Color Us Happy! How To Find A Bright Lippie That Flatters Your Face



UPDATE: The start of the holiday party circuit is here, so this weekend, add some glam to your look with these awesome lipsticks. This story was originally published on November 5.

Around this time of year, we find ourselves doing our predictable annual double-take in the bathroom mirror. You know, the one where you think, "Wait a minute — when did my skin start looking so...blah? What happened to my glow? WHO STOLE MY GLOW?"

But hold up a second — don't go nuts with the bronzer, highlighter and contouring brush just yet. There's a simple remedy for a lifeless, lackluster complexion; one that works for every skin type, and that you can score for less than the price of a fancy coffee. What is it, you ask? A bold, bright lip color that adds instant vibrancy to your visage, of course.

We asked a bevy of local makeup artists to let us in on their secrets for choosing the perfect shades to pop against your complexion, no matter where you fall on the skin-tone spectrum. Ahead, a bounty of electric hues, plus the pro tips you need to make them work for you. Now who's got the glow?


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The pro: Michelle German
Her words to live by: "Who cares about makeup rules! My opinion? Get noticed with some bright-colored lips."

Fair to light complexions:
"Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in Red Muse is a cool-toned red that could be perfect for anyone, but is most definitely amazing for light and fair skin tones. Not only is it smooth and moisturizing, but the packaging is enough to make me purchase and recommend this lipstick to all my girls."
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in Red Muse, $34, available at YSL Beauty.

Medium to olive complexions:
"Kat Von D Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi is a hot pink that will make your heart throb. This blue-based pink lipstick reminds me of a Barbie doll, and would look great on any skin tone."
Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Backstage Bambi, $19, available at Sephora.

Darker complexions:
"Ka'Oir Lipstick in Rude Girl is the perfect purple color for deep skin tones. It is bright, creamy, and can easily be in the running for best bright purple for brown skin. Dare to be different!"
Ka'Oir Lipstick in Rude Girl, $16.99, available at Ka'Oir Cosmetics.


Photo: Courtesy of Michelle German
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The pro: Akemi Kanazaki
Her words to live by: "It is super on-trend to wear bright lipstick with a fresh face (also known as the 'no-makeup' makeup look): a hint of concealer, foundation if you really need it, mascara, and the tiniest pop of color to the apples of your cheeks. Once you add the lipstick, you will see that it is powerful and doesn't need much else."

Fair to light complexions:
"Calypso Coral Pot Rouge by Bobbi Brown is my go-to color. It looks good on everyone, and and all ages. It's a coral pink with yellow undertones that's not too orange, peach, or pink. Bonus: It can also be used for cheeks as a cream blush."
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Calypso Coral, $25, available at Bobbi Brown.

Medium to olive complexions:
"Shocking Pink Matte Lipstick by NYX is a pink with purple/magenta undertones, and it's great for olive- and tan-toned skin. And don't let the low price fool you — this line of lipsticks is AMAZING. I'm obsessed with it — I bought every color, and they are all fab. Not only are they super-highly pigmented, but they stay on for hours, and you can throw some gloss on top to shine them up."
NYX Matte Lipstick in Shocking Pink, $5.99, available at ULTA.

Darker complexions:
"Enchanted LipSurgence Lip Tint by Tarte is a bright, rosy wine color that not only livens up your skin, but also moisturizes and softens lips. It is not super long-lasting, but it's such a great color that it's worth it."
Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint in Enchanted, $24, available at Tarte Cosmetics.


Photo: Courtesy of Akemi Kanazaki
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The pro: Lauren Clark
Her words to live by: "When it comes to bright lipsticks, I like rich colors and textures that will last and require minimal touching up."

Fair to light complexions:
"One of my favorite lipsticks that works on almost any skin type but is especially flattering to fair skin is NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok. It really pops against a porcelain complexion."
NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok, $25, available at NARS.

Medium to olive complexions:
"I love Hourglass's Femme Rouge in Fever. The color is dramatic and the finish is beautiful — this lipstick lasts all day."
Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Fever, $30, available at Hourglass Cosmetics.

Darker complexions:
"Illamasqua has some nice lipsticks, and Underworld looks stunning on darker skin tones. It's an iridescent blueberry-violet that finishes with a shimmer."
Illamasqua Lipstick in Underworld, $24, available at Sephora.


Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Clark