Whether you’re just starting out with makeup (like me) or you’re a makeup veteran (like everyone else I know), lipstick can be a tricky beast. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when wearing bold, bright lipstick.
*Feature image via The Coveteur
A punch of bright color makes any woman look modern, confident and stylish. While we’re fans of bright lipstick, the trick is knowing how to wear them the right way. Since the colors are bold, even the smallest mistake can be spotted from miles away.
Follow these simple dos and don’ts if you’re planning on sporting bright red, purple or pink lipstick.
Watch the tutorial below then keep scrolling for the step-by-step guide to a perfect kisser.
Pick Your Favorite Shade
Pick a color that you love. | Image via StyleCaster
The most important bit of advice for pulling off bright lips is finding the right color. Contrary to popular belief, anyone can wear bright lips so don’t be shy and give one a try.
Then Find a Hue that Works for You
Now that you’ve decided to embrace the power of, say, pink lips, all you have to do next is find the right hue of pink for your skin/under tone. So how do you know which hue looks best on you?
First, consider the tone of the lipstick. Cool-toned lip colors have more blue in them and tend to look better on people with cool-toned complexions. Warm-toned lip colors have more yellow or orange in them and tend to work well on those with warm-toned skin. Confused about whether your skin’s undertone is warm or cool? Check the veins on the inside of your wrist: if they look blue, you have cool-toned skin; if they look green, you have warm-toned skin. If you can’t tell one way or another, congratulations, you have a neutral skin tone and can do whatever you like!
For more information on defining your skin/under tone, check out:
Beauty Basics: How to Define Your Skin’s Undertone
Next, consider the depth of your skin compared to the depth of the lip color. People with fair complexions may look washed out with lip colors that are too light, whereas very deep colors may not register on darker skin.
Finally, try everything. The best way to find your dream lipstick is by testing a range of different shades. Don’t feel brokenhearted if you don’t find your perfect red, orange or pink on the first try; pick another shade and try again!
In selecting the perfect bright lipstick shade for you, another thing to consider is the season. Yes, you read that right: Season. Sunny weather often calls for gloss or more natural tones, whereas winter is generally the time to bring out your vampy lipstick.
Practice makes perfect. | Image via Style Craze
It sounds cliche, but practice really does make perfect. Going from minimal lip color to a bold, look-at-me shade can be jarring at first but you’ll get the hang of it with practice. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?
Tip: Trick your brain into getting used to bright lipstick by wearing it out in low-pressure situations like getting groceries or picking up your dry cleaning. This will help you get used to wearing bright colors so that way, when you sport it for a business meeting, you won’t feel so self-conscious.
You can also start out sheer and gradually work your way up to full brightness. Simply dab your bright lip color on top on clear lip balm, then blend out with your finger or a brush. That intense color is now a gentle stain. Make it increasingly brighter as you gain confidence; you’ll be rocking intense color in no time!
Do Make Sure that Your Lips are Prepped & Primed
Get perfectly smooth, soft lips. | Image via Makeup & Beauty
Bright lip color draws attention to your lips so make sure your kisser is in perfect condition. Keep it well exfoliated by using a gentle scrub every other day to get smooth, soft lips or rub your lips with a cotton washcloth when you wash your face at night.
Do Make Sure Your Teeth are White
Pretty pearly white teeth look good with bright lippies. | Image via Bartz & Bartz Dental
If you love wearing bright lippies, it won’t hurt to whiten your teeth regularly. Bright lipsticks do not look good on yellow teeth.
Do Properly Prep Your Lips
Prep your lips properly. | Image via Jubilee Gardens
Glossy or matte? Regardless of which is your favorite finish, you’ll need to prep your lips first by applying foundation, which acts as a neutral primer, on your lips. Want it to be even better? Apply concealer on the borders of your lips to prevent the color from bleeding.
Do Embrace Lip Liner
Applying lip liner can go a long way when it comes to bright lippies. | Image via Makeup Tutorials
When applying bright lipstick, everything must look perfect–sloppy application is not an option since the tiniest mistake can be easily seen. To keep your lip color in place, you’re going to need a lip liner. Liner is key to ensuring your lip color goes on evenly, stays on for hours, and is outlined perfectly.
If you know your way around a lip liner, use contrasting liners for a cool two-toned effect or to change the shape of your lips completely (aka lip contouring). Experiment and have fun with it!
Do Try Your Best to be Precise
Regardless of what you are using to apply the color, do try to be as precise as you can. Sometimes even the best quality can look bad if it is not applied carefully. We recommend using a lip brush for exact precision.
Don’t Pile on the Lip Gloss
Over application of lip gloss actually leave the color prone to smearing. | Image via wieniawski.blogspot.com
There are girls who still believe that overly applying lip gloss on top of lipstick looks great, but let it be known that no, it’s not. It makes you look as if you’ve just eaten a whole plate of greasy food and makes your lipstick more susceptible to smearing. With that said…
Do Dab it on Where it Matters
Before you give gloss the kiss-off, hear this: a touch of gloss at the center of your bottom lip makes your pout look fuller.
Do Remove Excess Lipstick
Blot your lips with a tissue to remove excess and brush some powder over lips with tissue to make it last longer. | Image via gossipkatta.com
You can blot your lips with a tissue, or try the trick done by Johny in the video (above)–stick your index finger into your mouth and quickly pull out.
Do Make it Last Longer
Brush some loose powder over a tissue paper on your lips to set your lipstick.
Don’t Ignore the Inside Part of Your Lips
If you applied lip primer prior to using your lip color, the lipstick won’t budge and you’ll avoid uncolored patches on the inside of your lips (those hard-to-reach spots; you know what we’re talking about).
Do Tone Down the Rest of Your Makeup
It’s all about balance. | Image via stylecaster.com
This works for those days when you’re not in the mood to do a full face of makeup. All you need is a bright lippie and you’re set.
When it comes to bright lips, it’s all about balance. Bold lips plus bold eyes and full facial contouring? That’s a little bit overboard, right? Instead, keep the bright lipstick as the main feature and show off your skin. This combination compliments, rather than competes with, the bright lipstick; allowing your lips to remain the star of the show while giving you a polished, summer-ready makeup look. while also giving you a polished, summer-ready makeup look.
But if you want to take it to the next level…
Go for a smokey eye and bright light, being sure to go easy on the blush.
Pair red lipstick with light brown eyeshadows rather than dark black or purple eyeshadow.
Don’t wear red lipstick with red blush. Opt for a softer blush shade.
Make sure you don’t overstate your eyeliner and invest in a good mascara.
Don’t Be Afraid to Add Other Bright Touches
It’ll give you that extra pinch of style. | Image via Fashion MG-Style
Go all in! You can add other bright touches throughout your look, like your nail polish, a clutch, or even a dress.
Do Take Preventative Measures
Take preventive measures to keep your lipstick on. | Image via Marie Claire
You’re really rockin’ that bright lippie, so play it safe throughout the day by using a straw with your drinks and inverting your lips when putting on or taking off your top. You want to be memorable, but not for having red stains on your silk blouse.
Do Carry the Lipstick with You
Touch up for a long day. | Image via Alixe in Wonderland
Touch-ups are very important, especially when you have a long day ahead. Make it a point to carry the lipstick along with you all the time.
Don’t Overdo Animal Print with Bright Lippies
When wearing a bright lipstick, choose your outfit accordingly. Bright lipstick is bold, striking and brilliant when worn the right way. When it isn’t worn the right way, well, it kinda looks tacky and tragic. We don’t want that now, do we? Bright lippie is an attention catcher and your outfit should give way with that.
Don’t Wear Anything Pink with Red Lipstick
This is a serious fashion no-no. This is a terrible clash of colors and will take away the bold effects of a red lippie.
Go Out with Confidence!
“Can I pull this look off?” Truthfully, it boils down to whether you own it or not. You don’t need to look a particular way or buy a particular product to feel good about yourself–all you need is to love yourself and who you are, and be confident in your own skin.