12 Cult Classic Lipstick Shades Every Beauty Lover Must Know

In beauty, there is no category more timeless—or quintessential—than lipstick. As an enduring symbol of power and femininity, the transformative swipe of classic lipstick is never to be underestimated. Over the decades, brands have met perennial demand with a dizzying menagerie of offerings, leaving no color, undertone, or finish unturned. But despite the scale of options, there are those strikingly universal shades that women keep coming back to. From true reds to nuanced nudes, here, a dozen classic lipstick shades with that certain something loyal masses can’t get enough of.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire & Ice

In 1952, Revlon launched its Fire & Ice ad campaign, starring Vogue cover girl Dorian Leigh, and caused a stir with its kitschy quiz supplement designed to decide if one was, in fact, suited to this tried-and-true bold red.

Buy at ULTA $9

NARS Lipstick in Dolce Vita

Inspired by the 1960 Italian drama La Dolce Vita starring Anita Ekberg, this dusty rose strikes a sophisticated balance between retro and modern pale-pink lips.

Buy at Sephora $26

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

Making a hyper-gothic wash of color both flattering and accessible, the secret behind this deep berry hue is its sheer, glossy, and balm-like texture.

Buy at ULTA $20

Dior Rouge Lipstick in 999 Matte

In 1953, Christian Dior created two “perfect red” lipsticks for the runway, “9” and “99,” and more than half a century later, this rich red is the gorgeous amalgam of the two.

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue $50

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk

A single slick of this matte nude pink will enhance the natural color of your lips to bespoke effect, while a few more layers builds to a more dramatic true mauve for a dose of understated glamour.

Buy on their website $34

MAC Red Lipstick in Ruby Woo

The coolest of cool reds, this iconic shade is flattering on virtually everyone, with subtle blue undertones that brighten teeth and the whites of the eyes in one fell swoop.

Buy at ULTA $19

L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolour in Fairest Nude

With its unmistakable vanilla scent, this creamy pinky-taupe nude goes on sheer and supplies a boost of radiance to a wide variety of complexions.

Buy at ULTA $11

Tom Ford Lip Color in Bruised Plum

This shade is a darker-than-dark plum in the tube, but when you swipe on the shiny, semi-opaque formula, it reads more like a juicy deep fuchsia that you can layer on to your desired opacity.

Buy at Net-A-Porter $60

NARS Lipstick in Schiap

Named after Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who made shocking pink her signature color, this electric fuchsia shade is just as head-swiveling as her Surrealist designs.

Buy at ULTA $26

Giorgio Armani Beauty Rouge D’Armani Matte Lipstick in 400

Known as the “Armani Red,” this rich, highly pigmented crimson strikes a perfect balance between cool and warm, and is a definitive classic for the Old Hollywood look.

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue $50

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in #19 Fuchsia Pink

In 1979, Yves Saint Laurent unveiled Rouge Pur Lipstick No. 19, a blue-toned dark fuchsia that still remains a best-seller thanks to its vivid pink pigments and stunning satin finish.

Buy at Saks Fifth Avenue $50

Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Brown

It was in 1991 that makeup legend Bobbi Brown’s debut line of lipsticks hit the Bergdorf Goodman counters. Of all the shades, her Lip Color in pink-tinged Brown caused the biggest sensation, helping to usher in the ’90s nude lip look still being referenced today.

Buy at Macy’s $29

VOGUE ARTICLE

Make A Statement

As mask mandates begin to lift around the world, here’s a look at my absolute favourite statement red lipsticks. (Even though I wear red on the daily, like its a go-to nude!)

  • L’Oreal Liquid Lipstick in 422
  • Wet’n’Wild Liquid Lipstick in 930B Missy and Fierce
  • MAC Ruby Woo & Russian Red
  • NYX Suede Matte in Spicy
  • Maybelline 645 Red Revival
  • Milani 67 Matte Confident
  • Urban Decay Psycho
  • Sephora Collection 22 A Little Magic

4 Foolproof Steps To Create Audrey Hepburn’s Classic Cat-Eye Flick

When it comes to creating the ultimate feline flick, look no further than Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn. “Her almond eyes were synonymous with the winged eyeliner that adorned them, and the perfectly defined lashes that fluttered as she gazed through the window of Tiffany & Co, eating a croissant,” says Vogue makeup artist, Celia Burton. “When Alberto de Rossi died, Hepburn’s make-up artist of 25 years, she was said to have declared she’d rather not work again. A perfect tribute to the enormous role that makeup — and the man applying it — had played in her career. Legend has it that de Rossi would apply mascara and then separate each individual eyelash with a safety pin to emphasise her doe eyes.”

