Red Lipstick Challenge: Wearing Red Lipstick for a Year

Red Lipstick Challenge

I’ve been waiting to share this announcement. As the days passed by and I put off saying anything, I realized I needed to challenge myself in ways bigger than my mini-monthly challenges. So here it is:

I’m going to wear red lipstick (almost) every day for an entire year.

The Spark

After I finished my first The Red Lipstick Challenge, I started to reflect on all the conversations I had with my friends, strangers, women and men of all ages. For some reason I don’t quite understand, the simple act of choosing a bold red lip sparked conversations about relationships, confidence and favorite shades. The conversations and interactions, both small and large, fascinated me. I grew curious why heads turned, why eyes rolled and why people muttered, “Lord have mercy,” under their breath.

In short, my experiment captivated even me.

I started to wonder what I would learn if I wore the lipstick on a long-term basis. A month wasn’t enough time to truly feel the impact of what a seemingly little choice would make. I make choices everyday–what shoes to wear, what to eat for breakfast, where to shop. All minute details that don’t seem to matter. Until I changed the color of my lips and it got people talking.

Making It Work

In choosing to wear the same color for an entire, I realized I would have to realistic about it, which is why I came up with these brief guidelines:

  • If I’m wearing makeup, I have to wear red lipstick.
  • The lipstick doesn’t have to be bold every wear. Instead, I can apply it to varying degrees depending on the method. For example, applying it on the back of my hand first, then onto my lips so it appears less pigmented.
  • One day off per week. Because life happens and red is not always appropriate.

Companion Reviews

Since I don’t typically do beauty product reviews on this blog, I will be writing reviews over at Beauty Shy, my up-unti-recently neglected beauty blog. The layout is brand new and new reviews will be added on a weekly basis. That way, if you see a color you like, you can pop on over and find out my thoughts!

What Do You Think?

Would you do it? Think I’ll make it? Interested to see how it will turn out?

About Courtney Mirenzi

Courtney Mirenzi is the voice behind Those Graces. She has been named one of the 50 Most Fashionable People in Boston, one of The Boston Globe's Top Bloggers and favorite human of one of her cats. She loves red lipstick, hiking and traveling. (Find out more.)


  1. I’m fascinated to see what you’ll find in this experiment – like you say, these ‘little’ choices have a surprising impact and I think they need to be thought about much more. I went through a coral lipstick phase and loved it, but the maintenance was just too much! I also found that people looked at me just a little longer than they otherwise might, and I always felt self-conscious, as if I was projecting to the world that I was trying to look pretty, and was prepared to put effort into that. And then I wonder, is that a good or a bad thing? Is bold lipstick a statement of individuality (it definitely takes boldness!), or of being enslaved to beauty?

    • Very true–such a seemingly stupid/silly thing like lipstick color shouldn’t matter as much as it does, but alas, it’s does make a huge difference!

      Lipstick is SO high maintenance, but there are some brands that make it easy. I never fathomed I would spend $26 on a Nars lip pencil, but alas they are AMAZING.

      I think makeup is so fascinating. Everyone is bound to have an opinion.

  2. We’re obsessed with red lips here at StyleUp! A great finishing touch to any outfit, really. Good luck with the challenge :)

  3. OH! And good luck with the year challenge. I can’t imagine that it sparked so much conversation! So interesting there was such a reaction. looking forward to seeing what other reds you discover.

  4. ooooohhhh! i love the name Beauty Shy! that is totally me. i really only recently started dabbling in makeup so i definitely feel i have been beauty shy!

  5. Wow! What can I say. I’m impressed! I’m still wearing red lipstick now that my challenge is over, but it was such a lot of work remembering to reapply that I’ve gone the opposite direction recently. I’ve barely been wearing any makeup at all, and on my lips just some tinted glass. I’m surprised that you got such a reaction from your lipstick that you’ve decided to continue. My own challenge led to believe that people liked the color on me and found it glamorous, but not anything any deeper than that.

    • We’ll see how it goes! I kept thinking about it this morning and had this thought about how people always reference, “You need 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert!” Well, I may not have 10,000 hours of applying red lipstick by the end of the year, but I think it will be safe to say that I’ll be pretty damn good at it (I hope).

      It’s an interesting project, I think. Maybe I’ll find something, maybe I’ll find nothing. And yes, you do look fab in the red lipstick :)


  1. […] months ago, I brazenly and a bit haphazardly declared that I would be wearing red lipstick (almost) every day for a year. How did I do? Well, I gave up in July so I guess I failed but not before learning a few lessons […]

  2. [...] As a teen, I was almost always comfortable with being uncomfortable. I found ways to stand out, not necessarily in how I dressed, but through my strong opinions on everything from sex education to vegetarianism. To the people who loved me and those who did not, I was the loudmouthed feminist wearing cat knee socks at Catholic school. However, somewhere along the way, I let go of my rebellious spirit and fell into the world of being comfortable, not because I didn’t know who I was, but it was some how easier to just give up rebelliousness. Until I decided to wear lipstick for a year. [...]

  3. [...] Emboldened by her one-month foray into wearing red lipstick, Courtney at Those Graces is going to attempt wearing it for a full year. We red lipstick wearers have enticed another into our coven, muahahaha! Those Graces. [...]

Speak Your Mind


You may also like . . .