Find the lipstick that’s closest to you, then start swiping.
Medium with Warm Undertones
The first rule of finding a flattering bright lipstick? There are none. “Usually, you’d go for an orange-red on warmer skin tones, but that blunts the color,” Patton says. “By contrasting the tones — like a cool-toned red on warmed-toned skin — you allow the colors to pop against one another.” Patton opted for a crimson hue with blue undertones, which stood out on Hannah’s warmer skin.
Light/Medium with Warm Undertones
Shawn typically has fairer skin, but had spent a little time outside ahead of our shoot. “Hot pink looks amazing with a little bit of a tan,” Patton says. She pulled out a bright Barbie pink to swipe on Shawn’s lips. “It’s a true, down-the-middle, hot pink,” Patton says. “Tones like Shawn’s can go either blue or orange, but something with a mix of the two packs a major punch.”
Deep with Warm Undertones
The deeper your skin tone, the brighter your lipstick will look. For Mominatu, Patton opted for a warm orange shade. “When your skin is deep, [cool-toned] pastels can tend to look a little chalky,” she explained. She pressed the shade into Mominatu’s lips with her fingers for a worn-in, diffused effect that kept it from overpowering her face.
Medium with Olive Undertones
Purple can be intimidating to some, but for those with medium skin, it’s a flattering everyday color. “Purple tends to work well with olive skin,” says Patton, who chose a lavender-pink hue for Bria. The purple balances (rather than clashes) the green undertones in her olive skin, resulting in a glowing complexion. The proof’s right there.
Fair with Cool Undertones
When choosing bright lipsticks, people with fair tones tend to grab lighter hues — but Patton suggests taking the opposite approach. “On someone with a deeper tone, this color would be flat,” she says. But for Phyllicia, this cool pink pops in the perfect way. To get a perfect, sculpted lip shape, try sweeping your lipstick on with a brush and touch up the edges with concealer.
Fair with Warm Undertones
Redheads are often told that bright crimsons tend to clash with their hair color. And we say, fuck that. Patton took her opposites-attract approach and swiped a tomato red across Tess’s lips. “The color gives her a glow, because it help accentuate the warmer tones in her skin,” she explains.
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