Feb 112011

Dior’s recent Spring/Summer 2011 Couture show in Paris (video here) featured an incredible fantasy by John Galliano, an almost unbelievable artistic vision made real.

The models featured a strong red lip, in Rouge Dior Ara Red ($30/ #999), a color created by Galliano, a rich true red that looked incredible on the runway.

I wondered if non-models could pull over a gorgeous red lip with Ara Red, I was happy to find that it’s a current color up for sale on Dior.com.  If you’d like a treat, this page of Dior’s website details the entire line of Rouge Dior colors, and their heritage.  Each shade of the line is based on a Dior Haute Couture dress — when you select the shade name, the dress and it’s collection name and year appears on the right:

I was delighted to find free downloadable Dior wallpapers for your computer, iPhone and iPad–so beautiful! I’m adding this one to iPad immediately…

When Liz was home the other evening, we played.  We’ve both concluded that if you want to buy one unbelievable item to change your look, Rouge Dior in Ara Red is a wonderful choice.  We honestly thought that it actually makes sense to spend $30 on one legendary lipstick, but then again if you’re reading Cafe Makeup you probably already know that’s how we think.

In the tube, Rouge Dior Ara red comes in the luxurious tube with the gorgeous Cannage texture:

Close up:

Applied, close up:

We found Ara Red is a full commitment color.  There are some lipsticks that you can wear sheerly on the lips if you are wearing less than a full face of makeup.  That didn’t really seem to be the case with Rouge Dior Ara Red.  Rather,the color calls for flawless skin and careful application.  There is no need to wear a gloss with Ara Red, the color stands perfectly clear on its own with a gorgeous glow.

Here’s Liz in makeup posted here, full face:

I loved that this strong color still looks wearable, and compliments Liz’s other features without overwhelming them.

Like every strong red, Liz applied Ara Red very carefully.  First, she exfoliated her lips with Lush’s Bubblegum.  Then, she applied Ara Red with a lip brush all over.  Finally, she ran Ara Red directly from the tube over the lips.  No base or gloss was used.

Here are some comparisons with other reds in my stash  First, Rouge Dior Ara Red, Chanel Rouge Coco Gabrielle and then MAC Red No. 5 (from a limited edition Couture line some years back).

These swatches really don’t tell the whole story–when applying them, I found that Rouge Coco Gabrielle can be worn dabbed on the lips sheerly, and then “dressed up” to full formality with a gloss (Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Emoi works well, as does Exces).  In other words, Gabrielle can be worn more casually, and doesn’t have the impact of Dior Ara Red.  Rouge Dior Ara Red stands on its own, but really needed full application to look right– a few sheer dabs just didn’t seem wearable.  Obviously, MAC’s Red No. 5 is a different color all together–it’s a much pinker red than the others.

I got an email yesterday asking an interesting question–why do women wear bold colors?  Why do some women not wear them?  What do these colors say when they are worn?  Are there occasions when you won’t wear them?  When you will?  What do you think?

Liz and I would love to know your thoughts?

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  16 Responses to “Rouge Dior Ara Red- Review, Swatches, and Makeup Look”

  1. Liz is gorgeous and can pull anything off! I wish I could wear red, but I find it just highlights all my acne scars 🙁
    For a super modern look, I would love you guys to show Liz wearing this lipstick minus the eye make up and blush (just foundation and mascara)…

  2. What a great, fun post! Liz can pull off almost any lip color. Here she looks sweetly provocative with a hint of mystery.

    Whenever I see Dior fashion on the runway, I think of the costume party in “To Catch A Thief.” It’s another world, but a nice world of creative luxury.

    The other day, I was discussing those same questions about wearing bold colors, particularly red. I am not an introvert, am considered confident and, at times, bold,, but I can not get past using just one red nail polish (Shanghai Red). As for red lips, I have tried! I’ve had the perfect blue-based red lippie, and though others like it on me, I’m not comfortable with it. I think it has more to do with how I’m afraid others will perceive me. I’m working on it!

    As for bold colors, they usually don’t come in the styles I wear best, simples lines, tailored designs. One ruffle is my limit. Bright ocean blue, blue-red,and vivid orange are normal for me. I don’t think that wearing a bold color automatically presumes boldness, although it usually does. The inverse, not wearing bold, does not mean the person is shy and retiring. Neutrals are a wonderful camouflage!

