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Yaba red lip

August 27, 2013: The first time I wore red lipstick
Photo Credit: Ann Blake


by: Yaba Blay

It wasn’t until I graduated from college and started getting my hair braided at a shop owned and operated by Senegalese women that I began to appreciate bright colors on dark skin. No matter what time of year I entered that shop those sisters were wearing sunshine. Bold, bright, and full of life. Nobody can rock electric blue, hot pink, golden yellow, ruby red and any other color of the kaleidoscope like we can. Nobody. So why do so many of us who wear dark skin avoid wearing bright lip colors?

Growing up, I learned two things about red lipstick – only fast girls wore it and I was too dark for it. I avoided it for both reasons. I didn’t wear bright lipstick in general, choosing to wear neutrals and earth tones instead because somewhere along the line I also learned that those were the colors that best suited my complexion; colors that wouldn’t draw attention to my skin tone. (more…)

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