Spring clothing is all about juicy, neon color and punctuating the look with a pop of coral lipstick seems to be the way fashion-conscious girls are balancing their brights.
But coral lips can be intimidating. The color falls out of the classic red zone and is much louder than a pinky-brown neutral. For some, the very thought conjures up images of overtan grannies with pasty coral-pink pouts. But it’s pretty easy to make the orangey-pink hue look fresh.
Celebrity makeup artist Jenn Streicher, whose clients include Emily Blunt, Claire Danes and Jamie King, breaks down how to successfully rock coral this season without looking outdated or straight from the '80s.
“Coral looks so good on tanned skin,” says the makeup artist, who painted Blunt's lips a pinkish-coral color (Tom Ford Flamingo, $48 at neimanmarcus.com) for this year’s SAG awards. “The color just feels like spring and summer.”
She recommends swiping on some bronzer with a coral lip, to warm up the skin and so the overall look is fresh and beachy.
Streicher swears that coral really looks good on everyone, it just depends on the shade. If you have fair skin like Blunt, opt for a coral with pink undertones. The result isn’t so drastic as a shade with more orange. Tom Ford’s Flamingo, Nars’ Coralisque Velvet Gloss lip pencil (out in April) and Sephora’s Rouge Cream lip color in Jealous ($12 at sephora.com) all complement a lighter complexion.
For medium to darker skin tones, a little more orange is key. Streicher recommends Vegas Volt from MAC ($17.50 at maccosmetics.com) and True Coral from Tom Ford ($48 at neimanmarcus.com). A shade called Star Coral from Aveda ($18 at aveda.com and Aveda salons) is also great on darker skin because of its warm, brown undertones.
For a daytime look, coral-colored gloss is a no-brainer (Streicher suggests mixing a little bright coral lipstick with coral gloss to pump up the color of the gloss -- a gradual way to go from a sheer wash to statement mouth. To really make a statement, paint on a brighter shade (like Vegas Volt). Streicher isn’t a huge fan of using lip liner with the color because it can age the wearer and look a little too heavy.
Her other big no-no when it comes to wearing coral lips is iridescent or shimmery shades. “Stick with a matte or cream,” she says. “Shimmery formulas will start to look like your grandma’s coral.”
Nothing against Grandma, but this spring, it’s all about non-shimmery pops of coral that work like an accessory to spring’s bold, bright clothing.
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Photos: Top: MAC Vegas Volt. Credit: MAC; Top left: Tom Ford Flamingo. Credit: Neiman Marcus; Top right: Tom Ford True Coral. Credit: Neiman Marcus; Bottom right: Sephora Cream Rouge in Jealous. Credit: Sephora; Bottom left: Aveda Star Coral Nourish-Mint lipstick. Credit: Aveda.