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Lipstick Diary: What We Wore That Day (or, Guys Love the Orange Lipstick)

How to wear bright orange lipstick, a colour that invites conversation even from men
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orange lipstick_Veronica Chu_Shiya_Janine Falcon_TheKit.ca_Jessica Blaine Smith.

Orange lipstick: Veronica Chu, Shiya and me. Photo: Jessica Blaine Smith

"No guys come up to say 'hey, that's such a great no-lip look,'" notes hair-and-makeup pro Veronica Chu, the woman behind our 5-Minutes-to-Ready beauty in the summer 2011 issue of The Kit. That's her on the left, with our model Shiya from Sutherland Models, and me, all wearing M.A.C Neon Orange over Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip waterproof liner in #17C.

Neutral or nude lips don't seem to do it for the fellows, she says. But men do appear to love bold orange lipstick. In the years that bright orange has been her signature, scores of random men (and women, of course) have stopped Veronica just to gush about how much they love the shade on her. "It's about 50/50," she says when I ask for the male/female breakdown of admirers.

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"The orange, oh my God the orange -- your lips are driving me crazy!" That's a comment 23-year-old Tips nail technician Rita Remark  got when she wore the bright shade on a recent night out. "That guy came up to me at least three times about my orange lipstick," she says. "And guys I've seen around but haven't really talked to came up to compliment me on the colour, too."

how to make your orange lipstick last

  1. "Concealer preps the lips for long-lasting colour, like a base," says Veronica Chu, who has worked with Nina Dobrev. "It also erases your natural colour to let the orange lipstick pop more."
  2. A light layer of transluscent powder sets the concealer and provides a barrier between its creamy texture and the lip colour so they don't mix.
  3.  Fill lips in with orange lip pencil and smooth with a lip brush. "You really need a bright orange liner so the colour stays true," notes Chu. "A nude lip liner would muddy the shade." If you have lipstick bleeding issues, try Cargo Reverse Lip Liner ($16 via along the outer edge of your lips to keep colour from crossing the line.
  4. A lip brush is a must for precise colour application. "These intensely pigmented lipsticks also tend to be softer than other types, so it's better to use a brush than have it break off on your face," adds Chu.

Are you ready for this orange lipstick trend? Think you can handle the compliments? *grin*

Photography by Jessica Blaine Smith; hair and makeup by Veronica Chu/Plutino Group; product photography, Geoffrey Ross; art direction, Caroline Bishop. Now an independent nail artist Rita Remark is the Essie Canada nail spokesperson.