Red lipstick has gone in and out of fashion for as long as it’s been around, falling in and out of favor with males.
Any shade of lipstick can draw attention, and almost all lipstick is intended to attract other people.
However, the exact shade of your lipstick may bring up different emotions or feelings in other people and affect how they may perceive you.
Red lipstick has been synonymous with strong characteristics such as power, sexuality, allure, confidence, glamour, and rebellion.
Any way you look at red lipstick, it provides a punch to the system by either drawing people—especially men—in or repelling them.
1. It Gives the Appearance of Glamour
Women who wear red lipstick often give the impression of confidence, as if they have it all together.
It also projects an image of style and glamour.
Red lipstick is often the icing on the cake for many women after putting on the right clothes, hairstyle, perfume, and makeup.
Though some men are intimidated by confident females, many are attracted to an appearance that exudes self-worth.
They want a woman who takes care of herself and cares about how she looks to others.
Glamour, like fashion, is a way for people to present themselves to the world, giving off an aura of wealth and self-care.
Though red lipstick has had many uses and meanings associated with it throughout the years, it often is associated with prestige.
Not only are many guys drawn to prestige, but they want to be around others who make them feel like they carry those same characteristics.
Glamour often goes together with class and many men are drawn to the promise of wealth.
2. It Makes Wearers Seem Alluring
Because wearing red lipstick is such a powerful statement, it makes those who wear it seem mysterious yet alluring.
No matter what the intention is, red lipstick draws attention.
This could be for a number of reasons, but most likely, it’s due to its bright color.
In a sea of blacks and greys and neutral tones, red lipstick stands out and can attract the gaze of many bystanders.
It’s only natural for the human eye to be drawn to bright colors in the same way bees are drawn to colorful flowers.
Red lipstick lures men in because it focuses their attention on the bright color or the thing that is different from the rest.
It’s easy to blend in when you wear lipstick in natural shades, but red lipstick is meant to steal attention away from the crowd.
3. Associations With Sexuality
Though red lipstick has a strong history in the women’s liberation movement, it also has strong connections to female sexuality.
Many theorists believe men are attracted to the color red because they subconsciously associate it with sex, fertility, and reproduction.
Though this theory could very well have grounds in biology, it wouldn’t really explain why red is preferred over other shades of pink.
Another theory lies in the fact that when women are aroused, “one physiological response comes in the form of a rush of blood to the lips (giving them a sultry, rouge hue).
For potential mates, that warm shade signifies health and fertility––and thus, well, attraction.”
This can explain men’s natural fixation on the color red from a less sexually direct perspective.
4. Taps Into Men’s Competitive Nature
One study intent on debunking the myth of red lipstick’s sexual attraction effect showed that men actually don’t prefer red over shades of pink.
In fact, when rating images of female genitalia based on color alone, red received the least attractiveness rating.
Though the study didn’t attempt to explain why red is still so attractive to males, it did point to a possible hypothesis.
According to Researcher Dr. Sarah E. Johns, who teaches Evolutionary Anthropology at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent, “Maybe it makes men feel competitive (other studies have shown this), so maybe men are more competitive about women in red and therefore desire them more.”
This theory also has merit as men don’t often shy away from competition, as we’ve seen in animals in nature and interactions with human males.
If red lipstick signifies confidence and dominance, men may feel the biological urge to address that threat head-on.
Though it may not look the same as it does in the animal kingdom, men may pursue women who wear red lipstick with the intent to overthrow their power and reclaim their dominance.
5. Attraction to Intimidation
Similar to a competitive draw, some men find red lipstick intimidating but do not show the same dominant nature other men may demonstrate.
Many men are, in fact, attracted to intimidation and seek it out in others or in relationships.
This could be for a number of reasons, including a subconscious need for self-discipline (finding an equal or better partner to keep themselves in check) or the fetish desire to be punished by others.
The interest in running toward intimidation instead of away from it can stem from several psychological causes, but red lipstick can certainly provide the catalyst for such a reaction.
