If the neon resurgence wasn’t a reminder, than award season has proven its point: bright lipstick is back, and just like the bold and vibrant clothing defining spring 2011, makeup has taken a page out of the book of colour and prompted our favourite A-listers to take to the red carpet in fushia, red and even orange tones. So in the spirit of rebelling against winter blahs, here’s our guide to wearing bright lipstick so you can step into spring in style.
When to wear it: Like Natalie Portman at this year’s Golden Globes, fuchsia lipstick instantly says you’re on trend. Fuchsia isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s a statement shade that works equally well for a brunch date or a night out.
When to avoid: Even the brightest pearly-whites can take on a yellow tinge with a shade like pink, so if you want to show off your new favourite fuchsias, you may want to consider a whitening treatment before debuting the season’s hottest shade.
When to wear it: Because red’s remained a classic, it’s become a foolproof option for black tie affairs or even a night out with the girls. Surprisingly, it’s taken on a neutral quality of its own, and whether you’re pairing it with the year’s safari trends, a leather bomber or even floral print, the darker the red, the more compatible it becomes. Just remember to keep applying and consulting the mirror to avoid looking like Courtney Love.
When to avoid: Remember if you’re going to match, do it right: if you’re wearing a dress that’s the classic shade, stay away from a pinky tone or one that’s overly brown “ because when it comes to reds on reds, a colour off-kilter will only make your look seem unbalanced.
When to wear it: If your skin tone is darker, a shade like orange will only make you face glow and your teeth shine, as the contrast between your lipstick and your skin colour will create a eye-catching look that’s bold and vibrant. Luckily, orange is one of the most compatible shades and works beautifully with olive and porcelain skin, too: because of its warm qualities, it can bring out peachy undertones and give you a summer glow even in the dead of winter.
When to avoid: Unfortunately, because of its warmer qualities, orange lipstick can bring out the yellow in teeth even if your pearly-whites are one step below blinding. However, by pairing with a blush or a bronzer, you can offset the warmth and create an aesthetic that looks a little more balanced. So unless you’re wearing an entirely neon ensemble (orange looks especially good with cool, dark tones like navy), provided the rest of your makeup falls into line, you should be good to go.