The PRiME Woman’s Guide to Wearing Bright Lipstick

Best Bright Lipsticks and how to prepare your lips

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 if you 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!)

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 ($20).

Rose Lip Polish
Rose Lip Polish, $20

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 ($12) — just apply it before bedtime for smoother lips in the morning.

Glossier Balm Dotcom
Glossier Balm Dotcom, $12

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.

Kim K Hot Lips
Kim K Hot Lips, $34

If you have darker skin, try warm reds and corals. Blooming Bold Lipstick ($20) is highly pigmented for that stunning red-orange pout.

Blooming Bold Lipstick
Blooming Bold Lipstick, $20

Lighter-skinned ladies, reach for a fun berry or pink! Peony Blossom Silk Lipstick ($55) is a punchy pink with uplifting pink with hints of coral.

Peony Blossom Silk Lipstick
Peony Blossom Silk Lipstick, $55

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 ($14). 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
ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss, $14

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 ($24) has a great buttery long-wearing formula that resists bleeding.

Lip Cheat Pillow Talk
Lip Cheat Pillow Talk, $24

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 on to 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.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil, $22

Also, Dior Addict Lipstick (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 Addict Stellar Shine Lipstick
Dior Addict Stellar Shine Lipstick, $38

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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