Bright & Bold Lipstick Inspiration For Every Skin Tone

Illustrated by Elysia Berman
We know you’ve heard it before, but it's worth repeating: There’s nothing a swipe of red lipstick can’t fix. Bad hair day? Poof. Out of mascara? No problem, because the iconic hue commands all the attention.
While you’ve probably got your signature red down pat, bright and bold colors may still feel intimidating. (We feel you.) In fact, you may have a ton of unopened, trendy colors at home. After all, there’s just something about the allure of brilliant blues and greens, deep purples, and even blacks that are too tempting to pass up. Although once we're home, we have zero clue what to do with them.
Advertisement
While we’d love to believe we can step out in bold shades, we’re left staring blankly at our closets, trying to concoct the perfect complementary look. However, with the right color combos, pattern play, and silhouettes, you can rock ROYGBIV better than any box of Crayola.
Ahead, we’re solving all of your bold lipstick qualms with some tried-and-true lip and outfit combos. Click through for simple ways to pair the most striking of lippies with your wardrobe, courtesy of some of the coolest kids on Instagram.
1 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @TYLERWALLACHSTUDIO.
Pink

This frosty ombré lip is giving us life right now. Add it to an array of primary colors for modern appeal.
2 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @STILETTOSANDPEARLS.
Pink is fun, so go for exaggerated shapes and styles with your wardrobe. Tip: Pair it with opposing or complimentary colors, like green or purple.
3 of 22

A post shared by N.O (@cheypotato) on

PHOTO: VIA @CHEYPOTATO.
Baby pink gets a 2017 upgrade with a touch of teal — and @cheypotato kills it by combining both colors with that faux lip ring. Yes, please!
Advertisement
4 of 22

A post shared by Shay Mitchell (@shaymitchell) on

Photo: via @shaymitchell
Red

Shay Mitchell can do no wrong. Exhibit A: Adding a pop of color, via her pout, against an all-neutral outfit. While Mitchell went red hot, a look comprised of tans, beiges, and whites is an easy canvas for any color lip.
5 of 22

A post shared by Megs (@wonderful_u) on

photo: via @wonderful_u
This ombré hue has stolen our hearts. While a bit more risqué, pair it with jeans and a tee — look for one with a nod to red — to temper the moody hue.
6 of 22

A post shared by Susie Lau (@susiebubble) on

photo: via @susiebubble
You can never go wrong with a strong red lip with a black-on-black outfit. Play it up with interesting silhouettes and textures, like Lau’s structured separates and lacy shirt.
7 of 22

A post shared by Jamie Chung (@jamiejchung) on

PHOTO: VIA @JAMIEJCHUNG.
Orange

Have you heard? Army green is the new neutral. This closet mainstay is an easy match for burnt, bright, or orangey-red lip color.
8 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @LIENE.
The only thing that goes better with orange is...orange! Finish a citrus-inspired ensemble with lips of the same color, but in a slightly different shade (like this orangey coral), for cohesion and a major cool-factor.
Advertisement
9 of 22

A post shared by Tina Khatri (@98lbofmakeup) on

PHOTO: VIA @98IBOFMAKEUP.
Yellow

This hue might be a bit more daring, but take it from makeup artist Tina Khatri when we say it can be done. Her model Xandria's matching hair unites the look, but a coordinating accessory also gets the job done. Think: a yellow necktie, wrist scarf, or statement earrings, and then go mostly solid everywhere else.
10 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @FALLEN_TO_DARK.
Dip your toes — or your lips — in yellow for a killer statement. With just a hint over neutral lips, you’ll get a cool-girl DIY color. Choose a casual ensemble that already has shades of yellow in it for a head-to-toe style.
11 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @SHAZZIIE_BEAUTIFUL.
Green

One look at @shazziie_beautiful and we are green with envy! Though her forest locks, bucket hat, and lips all work together, it’s really that dusty rose top — a neutral with a little more oomph — that’s the perfect base for the hue.
12 of 22

A post shared by Nafymakeup (@nafymakeup) on

PHOTO: VIA @NAFYMAKEUP.
Embellished jeans are all the rage right now, and make for a totally on-point canvas for daring lips.
13 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @CHIC_ADICTA.
Blue

Hello ice queen! Coat your lips in a bright and frosty blue to complement silver pieces.
Advertisement
14 of 22

A post shared by mark arroyo (@arroyoworks) on

PHOTO: VIA @ARROYOWORKS.
Striking, brilliant blue is easier to wear than you’d think. Its perfect match? Navy! Pair it with solid basics to keep the focus on your lips.
15 of 22

A post shared by gigi (@gigiflowerpower) on

PHOTO: VIA @GIGIFLOWERPOWER.
Denim on denim is always our go-to, but with a dark blue mouth, the matchy outfit is next-level good.
16 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @SOPHIEHANNAHRICHARDSON.
Sophie Hannah Richardson shows us how it’s done. Navy and pink may be an unlikely combo, but together they make magic.
17 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @CANELATHEARTIST.
Purple

This is what indigo dreams are made of. Can we talk about that inner eye and Cupid’s bow highlight? And how about that scarf that features pops of the same hue as the pout? Done, done, and done.
18 of 22

A post shared by Elisa Bonalumi (@elibonalumi) on

PHOTO: VIA @ELIBONALUMI.
Complete a layer of purple matte lipstick with your go-to sporty sweatshirt. Here, the solid gray makes the vivid color look effortless.
Advertisement
19 of 22

A post shared by Lily Collins (@lilyjcollins) on

PHOTO: VIA @LILYJCOLLINS.
Black

Counteract a harsh black lip with all things girly — light pink, tulle on tulle, or sky-high platforms, perhaps? — like Lily Collins rocked at the 2017 Met Gala.
20 of 22

A post shared by NYC (@yungpentagrams) on

PHOTO: VIA @YUNGPENTAGRAMS.
Or make a different statement with an expressive sweatshirt or tee with glam rhinestone accents.
21 of 22
PHOTO: VIA @THEHAUTEPURSUIT.
Don’t be afraid of billowing shapes or baggy sizes. Throw on black and white — with black more prominent — to keep an inky lip stain from drowning you out.
22 of 22
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement