Monday, March 1, 2010

Lips: A Coloring Lesson

What is your favorite color? I love color, period. My first favorite was yellow, and I still adore it -- bright, lush and lemon bright. Over the winter I was passionate for purple. I bought a pair of punk-rock skinny jeans from Forever 21 as a way to break up the monotony of my black and blue denim collection. Then I had A's uncles get her a pair of purple Roxy Girl flare-leg jeans for Christmas. And one of my favorite ways to play with color? Lips, lips, lips. And lip color can be a sensational and easy thing.

Obviously, A is way too young for rouge at 18 months. However, one of my recent ways of engaging her in the a.m. beauty ritual is to fake-apply lipstick or gloss onto her. She delights in it -- usually walking away satisfied right then and there. The other day though, I happened to pick her up afterward, and saw she was staring at my freshly painted peach lips, noticing the difference in hue for the first time. She examined them thoroughly for a few seconds and then looked back up at me with a twinkle in her eye: Mama, I see the change …. and I like it!  I marveled at our first mommy-daughter "color conversation." And not a moment too soon before she wriggled away to go feed her Elmo doll pretzels.

So how does one pull of a pretty, colored lip? I know lipsticks can be daunting because there are so many to choose from and it can seem intimidating to wear a fully saturated, technicolor lip. Make it simple and it won't be difficult. First, keep your face fairly clear of color. Do apply some sort of foundation/powder and/or concealer to make sure your skin is even. Think of your face as you would an artist's canvas -- you want an uninterrupted, bare surface to be able to show off the featured color. Stick to just mascara, use a little bit of eyeliner if you'd like and have the time (but no colors, just black, brown or gray), and maybe a little bit of blush. That's it.

Now, what color? Be adventurous! Don't be afraid to wear a gorgeous red, a spectacular pink or why not even violet? Have the sitter for an extra half hour? Go to your favorite makeup counter and try on some colors. It's a good idea to try on different shades from varying brands to see what works for you, but if you need a cheat sheet or can't spare the time, give these a look-see ...

The Bold Lip 1-2-3:

1) Anyone can pull off a fabulous red lip. Try Ruby Woo by M.A.C. Cosmetics ($14) -- a lipstick reminiscent of the cabaret that is universally flattering.

2) Picture yourself in pink? Generally speaking, the more color you have in your skin, the pinker you can go. If you're on the pale or medium side, try one of my favorite Nars sheer lipsticks in Roman Holiday ($24). If you're on the tanner side or have a deeper complexion, check out Poetic Pink, a semi-sheer lipstick by Sephora ($12).

3) If you dare to go lavender (and do dare because it's a color that is quite flexible with skin color), be spot-on with the lighter lilacs hues that dominated the spring/summer 2010 runways with this Shiseido lip gloss in Cool ($22).


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on


t said...

I always wear the same dark red when I'm dressing up. Now, I'm dying to try a lavender or even the sheers!

Natasha Rao said...

I <3 the color you are putting on right here!!!!! What color is that? That is going to be my spring must-have:)

Nuy said...

Hey N! I'm actually wearing `Up the Amp' by MAC Cosmetics - an amazing color overall!