I remember when I was little and I would watch friends’ moms put on lipstick and think that I would never do that. That weird, beige-pink shade? No, thanks! Red? Forget about it! A shimmery black metallic finish liquid lipstick called Kymajesty? Well, OK, it didn’t exist, but I wouldn’t have even dreamed of wearing the color black on my lips. I’m not sure anyone really did.
Flash forward 15 years and lipstick is waaaaay in. And mindless lemming I am, I’m way into it! Of all my recreational spending, the majority of it is on lipstick. I’m a little embarrassed. But also, #sorrynotsorry. If you’re like I was about a year ago, you probably love the way lipstick looks but are terrified of what others will think when they see it on you, so you’ve never tried it and know next to nothing about it. Well, you’re in luck, because here is my advice for picking and rocking lipstick that is just right for you.
First of all, you should know that I firmly believe there is no one shade that anyone can wear for the rest of their life without getting bored. Don’t spend all of your energy looking for the perfect shade. Because, while perfect shades exist, there’s more than just the one. You deserve to have several Mason jars full of lipsticks that you positively adore. And that’s what I want to help you with.
So here’s the first step: dive in head first. The next time you find yourself at Ulta or Sephora, cover the back of your hand or the inside of your arm with lipstick swatches (from the tester tubes—don’t make my mistakes) to see what the color looks like on you. Then—and this is very important—get as many as you want. Obviously, if buying every shade you want means you won’t be able to pay rent this month, you’ll want to pare it down. Lipstick is important, but not that important. But if you only get one and you hate it, it can be very discouraging. Get a variety so that you can really find out what it is you like.
There are also so many different kinds of lipstick to consider before you even get to color. While they will mostly come in a stick, a crayon, or a liquid, lipstick can have lots of different finishes. Matte, satin, glossy, sheer, and metallic finishes all have such different properties—and that’s not even all of them. Try them all. Like I said, they’re so different, so the only way to find out if you like them is to try them.
Here's the next step: Forget everyone else and do what you want to do. The first little bundle of lipstick I bought sat untouched for months because I was so freaked out about what people would say to me and think of me. And people still say things about my lipstick choices that I find discouraging. But remember why you started wearing lipstick in the first place. You liked how it looked. You didn’t see an article about the perfect red lipstick Gigi Hadid wears all the time and think, “Maybe if I start to wear lipstick, Zayn Malik will notice me.” (P.S. If you’re reading this, Zayn, I also recently found my perfect red lipstick, so...let’s get coffee sometime.) So when someone tells you that a dark lip makes you look washed out, or that people of your race can’t wear a certain color lipstick, just nod and smile with your flawlessly painted lips.
And now, for my final piece of advice, I will tell you how to find the perfect shade.
Step One: Pick a shade.
Step Two: Try it on.
Step Three: Decide whether or not you think it is pretty.
Step Four A: If you think it is not, don’t buy/wear it.
Step Four B: If you think it is, buy and wear it.
And that’s it! Pretty simple, huh?
Your body is just that—yours. You don’t worry about what people think of the pictures on your walls or the stickers on your notebooks, so why should you care about what they think of the color on your lips? Be unapologetically you.