The Surprisingly Flattering Beauty Trend

Forget everything you think you know about purple lipstick: This season's interpretation of the notoriously hard-to-wear color emphasizes flattering hues — for all skin tones and comfort levels.
"Purple is such a versatile color," explains makeup artist Anthony Tulve. "It can be barely there, or it can be bright, or it can be vampy. It's actually somewhat of a neutral." Tulve adds that fall's must-have shade is a trend firmly planted in wearability, because its resurgence is "beauty-based rather than trend-based." It's a surprising point of view, given how many women in our office have never even tried it on their own pouts.
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Lest we let any of our colleagues get away with playing it safe, we rounded up a few staffers with a wide range of skin tones and asked Tulve to match them with their most flattering shade of purple. He also took into account their personal styles: While many of our subjects preferred a subtle feel, others were up for serious statements.
Click through to see 10 different ways to get into this season's hottest lip look, and let us know if you're ready to take it for a test-drive.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Venus Wong, living production assistant
Tulve explains that because Venus has golden undertones in her complexion, purples will show up more pink on her. To make sure the lipstick actually looks purple, he recommends choosing a true violet. He also dabbed the color on her cheeks for a monochromatic feel. "After that, all you need is some mascara and you've got a full look," he says.
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Photo: Via NYX Cosmetics.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Piera Gelardi, executive creative director
While Piera says that when it comes to lipstick color, she's "open to the whole rainbow," she was worried that purple would look too serious. So, Tulve chose a hue he describes as "the color equivalent of a smize": It stands out against the cool tones in her skin with a subtle, eye-catching punch.
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Photo: Via Topshop.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Maia Knudsen-Schule, brand experiences senior manager
"I like lipstick that looks a little bit spicy," Maia tells us. But, despite her love of a bold lip, she'd never tried our color du jour. This hue works so well for her because it's a true, balanced purple, which makes her skin look radiant and glow-y. "Because of the vividness of the shade, even if you just tap it on as a stain, it's going to have the same impact," Tulve says.
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Photo: Via Tom Ford.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Everdeen Mason, SEO editor
Everdeen's not afraid to take risks with her beauty look, so she was the perfect candidate for this dark, metallic plum. Because the purple has so much blue in it, Tulve kept the rest of her makeup light, using natural, warm-toned neutrals on her eyes and cheeks. "I feel like he really captured my love of '90s makeup with this shade," Everdeen says. "Without making me look like a goth poseur."
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Photo: Via Make Up For Ever.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Madelyn Somers, freelance graphic designer
Madelyn had never worn anything like it before — but because it's a paler shade with just the right amount of purple in it, it turned out to be very complementary to her skin tone. "It's almost like the stain you get from eating blueberries," says Tulve. Paired with a fresh, glowing face, this hue is right on trend.
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Photo: Via NARS.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Neha Gandhi, executive editor
Neha was looking for a sophisticated interpretation of the purple-lip trend, so Tulve selected this plum shade. "It's a perfect marriage of red and purple, which looks almost regal," he explains. If you're going for a deeper color like this one, he recommends using a concealer pen to outline the edges of your pout, which creates crisp lines. "Statement lips need a perfect edge," he says.
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Photo: Via Urban Decay.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Amelia Edelman, content editor
Because Amelia's hair is so warm-colored, Tulve decided to use only cool tones in her makeup, really allowing the lipstick to pop. "This is lilac with a lot of gray and pink in it, and even though it's not a dark lipstick, the contrast with her complexion makes it stand out," he says.
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Photo: Via Lorac.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Claudia Sosa, QA engineer
While this particular lipstick is new, its hue has roots in the '80s. If you want to give it a modern feel, Tulve says it's all about the way you do the rest of your face. "Pair this with subtle neutrals on your eyes and cheeks," he says, which will allow the color to take central stage.
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Photo: Via Lipstick Queen.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Natasha Kaser, photo researcher
Proving that redheads can — and should — wear dark lipstick, Tulve put Natasha in this deep, glossy purple with a heavy, red undertone. "That red undertone works in her favor, because it doesn't make her skin look more rosy," he says.
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Photo: Via Make.
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Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Patty Delgado, engineering team lead
"I'm all about dark lipstick," Patty says upon arriving to the studio. To honor that, Tulve chose a bold, glossy magenta with a cool undertone. The formula of this specific lipstick is on the sheer side, so even though it has an edgy quality, you can layer it to adjust the intensity. As Tulve puts it, "You can take it from a Kool-Aid stain to a girl-who-parties lip."
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Photo: Via Marc Jacobs.
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