How to Wear Bright Lipstick

A bright lipstick color can give you a vibrant, playful look.

Photo: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Bright lipstick can give you a bold look that will make you appear confident and help tie your outfit together. But you’ve got to be careful with bright lipstick – do it wrong and you might look more like a clown than a fashion icon! Don’t be afraid of bright lipstick, though; it can make a strong impact and get you noticed. You’ll probably be surprised how many people ask you what shade of lipstick you’re wearing. After all, most people want to be the life of the party, too.

Prepare Your Lips

Bright lipstick can magnify flaws in your lips. Chapped lips in wintertime can ruin your look; if you’re a regular lip-biter, you definitely need to do some preparation before you slather on the lipstick. Try gently exfoliating your lips with a light sugar scrub or a damp toothbrush. After you’ve done the exfoliating, put on a little bit of your favorite lip balm and let it set in for a few minutes; you don’t want to put lipstick on top of just moisturized lips.

Match Your Makeup

Pair the hue of your lips with the hue of your bright lipstick. For example, Glamour recommends pairing cool tones with cool tones and warm tones with warm tones to keep your makeup from clashing. Glamour also warns against super-dark makeup paired with bright lipstick; it really just cancels out the lipstick and can easily look too dramatic.

Wardrobe and Skin Tone

Choose a bold color that matches your wardrobe and skin tone. Think of your lipstick like a handbag or bright pair of shoes: It’s not the biggest part of your look, but it makes a big impact. If you’ve got a warmer skin tone, try something with a bit of orange in it to balance you out a little bit. Ladies who are afraid to get too crazy with the bright red lipstick: Pink is almost always a safe choice.

For Long Wear

If you know you’re going to be putting your lipstick on before you go to work and won’t have time to go home before you hit the town in the evening, start with a bright lip stain. That way when your lipstick starts to wear off, you won’t be left naked, so to speak, which is important if your lipstick color helps sell your outfit. Most lip stains are pretty much guaranteed to last all day, according to Elle Girl. Choose something just a little bit lighter than your lipstick if you’re worried about changing the overall hue of your lips.

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