We’ve been over the importance of a good bold lip many, many times here. Now let’s discuss the distant cousin of the BL – the PL, aka The Pale Lip.

The pale lip is not as confident as her cousin. She’s a little shy but every boy wants to put a ring on her because she’s totally pretty and classy but not in the ironic, eye-roll inducing sense of the word. She’s got her shit together, yaknow? And she hosts a mean dinner party, but she’s also a little quirky and weird, so she’s like a weird mix of Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel.

But enough about ‘her.’ Let’s talk about the right way to wear light lipstick, shall we?

First things first, if you want to get all up on the light lip, prep is essential. You know how bad it looks when you wear red lipstick over cracked lips? Yeah, it’s even worse with light lipstick. Exfoliate thoroughly – use a lip scrub or just take a new toothbrush and run the bristles over your lips in circular motions. Add some balm and let that sit for a while to moisturize and smooth out your lips. Then wipe it off and get ready for your color.

Choosing the right color is essentia,l too. If you’re nervous about going full on Nicki Minaj (see below; you may have forgotten how she used to look thanks to her fabulous new makeunder) try adding some clear gloss over the lipstick to soften the look.

Nicki-Minaj

This will work especially well if you have smaller lips. The sheen from the gloss draws light to your lips, making them look plumper. If your lips are on the larger side, matte ‘stick is your best bet.

If you’re not afraid of this look at all and want it to appear super pigmented and intense, try spreading concealer over your lips before adding the lipstick. It’ll neutralize the color of your lips, which will help the lipstick look the same color as it is in the tube once its applied.

Now, if you’ve been following along here, you know that subtle makeup is the way to go when you’re rocking a red or bright lip. This where the differences between red and pale lipsticks really com through. If you’re wearing a pale shade on the lips, you’re going to want to make sure the color doesn’t wash you out. Mascara, liner, maybe even a bit of bronzer – these are all essentials to giving your face some dimension when wearing lighter lipstick.

It goes without saying that you need to find the right shade for your skin tone. While plenty of magazines will give you a guide to doing this, I’m going to say that it’s really just about trial and error. Head to your local Sephora, try on a bunch of shades and see what works for you. That’s my best advice for anyone who wants to conquer the light lip.

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