The Red Lip

I have this pet peeve when it comes to lipstick. When you are a woman in business and talking a lot, especially at networking events, people are looking at you head to toe;  especially your lips.  I know it may seem old fashioned to think a woman must wear lipstick in the workplace, but stick with me on this. In my experience, when you have some pop on your lips people take notice and listen. If you do not have anything on your lips and are just spewing information it is easy to drift off. This may seem like an odd requirement because men don’t usually run around in red lipstick, yet can still command a room.  It’s because they give their personal presentation some oomph through their walk, diction, and yes appearance. This got me thinking about how women in business need to offer something unique when they are entering any male dominated industry. And it may start with red bottom heels, red lip, red accessories or outfit; in truth your red lip in business is what your brand or product has to offer that is done in your unique style and commands the industry that you walk into. 

Your Red Lip is actually not what you’re wearing.

Every woman is unique and that should show through her business as well. When a businesswoman walks into a networking space, which is everywhere, her style is much more than how she dresses, it is in the way she conducts herself with people, business, and in life. Their uniqueness is their red lip that shows who they are when they walk in to the room (industry) and may even hide some surprises. These women are great examples of flaunting their red lip.

Sheryl  Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Author, and Philanthropist

Her Red Lip:  Being the example of success and ‘leaning in’ to opportunities through her work at Facebook and through her non-profit organization. She has also written books that separate her from her ‘9-5 title’ and address what it is like for a woman in the workplace and supporting yourself and others to rise up. Combined she is a force for women in business and in technology, not because of what she has accomplished, but because she has made a statement: We are here and we are rising. 

Beyonce Knowles-Carter, entertainer and entrepreneur

Her Red Lip: Her stunning visuals  for her videos or performances are intricately conceived to resonate with her audience on a soul level. In business she purposefully creates opportunities for herself and other people of color that go beyond one moment.  Combined she is a walking brand that commands any space because she has spent the time to show her evolving style over the last 20+ years.

Less is still acceptable. 

There are women who do not wear make-up or in the business sense do not have the red lip flair, however are incredibly effective in their industries. When competing with the men or the red lip women in the room, it is also good to offer something that is chic, simple, and bold. We’ll call this a nude lip. Still glossy, but simpler, that does not scare away those who are looking for someone who can deliver simple approaches to their business. For instance if someone approaches a red lip they will see what the person has to offer the moment they walk into the room; on the contrary a nude lip plays coy with potential clientele and shows the basics of who they are when they walk into a room.

Example Red Lip: Hello, my name is Tomi. I offer IT solutions to government entities and corporations and have been in business for over 25 years as a minority woman owned small business.

Example Nude Lip: Hello my name is Tomi. I offer IT solutions to government entities and corporations.

The Red Lip is flaunting my accomplishment and my qualifications in two sentences where as the Nude Lip gets straight to the point and allows for further conversation.  Both are effective and attract certain types of clientele. There is no wrong way to wear your red lip, but a lady always knows how to show off her style when she speaks.

As a woman in business what color is your lip?