Indeed, famed for her feminine brows and signature cat-eye, Hepburn’s was a beauty that surpassed all others. And one that will be under the spotlight once more thanks to a new documentary on the Breakfast at Tiffany’s star. Masterminded by the same BAFTA-nominated team behind 2018’s McQueen, a film about Alexander McQueen, Audrey takes an intimate look at one of cinema’s iconic actresses, featuring never-seen-before footage as well as interviews with her son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Givenchy’s former artistic director Clare Waight Keller, and Tiffany & Co design director emeritus John Loring. Though the film promises to uncover the woman behind the red-carpet glitz and glamour, focusing on the psychological effects of her difficult upbringing, it will no doubt bring some of her iconic beauty looks back into focus, too.

To mark the occasion, Vogue makeup artist Celia Burton breaks down the steps to recreating Audrey Hepburn’s signature cat-eye flick.

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #56 series on my blog.

Audrey Hepburn holding a small hand mirror, in her dressing room at the 46th Street Theatre applying makeup for her role in the play Ondine, 1954.

Step 1: use liquid eyeliner to mark the position

Look straight into a mirror, with your chin lowered. Consider your eye shape, and use a liquid liner — my favourites are Glossier Pro Tip or Voyeur Waterproof Liquid Liner by Hourglass — to mark out with a dot or dash where you want the ‘flick’ to finish. For the Hepburn effect, I recommend a sharp, squat flick, angled upwards and outwards from the end of the lash line at 45 degrees.

Step 2: drag the eyeliner across the eye

Tip your head back, so now you’re looking down at the mirror, and drag the liner across the eye from the inner corner, staying as close to the lash line as possible. Always have a cotton bud and oil-free makeup remover to hand, to neaten as you go.

“Her almond eyes were synonymous with the winged eyeliner that adorned them,” says Vogue makeup artist, Celia Burton

Step 3: connect the dots and thicken up

Stop when you reach the end of the lash line, return to looking straight into the mirror, and join the dots from the marked spot to the main event. You can leave this skinny, as a subtle flick, or thicken it out at the wing — just make sure to keep the 45-degree angle.

If you prefer your liner soft or blurred, use a gel-liner pencil in the same way — my favourites are Charlotte Tilbury Rock ’N’ Kohl pencils or Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Eye Crayons — and smudge it along the lash line with a brush before it sets, then tidy up the bottom of the flick with a cotton bud and oil-free makeup remover.

Step 4: finish with lots of mascara

Finish with an intensely black, lengthening mascara such as Glossier Lash Slick or Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara by Hourglass, making sure not to clump the lashes in tribute to Alberto de Rossi and his safety pin.

VOGUE article

11 Of Sophia Loren’s Best Vintage Beauty Looks Of All Time

You will have spied Italian actor Sophia Loren in British Vogue’s April issue as part of the Hollywood Portfolio, which features 27 of the world’s biggest stars. Photographed looking as glamorous as she has always been, the 86-year-old silver-screen legend has long been a fan of a glamorous look and her attitude to beauty is refreshing. She once said:

“Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.”

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #45 series on my blog.

It only goes to show that Loren feels as good on the inside as she externally looks. Her penchant for Italian glamour has always been a whole beauty mood – it is timeless. There is the trademark feline flick and voluptuous eyelashes; the bold lipsticks, from red to pink; glamorous blow dries; and her bold eyebrows, expertly filled in. These are looks that many of us still imitate today and she is regularly name-checked backstage at fashion shows. Here, let’s take a look at some of her most show-stopping vintage beauty looks over the years.

A pink-flushed lip and excellent brows make for an excellent Italian countryside look.
Killer eyes and hair wrapped in a bath robe – what’s not to love?
The ’50s bob to end all bobs. 
Diamonds, immaculately coiffed hair and the ultimate feline flick.
Loren elevated her beautiful eyes with lashings of mascara and eyeliner.
Like she previously said, happiness – and a big smile – is where true beauty lies.
Consider her the ultimate brow goals.
The glossy peach lip! The eyeliner! The wispy fringe! And, of course, the marabou feathers.
Loren wears a peach lip once more for a day outside.
A masterclass in the bold, red lip.
From the red lip to the bold eye, she is glamour personified.

VOGUE article

A Hollywood Classic

Model: Katie Noskova

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(Disclaimer: I do have Katie’s consent to post the images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)