Karmetria Burton, the director of supplier diversity for Delta Air Lines, is encouraging women to unleash the girl boss within them for her new campaign “Paint Your Lips Red.”
The movement utilizes social media platforms to spread awareness on a number of issues affecting women. According to the Houston native, the steps to join the campaign are simple. Participants simply need to snap a photo of themselves wearing their favorite shade of red lipstick and post the image on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #paintyourlipsred.
Burton shares her long-term plans to reach 10,000 women globally in the new year and eventually host an official “Paint Your Lips Red” day.
Check out what she had to say below.
What led you to launch the “Paint Your Lips Red” campaign?
It’s a funny story. I was actually in Oklahoma City getting ready to judge a scholarship pageant for girls getting ready for college. I was getting my hair and makeup done like usual when I’m speaking in front of people and the makeup artist asked, “What color lip do you want to wear today?” I said very casually, “red!” I’ve always worn red lipstick so this was not a new choice for me. I just hadn’t worn it in a while. Once I was done getting dressed, I look in the mirror and said, “Wow!” It was like magic happened. That tagline for the movement is actually “Paint your lips red and watch the magic happen.”
I started to do research and saw Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor, Phylicia Rashād, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama. I realized that at some point in their careers, they all wore red lipstick. A red lipstick is classic and goes with any color skin tone. It’s a staple that every woman, in my opinion, should have. When I got back home I started a challenge where women would take a picture, paint their lips red, hashtag the photo, and tell how it made them feel.
What was it about wearing red lipstick that gave you more confidence?
I had a different swagger about myself for some reason. I felt empowered, enabled and poised. I was ready. Usually, I am confident on any given day but that day was different. I went about the day interacting with the girls and for some reason, I received an unusual number of compliments. It’s like they immediately noticed the greater sense of awareness that I was experiencing. I attribute it all to the red lipstick. When I got back to the room I called a few of my girlfriends and said, “Hey! When you were red lipsticks what happens to you?” Hands down all my girlfriends said when they wear red lipstick it’s on.
How do you think men perceive women when they wear red lipstick?
I did a photo shoot when I launched this campaign and I had on a red skirt, white shirt, and a red tie. I captioned the photo “A Woman’s Power Red Lip Is Equivalent to a Man’s Power Red Tie.” When a man has on a red tie, he is showing up for business. I want women to feel that same sense of importance. Now, I’ve had a few people tell me that when men see them wear red lipstick they are intimidated. Although, I haven’t had that conversation or experience.
How was the response when you began the challenge on social media the first time around?
In about two weeks I had about 60 women rise to the occasion. I started getting pictures from women in Hawaii, the Bahamas and all over the U.S., I started posting all these shades to help women find the right color lip for their skin tone. I also posted the top 10 red lipsticks that every woman should try. So many women were saying I love the campaign, but I don’t know where to buy it or how to match the right color. I’ve really just been a source of information and inspiration through this “Paint Your Lips Red” campaign.
Have you been inspired by any “red lipstick” stories?
I had one woman tell me that her mother was sick and dying of cancer, but without fail every morning before she took her medication and hopped out of bed she said, “Give me my red lipstick!” I loved it because it was like her sense of courage to get through her day of pain ad sickness.
Can you tell us some of your favorite lipsticks that you can’t live without?
My go-to lipstick is “Ruby Woo” by MAC cosmetics. Every time I wear it I get a high-five from my sister friends. The shade is appealing on women of all races. A red lipstick is already bold, so you have to be comfortable in how you wear it. I also like “Jungle Red” by NARS and “Very Cherry” by Maybelline. The shades are affordable and really fit my complexion.
Have you set a goal for how many women you hope to reach?
I would love to reach 10,000 women globally. The movement will equip women to become more aware while preparing the next generation of female leaders. I not only want to create an awareness of leadership but also in areas across the board that affects women.
What are your future plans for expanding the brand?
I am trying to move the campaign to a luncheon or a day of empowerment for women. The campaign is simple. The purpose is to empower, equip, create awareness and become a daily reminder for women to use their voice. We want them to be bold and authentic.
Ultimately, I am looking for someone to create a shade of red just for my campaign. I want to have a national “Paint Your Lips Red” day for women. It would also give the makeup artist and distributor visibility for the products they’ve created.