Fear No: Spring 2012’s Loudest Lip Colors Monday 30 April, 2012

From high-definition cyan to lovely lilac: Spring’s loudest lipstick and lip gloss colors are ready to draw some attention to your mouth.

At the very start of Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week, a designer dared to introduce a lip color that seemed so brazen, more than a few raised eyebrows from the beauty editor clique signaled that, yes, this hue would make a for a good “neon” trend round-up, but no, it simply isn’t ever going to translate to the streets. And further: None of them would be caught dead in it. The show in question: Richard Chai Love. The color: vibrant cyan blue. The neon-bright lip custom-mixed by MAC lead makeup artist James Kaliardos is nothing more than “a good way to boost your mood if you’re feeling down,” he assures. But really, other than the coolest-of-cool club kids, and possibly a few models frozen in time in a beauty editorial, when would we see this hi-def cyan color pucker up again?

Well, to answer that question, it cropped up again (and again) in London—just a short week later, to be precise. London Fashion Week is not one to shy away from the unconventional; the brasher, the bolder, the merrier! More blue mouths emerged, and it became apparent: Every letter in ROYGBIV is up for grabs for any feature on the face (as evidenced at the chroma-explosion at Vivienne Westwood Red Label).

A bold lip is a bold lip, no matter if you go “R” or “V” or, as Richard Chai did, “B,” and even the brightest hot pink—in a matte finish, no less!—can incite some fear. Take a look at this Fear No Beauty chart documenting the loudest lip colors of the spring season, from those that simply “pop!” to those that “vroooooooooom!” Perhaps the milder hues will find a place in your makeup bag? (They have in mine!)

 Fear No Beauty Spring Loudest Lips Graph

Why You Too Should Have No Fear: You know what? I’m with ya: Blue on lips just seems a little…frigid. It’s statement-making, certainly, but the statement appears to be: I lost all blood flow to my lips; show me to the heater, please. But that hasn’t stopped makeup companies from singing the blues (lipstick): Lime Crime’s No She Didn’t baby blue and Illamasqua’s Disciple matte navy are just two options if you’re looking to rock a blue-tiful mouth.

But how do you wear it? (There is always a “but!” my friends.) As with everything in beauty that’s forward-thinking, there’s a way to ease into it. For instance, sample a deep red or purple with blue undertones before diving into periwinkle and cobalt.

Now back to those other bold lip shades. I’m of the mind that neon-bright lip hues like magenta, coral-orange and pink act as an exclamation point to a beautifully bronzed face. They brighten your look instantly. The key to the neon lip is to keep the rest of the face simple: A wash of sheer copper on the lids, several swipes of mascara and a little bit of bronzer are all you need to set up your lips for a neon trip. On the other end of the bold spectrum, I’m really digging the lilac lip at Nanette Lepore; it’s pastel, yes, but just because it’s pastel doesn’t mean it’s not bold. Bold doesn’t always equal bright, as I’ve mentioned before in reference to nail polish colors. Bold does, however, translate to “brave,” “confident” and “fearless”—the best kind of beauty, as I like to say. If bright isn’t your thing, perhaps one of these bolder pastels will bring you that bold mouth that’s so on-trend for spring and summer. Again, marry this lip with a bronzed cheek and pared-down eyes for a warm-weather look that’s both sweet and sexy.

Which loud lip are you digging?

Karie L. Frost Signature

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