The clocks have jumped forward. The night sky is appearing later and later, and that means Spring is around the corner. What better way to shake the winter than with some color on your face.

As a stylist, I talk to women about beauty, skin care and makeup daily. I find it surprising how many women refuse to wear a bright lip color. But a bold lip can be transforming for a woman’s appearance and mood, on an otherwise, routine day.

As an adolescent and teenager, I hated my full lips. When I moved into my twenties, I started to embrace them. I began to play around with different (often poorly chosen) colors, brands and textures of lip glosses and lipsticks. Now, at the confident and stylish age of 38, I feel I am doing the world and myself a disservice if I do not show off my full lips.

I will set a familiar stage: It's 7:42 AM, and you overslept due to that extra glass of Shiraz and impromptu binge-a-thon on Netflix. There is no time for a full face of makeup when you must get out of the door before 8:30 AM to smoothly navigate through the morning traffic. And you know darn well your eyesight or coordination does not serve you well enough for a rear-view mirror makeup application. You are at a loss.

But, a bold lip can save your day! Maybe you are feeling a punchy pink, or an ostentatious orange, a racy red or a vampy violet. I apologize for my overuse of alliteration there, but the cornball in me just could not help myself.

Once you have chosen your hue, now we can talk about how to make this bold lip work.

  1. 1. PREP 

This is an imperative step. Exfoliate the dead skin and moisturize the lips. My favorite is Vaseline and a toothbrush. Coconut oil and sugar are another tried-and-true pairing. 

  1. 2. LINE & FILL 

I notice lip liner are not as widely used as they once were, but I love lip liner. Not only does it help to create a shape, but it also fills in your lips completely to ensure that your lip color will last longer.

  1. 3. COLOR 

Within the lines, preferably. *wink*

  1. 4. TRIM & CLEAN 

Use a skin toned concealer (foundation will work too) and a flat-edged makeup brush to clean and define the line around your freshly painted lips. This will help make the lip look crisp and refined. It also prevents feathering of the lipstick.

  1. 5. BLOT

Need I say more. Yes, I do. This is the perfect time to make sure that you get any excess lipstick off that may end up on your teeth. Because yeah, that's sexy.

  1. 6. SET IT & GET IT, GIRL

Place a facial tissue lightly over your lips and dust with translucent powder. Pout, purse, pose and done!

I like to add a winged eyeliner and black mascara (Lancôme Monsieur BIG or Dior Show are my faves) with my bold lip to help add balance to the face. A very light dusting of highlighter on the cheekbones, brow bone and cupid’s bow along with a strong eyebrow shape will help to frame the face and give a polished look.

In the case you find yourself feeling dowdy and unsure of yourself, nothing exudes an aura of confidence and “my ish is together” like a daring, lively lip color. 

The next time you are at Sephora, Ulta or your favorite beauty department, ask an advisor to help you find a great color for your skin tone. You won’t be disappointed that you did!

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