Why you need to start wearing red lipstick to work

Upwork Client

American client requested an article on self-development and confidence with the sole purpose of empowering women

November 2017

Why you need to start wearing red lipstick to work

You’re getting ready for work, just about to leave. Can I just add, you’re having a pretty damn good hair day girl! Purse – check, keys, check. One last look in the mirror before you head out, maybe a flush of colour won’t hurt. Hey, what about that Ruby Woo you bought from the store over the weekend? Ahhh, but you’re not sure. A bold, red lip for work? Really? You decide to pass.

If you question the professionalism of red lipstick or make up in general, you’re not alone. A study published in October last year examined how wearing make up to work projects success, but can also lead to objectification.

In the first of two experiments, 40 female college students were photographed with and without make up, and their photos were presented to another group of 128 (mostly straight) male and female undergraduates. Observers had to rate the pictures on ‘attractiveness’ and two components of social status – ‘dominance’ and ‘prestige’, although the words were left undefined.

The study revealed that women wearing make up were seen by men as more prestigious and by women as more dominant. Researchers felt that this was because men have a tendency to not see us ladies as physically threatening (they obviously haven’t seen me on a bad day); therefore our make up doesn’t affect how dominant we appear. Our fellow woman may see us as sexually competitive, and as a result, socially dominant. Previous studies have shown that attractive people are assumed to be competent, hence the prestigious label (my appearance has correlations with my brain power? Err I beg to differ…). To top it all off, there were also assumptions that women were more attractive, more promiscuous, and also garnered jealousy (Insane right? Getting the claws out because of a little Beauty Blender and lipstick action).

As crazy as it does sound, I do get it. We’re almost conditioned to think that way. You only have to do a Google search on the connotations of red and you get adjectives like “passion, desire, lust, romance, danger, and wrath”.

Personally, I don’t wear red lipstick, not because of its connotations, or because of what I’m worried about its professionalism, but because I’ve yet to find a shade that perfectly matches my skin tone (triracial problems). But I love seeing other women rocking a bold red lip, I think it’s empowering, unapologetic and an effortless addition to ANY ensemble.

Andddd I’m not the only one that thinks so. Make up artist Victoria Barnes told The Debrief “it’s a great tool in the boardroom, or for public speaking, because it makes your mouth such a focal point. Red lipstick works if you really wanted to be listened to.” Non-verbal communication as it’s best, at work, or elsewhere… (you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t be coy now, get it girl!).

The icing on the cake comes courtesy of Fashion industry veteran Aliza Licht. She found that from a pool of 460 people, including lawyers, bankers and government work professionals, over 90% of women saw red lipstick as totally appropriate for the office, but nearly 80% felt it also projected confidence at work. Opinions were split about whether it was appropriate for work.

Tomorrow morning, when you’re applying the last finishing touches to your visage – don’t rule out red lipstick, or any other colour for that matter, as an option. You can wear whatever the hell you like, wherever you like, and you don’t have to answer to anyone. P.S, don’t forget a good lip liner too, lipstick bleeding is the worst.







My Early Hour: Amanda Elias, Bravura London

Originally published in My Early Hour Magazine

I interviewed the founder of Bravura London (a British brand that specialises in chemical exfoliators, as well as other skincare products such as cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums, dermaflannel and tattoo aftercare) and mum-of-three, Amanda Elias about her morning routine, life in rural Wales, working around her daughters’ routines and why she set up a beauty company, selling skincare products…

February 2017


To Relax or Not to Relax?

Written January 2016

For many women of black descent, relaxing your hair is considered a right of passage, a transition from childhood to adolescence or adulthood, from an unruly bed of hair to smooth, soft, free flowing silk. The underpinning rationale behind this supposedly joyous, momentous transformation shouldn’t be overlooked….


Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Pore & Shine Daily Wash + Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Oil-Free Moisturiser Review

4th April 2014

As the owner of combination/oily skin, it is such a nuisance trying to find products that hydrate the drier areas of my visage while tackling my troublesome T-zone area.

After reading a number of reviews, I decided to take the plunge and purchase Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear Pore & Shine Daily Wash in late September last year. It comes in a convenient pump format with a gorgeous fruity smell, my only wish is that the pump allowed more product to extrude through, you’ll need approximately four pumps to get an adequate amount which, in conjunction with its medium sized bottle, means it finishes quite quickly. Additionally, the consistency of the facial wash is quite watery which means it’s difficult to create lather. Psychologically, I’ve grown accustomed to products with a slightly more creamy consistency which give me that satisfactory squeaky clean feeling, but this does making rinsing an easier task. When I first bought the wash, I used it in the morning and evening with the expectation that I would have to wait for a considerable amount of time in order to see gratifying results – I was happy to be terribly mistaken. Neutrogena claim that “the formula removes 77% of excess sebum” while providing “a lasting matte effect without over-drying the skin.” They have certainly lived up to this expectation, I must say. My complexion had an instant matte appearance and friends and family noticed this too.

After washing my face, it can become incredibly dry due to the nature of my skin type and this is the perfect foundation for my skin to produce large amounts of sebum in an attempt to replenish my face which is where the problem lies. It’s imperative that combination/oily skin is at an equilibrium to avoid this. I highly recommend using the facial wash followed by Neutrogena’s Visibly Clear™ Oil-Free Moisturiser. It promises to “hydrate, smooth and even skin tone.” When it comes to hydration, it definitely does the job, squeeze approximately two to three pea sizes in the palm of your face and rub in between your palms before proceeding to massage your face. I strongly detest the feeling of heavy moisturisers, but this light creamy concoction ensures this is certainly not a cause for dilemma. My skin adores Neutrogena’s stroke of genius and absorbs it almost instantaneously. However, I do have one qualm, it takes quite a bit of effort to extract product when you’re half way through usage.

Although I am not entirely convinced that either product used in isolation could make such a gargantuan change, I have noticed a slight change in the clarity and smoothness of my skin which I attribute to the tangerine and lime extract. Lime and tangerine both have attributive elements; lime reduces the occurrences of acne and acts as an exfoliant which aids in the reduction of scarring while tangerine contains Vitamin A which rebuilds skin tissue. In addition, the presence of the salicylic acid removes skin cells on the upper layer of the skin, thus facilitating in the penetration of other products on the skin which explains why these products work so well together.

If you’re looking for long lasting control with a reasonable price tag, I urge you to try both of these products in combination for optimum results. I can guarantee you’ll be thanking me later.