Carola Long: 'Bold lips make an outfit look instantly modern'

Saturday 08 January 2011 01:00

The biggest fashion story for spring/summer is bright colour. However, it takes a particularly joyful dresser to brave head-to-toe acid-yellow clothes in January, so bold lips offer an easy entrée into the trend.

The look is about hot pops of colour that stand out on the face and make an outfit look instantly modern. At Jil Sander, where Raf Simons' designs came in felt-tip-pen brights, the clothes were complemented with a matte fuchsia lip and an almost bare face. When Kate Bosworth wore a pale pistachio skirt with a white T-shirt from the collection recently, she stayed true to the look with her hair scraped back and Schiaparelli pink lipstick.

The most modern way to wear the look is to keep the face and eyes looking bare, ideally even without mascara. "Allow the lip to be the focus of the face," says MAC Senior Artist, Neil Young. In reality, most make-up wearers are loathe to relinquish mascara, but do keep the rest of the face as low-key as possible. Young says, "a full, luscious brow is the perfect partner for a bright lip as it naturally belongs to the face and therefore won't compete with colour. Always start with the lip and build the make-up around it". Good, natural-looking bases include Chanel's Pro Lumiere foundation and Bobbi Brown's Natural Finish Foundation.

The best bright lipsticks include Barry M's Shocking Pink (, MAC's Morange – a turbo-charged tangerine (mac and Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture ( in Fuchsia. The colour expert Pantone has tipped honeysuckle, a pinkish red, as its key colour for s/s 2011, and Chanel's Insolente ( is a good match for the shade. Leatrice Eisman, executive director of the Pantone Institute says, "People are looking for something that gives them a lift... honeysuckle is a feel-good colour." Bright colour is effectively on-trend cosmetic Prozac.

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