In my youth, there was a brand of cosmetics in the UK called No17. It was the baby sister to No7, Boots (the big pharmacy brand) own line of make-up. It still exists today, but it doesn’t sell the lipstick that I spent my formative years wearing.
The color was called “Twilight Teaser” and I defy anyone that lived through the 1980s as a teenager to not remember it. Twilight Teaser was a deathly shade of purple sheer metallic, shot through with what can only be described as “Embalmer’s Blue”.
It was not flattering on anyone, but we all wore it, usually teamed with electric blue mascara to up the “I’ve just come back from the dead” look.
Nowadays, I choose my lipsticks a little more carefully, but it got me to thinking that lots of women wear the same (or similar) color every day. And it’s not always the right one.
Here are 5 reasons why you might’ve been wearing the wrong color lipstick all of your life.
YOU DON’T THINK ABOUT THE REST OF YOUR MAKE-UP
If you’ve always been a pink-lip girl, then the chances are, you usually use a pinky blush – am I right? Well, I hope I am because nothing looks odder than a pink lip and a tawny blush. Or a brown toned lippy and a lollipop pink blush.
If you’re going to have a signature shade of lipstick, it has to work with the rest of your make-up. It doesn’t have to exactly match, but it has to come from the same color family.
The following tips will help you choose the right shade of blush to go with your lipstick:
Red Lipstick – this calls for a classic rose blush, or for a standout lip, ditch the blusher completely
Cool Pink Lipstick – a sheer wash of candy floss pink, or a classic pink
Warm Pink Lipstick – a cream blush in a nude-pink would look fabulous, as would a warm pink/peach blush
Nude Lipstick – reach for a peachy, warm tone blush to keep the look natural. Or use a warm toned bronzer whilst the weather is still hot.
IT’S THE WRONG TEXTURE FOR YOUR LIPS
Texture matters more than you can imagine in a lipstick.
Do you remember those highly frosted, full impact glitter lipsticks of the 1990s? I’m assuming that you’re not still wearing those! Too much sparkle looks cheap, particularly during the day.
If your lips tend to be on the dry side, then you’re making more work for yourself by always choosing a matte product. Go for something sheer, or at least highly moisturizing to avoid flaky-looking lips. Just because it’s sheer doesn’t mean it won’t still be highly pigmented.
Lipstick formulas nowadays are extremely sophisticated so even the lightest of textures can have a great depth of color.
Tip: I always exfoliate my lips with my toothbrush after brushing my teeth then slap on some Vaseline.
YOU’VE BEEN WEARING IT SINCE YOU WERE A TEENAGER WHEN SOMEONE SAID “IT SUITED YOU”
Hanging onto the same shade of lipstick that you wore as a teenager is like saying “I never grew up”. You don’t still wear the same hairstyle, do you?
It might’ve looked great back then (unlike my Twilight Teaser nightmares) but the chances are your skin tone will have changed somewhat over the years, making it possibly a little unflattering.
Here are some tips to choosing one that will work for you.
Thin Lips? Avoid darker, matte shades as it makes your lips look thinner.
Generous mouth? Dark or light is fabulous on you – you can never have natural lips that look too big!
Match your lipstick to the color of your lips, not your skin tone. If your lips are pale, try natural pinks, cherry reds or peachy corals. If they’re naturally dark, then try deep reds, burgundy or bright orange.
Like to go nude? If you’re over 25, then a creamy pale nude will look at best like you’re wearing concealer on your lips, or at worst, like you’re stuck in the 1960s. Nudes work better when the texture is sheerer, and generally with a hint of pink rather than yellow.
YOU WEAR THE SAME SHADE, DAY AND NIGHT
As someone who has quite a selection of lipsticks, I find this difficult to imagine, but I believe there are women out there that wear the same lipstick day and night.
If you’ve found your ideal color, then vary the intensity of it for an evening. You could layer your favorite shade with a lip gloss to lighten it, or over a deeper color to given it more punch.
YOU’RE STILL USING A DARKER LINER
I will put up my hands and admit that I did this. For a long time. And thought it looked good. Maybe it did but it certainly doesn’t any longer.
If you have to wear a lip liner, then choose one that matches the lipstick perfectly and do not go wildly outside your lip-line. You’re not fooling anyone. I like the idea of a liner to stop lipstick bleeding but it’s difficult to get a good finish that blends well with your lipstick. If in doubt, leave it out.