Did you know that orange is a universally flattering color? No really, I swear. First, consider your options: melon, coral, tangerine, terracotta, apricot, blood orange, burnt orange, neon and more.
There are so many hues to go around, you’ll definitely be able to find one that’s right for you. Not to mention, orange is the hottest lip color for spring and summer, so you might as well give the color a chance.
Orange lipstick may sound like another sensational trend (we’re looking at you, blue eye shadow) better suited for catwalk models than your average gal, but the color is much more wearable than it sounds. Don’t believe me? These made-in-heaven orange lipstick matches might just change your mind.
Blue Eyes: Orange makes blue pop like no other color. Going for a true orange (one that is equal parts red and blue) is a flawless match, but really any orange that complements your skin tone will work. For cooler undertones, try pastels, red-oranges and corals. Warmer undertones will look amazing in oranges with yellow, copper and golden hues.
Chloe Sevigny’s blue is brought out of her pale eyes with a bright orange lipstick color with red hues.
Olive Skin: I’m pretty sure terracotta was invented for olive skin tones, but you can’t go wrong with a coral or any other orange that you’d pair with green (think cooler, blue-based oranges). This all also applies to Green/Hazel Eyes.
Camilla Belle has not been shy with bright lips this season (radiant orchid and bubblegum pink, to name a couple), but this flattering orange is my favorite.
Yellow Undertones: Remember learning in elementary school that red plus yellow equals orange? If your skin has yellow undertones, you can rock the brighter and bolder oranges without overpowering your complexion.
Chinese actress Fan Bingbing going oh-so-bright and it looks oh-so-right.
Amber Stevens paired a bold orange-red with tangerine eyes.
Pale Skin: Orange can provide the same pop of color as a red lip, but it’s less harsh on pale skin than its ruby cousin.
Bronzed Skin: Bright oranges and bronzer were meant to be. They play on each other’s warmth in ways that even work for cooler skin tones.
Emma Watson’s orange lip brings out the warmth in her cheeks and otherwise cool complexion.
Dark Skin: Lupita Nyong’o is the red carpet leader in all things orange lipstick. She has rocked blood orange, mandarin, sheer tangerine, coral and the list goes on. Fact: The darker your skin, the larger your selection of flattering bright and bold colors.
Orange is no exception. For example, while sheer, lighter oranges tend to flatter all, rocking the bolder and deeper orange hues in sheer colors will be no challenge with darker skin. Look at Lupita Nyong’o wearing a sheer, barely-there orange.
Lupita looking amazing in a bold mandarin lip with a bright yellow dress.
And Solange Knowles just to prove Lupita isn’t the only woman of color owning the orange lip.
Redheads: Pick an orange, any orange. You have the hair-given right to wear oranges like nobody else. Since your coloring is already working with the orange you’ve got, you can go for fun contrasting oranges or choose a similar shade for, get this, a more natural look.
Christina Hendricks’ contrasting coral lips bring out the golden-orange in her hair.
So basically, if you’re a blue-eyed redhead with dark-as-night skin, you’ve won the orange lipstick lottery. But I’m not joking when I say anyone can pull off orange lips. However, going absolutely orange (such as neon or tangerine) may not be your style.
No biggie. You can still rock spring and summer’s hottest lip trend by going for hues that aren’t all about the orange. Coral and blood orange shades, for example, can be found with a more balanced orange-to-pink or -red ratio respectively. And if you want to go orange but not scream it from the rooftops, try out a pastel or start with a gloss.
Still doubting the orange? So did I – at first. My gateway orange was a red lipstick with a burnt-orange hue. Since then I’ve moved onto a medium coral and bright tangerine.
So before you knock it, try it. And now is the time, as orange options are popping up in cosmetic aisles (and online stores) everywhere.
Are you getting your orange lip on? We’d love to know! Drop us a line @DiscoverSelf.
Beatrice Strnad is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications that cover topics such as beauty, fashion, technology and literature.