October 13, 1997 12:00 PM


For years lipstick manufacturers made faux natural high fashion. But judging from the bright red puckers of celebs including Winona Ryder, Demi Moore and Nicole Kidman, a new outbreak of scarlet fever is spreading in Hollywood. “Women want a ‘wow’ color,” says Beverly Hills makeup artist Valerie Sarnelle, whose clients include Teri Hatcher, Tori Spelling and Lisa Rinna. “Red says, ‘I’m here.’ ” Adds Cybill’s Alicia Witt, who colored her kisser the same fiery shade of red as her Valentino gown at a post-Emmy party last month: “You feel more dressed up when you wear red lipstick—but you shouldn’t wear it unless you feel really good about yourself. You can’t be having a bad hair day, because red lips draw attention to you.”

One way to balance the look is “to go really light on the eye makeup,” says Fired Up’s Sharon Lawrence. “The pop from the mouth shouldn’t compete with whatever’s going on above it.” Or one can forgo the trimmings altogether. “Red lipstick is the most flattering thing a woman has on,” says Frasier’s Peri Gilpin. “You don’t need anything else. Just a great pair of red lips and some black mascara and you’re out the door.”

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