I never really used to use bright colours on my lips very often. Mostly because I prefer colourful eye makeup or smokey eye looks (and we all know heavy eyes paired with heavy lips is a big no-no). But lately I have been very into my ‘naked eye + liquid eyeliner’ look, which is perfect for trying out a more bolder lip 😉

Because I know that using bright colours on your lips can sometimes seem daunting, I wanted to share with you some simple steps that helped me a lot. And if you try them out I hope you’ll also find, like I did, how fun & flirty bright lips can be!


Step 1- Ensure that you have a soft and smooth “canvas” (lips) to work on.

There are a couple of brands out there with exfoliating products specifically designed for the delicate skin on your lips.

My favourite lip exfoliating tip: Liberally apply Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream (EHC) and leave it on your lips for +- 5min. Using an old (clean) toothbrush with soft bristles, gently brush your lips (with the EHC) in small circular movements. Then remove all excess EHC from your lips, before proceeding to step 2. (If you don’t have EHC, you can also use petroleum jelly or glycerine).


Step 2 – Use a lipliner pencil to define the contours of your lip.

Stay on the natural lines of your lip as much as possible, resisting the temptation to “draw” yourself larger or smaller lips. Rather go with darker colours to make fuller lips look smaller, and lighter colours to make smaller lips look fuller. You can also “colour in” your whole lip (instead of just drawing a line) – this will help with the staying power of the lipstick that you apply over that. Lipliner will also help to prevent bright coloured lipsticks ‘bleeding’ into the fine lines around your lips

Tip: choose a lip liner that matches your lip colour as much as possible. This makes things easier and more convenient than having to find a perfect match for each of your lipsticks. The ‘line’ will also ‘blend in’ more with your lip and be less obvious/visible.


Step 3 – Use a lipstick brush for precision when applying your lipstick.

While a brand new lipstick has a perfect tip for a neat application, the tip of your lipstick gets worn down in various shapes as you use it, making it harder and harder to do a precise application without using a lipstick brush.

Tip: brush on lipstick to create a precise lipline first, before filling in the colour on the rest of your lips.


Step 4 – Set your lipstick with some loose powder.

Separate the sheets of two-ply tissue and gently place one of the sheets on your freshly-painted lips. Dust a bit of loose powder onto the tissue, from where it will sink in through the paper and onto the lips.

Tip: Use translucent powder instead of a pigmented facial powder. Translucent powder is sheer & colourless, so it will set your lipstick without dulling the colour.


Step 5 – Apply a second layer

After blotting and setting your first lipstick layer with powder, apply another layer to round off your look.

Tip: If you apply a gloss over your lipstick, it will drastically decrease the staying power, unless you go for a long lasting gloss. Try Clinique’s Long Last Glosswear SPF 15 or Stay Glossy Lipgloss by Rimmel London.

General tips:

  • Rule #1. DON’T pair your bright lips with heavy eye makeup
    Pair it with Liquid Liner for that retro/1920’s Pin up Girl look OR stick to just a nude eyeshadow, no liner, and some fabulous mascara.


  • Be aware that some coral and poppy red lip colours can actually make your teeth appear more yellow. Unless you have a set of Hollywood white-ies, stick to blue based reds, which tend to make everyone’s smile look whiter and brighter.
  • Brighten up a simple outfit (like a little black dress for eg.) by adding a ‘Pop of Colour’ on your lips.
  • The general rule is that a blue-based lip colour will work on most complexions (especially brunettes) while pink lipsticks work best on blondes and redheads. Orange based lipsticks also look great on blondes.
  • While almost every colour including bright reds and pinks are good choices for fair skins; a deep burgundy, blackberry red, chocolates, plums and oranges looks great on darker skins.

And as a final tip – if you have never worn bright colours on your lips before – brightly coloured glosses are a fun way to try out the trend without fully taking the plunge. It still gives a nice pop of colour but because it lets the natural colour of your lips show through, it’s not as bold as a bright matt lip. Another option is to create a stain by pressing colour onto your lips (using a clean finger) and slowly building the intensity to create a beautiful, sheer wash of colour.

This is one of my favourite bright lipsticks at the moment:


Bobbi Brown – Lip Color Vixen Red

Also have a look at this post that I did on Two Tone Lips and Nails 😉

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