At New York Fashion Week, bright orange lipstick literally popped off the runway. Paired with everything from minimalistic blacks to jolly floral prints, it made a statement that was fun, flirty and fresh, and it’s a trend you can easily wear this fall to be ahead of the fashion curve.
We saw and reported on this citrus-spritzed trend at a whopping twelve different shows. While the tangerine shade does follow, in theory, fall’s bold lipstick trend, spring’s hottest hue has the added plus of emphasizing your eye color and the highlights in your hair. We asked Shiseido Makeup Artistic Director Dick Page — who created the brilliant orange lip for the Marc by Marc Jacobs and Isaac Mizrahi shows — how one unique shade can end up dominating the runways.
“The funny thing is, makeup artists don’t really get to see what other artists are doing. We’re all stuck backstage in our frenzied little worlds,” Page tells StyleList. “I think a bright lip is an instant lift to any face, so it’s an especially fun thing to do for a fashion show, I guess my fellow makeup artists felt the same!” .
Shades are often decided upon at what’s called a makeup test, which takes place just days before the show so the lead makeup artist, hair stylist and manicurist can come together with the designer and decide on a total beauty look that complements the outfits and vision of the collection.
“The girls of Ohne Titel weren’t really thinking lip, but I looked at the clothes and kept seeing these great fluorescent nuances. Since they were using neoprene fabric, I wanted it to feel quite surf girl and sporty, with cool zinc-esque colors,” says Revlon’s Gucci Westman of the beauty look she created for Ohne Titel.
“That’s why I ended up powdering the lip with fluorescent orange powder on top of the Revlon Super Lustrous Siren lipstick, so it would have that chalky finish that feels less glamorous and more sporty. The bright orange adds a freshness to a lot of the whites, greys, silvers mints in the collection this season. It also has a nice futuristic feeling without being too strange. Very wearable for spring with a squeaky clean face,” adds Westman.
Westman fell so in love with the discontinued orange Revlon shade that she brought it back from the annals of makeup retirement. Revlon will relaunch the shade as a part of their Fire & Ice color collection that will be available come November.
Even though designers run through beauty tests with their team ahead of time, they can be known to change their minds on the day of the show — and makeup artists have to quickly improvise.
“The bright orange lip at Marc by Marc Jacobs was the result of endless trial and error, mostly trial! I ended up doing a second test on the day of the show, which, combined with the painstaking hair process, made us rather late,” says Page. “The fruity matte lip just felt right for the collection, as did the slightly odd coral shade I mixed up for Isaac Mizrahi.”
The tone of orange varied from hot to bright and deep, but the finish was the same nearly everywhere: matte. Sarah Lucero for Stila cosmetics says that look was every bit intentional.
“I wanted it to look velvety and flat, without a traditional lipstick or gloss finish. It’s almost like a red velvet cupcake,” Lucero said of the orange lip she created for Lela Rose.
To achieve a long-lasting matte finish, most makeup artists first applied a lip base like concealer followed by matte lip color, and then further flattened the color by blotting with either translucent or even orange-colored powder.
Unlike a bold red or plum lip that requires a certain undertone to pull off, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury says that anyone can wear orange. Yes, really.
“This color suits most people. It’s more modern than last season’s red lip and it complements every skin tone and makes your eye color pop. It’s incredibly effective!” says Tilbury.
Curious and want to experiment? Here’s how the makeup artists created all of the orange lip colors StyleList reported on at Spring 2011 New York Fashion Week:
Alice + Olivia (Romero Jennings for MAC Cosmetics): MAC Virgin Isle Cream Color Base mixed with Acid Orange Neon Pigment, then set with Prep & Prime Translucent Powder.
Erin Fetherston (Lucia Pica for MAC Cosmetics): MAC So Chaud Lipstick, with a translucent powder lightly brushed over it for a matte finish.
Imitation (Nadine Luke for MAC Cosmetics): Mix of MAC Orange and Crimson Cream Matte Lip Colors.
Isaac Mizrahi (Dick Page for Shiseido): Custom-blended pinky coral from Shiseido swatches.
Jill Stuart (Charlotte Tilbury): Jill Stuart Tangerine Lip Gloss
J Mendel (Bobbi Brown for Bobbi Brown): Nude beige base color with a touch of gold, and then Bobbi Brown Coral Gables Lipstick, all applied with lip brushes.
Lela Rose (Sarah Lucero for Stila Cosmetics for Beauty.com): Stila Longwear Lip Color mixed in Outrageous and Lover (a red and an orange), finished with a blotting of orange eye shadow for a matte finish.
Luca Luca (James Kaliardos for MAC Cosmetics): MAC So Vein Lipstick.
Marc by Marc Jacobs (Dick Page for Shiseido): Shiseido Perfect Rouge Lipstick in Day Lily, blotted, then topped with Orange Pigment Powder, which will launch in the spring.
Milly by Michelle Smith (Romy Soleimani for MAC Cosmetics): Mix MAC Good to Go Pro Longwear Lip Cream with Orange Lipmix and Devilish Orange Cream Color Base.
Ohne Titel (Gucci Westman for Revlon): Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Siren, available in November.
Z Spoke by Zac Posen (Charlotte Willer for Maybelline): Custom-blended orange lip creams.
Celebrities love this look too.