With the first day of spring off our checklist, we are itching to try the season’s boldest beauty trends. Goodbye, drab and sad, hello sunny and bright! The first stop on our spring beauty tour: bright lipstick.

However, we get it—wearing ultra-saturated hues can be a bit intimidating. But there’s no need to be shy, we spoke to an expert from Cargo Cosmetics to shed a bit of light on pulling off this look with confidence.

30-second summary:

  • Here are some tips on how to wear bright lipstick: Exfoliate your lips and apply lip balm to moisturize them before applying lipstick.
  • Use a nude lip liner to define your lips and prevent the lipstick from bleeding.
  • Apply, blot, and reapply the lipstick for a long-lasting effect.
  • Clean the sides of your lips with a tissue and redefine the lip line with concealer and a flat brush for a neat application.
  • Keep the rest of your makeup minimalistic to keep the focus on your lips.
  • Wear neutral-colored clothing or match your clothing with lipstick.
  • Start with a sheer application and gradually work your way up to full brightness.
  • Experiment with nontraditional shades and have fun with them.

Make It Flattering

You want to stick with tones that are similar and complement your skin tone. “For yellow undertones, stick to warm colors. For pink undertones, look for shades with blue or purple tones in them.”

Thankfully, those with neutral skin tones (meaning equal pink and yellow tones) can get away with wearing just about any color. One trick to determining your tone? Pink undertones have veins that appear blue, while yellow-tone veins look more green.

“To make things simple, Cargo has added FaceCake’s augmented reality platform CAKE to our website so our online shoppers can easily see which shades complement their skin tones using their webcam or mobile device.”

Get Red-Y

“Whether you try lip colors in-store or with your webcam (or mobile device using CAKE on our website), choose based on skin tone and actual undertones.” Here’s her fool-proof breakdown below:

  • Warmer complexions: Choose warmer reds such as a fiery orange/red or a red with a hint of coral.
  • Cooler complexions: Stick to reds with blue or purple undertones. Vibrant blue-based cherry reds contrast with pink undertones in fair skin to make lips pop. Plus, they make teeth appear whiter.
  • Neutral complexions: [This skintone] can play around with a variety of reds.
  • Dark complexions: Go with a bright tangerine or raspberry to really make a statement. [These hues will] pop against skin or a deep, deep maroon with blue undertones.

Find The Right Shade

Fair skin looks great with bold, deep colors since it creates such a beautiful contrast against light skin. Cargo suggests colors like red (Paris), berries (Napa), and even fuchsia (Punta Cana) pop specifically on this skin tone.

Medium and olive skin tones are lucky in that most nudes (Santa Fe), reds (Paris), pinks (Palm Beach), and orange shades (Sedona) will work. Finally, rich colors like deep wine (Bordeaux), plums (Napa), or reds (Paris) complement darker or brown skin.

Yes, Pastels Can Look Fresh

With a statement pout like this, it is key to keep the rest of the look simple. “Flawless skin is a must since the neon or pastel shade will bring attention to the face.”

“Groom brows, filling in any gaps, and layer on the mascara for eyes that pop but do not distract or compete with the strong lip look.” With neon shades, a matte finish looks best. However, pastels look pretty, both matte and with a little shine.

Slip (No Slide)

A lip liner is necessary not only to keep color in place but also to define the shape of your lip. “Opt for a water-resistant formula such as the Cargo Swimmables™ Lip Liners and a lip primer to guarantee that color really stays locked in place.”

K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Sweetheart!)

Above all else, keep it simple (when it comes to the rest of your face)! Use foundation and set with pressed powder to start off with a flawless canvas. Add a touch of blush to warm up the skin, but nothing too punchy since the lip is making a strong statement on its own.

“Lightly contour if you want to add more definition, but keep the bronzing to a minimum; you’re looking to achieve a soft glow. Fill in brows where necessary and layer on the mascara.” The key is to look pulled together and fresh-faced without competing with the lip. Let your lipstick take center stage.

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