Welcome to "Blushing Snides," a regular Jezebel beauty and makeup feature that will probably change names when we think of something less completely retarded. Our first installment was inspired by Moe's impassioned defense of red lipstick over nudes and the various "spermy" tones, which triggered a small commenter outcry and prompted Jezebel's two foremost product connoisseurs, BiscuitDoughJones and LoMorale, to privately express their dissent. "It's a lie perpetuated by the insidious cosmetic industry that everyone looks good in red lipstick! They don't!" said Dough, herself a makeup artist. "And, oh god, SO NINETIES," added Lo. After much deliberation it was agreed that red lipstick can work only if a few common pitfalls are avoided. And by a "few," we mean a lot. After the jump, Lo & Dough's Six Most Common Lipstick Fuckups, from "Retrodiculous" to "Brick Whorehouse," as told through the faux smiles of Gwen, Posh, Christina Aguilera and more of your favoritest celebs!
The Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
You know those mole people who live in the New York subway system, totally outside of society as we know it and away from Vitamin-D rich sunshine as we know it? WHBJ is what would happen if a wealthy philanthropist like, say, lipstick mogul Poppy King, got her hands on one of the girl mole people and thought she'd spruce her up to bring her along to a $1400-a-plate benefit dinner. White skin plus white eyelashes plus squinty eyes plus red lipstick equals scary ghost-shade thing flitting about the room looking for souls to suck. I mean, we blame Poppy King and not the mole people for this, of course. But still.
How Not To Be Her: This goes out to all the Super Anglos out there: If you're really pale with light-colored eyes and white-blonde hair, there's a chance red lipstick will make you look like a ghost in a powdered wig. Warm up your complexion with a little blush or bronzer around your hairline to frame your face. Then sweep the color onto the tops of your cheek & browbones to make it look like your milky ass has seen the sun sometime within the last 3 years. Lightly fill in your brows and apply enough mascara to reveal the fact that you actually have lashes. Essentially, you'll be drawing your face back on, because red lips are gonna wash you out. Choose true reds with blue undertones, as plums or corals will make your look too dated. Like fedoras. And Wayfarers. And leggings...
The Orange Julius
Bitch, did you just drink five of them? Oh, that's just your lipstick. Psych. I mean, it looks cute. No, really.
How Not To Be Her: Coral lipstick is not the easiest thing to pull off. It's best for girls with an olive or golden-toned complexion. If you're pale and pink and want to wear orange lipstick anyway, use a bit of bronzer on the rest of your face. Stay away from coral red if you're a spray-tan soldier, unless the look you're going for is 'beta-carotine imbalance'. Also, choose a lipstick that's a satin finish, not too glossy, not too matte. If you go glossy, it looks like you swabbed your mouth with an orange Tootsie Pop. Uh, not that I ever did that in grade school or anything, noo... If you do coral in a matte, your look will be more along the lines of drinking too much Slice. I fuckin loved Slice. Last night the fiance and I were watching 'Thrashin' and it was all Slice tee shirts and hot pink NASH skateboards. Do they still make that soda? Anyway, coral lipstick looks better in person than it photographs. Remember that the night you choose to wear coral is the night you get arrested for beating up paparazzi.
You know that Dita Von Teese broad? She has an excuse. She actually is a burlesque dancer recreating a bygone era in which women who took their clothes off for money couldn't find husbands. Unlike Ms. Von Teese and her professional tassel-twirling compatriots, Retrodiculous is just some girl sporting an overly literal interpretation of the pitch-black hair, powdered face, liquid eyeliner, and honking red lips of an era so bygone she could not possibly remember it. It's not that this looks bad, necessarily. It's just corny. Retrodiculous needs to get up off Bettie Page's long-dead, leopard-print jock and join the Now.
How Not To Be Her: One can avoid Retrodiculosity fairly easily. When you decide to don the red, keep the rest of the face tidy, but really minimal. Lay the hell off of the cakey foundation, opt instead for a tinted moisturizer for some glow. Oh, and keep the cat-eyes in check by only lining your eyes in the thinnest of razor-thin swipes of black liner just along the lashes. And don't pout about it. Nobody likes a 'Cry-Baby'.
The Snaggle-Toothed Tiger
Fucked-up grills can be kind of adorable on the right girl. She's flawed, see? Imperfect and human, just like you and me. Add some red lipstick into this equation, though, and it's a whole different beast: the Snaggle-Toothed Tiger... hungry for some fresh jugular. The STT stalks the world, blissfully unaware of the citizens scrambling for a good hiding place every time she bares her scary carnivore teeth to say, "heeeeyyy."
How Not To Be Her: Two words: Crest Whitestrips. If you've got crooked teeth, you may as well eliminate the other common tooth-related malady and bleach your shit. I don't care how white you think your teeth are, they could stand to be whiter, trust. Also, try covering your mouth when you smile and giggle in a coy manner. It works for Japanese women...(I'm so totally kidding)
The Brick Whorehouse
I mean, I love the 90s too, but Brick Whorehouse's makeup bag remains willfully ignorant of the concept that as soon as there's a VH1 series about something, it's time to surrender the fantasy. Flat, matte, brick lips are not just charmingly anachronistic when the B-Dub forgets to exfoliate her lips and there are like, little lip-skin balls all rolled up in her sludgy coat of Revlon. They are prime material for a good old-fashioned Shame Spiral.
How Not To Be Her: Prep your lips for darker lipstick by first lightly exfoliating with a soft-bristle toothbrush and some warm water. Then apply some balm and give it a few minutes to soak in. I guess you can use the next few minutes to listen to your favorite Arrested Development tape or something. After the second-to-last chorus of 'Tennessee', go ahead and slick on some light, glossy brown-red lipstick (Clinique Black Honey is the joint). Now you're free to make out with Jordan Catalano in the boiler room.
A set of impeccably red lips calls for an etiquette skill set just as impeccable. Smearabella fails to realize that her look of choice necessitates no eating, drinking, frenching, tolerating bear-hugs from men taller than she is, drooling cocaine snot all over herself, or anything else (fun) that might cause her red lipstick to migrate from her lips onto... whatever. You will know her by the cherry Kool-Aid moustache that graces her nasolabial region as though she has a perpetual case of windburn, the stack of other people's dry-cleaning bills on her bedside table, and the disdainful expressions of busboys everywhere.
How Not To Be Her: Red lipstick is more high-maintenance than those insufferable bitches on The Fashionista Diaries. So, take Devora Rose's advice and, like, don't eat. Ever. Until you wipe that shit off. Nobody wants to re-enact the love scene from Lady and the Tramp if they know there's a half-tube of MAC Russian Red getting all over their end of the cappellini. But you can also secure your lipstick's future on your mouth only by applying your color correctly: Follow the prepping instructions on 'Brick Whorehouse' (complete with Arrested Development) then line the lips in red pencil. Fill the lips in with the pencil. Lightly powder. Apply the red lipstick. Blot. Apply lipstick again. Blot. Contemplate the word 'redundant', then gaze upon your resplendent reflection. I'm not gonna tell you to make kissy-face at your reflection, because chances are you were going to do that anyway.