    Dior Ara Red is incredibly gorgeous and worth the work to apply it. You have challenged me to get fully into adulthood with my lipstick! Berry-red does not count, especially since it’s a more dramatic MLBB. I will have to take baby steps. This one might be the ultimate goal! Thanks!

    • Friday night fun — I ordered (with a LOVE code) the MAC Lady Bug lipstick. I think that with my blue eyes and cool-toned skin, a blue-based red lipstick appeared far too cool (glacial?) on me, so I am taking that first little step with MAC and a warm-toned red that is HG for many gals. I do have Dior Ara Red in my Sephora list. There is a Dior red waiting for me, or rather I’m waiting for it. Now on to the lipliner!

  3. Liz can pull off the bold red! I love the versatility of her polished eye. For myself I like the idea of Rouge Coco Gabrielle dabbed on sheerly as I am cautious with reds. I would enjoy hearing what is in her makeup bag these days. Amy I also like your posts which tell the five things you are loving right now and so on……

  4. The photos from Dior show are so beautiful, while most people love Marc Jacobs, I adore Galliano, he is a genius!

    As for the red lipstick and strong colours, just a week ago I made a poll among my male friends and my readers about the red lipstick and I was surprised that around 90% men don’t like the red lipstick. This is interesting as there is a stereotype that it’s uber sexy. I am not sure if my boyfriend is super happy about red/dark colours but I love and wear them anyway. I am a brunette with dark eye and quite fair complexion so it really flatters me unlike the nude lipstick.

    And as for this particular lipstick – I think it is hot and I like it on Liz. To tell the truth I am a bit jealous that you can discover makeup together as my Mum doesn’t wear makeup at all. She used to, but for some reason she stopped when she turned 40 or so, she says that she doesn’t really care. Oh, well but that’s the other topic after all. I’ve just been meaning to write tell you this for ages.

    • Men have told me that red lipstick intimidates them, which must equate to their not liking it. I think that there are times when females wear lipstick, and other makeup, for themselves, and not for men, so that factor would not please them either.

  5. I love THIS color. I have been hunting for a bold wonderful velvety red for ages – but it must be on the “yellowish” side, as I am a redhead and only a non-blue red suits my complexion. This one looks just right and it will only be a few days until I try to find it in a city nearby. I usually wear nude tones to apricot to orange on my lips, be it in lipstick or gloss- but there are days when I find I just need a statement red, which lifts me up and gives me power on these dreary days when a grey weather just eats up all color outside. If I want to seduce – I do not wear any bold color. I wanna be open for kisses…

  6. Marina – too funny about the men not liking red! I have heard the same thing from many guys. I think perhaps it’s because it’s too hard to kiss a woman wearing a strong lipcolor 😉

  7. Red lipsticks are just too much for me. I have no desire to for bold red lips.
    If I am going to use a lot of color, it will be with eye shadow.
    I like my makeup to be fun, yet subtle.
    And, red lipstick just seems to intense to be fun, if that makes sense.
    Thanks so much for your blog–it’s so much fun.

  8. Wow, Liz! That’s the perfect red for you! It is just gorgeous! I don’t know what it is about red lips, as I love it on everyone else but I don’t particularly like wearing it myself because I feel people are staring at me. I can wear the most ridiculous shoes and outfit, but red lips, not so much. I really need to find the perfect red for me and then I will wear it all the time. I have at least 5 Chanel reds and I don’t really love a single one. Maybe I will try the Dior counter!

  9. Thank you for this review. I went straight to the Dior counter this morning and bought it.
    The perfect warm red. Finally!

  10. I am totally a bright lipstick girl and have been for some time. This made me contemplate a bit. Why?

    I am very fair with very dark eyes and med/darkish brown hair so I like the contrast a bright lipstick gives me. But I think beyond that, I am a quiet, introverted person with a rather serious job so the bright lipstick is just my little way of having some fun and putting myself “out there” a bit without having to do it in other ways. I like to think it says that I have a bit of spark under my quiet demeanor.

  11. I love the lipstick but I love the necklace even more! Might you reveal where you bought it? I have been looking for a necklace like the ones Anna Wintour wears and yours is just like hers.

    I love your website!

  12. How does Rouge Dior Ara compare to Chanel Rouge Allure Lacque in Dragon? I am in love with both colors but is it justifiable to buy both or should I just one over the other?

    • Hi Denise. The textures are different– Dior is a traditional lipstick and Dragon is liquid. I would try one first, not both. The Dior is the safer “can’t miss” choice.

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