We lipstick lovers know there’s something extra powerful about the beauty staple. It’s pretty much the only product that’ll change our mood in just one swipe. We’ll reach for our favorite shade at the end of a particularly grueling workday and immediately go from wondering how fast we can put sweatpants on to thinking, Okay, maybe just one drink. So we were more than excited that after seasons of sheer balms and tints, there were real lip trends on the spring/summer runways—colors, textures, statements.
“It’s an exciting time for makeup and fashion right now, because the industry is all about choice and celebrating the individual,” says makeup artist Brit Cochran. “There are times where bold lips are absolutely worn to make a statement. But there are many other times when women want to wear fuss-free makeup. It’s a beautiful thing that we’re empowered to choose which face to put forward each day.”
We teamed up with NARS Cosmetics to break down our favorite lip trends that are soon to be everywhere. All that's left is determining which you'll try first, using the brand's new Powermatte Lip Pigment. The best part? These lippies don't budge, so you can wear your favorite bold shades without being worried that they'll smudge off.
The New Pink
The words “pink lipstick” can be an instant turnoff for some people (not us, but some people). And we get it—there’s the fear that it’s going to look too girly or (at the boldest end of the spectrum) too intimidating. But rosebud lips are none of the above. The soft blush shade is like your lips but better, and we saw it all over the spring/summer runways, from Cushnie et Ochs to Michael Costello.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t wear it for fall too. “For [the colder months], I’d use a tone that’s more on the mauve or dusty side of rose,” says Cochran. Think NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment ($26) in Slow Ride or American Woman. These liquid lip pigments go on super smooth and will last through anything (seriously, just wait until you try removing it at the end of the day!). “Keep in mind that your perfect shade will be close to your natural lip color after sipping hot tea or coffee, when your lips are warm and toasty,” she advises.
The Power Orange
If a bold red lip is your go-to, make this orange-toned red your next trend to try. “Orange-red tones are flattering because they brighten the complexion,” says Cochran. “Plus, it isn’t as serious as a classic red.” When it comes to choosing your best shade, remember that there are subtle nuances between each. “[True] orange-red tones [like Light My Fire] tend to look better on warm and golden skin tones. But if you have cool or deep undertones to your skin, look for an orange-red that falls closer to true red [like Don’t Stop],” she advises.
Or you can layer lipstick on top of a classic red lip pencil to tone down the shade, she says. Pair your lip with a metallic eye and glowing skin, or with tight graphic liner for an editorial look.
The Throwback Made cool
Think of this lipstick trend as the beauty version of the acid-wash jeans that were everywhere in the ’80s. Only this bleached-out version for your lips is easier to pull off than its clothing counterpart. When it comes to choosing your color, “the right shade is actually the wrong shade,” says Cochran. That’s right: We’re giving you permission to intentionally choose a too-light hue, like the models at Tom Ford and Christian Siriano wore on the S/S 18 runways. We like Get It On. Or, if you want a frostier finish, layer The Multiple in Luxor on top.
The Custom Neutral
Back in the day, when we’d search for “nude” lipstick, we’d usually spend time scouring the beauty aisle only to find one or two shades of light tan that definitely didn’t read as neutral on every skin tone. NARS, however, has always been a pioneer in that respect, catering to a wide range of skin tones so that everyone has a nude lipstick and foundation to call their own. So, it's nice to see that more and more brands are waking up to the fact that nude means something different for everyone, and we saw nudes in every hue at Jill Stuart, Anna Sui, and Versus Versace runway shows this fall.
So how do you find yours? “Fair-skinned ladies should look for a nude that has a tint of pink, whereas light warm tones can wear nudes that are more beige,” says Cochran. Olive skin tones should look for shades that will provide a subtle difference in hue between the skin and the mouth, using deeper or pink-tinted shades. “Women of color should look for a pink-brown or deep caramel tone, and chocolate brown [like Done It Again] is a great nude for deepest skin tones.”
For more lip inspiration, shop these long-lasting shades that'll stay put through anything, from NARS Cosmetics.