Overdressed: Get cheeky with your lips

Fashion columnist Morgan Young on fresh makeup ideas for summer

As the month of June bids its farewell, no one welcomed the arrival of July more warmly than yours truly.

I like to consider June as a grace period of trial and error for summer looks, and this ideology led me to spend 30 days shopping for the perfect pair of cut-offs and styling a plethora of summery pieces in an attempt to prepare for a July and August full of cute outfits — minus the stress of planning. My experiences exposed the good, the bad and the devastatingly unattractive of my relationship with this summer’s style.

I learned that those adorably retro strapless one-pieces are not made for the ocean (or any water activity that requires too much movement), stretchy patterned headbands are a life-saver and that super dark cat-eye shades may be the best for my face, but they are not effective for people watching if I have to turn my entire face to look at someone.

However, by June 30, I had not yet solved my makeup crisis. (Okay, so maybe “crisis” is a bit of an exaggeration.)

My facial focal point for my makeup has always been my eyes. They’re somewhat almond-shaped-meets-squinty, and they’re super dark, so I usually default to a single bright color or some variation of the classic smoky eye. The problem with this? Heavy eye makeup isn’t so hot at the beach, and eyeliner is no match for the sweat brought on by summer heat (basically, it only works if you're vacationing in Alaska).

But on the third day (of July), there was light!

Well, it was more like a tragic incident with my hairbrush that sent me on a quick trip to the drug store to buy a new one. On my way out, though, I spotted a fuchsia lipstick and made a beeline back to the register with it in tow before I could chicken out.

And as it turns out, I love the color and am completely obsessed. Stuck in a rut with your makeup? Try focusing on your lips.

For the summer season, go for bright colors. Deeper reds and pinks are better for people with a deeper skin tone, while fair skin is better complimented with light (but bright) pinks and violets.

Don’t be afraid to flaunt loudly colored lips with statement outfits. Red lips compliment a yellow sundress surprisingly well. (No, you won't look like a walking hot dog/condiment combo). Neutral tribal prints, retro color blocking and cute polka dots are all made more bold and feminine when sported with a bright lip.

The important thing to remember when trying this look is to keep the rest of your face simple. Match your skin color with a good foundation. Past that, a neutral shadow, a smidge of bronzer, full lashes and maybe a single sweep of liner is all you need — you really want your lips to be the star of the show.

After applying your color, slide a flat tissue between your lips and close them. This will make the intense color a little more muted and practical. It will also help avoid smudging and rubbing off on your teeth.

For some hot summer lip action (one form of it, anyway), try a bold shade of lip color. After all, of all the wonderful things you can do with your mouth, making a style statement has got to be ONE of the best.

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