Lipstick is one of the easiest ways to make a statement with your look, but branching out to new shades can be a little intimidating. Sure, that model looks cool and confident with lavender lipstick on, but can it really be worn anywhere other than the runway? It can! And so can all of the beautiful, bold shades that so many vegan and cruelty free cosmetics companies are now creating. Here’s a how-to guide for rocking even the boldest of lip colors fearlessly!
The key to achieving the perfect pout is all about keeping your lips soft and smooth!
1. Exfoliation is key when it comes to a smooth lipstick application. Without proper exfoliation, our lips can become flaky, dry, and cracked (especially during these cold winter months!), so it is important to use a lip scrub a few times a week to minimize such issues. I recommend using LUSH Cosmetics Bubblegum Lip Scrub. It is a pink, bubblegum sugar scrub that is vegan, cruelty-free, and smells delicious!
2. Another important factor in proper lip care is to use a hydrating lip treatment to keep your lips moisturized and protected from the elements (choosing a product with SPF included is a great idea as well!). Lip products that include soothing oils, such as Yes to Coconut’s Cooling Lip Oil, provide long lasting moisture for even the most chronically dry lips. These oil-based lip hydrating products can also be used to pump up the shine (and hydration!) on your favorite lipsticks.
3. Applying lip liner or lip primer to your lips before applying your desired lipstick color will not only perfect your lipstick application, but it will also ensure that your lip color will stay bold for hours, rather than minutes. I prefer using a colorless lip liner, such as AddictiveCosmetics 100% All Natural Clear Liner, so that I do not have to worry about constantly matching my lipstick to my liner (there is nothing wrong with doing so, however!). Make sure to trace around the edges of your lips to ensure that your lipstick will not bleed or feather. I also fill in my entire lip with the liner in order to give my lipstick a base to adhere to.
Now that your lips are prepped and primed, it’s time to get bold!
Dark Purple: “Entropy” Potions Cosmetics, available on Etsy.
Pair a dark purple lipstick with a light gray and navy eye smokey eye to accentuate your eyes without overpowering your lip color. Choose a navy that is similar in tone to the purple so that the colors complement each other, rather than clash. Avoid using a navy shadow with a lot of purple in it; the goal is to create a harmonious eye and lip look, not one that matches exactly. Complete your eye make-up with a simple swipe of black eyeliner, creating a wing at the end to add a final, dramatic touch! Apply a light peach blush (along with your usual bronzer and highlight) to add a soft, warm glow to your make-up.
Deep purple lipstick creates a “boho chic” vibe to me, so I chose to center part my hair and wear a messy, half-up, half-down hairstyle. In order to create luscious waves in your own hair, you can braid your hair into a few medium-sized sections while it is wet and either air dry or blow dry it. Once it is dry, undo your braids and gently comb through your hair with a wide tooth comb or your fingers, and voila!, you’ve created messy boho waves!
To complement your dark purple lipstick, pair it with a darker cool tone (navy, olive green, blue-gray etc). A warmer, more yellow toned outfit will clash with the purple and make the color appear a lot harsher. I chose to wear a navy blue dress with a small floral print to further develop the boho chic vibe.
Navy Blue: “Morpheus” Pumpkin and Poppy Cosmetics, available on Etsy.
A light gray and charcoal gray smokey eye complement a navy lip perfectly! Keeping the charcoal gray on the outer corners of your crease and eyelid only adds an edgy touch to this classic smokey eye. I recommend pairing this eye shadow combo with a thick, exaggerated cat eye in black eyeliner; this will add drama to your eye make-up, while also helping to strike a balance between your lips and eyes. Since your lipstick is so dark, be sure to avoid an overly black smokey eye. The goal here is to create a strong eye make-up look that is similar in boldness to your lipstick without overdoing it and allowing it to become too costume-like. Applying a soft pink blush and contouring your features will add definition to your look, while also creating an air of femininity.
A more simplistic hair style suits this look well, since anything too complex will begin to clash with your bold lip color. I chose to pair my navy lips with dutch braided bangs and wavy, natural hair. A dutch braid is a reverse french braid that sits on top of your hair; you simply braid the strands of hair under each other, rather than over each other. This simple hair style adds a unique touch to your overall look, without it becoming too overwhelming or eccentric.
Pairing a navy blue lip with a black or silver outfit will help you achieve an edgy, yet sophisticated look. Wearing a simple black outfit will be sure to draw all of the attention to your lovely lips, while wearing something with silver mixed in will lighten up your overall look if you are concerned about it becoming too dark or gothic looking.
The key to wearing black lipstick is to add a pop of color elsewhere in your make-up to brighten up a potentially dreary look. First, create a smokey eye look with light gray and charcoal gray eye shadow; be sure to apply the charcoal gray to the entirety of your crease, not just the outer corners of it. Apply a thick line of black eyeliner, swooping it up into a cat eye. Using an angled eyeliner brush, apply gold eye shadow to the center of your lower lash line; smudge some of the charcoal gray eye shadow from the middle of your lash line to its end. This pop of gold will brighten up your look while putting a twist on the classic smokey eye! Contour your face as you normally would, while being sure to create rosy cheeks so that you can add a touch of softness to your bold new look!
