Taylor Swift explains the red lipstick: ‘I just think my face looks worse without it’


I’ve never had much of a problem with Taylor Swift’s constantly red lips. Chica loves red lipstick, and even if the red lip doesn’t really work with the ensemble, Swifty still tries to pull it off. Mostly, I don’t have much an opinion on lipstick – I haven’t worn it in years, since my terrible “pale purple lipstick” phase in college (I looked like a corpse). I go for tinted lip gloss sometimes and that’s about it. What I’m saying is that I never really have a dog in this lipstick hunt, I just judge celebs on whether I think a certain lipstick works on them. For Swifty, her red lips are now one of her “trademarks.” She recently spoke about why she’s obsessed with the red lip:

How many red lipsticks does she have? “I don’t have an excessive amount! I just find one I like and use it. Right now [I'm using] Dragon Girl by NARS … I’ll go through different phases with makeup and always try new things. Except I never really get too far from red lipstick, do I? I guess I just think my face looks worse without it. That’s pretty much the only rationale behind it.”

She’s also obsessed with the high-heeled Oxfords:“I really like an oxford high heel for kind of looking more like either a student or like you’re going to work. I don’t know, there’s something [that gives me some normality]. That’s what I kind of like to channel when I’m wearing them.”

She doesn’t share clothes with friends: “The one common thread between [my friends] is they know who they are and they’re very sure of who they are. We don’t usually have the same style. If they see me wearing something, they know it’s because that’s something that represents me and they’ll wear something very different … It doesn’t really affect the conversation, what we’re wearing.”

[From People]

“I guess I just think my face looks worse without it.” That’s a weird statement to make. “Worse”? How about “I think my face looks better with it.” It’s like she aiming for humility and it just sounds like she has zero confidence, which we know is untrue. How about, “I wear red lipstick because I like it, I got breast implants because I wanted them, and I wear shoes with cats on them because I’m awesome!” Positive-body-image statements would be great coming from someone who prides herself on how she presents herself to her young fans.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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47 Responses to “Taylor Swift explains the red lipstick: ‘I just think my face looks worse without it’”

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  1. Ollyholly says:

    I get it. I have a shade of Make Up Forever matte lipstick that I buy in bulk because I HATE the colour of my lips without it, I even sleep in it… God I’m weird.

    • Erinn says:

      I can’t find a lipstick I like, really. My lips have enough pigment in them, that if I put pink on, it looks red. If I put mocha on, it looks red. If I put red on, it’s RED. I’d love to find a nice, softer pink, or berry shade, but so far it’s been trial and error.

      • LadyMTL says:

        Erinn, I have the same problem, my lips are really red to begin with. I have been fortunate enough to find some nice lipsticks, however…I went to MAC. :) The woman who was working there at the time helped me choose several shades that suited me AND my natural lip color didn’t peek through.

      • Ollyholly says:

        I’m Mediterranean, so I have slightly olive skin tone with really dark berry coloured lips, which I totally hate, but they’re dark enough that most lipstick doesn’t have enough pigment to cover it while still being flattering for my skin colour- I can’t wear bright pinks for example.

        But you should check out Make Up Forever, they have a range of matte lipsticks that are really thick pigment but super easy nude, rosey pink shades.

        I sound like a brand spokesperson!

      • SpookySpooks says:

        Mine have no pigment in them. And they’re pretty big. If I’m not wearing anything I look so washed out. I’m trying to find a nudish lipstick that’s more on the brown side, but they’re either too pink or too orange.
        There was this amazing chocolate lip balm that was the perfect colour, but they stopped making it.

      • Erinn says:

        Thanks, ladies. I’ll check out Mac and Makeup Forever! Can’t hurt to try :)

      • Dame Snarkweek says:

        Try the tinted Burt’s Bees lip balms. The color is warm and rich without too much opacity or saturation. I used to love their fig color, tucking one in each purse I carried lol.

      • SpookySpooks says:

        @Dame Snarkweek, I’m not sure if tinted ones are available in my country, I’ve only seen plain ones, I’ll have to check. Thank you so much :)

      • QQ says:

        Prime the lips, ya’ll with foundation even!

        Re: Swifty… Nah sis trust … You could totally use something else… Also How do you try “so many different things” if it’s always black wings and red Lipstick?!? angel curls vs fringe? Is that what she means? Cause it’s NOT her face or fashion steeze

      • ann valor says:

        Wet N Wild MegaLast – it’s insanely inexpensive ($1.99 at Rite Aid) but it comes in about 20+ shades, it’s really creamy, lasts a long time, has a matte finish…I use it as blush, as lip stain, as heavy lipstick. It’s awesome. Also, Sugar Plum Fairy is a dupe for Mac’s….something I don’t remember, some kind of beautiful burgundy/berry color. Seriously, ladies, $1.99. (and no, I’m not spamming you lol)

    • ds says:

      I love wearing red lipstick I just have trouble applying it. I know it should be easy but I’m so bad with make up. I have no skills at all. I even watched videos but it sounded like you need tons of make up to begin with and I like it minimal with some red lips.

      • OriginalCrystal says:

        Do you have a lip brush? That made it easier for me when I started wearing lipstick.
        Have you watched any Lisa Eldridge youtube tutorials ? I’ve worked with her a few times and she’s honestly amazing. I think her videos are pretty straight forward (I could be wrong) so you might want to give them a go.

        I agree that you don’t want to have too much make-up on when you have a red lip. I rarely do my eyes when i wear red lipstick. Maybe just some concealer and filled eyebrows. Even just curling your lashes can make a difference.

