Lipstick instantly transforms you. You know it, I know it, and celebrities certainly know it. That is why lipstick has become an essential part of their signature makeup looks. Red lipstick is forever linked with classic beauty icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, and their scarlet red pouts still continue to inspire many women. Today’s celebrities still use lipstick to create their iconic looks, but there is much more variety in modern lipstick choices. Some celebs still select a signature shade and are so committed to it, you would think that they are contractually-bound to each other. The more adventurous ones prefer to experiment with different shades–bright, gothic, pale or bold, no lipstick color is off limits, and they look great in all of them, naturally.
These are the 10 modern celebrity lipstick icons who will inspire you to put down that lip balm, and reach for that lipstick tube:
Taylor Swift is a very strong contender for the modern red lipstick icon award. She is extremely dedicated to her Old Hollywood red lippy. She even remembers to apply it post-workout. Her current shade of choice is “Dragon Girl” by NARS, so add that to your Sephora wishlist.
Style chameleon Rihanna likes to experiment with different lip colors as much as she does different haircuts and clothes. She has gone through countless different phases including shocking pink, nude, burgundy–eve blue. And she looks stunning in all of them. No wonder she has an ongoing MAC collaboration.
Kim Kardashian may experiment with a dark, vampy lip once and awhile, but it is her flattering nude lip, with just a touch of shine that is her staple. It’s an essential part of her makeup routine along with mile long lashes and contoured cheeks.
There is no shade of lipstick too bright for Kelly Osbourne. She loves a statement lip whether it is a neon lilac, Barbie pink or a more subdued matte apricot from her MAC collection.
It’s no surprise that Lancôme made Lupita Nyong’o the face of their latest ad campaign. In addition to having a radiant complexion that has probably never had a zit, Lupita makes the same bold fashion choices with her lipstick as she does with her wardrobe.
Some celebrities go through different beauty phases so quickly, that it is difficult to keep up. Not Gwen Stefani. She has been sporting a red lip since her No Doubt days. At this point, I am convinced that her lips are permanently stained that vivid scarlet red, and she actually doesn’t need to apply any makeup.
Katy Perry favors a magenta lipstick, but likes to play around with other colors too, like this black cherry shade. Even when she’s going for darker lips, there is always a sense of playfulness with her makeup.
Dita Von Teese is the modern day, raven-haired Marilyn Monroe. She makes a strong case for lip liner (and for investing in a set of hot rollers). Her ruby red lipstick is pure Old Hollywood, and is in a league of its own compared with today’s modern lipstick wearers.
Rita Ora probably isn’t too happy that I already compared Dita to Marilyn Monroe. While Dita has a definite retro look, Rita has modernized the classic red lip. She makes subtle changes by experimenting with matte finishes and more orange-y shades to create a look that is her own.
10. Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato appears to choose a new lipstick for every hair color. And she isn’t afraid of edgy shades or clashing her lipstick with her rainbow-colored hair. The bolder the shade, the better (for lips and tresses).
(Photos: Getty Images, WENN, Instagram)