Wear Bright Colors on Lips, Nails, and Eyes
A sheer wash of bold color instantly enlivens your most attention-getting feature.
Color code: If a shade appeals to you, you can probably pull it off, says Miami-based makeup artist Fatima Olive. But if you need some steering, consider the season’s beautiful aquamarine and green shadows, which look good on everyone. If you have fair skin, lighter teals and minty greens are particularly flattering, while more saturated colors, like cobalt blues and deeper emeralds, make an impact on darker complexions.
How to apply: To make your shadow last longer, dab a little foundation over your lids first. Then “use a brush with tightly packed bristles to apply bright shadow along your lash lines,” says Olive. Soften and blend the color up to the creases with a finger or a fluffy brush. Finish with mascara.
For color-phobes: Take your bright shadow down a notch by running a cotton swab over your lids, suggests Troy Jensen, a Los Angeles makeup artist for Q-tips. “It’s a great tool for making brighter colors even sheerer,” he says.
1. Lancôme Color Design Eye Shadow in Best Dressed
(also on model, previous slide), $16.50, lancome-usa.com.
2. Michael Marcus Eye Shadow in Fantastic, $18, michaelmarcus.com.
3. Shu Uemura Pressed Eye Shadow in ME Green 550, $20, shuuemura-usa.com.
4. MAC Eye Shadow in Freshwater, $14.50, maccosmetics.com.
Vibrant, candy shades on hands and feet add small splashes of color. Plus, bold fingernails don’t need rings or bracelets.
Color code: Juicy oranges and fuchsias look striking on fair skin tones but also warm up medium to darker ones. Cooler shades, like cornflower blue and poppy red, also work on lighter skin tones and flatter darker ones. Truly, nearly any shade goes. But opt for cream finishes; frosted ones look dated.
How to apply: The key to wearing bright nails in a classy way? A short length. “Cut nails just to the fingertip and file straight across, rounding the edges,” says Tabitha Belesis, a New York City manicurist. Wipe the nails with remover to create a clean, dry surface. Next, apply a base coat to make the manicure last. Add two coats of polish, and seal with a topcoat to prevent chips. Clean up any mistakes with a pointed cotton swab dipped in remover.
For color-phobes: Narrow the contrast between your skin tone and the polish. For example, if you’re fair, go for a bubble-gum pink instead of fuchsia.
1. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Color in Orange You Fast!
(also on model, previous slide), $5 at drugstores.
2. N.Y.C. New York Color Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in Greenwich Village, $2 at drugstores.
3. Dashing Diva Nail Color in Summer Fling, $8, dashingdiva.com.
4. Essie Nail Polish in Mesmerize, $8, essie.com.
A bolder lip color shouldn’t be reserved for evenings. When applied as a stain or a sheer lipstick, a vibrant shade looks fresh, polished appropriate anywhere, anytime.
Color code: A classic Coke-can red works on nearly everyone. Bluer-based shades (think fire trucks) complement cooler skin tones, while orangey reds (like tomatoes) enhance warmer complexions. Hot pinks look dramatic on lighter skin, and vivid corals and deep fuchsias are beautiful on medium to darker skin tones.
How to apply: “For ideal results, apply lip balm first to smooth,” says Victoria Stiles, a makeup artist in Washington, D.C. Next, run the pad of your finger over the top of your lipstick. Then press your finger over your lips to deposit the color. “Pat on a second layer for a softer look, or use a small brush for more definition,” says Stiles. For extra staying powder, dust lips with translucent powder.
For color-phobes: Try brightly colored gloss (or blend lipstick with a clear gloss) for the sheerest version of this look.