One of this season’s hottest trends has nothing to do with clothing. For a few bucks and a swift circular hand motion, you can be a member of fashion’s elite, no matter what you’re wearing on your back. Everyone, it seems, is raving about a bright pout. Problem is, the rest of the population is terrified of this concept.
I’m a lip balm girl. Wearing gloss is a big deal for me, and when I do, it’s usually of the clear variety. I always feel overdone with some pink or maroon or red or whatever hue on my mouth, and I hate getting lipstick or sticky goo of a gloss on glasses, water bottles, straws, napkins, sandwiches, etc. It grosses me out. But for some reason, I find the bright lip fascinating. I know, it’s so much brighter, so much more risky and obvious, than a bit of gloss. But something about it appeals to me. And I think I know what it is.
While the red lip is all the rage, we’re not living in 1986. Minimalism is in right now, so it’d be hard to find someone wearing a bright smoocher paired with a full face of makeup and a full-out clothing ensemble. And that’s why I love it. It’s also why it’s so easy for anyone to try it. Jeans, flats, a white tee-shirt, a bun, and a red lip. That’s it. And it looks so great. Or a simple one-colored dress and platforms with simple hair and minimal makeup…and a red lip. Once again, awesomeness all around.
But there are things to consider. Your skin tone and your outfit dictate the hue of the lip. While a pitch-perfect pure red can be perfect paired with a little black dress, try an orange-red (think something punchy like tangerine) with a white tank and skirt for a more playful, fun look. Rocking the florals and pastel trend? Pair a light pink. Want to go glam? Bright pinks all the way. Wearing a plain and drab-in-every-other-way outfit, and need a pick me up? Back to candy apple red (or a slight shade darker). Something to avoid: we’re not living in 1996, so avoid that thick, dark, maroon pout (especially with flatforms or combat boots, a spaghetti strap ankle-length dress, and a chocker…seriously).
We’re also not grannies, even if the whole hipster lifestyle may lend itself to that. Make sure your lipstick, whatever the color, doesn’t travel throughout the day. If it fades, if it smears, if it has a tendency to rub onto your teeth or you find it in the cracks of your lips by the end of the day or on everyone else’s cheek… Just. Say. No. Look for a lip stain or test out products in advance before committing to a day or night out in the stuff. It should stay on your lip, and stay bright and fresh. End of story. Wouldn’t it be nice if all fashion advice was that simple?
Don’t forget, pucker up!
After graduating from college in ’09, Allyson Barkan flew off to Greece to teach English Literature at a private high school and explore Greek and European culture for a year. Since returning stateside, she now works in Entertainment Public Relations in New York City. For travel advice, stray observations as a 20-something in the big city, and the occasional hilarious misadventure, follow Allyson atwww.allysonbarkan.com and on twitter at @aebarkan.