When my niece was little, she once said, “Aunt Crystal, why do you always wear red lipstick?” Because I LIKE it, Emily! That’s why I’m happy that fall is coming. Breeze through any cosmetics department this fall and you’re going to see a great vintage look—red lips. Happily, this year’s reds are cranberry and deep berry shades that are flattering on almost everyone. Wear it with fall’s dark colors, rich brocades, lace, fur, and jewel tones.

If you’re not sure if this trend works for you, try Cover Girl’s Lip Perfection Lipstick in a shade called Tempt. At less than $8 a pop, it’s a conservative shade at a smart price point. I also love Clinique’s Cranberry Cream Butter Shine or Angel Red Different Lipstick, but they’re both a little pricey at $22 and $15 respectively.

Another go-to source for vintage red lips is the Besame line of lipstick, which offers a red for every complexion. You can find at Unique Vintage. Here’s a special offer from Unique Vintage:

Free Besame Rouge Sample with any Besame product from Unique-Vintage.com!

How to wear cranberry

A young face can wear cranberry lips any way—bold, sheer, matte, or glossy. Pair it with a soft, neutral eye, and a well-defined lash for a classy look day or night. Here, I pause to encourage my young friends: go for this look! You only go around once, ladies. Wear it while you rock it!

If you’re new to red lips or you’ve reached middle age, choose a sheer shade to keep the look soft. Another alternative is to stain the lip with a bold shade, then tissue or smudge it off with your fingertips and finish with a balm or a gloss for moisture—great for ladies of any age.

That trick also keeps you free of feathering—a good trait in birds but not in lips. Women of a certain age are usually advised to keep it not-too-dark, not-too-bright, but there are quite a few exceptions to that rule. You’ll know ‘em when you see ‘em. Don’t be bashful about red because of your age.

Remember what Andy Rooney once said? “A woman over 30 looks good wearing bright red lipstick.” Normally, I wouldn’t take my fashion cues from a guy like Andy. In this case, he was right. Don’t skip cranberry lips at any age. Just adapt it to suit your individual style.

I’m also a huge fan of five berry shades by Mary Kay because there’s truly a shade for everyone: Apple Berry, Berry Kiss, Red Satin, Black Cherry and Whipped Berries. From now through Labor Day, I’m giving away a choice of one of these shades to everyone who subscribes by e-mail to the blog. Simply subscribe if you haven’t already and make a comment here stating your preference of shades. I’ll be in touch to ask for your mailing address. 

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.