Stylist Micaela Erlanger on finding her true color.

Lupita Nyong’o, Erlanger, and Michelle Dockery photographed by Mary Rozzi for The Hollywood Reporter, March 21-28, 2014

My Aunt Nancy always had red nails and, as a kid, visiting her in New York city was a treat.

One day, my parents dropped me off at her apartment — I’d stay there when they were going to the theater or wherever — and my cousin was watching me.

We spent the entire evening painting my nails and toes, and putting on makeup.

I was around five years old at the time, and I’ll never forget when my mom came to pick me up. She thought it was kind of amusing; it’s not that she minded me getting dolled up, but it meant her little girl was growing up.

Top: Erlanger (far right) with her sister and Aunt Nancy; bottom: Erlanger’s Aunt Nancy in a red lip; photographs courtesy of Micaela Erlanger

Ever since then, red nails and red lips have been my signature look.

I do not wear any other color, and Aunt Nancy still sends me makeup palettes for Hanukkah.

I put red lipstick on, and nothing else matters.

Hungover, feeling like crap, having a bad hair day — I don’t care. A swipe of red lipstick, and I know I’ll be okay.

— as told to The Thick

Did you see? Rachel Zoe, Jill Lincoln & Jordan Johnson share laughs and wisdom from their years of celebrity styling, hairstylist Christine Symonds has a Mia Farrow moment.

Top: Erlanger’s sister hands her a tube of lipstick; bottom: Erlanger attempts a touch up; photographs courtesy of Micaela Erlanger