued to dress in the washed-out pastels that my mother dressed me in as a child. If I had not found my red dress at age 17, I would not be t he person I am today. Colors can liberate, and they can also imprison. They can actually enable a person’s true personality to blossom and bloom. A person’s personality is not a clue for discovering her colors, however. A boyish figure isn’t related to a color season. All women need to seek out styles that give them an hourglass figure, because the lines are feminine and pleasing to the eye.

    Send me an email if you want info about how to make your lips larger.

  10. Sandy Dumont

    Sarah, please do experiment with “taming” black garments with image tools. It is liberating and fun.

  11. sarah

    Yes I do have fair skin and hair, and red is often overpowering. However, I have found your hints very encouraging – for quite a few reasons. Firstly, you have (probably accidentally) hit a nail on the head – my cultural background is “British” – I was born in England but migrated with my parents to Australia in 1965. I have never felt at home here – so different from my age group here in interests and upbringing (my father was very well brought up and knew that the only tie to wear was the high contrast burgundy that you often talk about). I think the English love of muted colours “works” there because a whole history of cultural resonances are at play – the countryside etc etc. Plus the light is misty. Australia is very very casual (especially where I currently live) and my English reserve and manners are often interpreted as “pushover” – which, as you would understand, is far from the case .(And, when I am in the UK, my manners are well appreciated and my diplomacy and tact is remarked up! – interesting how people view the same person quite differently!) I really think I am in need of changing my image – people who ge to know me find me quite sophisticated – but I guess I was so teased as a child when I came here I have tended to hide my light under a bushel. Time to end that. So I shall start playing with your ideas, which I do think work. After all, any image of authority such as military uniforms always use the types of colours and contrasts you suggest.

    I also think what you say about creating curves is a good idea. I’ve had many people suggesting the androgynous look to me, but I am not a boy, I am a 56 year old lady. I could use my high hipline and then show off my long slim legline, I think. Just a little shy! But if it is liberating and fun, I don’t see that it would do any harm!

    I do like your before and after photos and I don’t think they look 70’s at all – They are using certain colours based on sound principles of what works in certain situations. I also hate the casual workplace environment, and lack of manners that seem to go with it. I also saw an image consultant last year who still used the old colour ideas and was aghast at the idea of me wearing black. Also, not much help in how to create curves. I don’t think the seasonal system is bad, but I think people are not skilled in how to adapt it to achieve objectives.

    Thank you for your help and inspiration, Sarah

  12. Sandy Dumont

    Having lived in London, I came to understand why the British love pastels. Their motto is discretion, don’t hang dirty linens in public, what will the neighbors think, manners are important, etc. . Very much like the mentality in Virginia, where I live.Of course, it was settled by the British! In fact, if you look at all the places where the British once ruled, the people have a high degree of civility.
    You should always think of yourself as a source of inspiration in terms of image as well as all your British traits. The seasonal color theory was suggested by German art educator Johannes Itten, and the first image consultants “borrowed” their theories. The problem is, they continued to use it but proceeded in the wrong direction. Suzanne Caygill even got Summer and Winter reversed an no one has ever questioned this. Mainly because she also erroneously put the “icy colors” in the Bright Cool category she called Winter. I have the icy colors where they belong. in MY version of the grey-toned Winter colors. And now, for the first time, Winter White is in the grey-toned Winter palette. The winter sky is grey-blue; a summer sky is a bright ad clear blue. You see red roses emerald green trees and lawns and swimming pools that are sparkling blue. In the winter, everything is grey tinged.

    Please do experiment. Don’t let your personality or body type define the colors you wear.

  13. sarah


    Thank you for all this- it is very interesting. I will rethink everything now. I do like your way of looking at things – I have never felt comfortable with the ideas of “clothing personality” – that you are a classic, or a natural, or a romantic. Surely some of these things are situation specific? And, as you say, individual personality is the key – someone who wears a classic black blazer may be quite different from someone else who wears one.

    I had no idea that Suzanne Caygill flipped things around – I am familiar with Itten, and colour theory from my limited studies in Art, so I shall enjoy thinking about what you have said. I can see what you mean about Winter being grey blue (isn’t it just!) and summer skies much brighter – poppies blooming and so on (except in some parts of the world, but then Ittens was European). I have always liked Navy, Black and the grey blues – now add a nice red lipstick. They are also reserved colours, which suit my serious side, but a neutral outfit also allows the fun side of your personality to show itself when you want it too.

    I am glad that Virginians are civil people – I rather thought so, from what I have read of the United States. Unfortunately, I have never been there – we planned to go this year but needed to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.

    All the best, Sandy, and I’ll keep reading your posts, which are so interesting. For now I should think I have taken enough of your time.

    Kind regards, Sarah

  14. Sandy Dumont

    Sarah, I loved our litte “chats” and hope you will stay in touch and report on your progress. I hzve trained an image consultant in the Gold Coast and would be happy to give you her details. Her name is Julie Davis.

  15. sarah

    Thank you Sandy, and au revoir for now. Thank you for Julie’s name. We do go up to the Gold Coast from time to time.

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