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Alysha Yates

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If you’ve ever suffered the misfortune of losing a loved one as well as witnessing a friend experience loss, then you’ll know that grief looks very different on different people. Although scientists such as Barbara Fane have revealed that individuals experiencing grief suffer from a similar disruption to the following brain areas, the outcome can vary. After losing someone the parasympathetic nervous system is impacted, resulting in insomnia and shallow breath. The effect on the prefrontal cortex/frontal lobe can impact your ability to express your emotions. The impact on the limbic system, can cause you to be easily triggered by things that remind you of your lost one. Whilst experiencing this biological onslaught, after losing someone, many people put their appearance to the back of their mind. However, as our contributing beauty writer Alysha Yates recounts, relief may come in the form of your beauty routine.

My mother would always dress herself in red. Her toenails gleamed with a glossy merlot finish come rain or shine.  In a reoccurring six-week effort to mask her relentless greys, she’d blitz intruders with her favourite semi-permanent dye, Crazy Colour- Fire. When she discovered my Sleek eyeshadow palettes, her request never wavered, “red with a little smoke on the sides.” Of all the ways she’d wear red, nothing served her better than sporting her signature scarlet smile.

So when I lost my mother in 2015 to the beast that is breast cancer, I couldn’t look at red the same for a while. My memories of overturned bloody dye bottles and dwindled lidless lipstick applicators brought me nothing but instant flashbacks of what I had lost.

Days after she passed, at each family gathering, I’d be swarmed by sympathetic apologies and faces filled with commissary for what could not be helped. With each pat on my back, I grew to fear the pain of my mother’s memory, serving only as a reminder for the unnerving fact that I’d no longer see her bright red smile again.

Alysha Yates Fashion Psychology
Alysha Yates Wearing Mac Dance With Me & Fenty Beauty Uncensored

Nevertheless, I had already agreed to write my mother’s eulogy for her funeral. I had run out of words while trying to finish writing and I decided to search for inspiration. I sat knee deep in photo albums, flicking through images of my mother, wadding my way through years of her life, buried in her memory. Hour after hour went by and I found myself with her again. She was aged 20 at a party, posed arm in arm with a best friend, both with matching classic square red manicures. Aged 25 on her wedding day, lips deep scarlet pursed and pouted for a glamorous flick.  She was aged 36, hair tinted and aflame, head down styling one of her clients at her hair salon.

Tears met my lips as I surrendered to her vivid red memories and I felt her with me once again. Fond memories rushed back and gave me the comfort I needed as I saw how attached my mother had been to this colour, how she would always endeavour to express herself throughout her life with these red accents.

At her funeral, we wore red rose brooches and our lips beamed a deep raspberry red. My mum loved to wear a mix of MAC’s Rebel with Russian Red. On that day, we brought her memory to life. Now, as her 4th year anniversary approaches, I soothe my grief by wearing red and my most treasured way of remembering her is by embracing a beauty routine that reflects my mother in spirit.

Valentine’s day, the one day in the year dedicated to romance and passion. Whether you’re #couplegoals or #singleAF on Thursday, countless women across the globe will be dressing to impress in hopes of grabbing the attention of that special someone.

In order to achieve that goal, psychology has taught us that when getting dressed it is all but essential that you add a splash of red to your ensemble. What role does this hue have in our love-lives? Colour Psychology reveals all!

All Red Everything

In testing the impact of colour on attraction, American Psychologists observed men having conversations with women wearing different coloured shirts. The researchers found that men asked women more personal and intimate questions when they were wearing a red shirt opposed to women wearing green shirts. Similarly, men sat closer to women in red opposed to blue shirts.

In Taiwan, researchers found that when women carry red-coloured products such as laptops men rated them significantly higher in terms of attractiveness and sex appeal. The impact of red is the same for women too! A study conducted on 42 females and 22 males found that when participants were asked to attend an interview about dating, exposure to the colour red caused participants to walk faster. Interestingly, exposure to the colour red decreased the speed they walked to attend an interview about intelligence – I guess it’s true that love makes you a bit foolish.

Makeup enthusiasts will be interested to know that psychologists in France have discovered that waitresses wearing red lipstick earn more tips more so than women wearing pink, brown or no lipstick at all. 

Red lipstick is often seen a as a handbag staple and to make sure you’re picking the best of the best, we’ve asked beauty writer Alysha Yates to trawl through her impressive make-up stash and give us the low-down on some of her red-lipstick must haves.

Uncensored, Fenty Beauty

fashion psychology
Image Source: harveynichols.com

Fenty’s Uncensored Stunna lip paint is undeniable. I love effortlessly sweeping the curved cushion wand along my lip line, filling in the middle and watching as bright red satin dries, transforming into velvet ruby matte perfection. 

The rich red pigment certainly pops so be prepared for stares and compliments all day long when wearing Uncensored on a night out as you steal the show. If you want unwaveringly raw pigment matched with a comfortable, unmovable matte texture, Uncensored is the way forward.

Ruby Woo, MAC

Fashion Psychology

If there ever were a lipstick hall of fame, Ruby Woo would stand self-assured as one of the most iconic red shades of its time. Retro matte, ruby rich and unmatched by it’s subtle blue undertone, Ruby Woo is the ultimate red shade to bring boldness to a puckered-up pout. Ruby rich, it’s colour makes me feel confident, classic and sexy all at once. No word of lie, I’d wear Ruby Woo everyday if I could, but that wouldn’t be fair to my lipstick collection. Now, every other day? I could settle for that!

90210hhh, Too Faced

Fashion Psychology

Frosty February evenings calls for 90210hhh and it’s candy apple red tone. This is one of my favourite crème based lipsticks hands down because it makes me feel festively classic. 90210hhh is ideal for the winter because of it’s ability to hydrate even the most chapped of lips, as well as to provide long lasting, powerful pigment.

Rouge Tuxedo No. 45, YSL

Fashion Psychology

This ultra-luxe lip shine looks and smells like the inside of a watermelon. I typically wear Rouge Tuxedo in the summer because it’s weightless, sheer shine is perfect for hot summer days when you wish you were naked and want to throw next to nothing on.

Irrepressible, Estee Lauder

Fashion Psychology

Irrepressible is what you wear on date night. Do not pick anything other! I fall in love with it’s alluring, sultry red brown undertone every time I pop the lipstick cap. It’s matte but not drying in the slightest and it’s deep plum dark hue is seductively dangerous for those whose eyes it meets. Wear Irrepressible and that’s what you’ll be.

Dance With Me, MAC

Fashion Psychology

No matter what you do on a night out, Dance With Me perseveres. This liquid lip potion is berry, burgundy and beautiful and dries retro matte like no other. Apply just before leaving home. It’s lick proof, sick proof, kiss proof, bitch proof, bite proof, fight proof, sweat proof, wet proof, smudge proof, hug proof and grease proof. Wear Dance With Me on the dance floor. No caution needed.

Did we miss out your favourite Red Lipstick? Share your recommendations in the comment section!