What does your lipstick say about you?

Lets talk lippy.  Or to be precise, the shade you choose and its effect on other people.  Turns out your choice colours – literally - the judgment they make about your personality in the very first instant they set eyes on you... Avon UK commissioned a study of 1000 women to coincide with the launch of their new True Colour make-up range, which contains a lip-smacking 60 shades all on a translucent base.  It was a real investigation into Life, The Universe and Lipsticks exercise….

Among the intriguing findings, they report that over 80% of the 1,000 women surveyed perceived those who wear a bright lipstick as confident, and over half said they felt more confident themselves when wearing a bright shade.  Not so surprising perhaps - but then it all gets a teensy bit confusing because less than six per cent would actually choose a bright colour for an interview.

Colour psychologist Angela Wright has a theory about why: ‘Red has the ability to draw people and grab attention so can make you memorable in an interview or new social situation.  However, red shades also represent a competitive streak and if worn when you are dressed all in black could be perceived as aggressive.’  (Depends on the type of job you are going for, we think…)

However, Wright goes on, ‘when paired correctly, bright colours can portray openness and exude a friendly vibe.’ A bit more than friendly perhaps: women generally admitted to feeling downright sexier when wearing bright lipstick and over a third said they would choose a brighter shade for a first date.

But it might pay to consider your intentions first: red is physically stimulating, raising the pulse rate and physical energy - a reflection of arousal, warns Wright.  ‘So make sure you aren’t making a statement bolder than your intentions…’

While paler shades overwhelmingly painted the wearer as shy, over 60% of the women surveyed said they would wear paler hues for a job interview, first day of work – and meeting their partner’s family for the first time.  ‘Pale of nude lipstick colours are the safe option,’ comments Wright.  ‘While bright red lipstick communicates confidence, it does not actually build it in the less self-assured.’

But beware the dark side.  Women who wear darker shades were mostly judged as ‘unfriendly’ - guess that’s the Cruella factor.  (Sarah chose a dark red lipstick for a passport photo years ago and it was definitely disturbing….)

Red, nude? Nude, red?  When asked which colour a woman should never be without there was a split vote, which - Angela Wright concludes - indicated the inherent schism between the intrinsically shy nude wearers and those confident extroverts who were happy to strut their stuff in red.

To be honest, we like the shades that best suit our skin tone and with Avon’s 60 new shades, there is plenty of choice.  And we are impressed with their claim that the new translucent base keeps colours bright and true, however pale.  For more on Avon Ultra Colour Lipsticks, visit the online store on www.avonshop.co.uk: true beauty steals at just £5 (a special price just now so get those fingers clicking).