Madonna’s new signature lip color? It’s Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge

Madonna’s new MDNA Tour is packed with numbers that will keep anyone guessing what’s next. But our focus is on her makeup: Check out what she’s wearing on stage and get tips from her makeup artist.

Madonna wearing Aqua Rouge

Sometimes a good lip color takes months or even years to formulate. Just in time for Madonna’s new MDNA Tour comes a lip color that you can’t take your eyes off: It’s that mesmerizing.

Aqua Rougue

Gina Brooke, who has been a longtime makeup artist to Madonna, is the perfect person to identify and create an iconic new lip color that will make heads turn. She spilled the beans about the partnership with Make Up For Ever, where she created an iconic red lip for arguably the most iconic pop figure of our time. Aqua Rouge ($24) is now in stores and you’ll be seeing Madonna on stage wearing the glossy, come hither #8 shade, which was created specifically by Brooke for the performer.

The best part about this lip color is not just the fact that it’s glossy and red. “This shade looks gorgeous on everyone,” says Brooke. “The pigments are so strong that all you see is color, with no undertones.” With a lot of lipsticks, you can see some undertone of color, and this is because the pigments are not that strong. Aqua Rouge is breathtaking in its vigor. The #8 color is a leap-off-the-page red. It’s so easy NOT to miss. All you see is the lip color, and in this aspect, it’s not unlike a pair of Louboutin red soled heels.

It’s interesting to note that Brooke has focused more on Madonna’s eyes than her lips the past few tours. The reason for this is because Madonna absolutely loves makeup for her eyes, from the eyeliner (to get a perfect cat eye) to the mascara. But this time, Brooke wanted the spotlight to be on the star’s great pout. “No matter what, Madonna has the final say,” says Brooke when we asked her how the red shade came to be, but she knew the iconic red lip was a must for MDNA.

Aqua Rouge is a double-ended wand, which gives you a thick red lip on one side and clear gloss on the other. Brooke advises you to apply the red lipstick carefully and then top it off with one layer of gloss so that your lipstick is completely budge proof. How do you take it off? Simply use a waterproof makeup remover to take it off (yes, it’s that kind of makeup).

The new Aqua Rouge line comes in 12 shades that range from the prettiest purple to the beigest brown. In addition to the #8 lip shade, Brooke used the following products on Madonna for her MDNA Tour:

Most of Madonna’s makeup changes during her performances need to be done in 1.5 minutes, sometimes two minutes, so Brooke has to be lightning quick. She often uses her fingers to blend. You can use the Aqua Rouge on your lips to make you look “more strong, more elegant” says Brooke. It simply won’t budge. If you don’t want a glossy, too patent-leather-shiny effect, apply the lip color only without the clear gloss.

Of course the “gloss looks better on the stage,” says Brooke, but both “matte and gloss” look great. Madonna definitely prefers the glossy look. The finish of the lipstick is great and it is very moisturizing, too. Use a liner first and then the lip color, to get a “pouty lip,” says Brooke.

Make Up For Ever worked on the formula for three years and focused on the iconic red lip shade for six to eight months until they got it just right.

Brooke doesn’t like a “perfect face” because she says it’s very easy to create. “I prefer a face that’s imperfect.” Love your features, especially the nose that stands out a little or a big forehead because these are the traits that make you who you are, she advises. Even with models who have acne or psoriasis, etc., Brooke uses the power of makeup to conceal and make them beautiful, while letting them embrace their imperfections. “I want women to focus on what they love about themselves.”

Regarding the red lip shade that she created for the MDNA Tour, Brooke admits, “I didn’t want it to be a white skin, orange skin kind of lipstick,” says Brooke. “I wanted it to be universal.”

Our verdict

The Aqua Rouge is a killer lipstick line that really is solid and budge proof. Most other lipsticks we’ve tried that promise such longevity are very drying on the lips, but not this one! The texture is creamy and even, and it goes on beautifully. Choose to go matte or layer it with the gloss sealant — this is one versatile wand that’s as iconic as MDNA.

More beauty reads

How to make a statement with red lipstick
Favorite red lip shades
How to apply lipstick that lasts

Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images