Hot Makeup Look: The Bright Lip
A very hot way to wear bright color is to wear it on the lip. Reds, pinks, and even oranges are the perfect accessory with this season’s rocker-chic looks. Do it right and be the envy of all your friends, do it wrong and look like an 80s punk rock reject. Keep reading for some tips on how to wear this look the right way.
How to successfully rock this trend:
1. Since a bright lip can be so strong, keep the rest of your makeup relatively understated. Overdoing brights can make you look like you moonlight as a clown for Ringling Bros.
2. Make sure your skin looks as picture perfect as possible. Bright colors can zero in on imperfections. Try a medium to full coverage foundation like Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation that will cover your blemishes, but lets your skin look like skin.
3. Exfoliate your lips. Sounds like a tedious and drama-queen type routine, but exfoliating your lips is as easy as rubbing a toothbrush splashed with water over your lips. Making sure your lips are as smooth as possible helps lip product adhere better to the lips. There are lip exfoliators out there (I tried one by DDF a few years back) but you can take a tiny drop of lip balm like Blistex and mix it with sugar for a DIY one.
4. Prime your lips. MAC makes a really good lip primer, but good ole Chapstick works just fine! Lip primer helps to not only moisturize the lips, but it gives lip product something to hold onto so it lasts and lasts.
5. Line your lips. Now this is where we can lose some folks—do not, I repeat, DO NOT draw a dark obvious line around your lips and then fill it in with a light lip color. That’s a major don’t. For a bright lip look, choose a liner close to your lipstick/gloss color. Doing this helps to intensify the color and then when the lipstick/gloss starts to wear off, you’ll still have a stain of color to get you by before you reapply.
Line your lips by holding the pencil parallel to your lips so that you’re actually using the sides of the pencil as opposed to the point. Trace around your natural lip line and then shade your lips inside of the line. Blend by rubbing your index finger over your lips.
6. Apply your lip color. For intense color payoff, start with a cream finish lipstick then apply a gloss in a similar shade on top. Rub your lips together, blot, and then reapply the gloss.
To get really sexy lips, also apply a clear gloss on top of your work. Then apply a very shimmery gloss to the center of your lips and gently blot.
All of these layers will help your lip color last even through drinks, but try this trick to avoid getting your handiwork all over that margarita glass: before taking a sip, lick the area of the glass where you’ll be putting your lips. This creates a barrier between your lips and the glass.
7. Confidence. This look isn’t for the faint at heart so in order to really rock it, you have to exude confidence or the color will wear YOU.
The Red Lip
First, you’ll need to choose the right red. As overwhelming as that may sound, it’s actually quite easy when you know your undertones. If your undertones are warm (there’s a yellow or golden undertone to your skin, you tan to a golden brown color, your veins are green, you look best in gold, etc.), then a red with a yellow or golden base works best. Reds to try: MAC Lipstick in Brave Red, Lady Danger, Cockney, and Lady Bug. If your undertones are cool (there’s a red or blue undertone to your skin, your veins are blue, you look best in silver, etc.) then a red with a blue base works best. Reds to try: MAC Lipstick in Russian Red, Dubonnet, Ruby Woo, MAC Red, and Viva Glam I. If you’re olive toned (neither yellow nor blue undertones) try a red with neutral undertones. Some reds to try: MAC Lipstick in Fresh Moroccan and Spice It Up!
My dark skin beauties, there’s a terrible myth out there that red lips are not for us. Don’t listen to it! I’m NW47 (in MAC foundation) and my favorite reds are MAC Dubonnet and Chanel Rogue Allure Laque in Dragon 75. If your confidence in wearing red is wanning, be sure to check out How to Rock Reds & Pinks with Confidence.
The Bright Orange Lip
Fair Skin (think Nicole Kidman or Kelly Osbourne): Try a more modest pinky-orange. Anything too dark and bright will be too much for your fair skin. Try MAC Lipstick in CB 96 or Make Up For Ever Lipstick in Pinkish Orange 403.
Medium Skin (think Sarah Jessica Parker or Rachel Bilson): Try a medium pumpkin-ish orange like MAC Lipstick in Meltdown.
Tanned Skin (think Jessica Alba or Eva Mendez): Go for a bright warm orange like Make Up For Ever Lipstick in Flourescent Orange 201.
Olive Skin (think Padma Lakshmi or Lakshmi Menon): Go for a neutral orange like MAC Lipstick in So Chaud.
Dark Skin (think Gabrielle Union or Alek Wek): Brighter hues show up so beautifully on darker skin tones, so be bold and try an orange like MAC Lipstick in Morange.
Don’t get too caught up in racial or ethnic backgrounds when it comes to skin color. People of different racial or ethnic backgrounds can have similar coloring and therefore can wear similar makeup shades. The suggestions I made above are not absolute–you can definitely try shades for a skin tone that differs from yours (for instance MAC Lipstick in Morange can be worn by a multitude of tones). The general idea is the darker your skin, the deeper and brighter you can go with your lip color.
The Bright Pink Lip
Choosing the right pink: as with its cousin red, knowing your undertones helps you pick out the right pink. If you’re warm toned, go for yellow based pinks like MAC Lipstick in Pink Noveau, Creme de la Femme, or Impassioned. If you’re cool-toned, go for blue based pinks like MAC Lipsticks in Lickable, Speed Dial, or Girl About Town. Neutral/Olive tones, go for netural pinks like MAC Lipstick in Sweetie, Hot Gossip, or Syrup. Again, the darker your skin, the brighter your lip color.
And there you have it. Go forth and get bright!