The PRiME Woman’s Guide to Wearing Bright Lipstick

Choosing the correct lipstick shade can be daunting, and if you like bright lipstick, it can be even more difficult. Here are some tricks that'll help.
Bright Lipstick

Many women think that bright lipstick can be aging, but it’s really all about how you wear it! Whether you’re looking to elevate your look for a date night or just feel like you’re in a funk and want to try something different, let’s run through some bright lipstick tips and tricks. (Spoiler: it’s not as intimidating as you may think!)

Choosing a Lipstick Color

Finding the perfect bright lipstick shade can be a fun and empowering experience, regardless of age. As a woman over 50, there are a few tips to remember to ensure that you choose a shade that complements your skin tone, enhances your features, and makes you feel confident and radiant. Here’s how to find the right bright lipstick shade for you:

Consider Your Skin Tone: Skin tone plays a significant role in determining which lipstick shades will flatter you the most. If you have warm undertones, opt for bright lipsticks with peachy, coral, or golden hues. Cool undertones pair well with bright lipsticks in shades of pink, berry, or blue-based reds. Neutral undertones have the versatility to wear a wide range of bright lipstick shades, so feel free to experiment with different colors.

Choose a Hue That Complements Your Coloring: Consider your hair color, eye color, and overall coloring when selecting a bright lipstick shade. For example, if you have fair skin and light hair, vibrant pinks or soft corals can add a pop of color to your complexion. If you have darker hair and a deeper skin tone, bold reds, oranges, or fuchsias can create a striking contrast.

Experiment with Different Formulas: Bright lipstick comes in various formulas, including matte, satin, glossy, and sheer. Matte formulas offer intense color payoff and long-lasting wear, while satin finishes provide a more comfortable and hydrating feel. Glossy and sheer lipsticks offer a more subtle wash of color, perfect for a softer and more youthful look. Experiment with different formulas to find the one that suits your preferences and lifestyle.

Test Before You Buy: Before committing to a bright lipstick shade, test it in natural lighting to see how it looks against your skin tone. Many beauty stores offer testers or samples you can try before purchasing. Additionally, consider swatching the lipstick on your wrist or the back of your hand to get a sense of how the color will appear on your lips.

Trust Your Instincts: Ultimately, the most important factor in choosing the right bright lipstick shade is how it makes you feel. Trust your instincts and select a color that resonates with your personal style and preferences. Whether you prefer classic reds, vibrant oranges, or bold pinks, embrace the shade that makes you feel confident, empowered, and beautiful at any age.

Now, let’s take a look at the process to get lovely lips.

Prep your lips.

First things first — before you opt for bright lipstick, you need to make sure you’re properly exfoliating! Try a gentle sugar-based scrub, like French Girl Lip Polish Polish ($22).

Rose Lip Polish

If you’re currently dealing with dry lips, treat yourself to a mask or treatment. Chapped (or bitten) lips can also benefit from an overnight treatment like Glossier Lip Blam ($14) — just apply it before bedtime for smoother lips in the morning.

Glossier Balm Dotcom

Pick a bright lipstick to suit your skin tone.

Most of us remember stepping up to the makeup counter and being branded as a season. Personally, I was a “fall,” so artists would always try and stick me with darker colors. However, it never really turned out that great. Thankfully, these days, we can turn to color theory and use our skin’s undertones to find our most flattering hues.

This pink-beige nude lipstick with a moisturizing, satin-finish formula works great with any skin tone.

If you have darker skin, try warm reds and corals. Blooming Bold Lipstick ($21.42) is highly pigmented for that stunning red-orange pout.

Origins Blooming Lipstick

Lighter-skinned ladies, reach for a fun berry or pink! Clinique Peony Pop Longwear Lipstick ($26) is a punchy pink with uplifting pink with hints of coral.

Clinique Peony Pop Longwear Lipstick

Olive, yellow, and other warm skin tones: you have it made! Just about any color will look great on you, like Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Gloss ($16). This is also a solid option for dipping your toes into the world of bright lipsticks — it goes on sheer for buildable color.

ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss

Small lips? Steer clear of mattes.

Matte lip colors have been trending for a while, but those with smaller lips may want to opt for something with shine. As we age, our bodies tend to produce less collagen, resulting in smaller lips. Glossy and shiny lipsticks reflect off of the skin to the appearance of bigger, fuller lips. It’s also important to note that brighter colors tend to make lips look full, while darker shades have the opposite effect. All the more reason to reach for something bright and fun!

To lengthen the life of your color, you may want to pick up a lip liner. You don’t have to use a liner that matches your lipstick color — even a nude color will help hold everything in place. Lip Cheat Pillow Talk ($25) has a great buttery, long-wearing formula that resists bleeding.

Lip Cheat Pillow Talk

Get primed and ready for action. This long-lasting, waterproof liner from Urban Decay glides on smoothly to prime and define—for long-lasting lip color and clean lines. Smooch. Pout. Smack. Nibble. Lick. It stays put through everything (yes, everything) you do. When you use this liner to fill in your lips completely, it primes them for lipstick or gloss, grabbing onto the color to help it last. Part of the 24/7 family, Urban Decay’s long-lasting, waterproof formula glides on smoothly, stays creamy and defines your lips with gorgeous color. And, unlike a lot of waterproof pencils, 24/7 never feels dry or cakey. It’s got moisturizing vitamin E, jojoba oil, and cottonseed oil to nourish your lips every time you reapply.

Also, Dior Addict Lipstick ($85) (I totally paired it with the lip scrub) has an amazing shine to it with some ridiculously amazing colors to boot, like “Lucky Berry” (536) or “Must Have” (579).

Dior Dior Addict Stellar Shine Lipstick

Stick with one statement.

If you’re wearing bright lipstick, let that be the focus of your look and keep the rest of your makeup relatively simple. Don’t go overboard with eye makeup — just some neutral eyeshadow and a bit of your best mascara to complete your look. After all, you want your lips to be the star of the show!

Now that we’ve covered everything to know about bright lipsticks let’s review the importance of a quality makeup primer! Read about why you need a primer (and some top-reviewed primers to try today)! 

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