In 2023, red lipstick has never looked better

Pink may be having a moment, but these looks remind us of the classic elegance of red lipstick.

Harper's Bazaar India

While not a trend—red lipstick is to beauty what the black dress is to fashion; a classic choice with enduring appeal—it embodies a mood right now, and for those looking to attract more joy it’s one empowering accessory.

With the 2023 award season now in full swing, many of us are inspired by the sartorial details presented at the ceremonies and film premieres taking place—and already multiple A-listers have elevated their red carpet looks with red lipstick.

Margot Robbie set the tone, attending the premiere of Babylon in London wearing a pillarbox red Valentino gown with make-up in an exact match. Her beauty look, by artist Pati Dubroff, comprised two red lipsticks, one by Beauty Pie and another by Chanel. The matchy theme continued at the Critics’ Choice Awards, where fellow Hollywood actress Julia Garner paired a striking red lipstick to her outfit, a sheer dress by Ferragamo. 

This, too, was the case for Monica Barbaro in Dolce & Gabbana at the Golden Globes. Her make-up artist Katey Denno wrote on Instagram of the choice: “We talked about going with a nude/pale pink lip, a deep dark almost Goth purple/red lip, and finally, which exact shade/blend of bold red shades to do if we went that route. Any of them would’ve worked and been beautiful, but as soon as we swiped on this shade, I knew it was the right one for the day, the dress, the mood.” The lipstick itself was KW Red by sustainable brand Kjaer Weis, a fearless true red that starts as a liquid and dries to a velvety matte. 

Elsewhere on the red carpet this month, red lipstick has been used to contrast outfit colours. Take Amanda Seyfried’s Critics’ Choice look: she wore a luminous red which oozed the same energy as her bold metallic gown by Dior. See too Amber Ruffin's look, which paired a yellow sequinned suit to a cherry red lip. 

Meanwhile actress Sophie Kauer used red lipstick to enhance the romance of her delicate Giles Deacon gown at the Tar premiere in London. Her lip came courtesy of the Pat McGrath Labs Matt Trance lipstick in the shade Elson 2, a vivid red inspired by British supermodel Karen Elson.

This piece originally appeared in Harper's Bazaar UK