On the surface, orange lipstick might seem hard to pull off. Maybe it strikes you as one of those colors that requires you to be fresh off a vacation in St. Barts with perfectly bronzed skin in order to look just right. But, dear reader—and we hate to tell you this—you'd be wrong. The key to orange lipstick is simple: It lies in hue specificity. “You don't want anything too brick orange or too blue,” says makeup artist Carolina Dali. “If you keep it warm, with pink undertones, it's a bright color that can suit any skintone, really,”
All 11 of these are on the spectrum somewhere from a fiery (not to be confused with fire-engine) red to something more coral—none of which strays too Miami matron or too Cheeto for that matter. To keep it more along the lines of a J.Crew model (the original pioneer of the modern orange lip), application was more haphazard than immaculate. Carolina first washed the lips in foundation to cancel out existing color. She then applied the orange directly from the stick, but just on the center of the lips. Then she blended out with—get this—the back of a foundation brush. That way, you get the roughly applied look without the heat transfer of your finger. Nifty, right?
Lipstick in order of appearance: Sisley Paris Phyto Lip Shine in Sheer Papaya , Make Matte Lipstick in Fire, Nars Audacious Lipstick in Geraldine, Inglot Lipstick in 278, MAC Amplified Creme Lipstick in Morange, Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Naturalin N43 Orange, Topshop Lips in Charmed, Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in 300 Pop, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Matte in Beta, Maybelline Color Sensational Vivids in Electric Orange, and Christian Dior Rouge Dior Couture Colour Voluptuous Care Lipstick in Rendez-Vous 543.
Kim Johnson photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Carolina Dali (The Wall Group).