Why You Should Be Wearing More Red Lipstick to Work

These stats make it non-negotiable.

At this very moment, there are three red lipsticks rolling around at the bottom of my handbag (MAC's Ruby Woo, Estée Lauder's Kendall Jenner shade Restless, and Revlon's Really Red, FWIW). Plus, many, many, many more tubes stashed at home.

You'd think I was a Taylor Swift-level red lip addict, but in reality the scarlet shades I always have in tow are more aspirational than anything. When it comes down to it, I can only bring myself to wear lipstick once, maaaybe twice a week. My excuses are pretty typical: I'm lazy/I don't have time/It requires too much precision/I don't want to bother with foundation/I want a sandwich for lunch today, etc. I thought the 7-Day Lipstick Challenge could change me, but alas, my lips (for the most part) are as bare as ever. 

Up until recently, I thought this was merely an inner beauty conflict, but thanks to Aliza Licht, formerly known as @DKNYPRgirl, I have more motivation than ever to glue my hand to a red lipstick tube. Why? My career might be on the line and needless to say, I love my job.

Here's the gist: Licht, author of Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media, has worn bright red lipstick exclusively and daily for more than 20 years and is often asked questions about her signature look, like would it send the wrong message in a male-dominated office or is it job interview material?

These are fair questions as the fashion industry tends to allow more wiggle room in the I-want-to-make-a-statement department. However, clinging to the hope that, inside or outside of the office, red lipstick can be a total game-changer, she decided to survey her Twitter followers to get their thoughts on the matter.

Sharing the results in an essay for the New York Post, Licht found that from a pool of 460 women, including law, banking, and government work professionals, the majority (91.2%) not only viewed it as totally appropriate for the office, but also felt it projects confidence at work (78.8%). While opinions were split on whether or not it's appropriate to wear to an interview (46.6% said yes), only 14.7% of respondents felt that women are judged "negatively" for wearing red lipstick. 

My takeaway? With few exceptions, a well-executed red lip—like being bilingual or having killer public speaking skills—is a total asset for your career. So swipe away—early and often. We all have the same 24 hours as Taylor, no?

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.