How to Pull Off Orange Lips Successfully, Starring MAC Neon Orange Lipstick.

There are 3 things in life that I’m terrified of:

  1. Earthworms that emerge from the underworld when it rains,
  2. Getting run over by a moving vehicle (what a horrible way to die!), and
  3. Neon lipstick.

While it might take some serious brainwashing and/or hypnotism to fix the first two, I think my fear of neon lipsticks is something I can deal with.  This is the aptly named MAC Neon Orange Lipstick ($17.50 at PRO stores).  Neon Orange is a PRO colour, but will be released in regular MAC stores starting on December 26 with the Stylishly Yours Collection.

MAC Neon Orange Lipstick

MAC Neon Orange Lipstick Swatch

In an attempt to recreate the Pop Classic look from the MAC Spring Trends Master Class I attended, I paired Neon Orange with a bold cat eye liner, complete with multicoloured glitter.  Might be a fun look for the runway, but on me it was just not cute.  Now I know.  Or is that just common sense? 😛  I wiped off my lips as soon as I got to work.

To prevent you from looking like a hot mess on your daily commute to work or school, here are some tips to carry off traffic stopping lips in style.

#1 — Wear Your Skin Clean and Dewy.

Bright orange is a fun, youthful shade, so what’s more youthful than a fresh face?  Mix your foundation or tinted moisturizer with a highlighter to achieve a covetable glow.  You can either go with a liquid like NARS Illuminator in Orgasm or a loose powder like MAC Gold Studio Finish Face Powder.  Go over the high points of your face — nose bridge, cheeks, cupid’s bow (lips) — with more highlights.

#2 — Add Warmth with Bronzer.

If you’re feeling especially pale (I am!), apply a dusting of bronzer all over your face.  I like Annabelle Haute Gold Bronzer for this purpose.  Using a fluffy powder brush, draw the number 3 the sides of your face to hit your forehead, cheeks, and chin.  Adding overall warmth to your skin will decrease the contrast between your own complexion and the lipstick. 🙂

#3 — Say No to Heavy Eye Makeup.

While it is always tempting to go wild with eye makeup, try — really try — keep it to a minimum for this look.  If you must use eyeshadow, go with neutral shades.  Enhance your eyes with simple black eyeliner on your upper lash line, and finish off with mascara.

#4 — Brows: You Need Them.

I cannot — cannot — stress this enough. If you are wearing a bold lip, whether it is red or hot pink or neon orange, you have to wear your brows bolder than usual. Otherwise you will look like a pair of lips that just grew a face around it. My weapon of choice is MAC Brun Eyeshadow (of course!) or MAC Eye Brows in Spiked.

#5 — Keep Your Lips in Tact with Lip Liner.

Make sure your crisp bold lip stays that way. Remember, your lipstick is not allowed anywhere on your cheeks. Choose a colour similar to your lipstick, a neutral colour, or a clear liner around your lip line.

MAC Neon Orange Lipstick Lip Swatch


Wearing MAC Neon Orange Lipstick

Do you wear orange lips?  If not, will you, after these tips? 🙂

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  • I love love love love love this. I am an absolute fan of bright bold lipstick! Must get this for sure 🙂

    • This would look sooo good against your complexion Lelo!

  • You look super fresh-faced and glowy w/ that lippie! I lovee orange lipstick xD

    • The glowy complexion is party because of the bronzer. Oh I don’t know what I would do without bronzer these days. My tinted moisturizer is already too dark for me. 🙁

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  • gorgeous! this shade looks particularly lovely on you 🙂

    • Thanks Dani! 🙂 You’d totally rock this shade too!

  • Wow! You look so beautiful here! And it’s great to know that orange lips can be worn without looking like a clown or like you’re supposed to be in a crazy dramatic runway show! You’ve made me so excited to try this and I’ll definitely check out Neon Orange when it comes out in Stylishly Yours 🙂 Thanks!

  • Great tips! You look amazing! 🙂

    • Thanks! Hope you try it out. It’s so much fun!

  • you’r totally working that shade girl! I need to check it out soon. I’m sooo scared of pure orange. I can do red orange but let’s see…

    and u’re not pale lady! You should see me when I don’t spray tan…i get down to like NW20, urgh :/

  • You have an excellent taste in lipsticks! I like each one you have showed in your blog, especially Chanel phoenix and Mac party line 🙂 But i’m sure that i can’t wear that orange 😀

    • Thanks so much! I hope you at least try orange lipstick using these tips. 🙂

  • First, let me say again how much I love your writing! You are so fun to read! And the information you provide is always so helpful — these are such good tips! I am using so many exclamation marks!! I love your post this much!


    • Aww Michelle, thanks! I’m so happy that you actually read my rambling. I think most people just skim for photos. 😛 I put so much love into my posts, so thanks for the appreciation and exclamation marks!!! 🙂

  • you look fantastic!!! now I am tempted to buy it as well, it was the only one that I was gonna pass on! would you mind telling me what skintone you are? nc30ish?

    • Thank you! I am NC35-37. 🙂

  • Thanks! It looks great on your skintone!

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  • Very pretty orange shade!

    Yes, I will wear an orange lipstick. But I don’t own one right now. Will have to look for one now.

    • It’s a really nice shade! 🙂 Show us a photo when you get one, will ya? 🙂

      • OK, will look out for this shade in Stylishly Yours Collection but I think we will only get this in Jan 2011. Definitely will share. 🙂

  • LOVE this on you! I haven’t tried it yet, but I see a Lipstick Diary in its future…
    Great rest-of-face tips, too.

    • Thanks Janine! I’m curious to see it on you. I’ve seen it looking more neon on fairer skin. 🙂

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  • OMFG I love this shade on you, it really suits you! Why don’t you like it?

    • Thanks Jen! I do like it, but I was very very scared before I tried it on. 🙂

  • It really suits your skin tone – it’s deeper, more muted & not as Neon as I imagined it to be!

    I don’t think I could go straight to full-on opacity at the beginning, but I could try to use it as a stain to begin with. Baby steps!

    • I wear a neutral coloured lip liner underneath, so that tones it down a bit. It’s definitely not as neon as say, MAC Impassioned.

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