Statement Lips For Your Skin Tone

No matter what your skin tone, there's a spring statement lip just right for you

Akris Spring 2013, Photo by Anthea Simms

Akris Spring 2013, Photo by Anthea Simms

Tangerine Tryst

The 2013 twist on fashion-forward orange? A rich, glossy finish. The most fearless interpretation was at Moschino, where makeup artists layered vinyl gloss over an unapologetically opaque, traffic-cone orange lipstick. But if that’s out of your comfort zone, look to orange-reds (the starring attraction at Akris and Joe Fresh) for a kinder option that suits every skin tone. Zooey Deschanel, Leighton Meester and Rihanna have all proved that orange can go softly subtle or daringly dramatic; no matter which citrus shade you choose, skip the lip brush and apply it straight out of the tube to keep the look modern.


Your Perfect Orange

True oranges look best on medium to dark complexions—the darker your skin, the deeper and brighter you can go. Proceed with caution if you’re fair; soft, sheer corals or oranges that have some pink or red pigment are more wearable (and universally flattering).


Hold On!

Fiery hues look best when your real skin shines through, so avoid any heavy, gleam-stealing foundations. A BB cream evens out minor imperfections while imparting a dewy, luminous glow.

L’Oréal Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream, $17 (Medium shown).

Giles Spring 2013, Photo by Imaxtree

Giles Spring 2013, Photo by Imaxtree

Power In Pink

If you think only Barbie can pull off hot-pink lips, think again. By subtracting the iridescence, the über-feminine shade gets graphic and grown-up. Take Giles in London: Makeup artists side- stepped lipstick in favour of lip pencil to “stamp on” heart-shaped, matte magenta mouths. Rather tiptoe into the trend? Take a catwalk cue from Chalayan and stick with a more muted bubble-gum pink. Already spotted on Kristen Stewart, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson, face-brightening fuchsia is poised to overtake red on the red carpet, too.


Your Perfect Pink

For face-flattering, maximum impact, opposites attract. Blue-based fuchsias pop against golden skin tones, while cool complexions benefit from warmer, redder pinks. Vary the intensity based on how pale or dark your skin tone—and your bravado. The more contrast, the bolder the effect.


Hold On!

Since pink can accentuate redness in fair skin, a medium- to full-coverage foundation evens tone. With your shine-free lips, a matching matte face would be overkill, so look for a formula with a velvety finish and then accentuate the high planes of your face with a light-reflecting cream.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Foundation, $50 (Ivoire 100 shown).

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2013, Photo by Anthea Simms

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2013, Photo by Anthea Simms

Into The Rouge

Red lips kiss winter’s prim sophistication goodbye when set against radiant skin. Case in point: the creamy cranberry at Burberry Prorsum—blotted on for a cool, laissez-faire effect. Rochas, too, avoided red-lip clichés, favouring cherry-lollipop stains. If classic precision is your preference, mimic Jason Wu’s Helmut Newton-inspired look. Backstage, artists used five different products—pencils, lipsticks and loose pigments—to sculpt a saturated, super-sexy scarlet mouth. Apply lipstick in layers, then blot with a tissue between applications to increase staying power. Still shy of megawatt reds? Look to stars such as Anne Hathaway, Emma Watson and Zoe Saldana as beauty mentors.


Your Perfect Red

Blue-based cherry tints complement pale skin with pink undertones, while warm brick reds are more in harmony with yellow-, olive- and caramel-toned complexions. For a bolder statement, choose a long-wear formula to get maximum pigment payoff.


Hold On!

Bold reds lend formality, so balance it with a radiance-boosting foundation that provides coverage without being heavy or powdery. Light-reflecting pigments give a dewy glow, which keeps red lips looking fresh.

Lancôme Teint Miracle Foundation, $44 (Suede 2W shown).