Many men find intimidating women attractive and are drawn into their sphere, whether they know why or not.
6. It Can Make Women Look Younger
Though some younger women and teenage girls may wear red lipstick in an effort to look older and more mature, studies actually show that wearing red lipstick can have the opposite effect.
In fact, “A study by Chanel’s research and development department and scientists at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania found that wearing red lipstick can make the wearer look younger and more attractive over time due to something called ‘facial contrast’.”
Facial contrast works by rejuvenating color contrast in the face that is lost as women get older.
As women age, their eyes, lips, and eyebrows tend to lose color, creating a more even facial tone.
However, introducing the color red to the face brings back the youthful beauty many men find attractive.
Plus, men naturally have redder skin undertones, so it’s possible that’s what they’re looking for in a partner—the same tone.
More color in the face also represents health, so being attracted to red lips could be biologically ingrained in all of us as we seek longevity and health in our partners—especially our reproductive partners.
7. It Makes Lips Appear Fuller and Men Like Lips
This one may seem obvious, but it’s actually been scientifically proven that men spend more time looking at lips than other body parts.
So when someone’s lips appear fuller and brighter than other lips, men will only naturally be drawn to them.
During a 2010 Manchester University study, “researchers tracked men’s eyes for 10 seconds when faced with head-to-toe photographs of women, and found that their subjects spent an overwhelming majority of time gazing at women’s lips…And moreover, they found that the men were apt to spend reliably longer staring at a woman’s lips if they were painted red.”
Studies have shown that men are attracted to symmetrical faces, and this includes full lips.
Since red lipstick draws attention to the mouth, this could explain why so many men prefer red lipstick.
Plus, red lipstick can make lips look plumper because it fills in wrinkles and makes lips look fuller than they actually are.
As erogenous zones, the mouth and lips get a lot of attention from men, so it’s only natural for men to be drawn to the highlighted facial feature.
It only makes sense that men are often attracted to women’s mouths when their lips are colored red.
As a result, they might become highly focused on a woman’s lips as she speaks as opposed to on the actual words that are coming out of her mouth.
The bigger her lips appear, the more men have to look at.
8. It Makes Women Appear Welcoming
According to Wikilivre, “There has been a scientific study that proves that women who wear red color turn men on a lot more than any other color.
This is so because red also makes women seem warmer and more competent.”
This could be due to the allure and confidence factor that accompanies red lipstick.
Men are more likely to approach women wearing red lipstick because they feel like they have a better chance of being received kindly.
But why is red associated with warmth? This could harken back to the physiological response from women, as blood rushes to the lips, signifying arousal.
The warm color red, in this instance, tells men they are fertile and willing, biologically speaking.
9. Red Lipstick Looks Good on Almost Everyone
There are many theories and assumptions that present the idea that red lipstick doesn’t look good with certain features.
However, it’s really up to the individual woman to decide what she likes and what she doesn’t.
Red lipstick may, in fact, wash your skin tone out or may not look great with your hair color, but it’s always better to try it out first if you’re intent on wearing it.
However, red lipstick looks great on almost everyone and can bring out your features and make you more attractive to men.
For instance, some people believe fair-skinned blondes shouldn’t wear red lipstick, but clearly, Marilyn Monroe pulled it off, so it’s all about the individual.
All reds are not made the same either and finding the perfect shade and finish of red lipstick may be just the thing you need to pull it off.
10. Cultural Expectations
Red lipstick also plays a role in the assumed level of femininity as many cultures, including Americans, have placed much value on outward appearance.
As seen in magazines and television and movies, red lipstick is the epitome of feminine grace and power.
As young boys grow up with these images, it’s only normal that they’d be attracted to the things they’re told are symbols of feminine sexuality as they grow up.
So, whether red lips are seen as an act of defiance or as hyper-sexuality, they represent feminine power in one way or another.
Many boys are given the impression of what a woman “should” look like at a young age (red lipstick-wearers), so as they become men, they will naturally assume that women wearing red lipstick will be feminine and have all of the qualities they have learned to expect from females.