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How to make any lipstick color work for you

Color too red? Not anymore...
Color too red? Not anymore...
Photo by Jennifer Polixenni Brankin/Getty Images

We’ve all been there…
You’re favorite lipstick is out, or at home, or melted in your bag sitting outside (maybe that one is just me), so you race into the store to grab another shade. Once you get home, however, you realize there is something about it that is just not quite right. As someone who has a rapidly growing collection of “wrong lipsticks” I turned to makeup expert Rae Morris, who shared her top tips for using the lipsticks we have thrown in the castaway pile.

Problem: Your lipstick is too dark.
This can be fixed by wearing primarily at night, and try to keep it matte for a more modern look. If the color is super dark, try lightening up the middle of your lip with a different shade, for example if you’re wearing a dark chocolate brown lip lighten the middle by using a red color. If your lip is very bold, keep the rest of your look neutral, with lighter eye shadow, line, lots of mascara and a simple, yet defined brow.

Problem: Your lipstick is too light.
This is a tricky one, because “too light” can look like you have NO lip. Start by defining the edge with nude lip liner. If you’re really in a bind, you can always add some of your blush or combine with one of the “too dark” shades you have in your arsenal already.

Problem: Your lipstick shade is too warm.
You can offset a lip that is too warm by using similar hues on the rest of your face. Create a flawless foundation and ensure that all blemishes are covered (as these tones tend to bring out imperfections). Use apricot or a soft peach on your cheeks, a nature eye and if you’re wearing any jewelry opt for warmer gold hues rather than silver.

Problem: Your lipstick shade is too cool.
The good news is that cooler tones are easier to pull off because our natural lip shade has a cool undertone, (a blue red). The thing to be careful of here is your clothing – bolder, cool-hued tones look better against black and white outfits.

Problem: You mistakenly grabbed a sheer shade.
Sheer is the most forgiving, so pump up your blush and eye shadow. An added bonus? They require little-to-no maintenance.

Problem: The color brings out the redness in your skin tone.
Start by applying a matte foundation, as that will cover most blemishes. Top with a concealer only where needed. Remember, if you’re wearing a low cut top, buff foundation on your chest area as well. Avoid using blush in this circumstance, opting instead to contour your cheeks by highlighting cheekbones and applying bronzer or a slightly darker foundation to the hollows underneath.

Just like that, castaway pile transformed.

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