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Hip Lips

Lusciously retro, the ruby-red mouth is making a bold imprint on-screen and off.

November 01, 2006|Elizabeth Snead | Special to The Times

FALL '06 is the season of the crimson mouth, as actresses left and right are puckering up with bright red lips.

Award-winning writer-director Sofia Coppola is among those sporting the bold retro look, as are film femmes Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett and Hilary Swank and small-screen starlet Kristen Bell.

Honorees Annette Bening and Evan Rachel Wood wore crimson lips at the Premiere Women in Hollywood awards in October. Vera Farmiga paired her scarlet smackers with a finger-waved bob at the premiere of "The Departed."

Not coincidentally, the rich red lip has a strong on-screen presence with '40s and '50s period films such as "The Good Shepherd," "Hollywoodland" and "The Black Dahlia." In fact, most of these actresses probably got accustomed to brighter lips on the film set.

Certainly Blanchett got used to hers while shooting "The Good German," Steven Soderbergh's modern take on the look of classic '40s films such as "Casablanca." Although you may not notice Cate's bright mouth because "German" is shot in black and white, trust us, her lips are red-hot.

Makeup companies, including Chanel, MAC, Revlon, Dior, Avon and Maybelline, aren't far behind Hollywood's lead. They're promoting the bold red mouth in fall ad campaigns.

But don't stress about leaving red smudges on Champagne glasses or kissed cheeks. Cosmetic technology has advanced and today's red lip has real staying power.

Elizabeth Snead writes the Hollywood Bytes blog at

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