Since wearing black lipstick is a bold choice on its own, I chose to wear my hair down and natural as opposed to choosing an intricate hair style. I suggest either going that route to help the overall look appear more relaxed or slick your hair back into a high ponytail to emphasize your lips and eyes. If you decide to go with the ponytail, be sure to leave it a little loose and voluminous to avoid looking too severe!
Leopard print complements black lipstick and a smokey eye beautifully! Mixing a warm-toned print with bold, black lips adds a fun touch to your look!
Hot Pink: “Tonic” Potions Cosmetics, available on Etsy.
Vivid lipstick shades are best paired with minimal make-up–a bright lipstick should be the focal point of your make-up! A light champagne or nude eye shadow as your base color with a taupe or light gray eye shadow in your crease will give your eyes enough definition to accentuate them without detracting any attention from your lips. Basic contouring and choosing a natural pink blush color will give your skin a fresh, healthy glow, which will complement your bright lips perfectly!
Going with a more minimalist make-up look inspired me to choose a more intricate hairstyle. A fishtail (or two-strand braid) is slightly more complex than a traditional braid and provides a unique mermaid-esque look. Such a unique hairstyle will only add to your bold new look!
Since your lipstick is the focal point of this look, choose an outfit that is free of prints or other bright colors. I prefer wearing black, gray or white with these looks so that my outfit is not competing with my lipstick.
Pastel Purple: “Flower Maze” Limnit Lipsticks, available on Etsy.
Pair pastel purple lips with golden eye shadow to give your eyes a warm glow. By using golden, warm tones instead of cooler eye shadow shades, you are able to brighten up your overall look! Bold black eyeliner also helps to accentuate your eyes and create a beautiful balance between your lips and eye make-up. Contour as you normally would; a peachier blush will complement the purple well as opposed to using a pinker shade.
A half-up, half-down hairstyle creates elegance, while also helping to draw attention to your pretty pastel lips! Keeping your hair out of your face allows for your lips to take center stage!
Avoid wearing pastel clothing items when you wear your pastel lipsticks. Wearing so many pastel colors at one time could potentially wash you out, so instead, stick to darker colors such as black or deep purple. Adding a lace or crotchet element to your outfit will add a touch of femininity to your look as well!
Pastel Green: “Olive My Love” Limnit Lipsticks, available on Etsy.
This particular lipstick shade was one I tried on a whim, and I am so glad that I did! I never would have imagined that I would be compelled to wear any shade of green as a lipstick, but this particular pastel olive shade was surprisingly flattering! I recommend keeping the rest of your make-up natural and using champagne and brown shades for your eye make-up. Choose a dark brown eyeliner rather than black when wearing this lipstick color; the brown helps make the lipstick seem like more of a neutral tone, rather than a true green. Treating it as neutral tone will make it a lot less intimidating to rock this beautiful pastel olive green lipstick!
Wear a simple hairstyle such as a ponytail (I chose a side ponytail) or loose bun with this particular shade. It will help create a natural, laid-back look that will complement the neutral palette of your make-up.
As I mentioned above, avoid wearing light colors or pastels when wearing a pastel lipstick so you do not wash yourself out. A deep gold, navy or black outfit would complement this shade wonderfully!
Light Brown/Gray Nude: “Bone Dust” Insomnia Cosmetics, available on Etsy.
Pairing a darker nude lipstick with champagne and eggplant eye shadow colors creates an earthy, elegant look. Apply the eggplant shade to your entire crease, not just the outer corners of your eye. I also opted to use a dark brown eyeliner rather than a classic black liner to maintain the earthy look. Contour your face as you normally would and apply a natural pink or a deep plum toned blush to add the finishing touches to this bold natural look!
Such an elegant look calls for a more polished, sophisticated hairstyle, so I chose to do a dutch braided updo. To achieve this look, divide your hair into two sections (one on each side of your part) and dutch braid each section so that you have to dutch braided pig tails (secure the ends with small hair elastics so the braids do not come undone!). Next, take one braid and wrap it across the side and back of your head towards your other ear. Depending on the length of your hair, your braids will either hit slightly above or below your ears when wrapped across your head; once you have it at your desired height, fold the end of the braid inwards and secure the braid to your head with bobby pins. Don’t worry if the ends of your braids are visible because you can tuck any loose hairs under the braid and secure them with pins. Once you have the first side secured, repeat those steps with the second braid, with this braid overlapping the first. The finished look is elegant, trendy, and an excellent complement to your nude lipstick!
Olive green accents this lipstick beautifully and further adds to the elegant earthy look this lipstick creates. A deep purple or navy outfit would complement this lipstick as well. Be sure to avoid pairing it with browns or bronze shades to avoid creating a completely monochromatic, washed-out look.
Go forth and confidently rock that bold lipstick!
Also by Becky: Metallic Romance – Shimmering Eye Makeup Tutorial
Photo: Becky Curl