      • ds says:

        Oh wow, this site is amazing! Thank you so much. I’ll give it a try. I guess it’s just about playing, and I never really get around to practice. I am so doing it this weekend, I know a lot make up artists but I never asked for a tutorial. Somehow everyone assumes that women just know how to put on make up.

      • QQ says:

        Prime, line with similar red or skintone liner, apply with brush or from tube Kleenex pat that first layer Then reapply

        With Other colors not so much but red does call for a bit more prep I suppose or get Makeup forever aqua rouge apply and forget you even put on lipstick (that wont come off til like the next day!)

  2. guesty says:

    the interesting thing is that red lipstick was practically wrestled onto her for an allure cover shoot a couple years back, she never used to wear it prior.

  3. NerdMomma says:

    Actually, I found her phrasing quite charming.

  4. blue marie says:

    If I could pull off red lipstick I would, but alas with my coloring it looks like crap.
    Why are those 2 girls crying behind Taylor?

  5. Hello Kitty says:

    She understands me!

    Chanel Coromandel 72 for me. It took me years to find the perfect red. For those curious it’s a bright red that leans more orange. If you’re tired of reds with blue undertones try this one.

  6. Dani2 says:

    Oh Tay, you look great without it as well, I love the shade she wears but for me, red lipstick is something I wear when I really feel amazing about myself or if I’m having an IDGAF day, I can see how it’s different for other people though.

  7. TheCountess says:

    I totally understand what she’s saying. Cherry red lips are my “thing”; I feel weird without it, and I’m not like that with any other sort of makeup. It’s the thing that really carries my look and the color brings out the green in my eyes.

    • kri says:

      I am more afraid of red lipstick than seeing John Travolta naked and oiled up for a massage. I am so pale, I might be paler than Taylor. I just can’t find a red that doesn’t make me look like I just ate at the Country Vampire Buffet. I have blonde hair ( v,light) and hazel green eyes. My undertone is more neutral( not that any of yu give a f*uck) but anyone have any suggestions? Maybe a good red gloss? Help.

      • SpookySpooks says:

        I am exactly like you, but I have dark hair ( more vampire-y). And I hate lip gloss. I would also appreciate suggestions.

      • TheCountess says:

        I’m not a fan of lip gloss (feels too messy) or even glossy formulas and it seems like every shade I thought of recommending has been discontinued. Although it is matte, I always found Viva Glam (the original) not red enough for my taste, which may make it along the lines of what you’re looking for. There’s also a shade by Shisheido called Day Lily that is a gentle coral-red.

        Another trick to lessening the drama is in the application; line your lips with a pencil, then use loose powder as a layer/base. Now line and fill in your lips with the pencil, and using a lip brush, apply a light layer of a basic red (doesn’t have to be fancy – brands like NYX and NYC make decent shades if you don’t want to invest too much). The finish will be somewhat glossy but the brush gives it a light touch that keeps the effect from being vampira-esque.

      • kri says:

        @TheCountess Thank you! I may go the NYX route, as they are very inexpensive but offer alot of shades and finishes.

  8. OriginalCrystal says:

    I’ve never rated her for her beauty but she’s looking stunning these days. Damn. The red lip looks great on her too. I love a good matte red lipstick myself.

    I kind of get what she means about ‘looking worse’. When you’re used to your face with a bold lip or a strong eye, you start to feel bare without it. That’s why Zooey Deschanel looks so plain without any eyeliner, not because she’s ugly (she’s not) but she just looks so bare.

    I like the way her PR is working these days. No more fauxmances… just hanging out with other girls, looking cute in NY (I saw her recently and she looked radiant. A big difference to the first time I ever met her where she looked so average), buying multiple properties, going to visit sick kids in hospitals. I think her image this era is much better and I see people warming up to her. Her music might ruin that though.

  9. harpreet says:

    Can she explain how she is papped all the time while leaving the gym perfectly primped?

  10. Allie says:

    I get it, I just wish she wouldn’t wear it all the time. Like if she wanted it to be her staple for red carpets, fine (although I think she looks prettier with a different color, like a pink). But I don’t like when I see pictures of her wearing bright red lips to the gym or the bookstore. Sometimes you don’t have to be too made up.

  11. Rita says:

    Gawddddd!!!! Look at the girls in the back ground WEEPING uncontrollably because they saw Taylor in the REAL and got a PICTURE……………….my life DOES have meaning!!!

  12. Sharra55 says:

    I used to only own red lipstick. The only reason I have a different color is because Ipsy sent me a pink color! LOL I only wear red. I have only worn red lipstick since I could put the stuff on. I am a pale, dark haired, dark eyed (my eyes are almost black!) woman! Red has always been my color!

  13. lucy2 says:

    I’m not often a fan of bright red lipstick, but it seems to be working with the retro style she’s been sporting these days.

  14. Amanda_M87 says:

    I love red lipstick too, but sometimes I like to switch it up with a nude/neutral shade. I have very similar colouring to Taylor so I think it would suit her too.

  15. Mean Hannah says:

    I don’t like a lot if things about Taylor but I think she looks good in red lipstick and it’s a nice color for her. It even works with some of her very casual wear.

    I used to judge women who wore full makeup or lipstick at the gym (as in 20 years ago) but now, I don’t care. I’d feel gross sweating through the makeup, though.

  16. Rianic says:

    Clinique Angel Red is my go to red. Anything else on my pale but olive skin looks garish.

    For a more sheer look, I get Dr Pepper Lip Smackers!

  17. Tiffany :) says:

    I usually focus my make up on my eyes, but once I was at a thing where a makeup artist gave me a 60s style red lip, and it looked so good! I have tried doing it myself at home…but I usually put it on, but take it off before I go anywhere. It really brings a lot of attention to your face!