A dominating headline in this year’s bid for president: For the first time in American history, a woman nominee represented a major party in the election. Maybe that’s what prompted some to focus on her looks and wardrobe instead of her policy and plans. Of course, with a public service career more than 30 years in the making, there’s more to Clinton than her coiffed hair and makeup. But, in the same way that her signature pantsuit inspired and mobilized supporters, something about her powerful lipstick also struck a chord — and not just because it’s an awfully pretty shade of vibrant berry. “I know, I know, don't focus on the female candidate's appearance,” wrote Reddit user BeepsSweepsCreeps a month back. “But her lipstick was such a gorgeous shade! Anyone know what it was, or any dupes?” Reddit user Musicmuse1122 noted that it was “vibrant, sophisticated, and powerful,” before adding, “and if I buy it, will I turn into a fearless advocate for women's rights? (Moderately serious.)” In fact, through the ups and downs of the election year, the shade became a comforting constant. No matter how many curveballs the campaign threw at Clinton, she showed up, day after day, unflappable and wearing that power lipstick. Even today, after a surprising upset, she strode out on stage, bright and strong as ever — with that impeccable lip to match.
This isn’t the first time a bold lip has made a statement. Back in 1912, when women were fighting for the right to vote, makeup mogul Elizabeth Arden and 15,000 other women marched while wearing scarlet lips as a symbol of fortitude. And those doing humanitarian work today report a similar sentiment. Brita Fernandez Schmidt, executive director of Women for Women International UK, notes that in the wake of the Bosnian war, those in the field found that in addition to financial support and training, women “told us they wanted lipstick,” she says. “For them it was an act of defiance and an expression of their strength and beauty.” So, maybe there’s more to Clinton’s signature lip color — which we can finally and exclusively confirm is Votre Vu Champs-éLIPsée Lip Crayon in Spark, according to the brand's publicist, who is a friend of Clinton's makeup artist. And if donning a strong lip empowers us to continue her crusade for women’s rights (and whatever other daily challenges we face), then pass the Spark. Because whether we find it in a lipstick or elsewhere, our strength as women is as resolute today as ever.