The Full Story Behind Taylor Swift’s Signature Red Lip, And Why She Wasn’t Super Down At First

Taylor Swift in Bejeweled music video from Midnights
(Image credit: YouTube/Taylor Swift)

Taylor Swift is known for a lot of things, whether it’s her record-breaking albums, her expansion into directing, heck, even Swift’s cats are famous. She's also well known for all her fabulous looks, which include her signature red lip some of the time. While it seems like the singer has always had that color, that isn’t the case, she had to be convinced to wear it at first. Now we have the full story.

It may be hard to believe, but in the early days of her career, Taylor Swift didn’t rock the color red. In an interview with Elle Australia, founder of beauty brand Westman Atelier, Gucci Westman, explained the origin of the “classic red lip thing,” and said that she’s to thank for it:

Yeah, I've worked [with Taylor Swift], many times. I haven't worked with her in quite a while, but I used to work with her, and I remember I was the first one to give her a red lip.

I really can’t imagine Swift not wearing red, even though she did look great when her first album came out. While she can obviously look good in anything, there is just something about the red lips that look so great on her. And Gucci Westman had the right idea to go for a bold choice.

The reason for the red lip, Westman explains, was for the cover of Allure back in 2009. Apparently, it did take some convincing since the country princess did not do red, and the artist had to ask Swift's mom for permission to do a red lip, because the singer was still a teen at the time. Westman said:

She'd never worn a red lip. When the red lip happened, I had to get permission by her mum [Andrea Swift]. I said, 'Well, Taylor needs to try red.'

Now almost 15 years later, Taylor Swift constantly wears red lipstick at award shows and in music videos. She even named a whole album after the color Red. If it wasn’t for Gucci Westman and Andrea Swift, who knows what signature look the mega-successful singer would have these days. I have no doubt that she would have still made some big statements, but not as big as the bold red. 

While Taylor Swift’s eras are all different and distinct, she has still managed to bring back her red lips one way or another. Of course, though, it was much more prominent for her appropriately titled Red album in 2012. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if she started wearing some maroon-colored lipstick for her upcoming tour since she has a song called “Maroon,” that fans have speculated is a more mature version of “Red.” It’s just one of the many Swift theories that fans have, and I can’t say I blame them.

With the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) in 2021, fans were reintroduced to the full-on red lips, and it was like nothing had changed, except for the 10 Minute Version of “All Too Well.” Obviously, Swift has rocked the red before and after the rerecord, but it just felt like it was perfect, and as she prepares for more rerecords and the Eras Tour, I can’t wait to see what other looks she has in store that will no doubt be iconic.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.