Sartorial Observer: Use a pretty pout to complement your look

The first weeks on campus seem to be the height of fashion and street style. First-years come dressed to impress and upperclassmen return with updated wardrobes and new looks that may pay homage to their summers: a new pair of printed fabric shorts from a trip to Tanzania or a novel appreciation for the grungy-chic look that London natives put together so well. But when the pressures of classes arise, when our ears are no longer fazed by the nerd bell or when even coffee can’t keep us awake, students begin to trade their stylized outfits for dull, boring looks.

I chatted with Kathy Quezada ’14 last weekend about her lipstick arsenal. I first met Quezada at a New York City send-off party for the  Class of 2014. Upon walking into the event hall I noticed her at once. My eyes were drawn to Quezada – not because she was wearing a lovely dress or bold Gucci frames. Rather, I was drawn to her bright red pout. Three years later, I still love how this fashionista  always complements each outfit with a striking shade of lipstick.

Whether you are going all-out glam or just trying to make a statement for class, lipstick is the perfect way to total up any outfit.  Lipstick is not for a particular girl or specific event. Quezada thinks that every girl can wear lipstick. “We can all wear lipstick and still wear whatever else we want, as long as it’s not gym clothes,” she said. “Lipstick adds to a look. Today I saw a girl wearing beautiful pastel pink pants and a beautiful blue top, and thought, ‘Why couldn’t she add a shade of pink lipstick to her outfit?’ It’s like wearing shoes or a bracelet, same idea … but it’s just lipstick.” I think Quezada is right on: It’s an effortlessly upbeat, happy and modern accessory. There’s a shade for every outfit – for your neon-colored shift dress, for your all-black tailored look and for your bold-printed blazer.

Here’s a list of Quezada’s practical advice for wearing lipstick:

1. Wearing lipstick is a mindset. It’s such a bold look, and it draws attention. Bleeding lipstick and looking like a clown isn’t that fun, so always remember that precision is key; it’s what makes lipstick beautiful. Using a pencil will help you color inside the lines. Sometimes, I use a lip brush.

2. Use of concealer around the lips will help to bring out the color and create definition.

3. At night, take off your lipstick as you would your make-up. You need to take care of your lips. Exfoliate them. Lipsticks can dry out your lips, so use chapstick regularly. Also, if you don’t like the matte feeling, apply gloss to the lips before applying lipstick.

4. Always carry around lipstick options. You never know when you will be in the mood for a different color.

Now we’re  all ready to make even bolder fashion statements. Start with a drugstore brand such as Revlon. Once you’ve mastered the art of precision, Quezada recommends splurging on brands like MAC, Yves Saint Laurent, Smashbox and NARS.

The hottest lipstick shades for this fall include electric red, matte pink, nude, classic red, orange and purple. I recommend pairing an electric red color with a minimal look or going with an orange lip and an orange blouse or pant.

As problem set and paper due dates approach, don’t neglect your style. Instead, use a shade of lipstick to make your mark.