'A blue ribbon on the boy and a pink on the girl, French fashion, so you can always tell."
There is nothing gender neutral about the colour pink. Louisa May Alcott, whose novel Little Women contains the quote above, knew that in the 1860s. Blue for boys and pink for girls, that's just the way it goes.
From bubblegum to cerise, baby to shocking, pink has become a colourful symbol of femininity. It's the colour we females are dressed in when we're first swaddled as babies, and it's the colour the fashion world seems intent on keeping us in season after season. From pink dresses for little girls, to brighter, more daring pink ensembles for adults (neon pink Christopher Kane dress anyone?) the colour is intrinsically linked with females.
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But do we all really love pink as much as the gender stereotype would suggest? Do we paint our bedrooms cerise? Do we hang frilly candy floss-coloured lace curtains at our windows, and do we only wear pink skirts, pink shoes and pink pants? No, thought not.
Pink isn't even most women's favourite colour. It's certainly not mine. Which is probably why for my entire make-up wearing life I've paid little attention to pink lipstick (I've always been a cerise red kind-of-gal). A pink pout always seemed to me to be the ultimate expression of girly behaviour, and I have never been wholly comfortable with it.
Recently though, a new breed of deep pink lipsticks (somewhere between shocking and ruby on the spectrum), has caught my eye. They seem less frivolous, less saccharine, and I like that.
Here are my tops picks: Tom Ford Lip Colour in Flamingo (£36); Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie (£7.99): Giorgio Armani Lipstick in Vita (£25) at House of Fraser; Clinique Almost Lipstick in Flirty Honey (£16).