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:
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:
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?