Leaning over the clear glass counter, I looked over the lipstick options. My fingers tapped on thet glass. Oh, the pressure of finding the right lipstick!
I thought I was going to buy a plum or mauve, but the woman came around from behind the counter and pulled out a bold red with a cool undertone. “This one.”
“Uh, I don’t wear red a lot.” I was doubtful. The woman came a step closer and said, “You’ve got to wear red with confidence. It will help you be more confident.”
I applied a bit of the sample and examined the results in the wear. Yea, it was a boost from the normal medium pink I wore.
Disclaimer: I was in a bit of a career crisis at the time, pivoting form one field to another and my confidence was at an all-time low. I needed some confidence in a bad way! If buying a lipstick could help me boost my energy, I was in.
Think it was simply a sales pitch? Perhaps. But, to her credit, she found a red that worked for me and I ended up becoming a tried and true red lipstick lover!
And when I started studying color psychology, I discovered she was right. Red really does boost our confidence.
Color psychology is about how people respond to colors, what they feel and react to. For many people, red says power and sensuality.
People associate red with authority (as with a stop sign or fire engine truck. Million dollar red lipstick has been associated with sensuality for a long time as well.
But consider the ways red adds to joyful confidence and energy: apples, red rainboots and leaves turning red. These warm reds are signs of winter coming. Autumn, at least in the northern hemisphere, is a very industrious and busy time of year. We come out of the slumber and relaxed posture of summer and get back into getting busy and productive before the celebratory month of holidays hits.
8 Ways to Have Fun with Red
Instead of going through the different archetypes as I’ve done on previous posts, I thought I’d change things up and give you ten ways you can incorporate red into your business and personal life with some fun. Red is such a bold color, many of us don’t play with it as we should.
Everyone can play with red. It’s all about getting the right red for your seasonal archetype – if you’re wearing it- or for the impression you want in your work/business.
Whether it’s sensual, powerful or industrious, one thing we can all agree is that red brings an energy with a punch that few other colors do with such pizazz.
- Use red to boost confidence.
Just like in my own story, try a red lipstick! For guys, wear a tie with some red in it.
You could also have fun with red with a scarf or nail polish or a red purse or pair of shoes. Sometimes a little goes a long way. That one accessory or cosmetic decision can infuse confidence helping you act like you want to be.
Note that we all can wear red, it’s about getting the right shade. Some of us look fabulous with a bright, million-dollar red while other people look best in a Merlot red, sultry shade.
- Choose red to draw attention to something.
Bright red summer tomatoes are so happy and confident. Instead of the usual bananas in a fruit bowl, fill up a bowl with summer tomatoes and place it on the middle of the table for a summer look.
You can do this in the office too. Bring in a bowl or red fruit for the meeting. Wrap up packs of gum in red ribbon. Small pops of bright color can lift energy (and moods!).
You may not want to create an entire business brand with red, but how would red add to your product line? Here’s a few ideas on how businesses took red with a single product or line to add fun (and bring attention) to their brand.
- Add warm reds as part of the decor.
I have a friend who painted one wall of their kitchen in red. It was impressive, but I think most of us aren’t up for that much red. Perhaps a door painted red or some art work or throw rugs in a warm red.
- Add red for romance.
I’m not talking about relational status here! Romance can be associated with relational love, but it doesn’t need to be.
The definition of romance is, “a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement or remoteness from everyday life. (n)” and “a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.”
Who doesn’t need a bit more of that kind of romance?
Buy the red purse, paint the nails red, give red flowers to a friend for no reason, buy the red and white striped shirt and make a bright red cherry pie.
When I order products from Clarins, I not only get what I ordered, but samples and fun paper! It’s so fun to open their packages. The red adds a bit of mystery and excitement that doesn’t happen every day. Love the way companies keep things exciting for their customers.
- Buy red flowers to perk up a room or desk. Red roses speak of passion and romance but other flowers- such as red poppies or Gerber daisies can infuse a room or work space with energy and boldness and confidence.
- Red stationary.
I love snail mail and regularly send out letters of correspondence, encouragement or thanks. I love getting stationary that stands out. Red is not an appropriate color for a sympathy or get-well card, but may be ideal. I have some Peanuts stationary featuring Snoopy sitting on top of his beloved red doghouse. It’s such a cheery and happy card.
Another idea is to add a red quote card in with snail mail or some red confetti- a pop of fun to boost someone’s day.
- Red can be a sign of celebration in the home- change up seasonal decor.
During the Christmas season, I love to pull out my red coffee cups, dish towels and other kitchen items. It gives everything a festive feel in the kitchen.
You don’t have to wait for the holidays though. Bold red coffee cups or red dish cloths are easy and affordable ways to infuse color into a neutral theme any time of the year.
- Wear a little more red in your clothes for energy.
Red can energy into your day. It can be as simple as red gloves or a scarf or a purse. I have a red purse I bring and it makes me feel so much more energy than a black purse, especially when I’m wearing navy.
Wearing red is all about finding the right undertone. Warm, orange-reds make me look very, very off while a cool based red is energizing. Stand in front of a mirror and put different shades of red next to your face to help you figure out the best red for you.
Red in Nature
Whenever I get confused about a color or just can’t find the right way I want to describe it, I’ll turn to nature. How do the seasons use this color?
In nature, we find red in birds, either in the beautifully bold red birds or in those intriguing black birds with the red spot on their wings.
Red is seen in the wild flowers of the fields in spring, in tulip fields in Europe, in berries of various shades in the northern hemisphere, in the apple trees in autumn, in carefully cultivated rose gardens.
In autumn, one final burst of energy happens before the earth settles into the hibernation of winter with a brilliant display of red leaves.
I hope this post has given you confidence and ideas to infuse a little bit of red into your day! I love the color red and enjoy finding creative ways to use it in my own life and add some fun to other people’s lives too.