How To Create The Perfect Statement Lip — Every Time

Photographed by Ben Ritter.
From a classic deep red to an on-trend orange, a statement lip is the final touch in completing any beauty look. Whether you’re going for bombshell or barely-there, a pop of color on the pout brings just the right amount of finesse to your overall appearance.
An au naturel complexion paired with a hot lipstick shade is an electrifying blend of fresh-faced and fierce. Whether adding playful polish with rich burgundy or a flirty finish with matte berry, the statement lip is a simple and easy way to be creative and fun with your makeup; it attracts focus and can give any look an easy, instant cool factor.
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Typically coming in a flashy color like fire engine red, tangy orange, or bright pink, the makeup move took on a whole new palette on recent runways, with shades of mahogany, eggplant, and oxblood. From glossy to matte, purple to pink, here are my three key tips for creating your perfect pop-of-color pout.
Pick a color, any color!
A bold lip is the perfect opportunity to try the latest and greatest color. MAC's lipstick in Kinky is your radiant orchard color, Kevyn Aucoin's The Expert Lip Color in Bloodroses satisfies the popular oxblood shade, and Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine in Orange Impertinent is an answer to this season's hot coral. While donning a full outfit in one of these hues might be a tad overpowering, a touch on the lip, surrounded by more understated makeup, really does the trick.
Keep Your Eyes Neutral
Worried that your makeup will be too much? For a no-brainer way to ensure your look is balanced, keep the eyes mostly bare. Pick neutral, natural tones (nudes, soft browns, ochres, earthy hues) — I love Kevyn Aucoin The EyeShadow Duo in 210 for a natural enhancement — and pack on the mascara! The resulting look strikes a perfect balance between lips and lashes.
Photographed by Ben Ritter.
The How-To
These loud mouths are hard to create perfectly without the color smearing all over the place and being asymmetrical, so set aside the time, focus, and follow these steps: prep, paint, perfect.
Step 1: First, go around the mouth with a concealer that’s the exact same tone as your skin. You don’t want a weird light ring around the mouth if you choose the wrong shade. Follow with a generous amount of hydrating lip primer such as Mary Kay's Timewise Age-Fighting Lip Primer, taking care to apply with precision, as the lipstick will stick where you place the primer, smush your lips together to distribute it evenly.
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Step 2: Pick your pout color. I like a matte color that comes in liquid form so you get 100% full coverage, and I always tell women to oversaturate the brush (try Makeup Forever's 226 Brush). Use the edge of your brush, so you have more control along the bow of the lip. Opt for a square brush to ensure a really crisp and exact line. For the bottom of the lips, draw toward the fleshiest part in the center. When using liquid matte color such as Hourglass Opaque Liquid Lipstick, you can really get the full coverage you want.
Step 3: Does your handiwork appear fuller on one side and slimmer on the other? Did you miss a spot? Just adjust, even out, and perfect. Then, pucker up — you've got one crucial part of your holiday party outfit down pat.
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