How to Wear a Bold Lip Color

by Lilly Wallace ; Updated September 28, 2017

A bold lip can be a little difficult to pull off, but with the proper lip color application and the right face makeup, anyone can wear it and look great. Use these tips to achieve a balanced makeup look in which your lips can make a statement while still looking chic.

Make Your Color Choice

While there are no rules as to which lip color you should wear, keep in mind that dark lip colors make your lips appear thinner, and light colors makeup your lips appear fuller. If you have very thin lips and prefer the look of fuller lips, choose a bright color like a bright red, orange, or fuchsia, instead of a dark color like dark red, dark brown, or purple.

Prepare Your Lips

Start with soft, smooth lips to ensure that the lipstick can apply evenly. If your lips are dry or flakey, prep them by gently exfoliating them. You can use a lip exfoliator or a cotton swab with some lip balm. Rub the lip balm across your lips with the cotton swab. Be gentle, but try to get the flakes off. Once your lips are smoother, remove the lip balm with a clean cotton swap. Your lips should be soft and moisturized, but you should not have any lip balm residue on them.

Apply the Pigment

Some people prefer to use a lip pencil to define the lip shape first, and then they fill in the lips with lipstick. Others prefer to apply the lipstick first and then correct the lip shape with lip pencil afterwards. There is no right way to do it, however, filling in the lips with lipstick first allows you to see where you really want to "correct" your lip shape.

With a lip brush, apply a first layer of lipstick. Try to be precise in following the natural shape of your lips, and try to cover them evenly. Make sure to also get in the corner of your mouth. Once, you're done, take a paper towel and blot excess product.

This first layer will create a stain on your lips that will make the lip color stay on longer. Proceed with applying a second layer, and then blot again.

With a lip pencil that matches the lipstick color, define the lips. Correct the lip shape wherever needed to achieve a smooth and even lip contour.

Apply Face and Eye Makeup

In order to keep this look chic and sophisticated, make sure that your skin looks even and polished. Use a medium-coverage foundation to reduce any redness, which can be emphasized by a bold lip color. Use a concealer to cover any spots that the foundation alone cannot conceal, and set all the face makeup with a translucent setting powder.

Apply some bronzer to lightly contour your face. For more details on how to apply bronzer to contour your face, read this article. If you like, you may add a little highlighter on your cheekbones to add some glow. Certain bold lip colors can make your complexion look a bit pale or sallow. If you notice this about your face after applying the lip color, add some blush on the apples of your cheeks, but make sure to keep a light hand so the lip color and the blush don't compete for attention.

Keep your eye makeup very simple, avoiding colorful eyeshadows and overly dramatic lashes. A thin line of eye liner to define the eyes and a few coats of mascara will give some definition without taking away from the focus of this makeup look, which is the bold lip. Then fill in your eyebrows with a brow pencil or powder to complete the look.

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