Even though nude lips were the beauty trend to beat during this year's awards season and on the Paris runways in February, nothing makes spring feel official quite like a bright tangerine lip. And though a color-saturated pucker isn't exactly a warm weather revelation, the look happens to feel extra modern at the moment because of spring's graphic black, white and neutral clothes that make the feisty cosmetic color pop especially hard.
Miley Cyrus paired her striped Chanel jumpsuit with blood-orange lips at a Ryan Seacrest Foundation event on March 22, while Solange performed the next day at the Diesel and Edun Studio Africa L.A. Launch Party in a softer citrus hue. Even redheaded actress Bella Thorne broke standard redhead rules by opting for orange lips, which provided a perfect accent to the white and navy Alice & Olivia dress she wore to The Host premiere on March 19.
While most complexions can pull off the look, remember that less is more — unless you want to look like a clown.
“Keep the rest of your makeup slightly defined, but not too done,” says celebrity makeup artist Mai Quynh, who works with Ginnifer Goodwin, Chloe Grace Moretz, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Chastain. She swiped MAC's Morange lipstick across Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s pout at the AFI Fest in November. “With such a bright color, you want the lips to be the main focus and to make sure nothing else is competing with it.”
It may feel like an unconventional shade for black tie events, but orange works for formal occasions, too. Jessica Alba’s makeup artist used Hourglass Cosmetics Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick in Riviera on the actress to complement the melon-colored Oscar de la Renta gown she donned at the Golden Globes in January. The highly pigmented shade stood out despite sitting next to a $5 million Harry Winston diamond necklace strewn across Alba's neck.
Those who aren't ready to take the plunge into Cheetos-colored chops can consider a less-severe coral option. Or, Quynh suggests, diluting your pure orange pigment with a bit of lip gloss in a lighter shade.
“You can still wear this trend by toning down the opaqueness and brightness,” says Quynh, suggesting YSL Rouge Volupte in #15, MAC Morange and NARS Lip Gloss in Wonder to be universally flattering for most skin tones. “Opt for a sheer formula, such as a gloss, balm or glossy lipstick.”
Clarins Rouge Eclat Juicy in Clementine, $26. bloomindales.com
L’Oréal Paris Colour Caresse Wet Shine Stain in Coral Tattoo, $9.99. drugstore.com
MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Morange, $15. maccosmetics.com