Lip Goals

Whichever mood you choose – demure to dramatic – this season’s chicest lipstick shades show it off beautifully.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Whichever mood you choose – demure to dramatic – this season’s chicest lipstick shades show it off  beautifully.
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A great lipstick can telegraph your attitude – and turn heads – like no other makeup move. “It’s all about the statement lip right now,” Dior makeup artist Daniel Martin says. The season’s must-wear bullets come in rich nudes, playful pinks, vampy reds, and in an array of textures: sheer, creamy, satiny and velvety matte. It’s never been easier to find a shade for your complexion and comfort level, Daniel says. Read on for tips on picking the right formula so you can confidently put on your game face.


It’s not just bright colours that command attention; a creamy flesh tone can pack a powerful punch.

PICK IT To go light but lively, use your natural lip colour as a guide. “If your bottom lip is pinkish, pick a buff shade with a hint of pink,” Daniel says. If your lip tone is darker, go for a yellowy beige with warmth to it (think peach or apricot nudes). “These cancel out your natural lip hue without washing you out,” he says. Texture is everything too. Skip over mattes and try a creamy or satin finish. “A soft sheen gives this look some life,” says celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles.

PREP IT Light lips call attention to flaky bits, so start with your scrub.

APPLY IT Swipe colour straight from the tube, Daniel says. “Don’t be overly precise – it should look real.”

TRY Shu Uemura Tint in Balm in Nude Therapy ($42), Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Nude Pop ($35, Sephora), Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Stark Naked ($29) and Innisfree Real Fit Lipstick in Warm Apricot ($20)

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The red of the moment is an oxblood that’s equal parts gorgeous and glam.
PICK IT Sure, it’s the most dramatic trend of the bunch, but the deep blue-based red is surprisingly flattering on all skin tones, Daniel says. If you have full lips, you can pull off a velvety matte or demimatte finish, says Fiona. If you have a smaller set, go for a satin or sheer formula. “A little shine makes the dark shade less severe on thin lips,” she says.
PREP IT Smooth flaky spots with a sugar-based scrub, or rub lips with a damp washcloth, says Daniel. Top with balm and blot with a tissue to remove excess moisture. Then apply a thin layer of concealer – a stick formula offers the most accuracy and the best texture – to neutralise your own lip hue and give the bold colour something to cling on to.
APPLY IT Be precise. Use a lip brush, starting from the centre of lips, blending outwards. Then perfect the edges with a matching oxblood lip liner, Fiona says.
TRY Make Up For Ever Artist Rouge Lipstick in Creamy Stage Red ($35, Sephora), Sephora Collection Rouge Matte Lipstick in Rude Boy ($22), L’Oreal Shine Caresse CC Genius Balm in Fearless Red ($19.90, leading pharmacies) and ZA Lip Crayon in Red ($17.50, Watsons)
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The goal: A rosy cast that looks like your own lip colour, only pumped up and prettier.

PICK IT To find your perfect shade, choose one that’s a little pinker than your natural lip tone, Daniel says. That can mean anything from petal pink to raspberry. Fuchsia also has a vibrant vibe. Just avoid the nearly neon versions. As for texture, go for one with a creamy finish that’s slightly translucent.

PREP IT Dab on your clear balm before you apply any colour. A slick base will help sheer out the pigment even more while keeping your lips hydrated and healthy.

APPLY IT Using your fingertip, press the rosy colour onto your lips. Then top with a bit more balm, Fiona says. The effect is a natural, dewy stain.

TRY Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Crush ($29), Burt’s Bees Lipstick in Fuchsia Flood ($26, Sephora), Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Backstage Bambi ($32, Sephora) and Etude House Dear My Blooming Lipstalk in PK005 ($17.90)