From Marilyn Monroe to Jessica Chastain, the scarlet mouth has long exuded a powerful impression of glamour and sexuality. In today’s animated beauty shot from Sharif Hamza, Victoria’s Secret bombshell Toni Garrn’s full lips drip with rich, sticky gloss painted on by uber-makeup artist and Burberry Beauty Creative Consultant, Wendy Rowe. To accompany the clip, bestselling writer Camilla Morton—Harper’s Bazaar contributor and author of several books including How to Walk in High Heels—has provided some sage words on the power of the crimson pout from the late Isabella Blow, taken from her interview with the editor and muse that took place in London almost exactly ten years ago...
“I’m not well known for having perfect lips—some lips need to be painted… I mean that’s how you get seduced isn’t it? They normally have to kiss you—even if it’s only for a second—in order to get what they want. I actually think I look like a disaster with my teeth, but someone once said I always look like I’m in the process of kissing, the whole time. Well the eyes are meant to be the mirror to your soul and the mouth is the sex—so I like both. Soul and sex.
What is good taste? [With lipstick] not only does it have to taste good: it has to look good, it has to feel good and it has to attack all your senses. It’s a feeling, it’s like fucking—does it feel good? Well, it should do. Taste is really about putting together the right ingredients; it goes from foot to knee and then up and up, obviously to accentuate your best bits—it’s like a building, you have to get your silhouette right. You have to know your silhouette, and then work with it, this erotic, intimate relationship... I’m obsessed with this guy who does the Worth corsets, mad about him, they turn me on: corsets and lipsticks. If I’ve put my lips on, it just makes me feel alive—makes you feel like you could get into a bit of soixante neuf. But of course lipstick is actually very inconvenient, ‘cause when you kiss somebody you look like Noddy by the time you’re done, ‘cause you’ve got it all over your mouth; or you look like a bad Christmas present.
What is the most potent colour? Red. Some people say to me ‘Oh God, when are you going to stop wearing red?’ the thing is, I love red. I like a Whore Red, a 50s red, a Tamara-de-Lempicka-kind-of red. But not always… it depends on your mood. Lipsticks can totally lift my mood, though I hate those lipsticks that are earthy and brown like shit. I don’t like looking like I’ve got a mouth full of that. See, it can really alter your whole composition.
Iconic lips? Well, there are Dali’s famous red lips, obviously Madonna is obsessed with her mouth, Isabelle Adjani in La Reine Margot, when she’s going round fucking all these boys at the masque for the feast of Henri IV, that mouth is just… Sue Webster has what I would call an underestimated mouth; Karen Elson, there’s a good mouth; Daphne Guinness, Catherine Deneuve, and, I think, Monica Belluci have incredible mouths.
I do think it is important to draw attention to your lips. I feel more confident with my lips on… I must be super matte, not a doormat!”
As told to Camilla Morton, in Make Up Forever, South Molton Street, May 2003.