Shiseido's Spectrum of Red Lipsticks

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Styling by Lu Philippe Guilmette

The Japanese brand's launch of 16 different shades of red means that your search for the perfect pigment may well be over

TextOlivia SingerPhotographic EditorHolly HayPhotographyMathilde Agius

Shiseido Rouge Rouge, Poppy

16 shades, 0.14 oz

Much is made of the importance of sourcing the perfect red lipstick: it is the sort of conundrum that has borne endless glossy magazine pages, seemingly infinite cosmetic launches. Are the undertones to your complexion pink, or yellow? Do you prefer a retro or avant-garde pout? Ought you layer different hues, employ a corresponding liner, apply with a brush or straight from the bullet? These are the sorts of questions that we are led to believe might plague our lives if we don't find the ideal shade, texture and finish all contained within one waxy tube. Luckily, Shiseido – the Japanese company whose first cosmetic, developed in 1897, was a red lotion called Eudermine and thus have a particular investment in the shade – have created a series of 16 different permutations of the colour as a solution to your searching: the Rouge Rouge collection.

Rouging one's mouth is, of course, a historic activity: everyone from the Mayans to the flappers have applied some sort of pigment to their lips. "Touch the lips slightly with a lip-stick, but do not make your mouth look like raw beef," instructed the New York Times in 1912, just as the sort of tube familiar to us today arrived on the market (formerly, creating a lipstick was more of a DIY job) – and these days, social media facilitates such a breadth of tutorials that nobody could ever claim to be under-resourced in the instructional arena. But what use are such tips if you cannot find your ideal hue? Fortunately, with 16 to choose from – ranging from the vivid Ruby Copper to a classic, clear Poppy – your search may well be over. You're welcome.

Hair Hiroshi Matsushita; Make-up Dele Olo; Model Aj at Milk