Queen Elizabeth 11 wore red lipstick to thank local volunteers and key workers at Windsor Castle on December 8. While it accessorised her festive poppy-coloured hat and coat nicely, red lipstick is certainly not for the faint hearted and is steeped with meaning.
Our beloved Queen is no stranger to bold lip hues and her choosing red lipstick was in keeping with the Christmas spirit, however in doing so she sent the nation a subtle message of strength and resilience at the end of an unprecedented year full of challenges. Not to mention in the week that the first vaccine arrived wearing such a vivid hue signals the sign of a brighter year ahead.
For some red lipstick wearers, like Marilyn Monroe, the message is a sensual one, for others, like New York Congresswoman, AOC, it's all about fearlessness.
When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wore red lipstick for her swearing in ceremony in Washington, D.C. in 2019, it was to pay homage to the women who came before her.
She said in a Tweet at the time, "Lip+hoops were inspired by Sonia Sotomayor, who was advised to wear neutral-colored nail polish to her confirmation hearings to avoid scrutiny. She kept her red. Next time someone tells Bronx girls to take off their hoops, they can just say they’re dressing like a Congresswoman."
While the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy's signature red lipstick lent her visibility and confidence when standing next to her famous husband, John F Kennedy.
"Lipstick holds a sense of importance and the Queen embodies that beauty tradition perfectly. Historically we apply our lipstick when we are doing something serious whether that's a meeting, speech or public event.
Lipstick makes you feel like a bigger, brighter version of yourself. It's not about looking pretty, it's about the positive feeling that it gives you," says John Lewis's beauty buyer, Amelia Kendrick.
And there's no bigger, brighter lip colour than red...just make sure it's mask friendly. We recommend MAC Versicolour Varnish Cream Lip Stain in Effervescent, £18, a transfer proof stain that is long lasting and packs a powerful punch.