Last week I gave a presentation to a lovely group of ladies, and I mentioned one simple trick that would help light up their faces and give them a more youthful, vibrant appearance. What is the trick?
It is mentioned in our book: QUINTESSENTIAL STYLE: Cultivate and Communicate Your Signature Look. The trick is: If you haven’t changed your lipstick in a while, try wearing a color that is a shade brighter than the one you’re currently wearing.
Simple, right? No…maybe not. After the presentation there were many ladies who were asking, “What does it mean to go a shade brighter? Does brighter mean deeper? Does brighter mean lighter?”
I thought the word ‘bright’ had a universal connotation. Bright, you know–bright!
I needed to bring in the big guns–so I consulted my co-author, Janna Beatty, on this seemingly simple, yet ironically complex definition.
Janna had the answer to this color conundrum (straight out of the book):
“Clarity is the element in color that describes how bright, dull, or toned down it is. If you mixed brown or gray pigment into a bright color, it would not be as bright. If you wear colors with too little clarity (dull) they can dim you down, while colors with too much clarity (too bright) may overpower you.”
Bright = not dull. Hmmm…still confused? Let’s go to visuals, which are always a good idea.
I used my own lipstick for this experiment.
In the photo on left, I smeared two lines of lipstick onto a sheet of paper.
In the next photo, I added some bronzer to the second line. See how the brown bronzer dulls down the color?
Years ago, I wore a shade similar to the one on the far right–I remember the color was called ‘Dusty Rose.’ I didn’t realize the color was no longer flattering on me until I brightened my shade.
It can be difficult to choose from literally thousands of lip colors. How do you know which one is going to look best on you? Most likely you’ll to have to try several to find the most complementary shade. (Of course, you can always consult a color expert like Janna, to avoid a lot of costly mistakes.)
It’s best to try lipstick directly on your mouth, because the amount of pigment you already have in your lips can affect color.
As we mature our color can fade. To replenish that youthful look, simply add some.
You don’t need a lot. And color that might be considered bright for one person, may not be considered bright for another. But if a color appears dusty or dim, try a shade with more brightness/vibrancy.
One more thing:
When you try on a new lipstick, don’t just look at your mouth. Look at your entire face.
This lip color appears very bright up close. But when you step away, it looks amazing.
We hope this sheds a little light on the issue of brightness. When you put on a lip color that is the correct shade and clarity for you, your entire face will beam. Your eyes will pop, your skin will glow…guaranteed.
LOVE this article, Sharon. I want to run out right now and shop for a new lipstick . . . or two. I, too, have worn a similar color to the Dusty Rose in your examples, and now I’m ready to amp it up a bit. Especially with Spring around the corner, everything needs to be brightened up a little.
Thanks so much for the lipstick suggestion and the help in figuring this out. I continually go to your book Quintessential Style for tips and tricks!