Trend Challenge: How to Make Eccentric Lips Work in Real Life



In Queen Elizabeth I’s day, red lipstick was (gasp!) a scandal. But now our notion of what’s risqué is far more out-there. As offbeat lip colours hit counters—blue, green, grey and beyond—we asked three makeup artists how to translate the trend



The expert: Caitlin Callahan,
senior artist for M.A.C

Generally, cooler tones like blue, green, grey or lavender are more flattering on darker complexions, while neons like yellow and orange better suit fairer skin, according to Callahan. But for anyone confident enough to brave unconventional shades, why play by the rules? “Anyone can wear [cool tones], but they look less shocking on deeper skin,” says Callahan. “If someone very fair wears a black lip, that will look a little more goth. The more contrast there is [between lipstick and skin], the louder the look will be.” Nonetheless, she deems these colours “extremely versatile,” so she encourages experimentation.



The expert: Dannica Lamoureux,
national educator for Make Up For Ever

“When someone’s wearing a bold lip, people are going to be more attracted to looking at it,” says Lamoureux. That means any dryness or flakiness will be more noticeable, so make time for extra prep, such as exfoliating lips and applying a hydrating balm pre-colour. Also, pay attention to precise, even application; to create a crisp line, Lamoureux likes to first apply concealer around the lip’s edge. For those on the fence about a quirky shade, she suggests experimenting with layering and mixing, using colour theory to customize a unique new hue. “If you have a red lipstick and put a green over top, you’ll get a neutral,” explains Lamoureux. “You can also make [a shade] lighter by adding white, or tone it down by adding a little black.”



The expert: Grace Lee, lead makeup artist for Maybelline New York Canada

With statement lips as the focal point, create balance by keeping the rest of the makeup clean and minimalist. “When you see bold colours, they usually [aren’t] paired with a lot on the face,” says Lee (read our profile of the backstage glow-master). You don’t need much more beyond “just a groomed brow, really nice skin, a little mascara and highlighting,” she adds. “When you start adding eyeliner, it can start to look a little much.”



From left: M.A.C Lipstick in Dew, $21, at select M.A.C counters; Maybelline Color Sensational The Loaded Bolds in Midnight Blue, $10, at drugstores; Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipstick in 601, $27, at Sephora


This article was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of Cosmetics magazine. For more, download our iPad edition