As someone who is risk averse about everything, I have never really experimented with colors when it comes to makeup, specifically the lips; I play it safe and stick to the more earthy/pink tones and prefer lip gloss to lipsticks.  That said, at the back of my mind I have always wanted to get that perfect 1930s evening look – simple makeup with the right shade of red lipstick for that understated feminine and sensual look!

Being South Asian trying to find the right shade of red (not maroon or burgundy but a red) for my skin color was a problem right from the start.  Most of the makeup brands do not have red lipsticks that complement the brown complexion.   From the Chanel counter to YSL, I always got the same line, “Honey, for your complexion I would go with the darker red.”  Yeah, no… I am not looking to buy a maroon (i.e. darker red); I would like a red lipstick, please!

Finally, this past winter I was browsing the newly opened Burberry makeup counter at a Nordstrom in Chicago and was approached by one of their makeup artists.  I brushed him off when asked if I needed help and he responded with a smile, “Don’t worry I will not suggest any maroons or plum-colored lipsticks.”

I think I got the Burberry lipstick just because he said that!  Just kidding…  He actually tried three colors on me and I fell in love with the one I have right now.  Just like Goldilocks!

I am absolutely in love with the texture of this lipstick; it is smooth and goes on better than any other I have tried.

To achieve that 1930s look –

  • First, use a lip liner (I am not a big fan of lip liners, but for this look you will need one that matches the lipstick) to outline the lip and the edges.
  • Then, using a lip brush, apply the lipstick.  Using a lip brush will give you control on the coverage that you prefer.
  • To tie in the look use minimal makeup but definitely define your eyes with black (or any dark) eyeliner on the upper lid and some mascara.
  • And make sure your teeth are nice and white; red lips make your teeth stand out


The lipstick and lip liner are the only Burberry makeup products I have, but I am definitely interested in checking out their other products.  The last I heard Burberry makeup was only available in Nordstrom.  And since there isn’t a store in NYC, Burberry was planning on opening a counter in the NYC Bloomingdales.

Nusrat Shariff