Update: Still looking to liven up your lips for summer? Check out the colors we're still obsessing over to pair with our fave spf balms. This post was originally published on January 18 2012.
Unless you're bi-coastal, a perpetual spray-tanner, or just happen to have hit the good-genes jackpot (damn you!), chances are, in the winter, you're paler than usual. Instead of trying to fight nature, we think it best to embrace the look with a strong makeup P.O.V. The answer? Just the right lipstick. So, we've narrowed down the best hues of the season to four go-to color categories that anyone can pull off. Oh, and we've also snagged major makeup artist Paula Dorf to give us a paint-by-numbers breakdown. From warm-'n'-toasty neutrals to gothically purple tones, these trends let you pump up the glam and update your cold-weather look without breaking the bank. The best part about showing your lips some fun, colorful love is that it'll even make your all-black puffer coat look chic…well, maybe.
We say: We've been seeing this deep purple color popping up in the office and all over town, and when done right, it can be a total makeup home run. Don't shy away from the dramatic look — it just might be the "new you."
Paula's tips: "For this trend, I’d recommend a lip gloss for a sexy, dramatic look. The gloss will look healthy if you use a semi-transparent shade, rather than a traditional matte lipstick, which can make you look like you have bruised lips. The purple shade generally looks better with a paler skin tone (verses a summertime glow), but you’ll want to wear a little color on your cheeks in a medium brown or pink shade, and a nice, classic eye. It may be fun to really play up your lashes, but I’d avoid a deep, smoky eye – as that could make you look like a vampire."
Photos: (Homepage) Via Maria Valentino/MCV Photo; (Above) Via Yves Saint Laurent, Lipstick Queen, Sephora.
We say: It might feel counterintuitive to go neutral during the winter, but this clean look is really editorial and was favored by tons of designers this past runway season. Plus, it's super easy to pull off!
Paula's tips: "This category is nice because you can really play upon a natural, everyday look, while still being made up. Also, this is one of the easiest shades for all skin tones to wear, as you can find lip colors with an assortment of undertones. When wearing a nude or brown lip color, I suggest a matte or traditional lipstick rather than a gloss, as glosses can often look 'too nude' and weirdly shimmery. This lip is great for casual wear in warm, muted, almost nutty shades. I’d suggest a less-is-more eye, with only simple mascara and well-groomed brows. Stick with a lighter, natural eye and line your eyes with a dark shadow if you want a little oomph, but this shouldn’t compete with your look. With this shade, people are sometimes devoted to their nude or brown lip liners, and that is an acceptable way to wear the color, as long as you don’t make the lines around your lips too harsh. Fill your entire lip in with the liner and apply a lip balm over top to keep the color on and make sure you stay moisturized."
Photos: Via Beauty Bar
We say: If you're wearing a neutral or monochromatic outfit, a hot pink lip gives your look some seriously chic oomph in like... 10 seconds flat. Apply in the a.m. and wear all day, or add it on just before running out of the office, and you're set for the night.
Paula's tips: "This is by far my favorite winter lip color and, like nudes, there are many shades and textures to work with including glosses, matte, and traditional lip color. My favorite way to wear hot pink is a silky, smooth traditional lip color — it just looks so girly. There are shades of hot pink that you can even wear to work, providing they don’t 'pop' too much. If you're wearing a hot pink lip color, this should be the focal point of your look. Try to keep color on the cheeks to a minimum; you can wear a soft bronzer to give the skin a healthy, glowing look. I love hot pink lips with a charcoal eye color – it's very elegant, and great for night. If you're playful, make a sexy cat-eye and draw your liner out just a little bit more."
Photos: Via Sephora, Chanel
We say: When the weather's got you feeling a little bleh, smearing on a bright red lip can pull you right out of the doldrums. And, with an orange undertone, the shade's given an updated, seasonal perspective that everyone can get into.
Paula's tips: "I especially like orange-red, verses straight-on red, because it can be more easily worn by many skin colors — the orange tones the color down. Some people are afraid of real reds as well, which makes orange-red a nice alternative. Like hot pink, it comes in many hues and consistencies, so it’s not hard to find a shade and texture that would be suitable for you. This is a color that can be dressed up and dressed down; we’ve seen a lot of celebrities on the red carpet wearing it, and I see young girls on the subway owning it. I think red is a confidence builder — you get a fun little attitude when you apply a red lip. For dressing up, remember to give the cheeks a healthy glow (but don't go too rouge!), and you can play up a dramatic eye. For work, it’s nice to keep the eyes very clean, with a natural base, dark eyeliner and a few coats of mascara."
Photo: Courtesy of MAC, via Beauty Bar, Sephora