Shiseido's Dick Page Explains the Key to a Perfect Red Lip: Attitude

Dick Page - Getty - P 2016
Dick Page - Getty - P 2016

“People get hung up on the right red for your skintone or hair color, but it’s really attitude," he said during the brand's Marche Rouge Rouge event.

New York Fashion Week is a bit steamier than usual (who wants to break out their new fall clothes when it’s 92 degrees?), so it seemed an ideal moment to ask makeup artist Dick Page: What advice would he give to ladies at the Emmy Awards next week if L.A. experiences a similar heat wave?

“Keep it simple, try and stay cool, walk slowly and stay in the shade where you can,” he said. “Then again, as Catherine Zeta-Jones said to me a long time ago, ‘That’s what you get paid for.’” Another favorite diva? Isabella Rossellini, whom Page admires because “she looks like she knows she has 12 hours before she has to be at the event, but the last 15 minutes is all she needed — she washed her hair, combed it back and put on red lipstick and big jewelry, and she looks amazing,” he said. “To me, the easier it looks, the more inviting it is.”

The in-demand Page — he designed the beauty looks for Michael Kors, Narciso Rodriguez, Self-Portrait and Maria Cornejo this season — took time off from the show schedule Friday evening to host Marche Rouge Rouge, Shiseido’s celebration of its 16-shade red lip collection. Designed as a Japanese open-air market, the pop-up experience at Hester Street Fair was awash in everyone’s favorite power color, from red-hued Japanese lucky cats as souvenirs to red sangria and rouge-toned custard tarts.

A passionate foodie fond of posting Instagram photos of his cooking (a batch of kimchi was among the latest), Page also enlisted Laila Gohar of New York’s Sunday Supper to create food powders to sprinkle on the “popsicles” crafted of real fruit. Shiseido Rouge Rouge lip colors were also served up throughout the bazaar, some with seductive names like “Crime of Passion” and “Liaison.”

Page was named artistic director of Shiseido in 2007. A native-born Brit who has lived in the U.S. since the early ‘90s and regularly travels in Europe and Asia for work, he brings a global perspective to the classic red lip. “The red I grew up with was kind of punky, the idea of girls in nightclubs and bars,” he explained. “America has a history of a red-lipstick culture that goes back to Hollywood, while the European attitude is a little more rough and tough, a little more biker chick. In Japan, a lot of women once equated it with older women, though I think they’re coming around to it differently now. I love that red can exist in all these spectrums.”

His advice for the perfect red lip? Simply have fun with it. “Personality is the key word,” Page said. “People get hung up on the right red for your skintone or hair color, but it’s really attitude. Think of it as an accessory of your personality, just as you would buy clothes or a handbag or a pair of shoes. I could take Poppy, for example, my brightest, hardest red, and give that to 20 different women, and the result would be 20 different looks. It can be sexy, it can be polished, or it can be a warning or an invitation. In other words, it’s whatever you want it to be.”