This moment in 2009 is why Taylor Swift wears a red lip

We’re gobsmacked

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / March 08 2023

It’s 2023 and archeologists have just discovered a 4,500-year-old Sumerian palace in Iraq that could help to establish the beginning of human civilisation. 

But somehow, that’s not the most exciting piece of history to be uncovered this year because new evidence has come to light that allows us to finally pinpoint the exact moment that Taylor Swift discovered her now signature red lip.

In January of 2009, long before Pat McGrath’s Taylor Swift collection landed, Swift was on the set of her Allure cover shoot having her makeup done by none other than Gucci Westman. 

“She'd never worn a red lip,” Westman told ELLE Australia in a far more recent interview. “When the red lip happened, I had to get permission [from] her mum [Andrea Swift].”

Swift's management strangely took issue with Westman’s choice of lipstick and told the makeup artist that “Taylor doesn't do red”. 

However, Westman insisted on the bold lip all the same and simply said, “well, Taylor needs to try red.”

In an excerpt from Allure’s 2009 interview with Swift, the singer clearly agreed with Westman’s decision, as she was reportedly heard saying “I'm excited about doing red lips — I've never done them before,” to the makeup artist. 

“Swift loved [the red lipstick] so much that Westman gave her a tube of her own,” Allure said of the pair’s first meeting. 

A few dedicated Swifties have even corroborated Westman’s unbelievable story, and one fan confirmed that “her management at the time was selling the ‘sweet innocent southern girl’, [and] red lipstick isn’t aligned with that persona to a lot of people,” via Twitter.

Another shared a detailed timeline of the singer's history with her signature shade of lipstick. 

After meeting Westman in early 2009, Swift attended the Country Music Awards on April 5th of the same year in Las Vegas wearing the same shade of red lipstick she was wearing in her Allure cover shoot. 

Image credit: Getty

Swift then spent the subsequent months that followed touring the ‘Fearless’ album and was spotted during multiple performances wearing that same red lipstick. 

But it wasn’t until 2011 that Swift swiped on the classic blue-red shade of lipstick we’ve come to know and love her for in the music video for her single “Mean”.

A few years later, in an interview with MTV News the singer shared that while she has a lot of ‘go-to’ red lipsticks, one “you can’t go wrong [with] is ‘Dragon Girl’ by NARS ($44 at MECCA). 

She also has a history with NARS’ (now discontinued) shade of lipstick — ‘Luxembourg’. 

“I heard on the radio that Hilary Duff wore Luxembourg by NARS, and so I bought Luxembourg by NARS,” she confessed. “It’s really good too.”

NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in 'Dragon Girl'

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in 'Luxembourg'

Feeling inspired by Swift’s signature lip colour? These are the red lipsticks the BEAUTYcrew team saves for special occasions. 

Main image credit: Getty

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).