My Love Affair With Red Lipstick! (By Rachael Sage)

Today day we have a  post from recording artist Rachael Sage! You can learn more about her at


My name is Rachael Sage, and I’m a recording artist, actress & record label-owner.

I love dressing up and wearing wild, sparkly makeup – and I often change my

performance style depending on whether I’m in the mood for sequins, feather boas or

tutus…but one thing I can never do without is red lipstick!

Rachael Sage


I’ve been wearing red lipstick on a daily basis since I was in 7th grade (even though my

parents didn’t know it and I’d put it on once I got to school). Before then, I reveled in

wearing it at ballet recitals, on Halloween, and in grammar school plays where, for some

reason, obscene amounts of makeup were always the norm. My mom wore red lipstick,

Marilyn wore it, Ginger Rogers wore it, all my favorite ballerinas in The New York City

Ballet wore it, and of course, Madonna maintained it as a modern classic; to me it was

always an instant reflection of glamour, sophistication and confidence. Plus, as a pale

Jewish girl with blue eyes and dark hair, I felt that the extra pop of color kept me from

totally disappearing, especially when everyone else but me seemed to have a tan. A

red lip always just felt “right”, and I’ve rarely gone a day without it, even if I’m home by

myself or it’s just me and my engineer in the recording studio.


I may love red lipstick, but I’m definitely not a “makeup snob”. With clothes, I firmly

believe that while luxury brands and designer names have their place and are great for

special occasions if you can afford them, the only thing that really matters is that you

feel great in whatever you’re wearing – even if you bought it at Target or on the street

on St. Mark’s Place (my favorite cheap-o shopping street in NYC). With makeup, my

philosophy is the same; I buy a particular shade of red lipstick when it beckons to me

from the drugstore display, versus when I “need” it. I might go into a Ricky’s Drugstore to

buy some shampoo, but then get sidetracked by the perfect Mattése bright red lipstick,

or be in an airport on tour and go into a shop to buy eyedrops, but end up with a more

exciting new magenta-red shade of Revlon lipstick. I’m not brand-loyal at all, and for me

it all comes down to richness of color and something slightly different in the shade of

red or the level of shine, from others I may already have. I love Wet & Wild as much as

I love Lancome. My mom had very fancy makeup, but it’s just never been a priority for

me. After all, if you can buy 3 slightly different shades of red lipstick for the price of one

fancier, and they all look great on you, what’s the problem? The proof is in the mirror, not

on the price-tag.


Another thing I love to do for live performance is add glitter to my red lipstick, so it has

a slightly different, sparkly hue. If I have a show and I’m wearing purple, I might add a

purple iridescent glitter to just the very center of my lips, or if I’m wearing black, I like

to accent them with a little gold or silver glitter. Last spring I was on tour in the UK and

found a great “edible glitter” from a cupcake shop, and it really sparkles…I use it on my

eyelids too! I saw it on the cupcakes and asked if I could just buy the glitter and not the

baked goods, and even though they’d never done that before, they said yes. When you

love something that might not be for sale, it definitely pays to have “chutzpah” and ask



This year I had the opportunity to attend The Grammys. When I went to pick up my

tickets there was a rep from Smashbox giving away free makeup who asked if I was

an artist and when I said yes, she gave me a whole bunch of amazing samples from

powder to blush and also – woohoo! – a new red lipstick. I’m definitely a fan of the brand

now, and was very happy with the way it lasted throughout the day, especially since I ate

and drank a lot at The Grammys and it was a very long event! Still, I’d never really want

to only wear one kind of red lipstick at the expense of having others in my arsenal. Just

like I wouldn’t want to write only one kind of song; sometimes I want a blue-ish red or an

orange-y red, or a red with a dot of hot-pink glitter in the middle.


Once in a while, a makeup artist or photographer will ask me to consider wearing a

totally nude lip. I used to agree to try it, even though I’ve never liked how any photos

came out with it; I just felt bland and like I disappeared…So these days I really try to

avoid it and speak up and be honest that I’d just prefer to do a bolder lip. For my new

album, “Haunted By You”, however, I really wanted my cover to look like a Victorian

portrait. I was inspired by John Singer Sargent’s “Madame X”, and I knew that to have

that period look, I’d have to blot my lips a lot and go a little more pink than in the past.

As soon as the shoot was over though, I put my own bright red lipstick back on…it’s just

what makes me feel most “me”, and I don’t think that will ever change!

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  1. I have always been a big fan of Rachael. Having worked with her on many occasions I appreciate a client who knows exactly what looks good on them. It really helps the process! Rachael looks good in anything but especially in a “red lipstick”! Keep up the awesome work, Rachael. Your a testament to how a woman can wear a red lip!!!

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