For those of us who lived it, hot pink lips may call to mind the '80s, while those who are new to pink may credit Lady Gaga's love child with M·A·C, the aptly named Viva Glam Gaga, for stoking the trend.
Whatever the reason, pink is a decidedly haute hue this season. But finding that just right temperature of fuchsia-ness requires a heaping helping of trial and error paired with a dash of skin-tone knowledge. Here's my recipe for the perfect pretty-in-pink pout.
Pucker picks 101
Start with a good lip primer. I love Laura Geller's Lip Spackle. If you prefer not to splurge on lip primer, apply a dab of foundation to well-moisturized lips to prep. The key to pulling off pink lips is to line the lips with a nude lip liner before applying your lipstick hue of choice. This locks color in place without looking harsh. Apply your favorite hue and then blot lips with a tissue before dusting lips with translucent powder. Next, reapply lipstick and wear matte or pair with a clear high-intensity gloss.
Hues to have and hold
I kissed a lot of pink frogs to come up with a definitive list of the best pinks on the market. And there are some skin-tone suggestions to follow, too. (Just remember, they're suggestions — not rules — after all, only you can decide whether to rock fuchsia, rose or plum).
DuWop: Calorie-free, DuWop's Lipmousse offers up creamy perfection in a just-right hybrid of lipstick and gloss. It's long-lasting and lightweight and the hydrating formula — think shea butter — diminishes the appearance of lip lines. Cupcake is a true pink ideal for light and medium skin tones while Baked Apple is a perfect coral. It's $22 at duwop.com.
Eyes Lips Face: No, this isn't a makeup line from Nordstrom, as urban beauty legend would have you believe. But when it comes to pink, Eyes Lips Face boasts a lipstick collection that is both affordable and expansive. The Mineral Lipstick collection ($5 each at eyeslipsface.com) has so many fabulous shades of pink, you're sure to find one to suit you. I love Party Pink, a warm toned pink; Pouty Petal, a cool toned pink; and Nicely Nude, a true-to-its-name barely there hue.
Iman Cosmetics: Leave it to the woman who tamed David Bowie to create a deep, rich fuchsia that flatters darker skin tones so well. From Iman Cosmetics Luxury Moisturizing Lipstick Collection, I'm wild about Wildthing. It's $8.99 at drugstore.com and some local department stores.
Mattese Elite: You want hot pink? I got hot pink! Ecstasy from Mattese Elite is, hands down, the truest, hottest pink I came across. And frankly, it's just too darn hot for some of you. Can you take the heat? Get it for $10 at rickysNYC.com.
When pink is just too Barbie and red is just too Megan Fox, Coral can be a girl's best friend. My only hard-and- fast coral rule? Please, oh please, don't sport a frosted coral lipstick. Your grandma is sure to want it back. My favorite coral glosses are Peach Sizzle from Estee Lauder and Just Sexy from Girlactik Beauty. Wendy from Jemma Kidd and Orange Hibiscus from Yves Rocher round up the list for coral lipstick shades I recommend as universally flattering.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to all that is hip and happening in local beauty. Need beauty advice? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.