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Brighten Your Smile

Stacey Pulwer's picture

As we head into the warmer weather (and not to make you jealous, but it hit 90 degrees in Los Angeles last week!) it's time to put away a lot of your darker lipsticks and glosses and reach for all the brighter shades that just scream "tropical vacation."  It's one of my favorite things to do when it heats up again because nothing feels more spring and summer-like than a bright pop of color on your lips.  Plus, it also lets you be a little lazier with the rest of your makeup because you'll want to go easy on the eyes to make your lips stand out, so you can save yourself an extra few minutes in the morning and stay cuddled up in bed a little longer.  Anything that lets me do that automatically gets my stamp of approval!

Since bright shades draw so much attention to your lips, before you even attempt to pull off a bold shade, you want to make sure your lips are in as good of a condition as possible.  My personal favorite way to do that is to use The Lip Scrub on them at least once a week.  There's a reason The Lip Scrub has become such a cult classic – it really works.  You just dig a tiny amount of it out of the jar, put it on your lips, scrub away, and in a few minutes, it takes care of all the roughness and makes them perfectly kissable again.  Plus, it comes in amazing flavors.  My new obsession is the limited edition Blood Orange scent.  It's so fresh and zingy and delicious.  It makes me want to use it way more often than I should be!   (Also, if you're a dessert fan—and who isn't?—the Red Velvet and Brown Sugar flavors both smell exactly like their sweet namesakes and will make you so happy.  I promise).

Once your lips are smooth and ready to be filled with color, it's time to pick a shade.  For me personally, I find that when I'm going with brights, I like to stick to either a shocking coral or a neon pink.  With my pale coloring, a super bright red doesn't look all that flattering on me, but obviously your mileage may vary and I love when I see women rocking a bright red lip that they're totally pulling off.  If you're on a budget (and who isn't these days?) my favorite wallet-friendly brights right now are the new Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids.  You can find them at any drugstore, so they're super convenient to pick up, plus they're under ten dollars (sometimes substantially under, if you catch them on sale).  They're available in a range of shades and they definitely define the word "bright."  My number one favorite is Vibrant Mandarin.  It's a shocking orange that screams "confidence" and just makes me feel fun and flirty when I swipe it on.  There's also a shade called Hot Plum that's a really pretty pinkish-plum, a shade I normally don't wear a bright color of, but somehow in this case, it just works.  They're all really cool colors, which makes me very happy because (and I know I'm preaching to the choir here) nothing gets me more excited than finding a great makeup item in the drugstore.  Who says they're only for toilet paper and toothpaste?

If you prefer to spend a little more on your makeup or you're looking for a splurge, my other recommendation is the new NARS Satin Lip Pencils.  Love these!  They're great because the pencil tip makes it super easy to place the color exactly where you want it, which is very important when you're dealing with brights because you don't want to give yourself the dreaded "clown mouth" (as my friends and I so affectionately call it).  With these, you don't have to worry about that.  You can line and fill in your lips without even thinking about it.  Pencils can sometimes be drying, but these aren't at all, and they are so, so pigmented.  They're definitely not cheap at $25 each, but if you fall in love with a shade, you're not going to regret treating yourself to it later.  My favorite shade here is Yu, a shocking pink.  It pairs fabulously with a sheer pink blush and a hint of color on the eyes.  I'm also head over heels for Luxembourg, a vivid watermelon.  If you're the kind of person who can pull off a red lip, you can't go wrong with this shade.

With all these fabulous choices for a bright lip, bring on the summer!        



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