Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Some people are intimidated by the idea of wearing bold lipstick, but it’s actually a lot more wearable than you might think. Fall and winter are my favorite times to wear a bold or vampy lip color, but there’s definitely an art to executing it successfully. Let’s talk about the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years to mastering a bold lipstick.

Exfoliated and Smooth Lips
The perfect lipstick application starts, of course, with taking care of your lips. A bold lipstick can emphasize dry or cracked lips, so make sure you’re protecting your lips by keeping them moisturized. I slather on Aquaphor every single night, but any fragrance-free lip balm will do. Next, you’ll likely want to use a lip scrub to exfoliate your lips and get rid of any dead skin so that you have the perfect, smooth surface for lipstick application. I like Bite Beauty Whipped Cherry Lip Scrub.


Foundation Application
When you wear a dark lipstick, any redness or acne you might have will be highlighted. To avoid that, make sure you’re wearing a good medium to full coverage foundation to even out your skin tone. Look for a foundation that stays put so that your skin imperfections are covered throughout the entire day. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, or Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation are really good options.

Let’s Talk Blush
When wearing a deep berry or vampy lip color, you’ll find that you need to wear more blush to balance out the deeper lip and look healthy and alive. Don’t be afraid to add more blush than usual, especially after having put on a medium to full coverage foundation. Look for blushes that have the undertones of your lipstick for a seamless look.

Go For A Matte Formula
There’s nothing worse than wearing a bold lipstick and having it migrate down your face throughout the day. You don’t want a dark lipstick on your chin, so stick to liquid or matte lipsticks. A glossier formula will likely move around more easily, while a matte formula tends to last longer and stay put. And for an added bonus, matte and liquid lipstick formulas will be less likely to get on your teeth.

Lining Lips and Cleaning the Edges
To tell you the truth, I skip lip liner most days, but when you’re going for a bolder lip shade, you probably won’t want to skip it. It’s the easiest way to get your lip shape down and get a clean, crisp line while also preventing feathering. If you went outside your lip lines and made a mess during the lipstick application, you can easily clean it up with concealer and a small flat brush.

Think about balancing the rest of your makeup
Avoid bold, smoky eyes on days when you’re playing up your lips. For a clean and modern look, keep the rest of your makeup simple so that there is not too much going on. However, if you read last week’s article, you know that I’m all about breaking rules, so if you want to experiment with both a bold eye and lip, go ahead!

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Shira Rosenbluth, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in New York City. She has a passion for helping people feel their best in their body at any size and specializes in the treatment of disordered eating, eating disorders, and body-image dissatisfaction using a weight-neutral approach. She’s also the author of, a popular body positive style blog. You can find her on Instagram @theshirarose. Find more about her therapy practice at