Can You Take the Red Lipstick Challenge?

Yes, “you” can wear red lipstick. You know who “you” are. You wear the same pinkish-brown lipstick you’ve been wearing for years. Not too brown and not too pink, essentially your lip color just a bit more pronounced. You want to venture out and you try on different shades, but ultimately when you look in the mirror you just can’t pull the trigger. You think they all seem too bright, or too dark or too…something.

Each and every time one of “you” tries on a red lipstick you can’t wait to take it off. You think you look ridiculous. But the funny thing is, everyone else in the store thinks you look fantastic. Many times other customers will chime in and tell you how great it looks, but you still don’t believe. I know all of this because I have seen it for 18 years day after day, but more importantly because until recently I was one of “you.”

The old adage “it’s easier to give advice than to take it” definitely applied here. I could see how the red lipstick brightened your look and gave a more glamorous air. In fact, I thought you looked so great that after you left, I put the lipstick on to see if I could look like you. But inevitably I wiped it off because “I couldn’t pull it off.” Until one day when I challenged myself to wear red lipstick all day without taking it off.

What happened was really interesting. Almost everyone told me how nice I looked that day. Some people mentioned that they liked my lipstick, but most just said I looked good. I’m sure it wasn’t the blazer and jeans; that’s pretty much my wardrobe staple so it had to be something else. Was I having a particularly good hair day? No, not really. Was my skin looking more radiant than the past few days? I didn’t think so.

It had to be the lipstick…didn’t it?

So, the next day I went back to my regular pink-brown lipstick. I had to know. One very nice lady said I looked pretty that day and complimented my shoes. One lady. Was I having a bad hair day? Was my skin a little dull? I didn’t know. Day three, back to the red lipstick and you know what? Compliments all day long. That was it. That sealed the deal. I bought a red lipstick right then and there and now it’s a regular part of my rotation.

My challenge to you is this: let me pick a red lipstick for you, try it on, and wear it the rest of the day. I think you’ll be quite surprised by how you feel about it at day’s end.


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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