See this red lip at Temperley London? Well I took one look at it and thought hmmm! Red – just too difficult to achieve G (for me anyway). Why? Because red lipstick defies logic – the more I put on, the more likely that it will have moved and taken up residence elsewhere. Within a few minutes of meeting Gucci Westman I’d at least solved this conundrum. I hadn’t been using a lip brush to apply it correctly.

A brush gives more coverage with less product, so your colour will stay longer

Observing Gucci Westman backstage at Temperley London A/W 2011 as she drenched mouths in crimson I scribbled and snapped and listened. See the You Tube clip below and it will give you a taste of just how busy everyone was backstage (Gucci had to oversee the make-up on thirty two models). I was incognito in David Attenborough mode and then…

“So Gisèle! Would you like me to show you how to achieve this perfect bee stung lip over breakfast?” Gucci asked me.

“Wait, Gucci would I like … wait, what?” (I looked to see if there was another, taller Gisèle standing just behind me.) And that was how I came to be sitting opposite Gucci Westman the morning after the Temperley London show in Soho. The mission? How to achieve the prefect bee stung red lip as seen at Temperley London the night before. I was super excited. This is what was said…

Gisèle:  “Do you think I’m crazy Gucci to be afraid of red lipstick?”

Gucci: “I think it’s a good question. There’s a universal fear that it clings to just about everything except lips. If you added maybe a few more steps to your application routine it would help keep the colour where you want it.”

Gisèle: “Can you ‘show and tell’ me please?” *And just like magic a model appeared*

Preparing your lips for the bee stung look!

Gucci: “Firstly, dry chapped lips won’t hold pigment. So before putting on ANY make-up prepare your lips by rubbing a HOT wet towel vigorously over your mouth. This removes dead skin cells and brings the blood to the surface and plumps the mouth up naturally.

Pop a layer of Vaseline or balm on the lip and let it sink in for five minutes and then rub off with a second hot towel. Do all this BEFORE applying your foundation or powder to your face.”

Gisèle: “OK, that I can do”.

I sat looking at the model’s bare lip and was petrified. Wasn’t it difficult to come from this to a proper, grown-up, velvety, flawless red lip? Then Gucci, turned to me and said, “Watch, there’s no reason to be afraid.” (I think she could see my fear.)

I: The perfect bee stung  lip!

Gucci: “I’ve prepped the model’s face with Revlon Photoready Foundation and I’m mixing and painting two matte lipstick shades using a lip brush over the whole mouth; Revlon Really Red (a strong red with a blue in it) and *Revlon Strawberry Suede* (a sort of orangey red which is kinder to pale skin).

*Note Strawberry Suede is discontinued so replace it with the nearest matte coral red you can find. I found this extra bullet of Strawberry Suede on eBay

Gucci “And use a lip brush, it gives more coverage with less product, plus the lipsticks are matte not gloss, so your colour will stay longer.”

Gisèle: “I’d no idea that a matte texture could make that much of a difference. That’s a lot of lipstick. Does it ever go outside the lines?”

Gucci “Everybody has little lines around their mouth – actresses, models. When doing a dramatic lip colour, I take a big foundation brush, tap it in foundation or translucent powder and roll it over the skin below and at the outer edges of the lip to clean up the edges. NEVER over the mouth.

Gisèle: “Hold on there one nanosecond…why never apply foundation and powder over the actual lip before or after applying lipstick?”

Gucci: “It muddies the colour and dehydrates the lip. Instead after applying the lipsticks I use foundation below the lip to stop bleeds and a lip pencil around the edges to keep it from seeping. I continue to brush the lipstick into the lips to help it settle and then I add the Revlon Just Bitten lip stain to set it all. And that’s the perfect bee stung lip”

Okay, I shall have to return a little later to let you know what happened next, because Gucci Westman is just too brilliant. If you’ve read down this far, thank you, if you’d rather not read another lipstick novel let me know. (There’s always the You Tube clip showing Gucci at work below). Think I need a little rest now.