How to Pull Off the Season's Extreme 'It' Lip Color

Joanna Douglas
·Senior Editor
Reese Witherspoon went pink for the Met Ball earlier this month. Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage
Reese Witherspoon went pink for the Met Ball earlier this month. Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage

After years of bold red lips dominating the runways and the red carpet, hot pink pouts are suddenly taking over. Whether crimson has become your signature color you quite honestly never loved the red lips trend to begin with, now’s the time to experiment and change up your look. Don’t be intimated by this bright shade — it’s more modern than the pink lips of the ‘80s, and if you find the right hue it’s extremely flattering on just about every skin tone. Yahoo Shine enlisted New York-based makeup magician Jennifer Fleming to explain the sudden trend and help ladies master it at home.

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"A lip switch is always an easy way to remix your look for the season, and the shift from red to bright pink lips is inspired by the colors of spring,” says Fleming, who adds that says celebrities are leading the trend, and can serve as our inspiration. "If a bright pink lip had a face, it would be Katy Perry. She epitomizes the trend: fun, bold, flirty, and confident.  And who wears a bold pink lip better than Pink?" Selena Gomez went with pink lips at the Billboard Music Awards as did Reese Witherspoon at the Met Gala. "Both were to pink for!" says Fleming.

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If she sounds excited, that’s because her job as a makeup artist just got a whole lot easier — bright pink lips are a totally wearable trend for everyone. "The key is to marry the right texture, with a color rich enough for your complexion,” says Fleming. Here, she breaks it down with wearable drugstore shades for every skin tone:

Fair skin: "COVERGIRL Lip Perfection in Spellbound ($5.99) is perfectly rich with cooler undertones that flatter a fair skin tone."

Dark skin: "Darker skin tones are often cooler, so they should opt for pinks that are slightly warmer." Maybelline Color Sensationals Vivid Lip Color in Vivid Rose ($5.99) looks great on darker skin tones. "COVERGIRL Jumbo Gloss Balm in Haute Pink Twist ($6.19) is a sheer option to achieve this look, and is perfect for layering."

Medium skin: "COVERGIRL Lipsatin in Everbloom Kiss ($6.31) gives a pop to medium skin tones without being too blue, which can leave the complexion feeling a little washed out."
Olive skin: Fleming says to look for a shade that "gives parity to olive skin with color that is the perfect 'temperature' to balance any green undertones." Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie ($7.49) should do the trick.

Fleming advising choosing your texture (lipstick, gloss, tinted balm, or stain) based your confidence level with the color. "Feeling bold? Opt for a lipstick — it’s in your face and makes a statement. Gloss is a safer baby-step way to ease into the trend. If you find yourself stuck in the middle, choose a stain," she says."It’s the perfect pink lip purgatory.” Fleming adds that it’s also important to adopt a less-is-more philosophy. "This look is fun, but bold, so opt for a softer, muted look on the eyes and cheeks. The lips are the star of this show."
Making up the rest of your face is a lot easier than you’d expect. "The Southern blood in my bones would never tell you to go ‘unblushed,’” Fleming admits. "However, with this look, you just may not need it.” Should you choose to wear blush, try one in the same color family as your lips — you want to complement them and avoid clashing. “[You can] also allow bronzer to play the role of blush for the day."
For pink-lip newbies, Fleming suggests a few looks to experiment with. For daytime, try using winged eyeliner in a rich color like purple. "Take the look into night by smudging a color in a deeper shadow underneath the lashes for a serious smolder. It will give the perfect balance of brightness and depth, while still complementing the lip color.” She says you can also play with a soft wash of pastel shadow. "Also try modernizing your Bridget Bardot by pairing black liquid liner with your bright pink lip."
Last, but certainly not least, you want your new hot pink lipstick to last! Fleming has a no-fail technique inspired by a steamy makeout session. "Apply lipstick liberally, then blot three times. Repeat this step two to three times creating a stain on the lips.”

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Related links:
How Lupita N'yongo Does the Hot Pink Trend
Celebs Who Love Pink Lips
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