Style Panel: 7 unique ways to make summer’s bright lip pop, no matter your style

Bright lips are another one of those things that was once seen as statement, but has now made it mainstream. Despite its popularity from the runway to the red carpet, though, some still find the colour pop hard to do. To help, we asked the ladies of Style Panel for their unique tips on how to dress for their favourite shades. New this week, we’ll be hearing from beautiful Montreal-based blogger and vintage maven Élodie Parthenay, the latest addition to the panel.

Question 11: What is your favourite way to wear a bright lip to correspond with your style?
Read the answers now! »


Élodie Parthenay, 26
Montreal | Hello Elo

Dita Von Teese once said that “it’s funny how people really listen to what you’re saying when they have red lips pointed at them.” As for me, since most mornings I’d rather spend 10 extra minutes snoozing than painting my face, I go straight to my lipstick drawer when I feel like my look is too casual, or lacking that extra oomph. I consider bright lips as an accessory, and I try to keep the rest of my outfit as lean as possible. I think bright lips look great paired with something that’s not too fussy, such as a casual tee or sweater. The pop of colour makes any look last from work to play, and the relaxed vibe of the outfit adds a modern spin to it all. Win/win! In the same vein, when doing a bold lip, I skip the beauty-related bells and whistles — a cat-eye is enough.

I’ve come to find that bright orange, hot pink and vivid red do wonders to my complexion. Tip: You didn’t get to catch up on all your beauty sleep? Concealer and bright lipstick will prove to be your BFFs.

Élodie’s wearing: Pants and bag, vintage, from Sweater, H&M. Wedges, Pierre Hardy x Gap. Lips, Caryl Baker lip liner in “Poppy.” Covergirl Blast Flipstick in “Stunner.”

Photography by Katie Henderson

I see a bright lip as a borderline neutral — I wear it with everything. If you’re concerned about looking too overdone, try pairing a vivid lip hue with a less saturated outfit. I’m wearing NARS in “Schiap,” a bright hot pink colour, with a faded jersey T-shirt dress. If you’re into the bright lip, have no fear, you can literally pair it with just about anything.

Kassandra Camponi, 26
Edmonton | Kastles

Bright lips, bright nails, bright clothes, I am all over it. Thankfully if you don’t feel like jumping on the all-brights bandwagon, a bright lip is an easy and foolproof way to go. The purple tone of lipstick I wore with this outfit really helped to make my outfit pop that much more. I found the pastel purple top washed me out a bit at first. Then I added my Cover Girl lipstick in “Divine,” and it just seemed to pull the outfit together. Another bonus with rocking the bright lips trend: it’s easy on the wallet.

Kassandra’s wearing: Top, H&M. Necklace, Anthropologie. Skirt, Motel Rocks. Heels, J.Crew.

Mo Handahu, 29
Halifax | Curvy Geekery

I always have lipstick on and most of the time it’s a matte red lipstick: my staples being M.A.C lipstick in “Ruby Woo” and MUFE lipstick in “Rouge Artist Intense 8.” There are times when my two staples just don’t give my outfit the pop it deserves, so I try on a few different shades until I find the lipstick that gives me complete confidence in my entire look. I am not afraid of being a little too bright but to make sure I don’t overdo it I rely on my staples that I know go well with almost any skin tone and my full lips. I always have a blast experimenting with lipsticks and have learned that lighter pink and orange hues, though popular, are not for me.

Mo’s wearing: Dress, earrings and belt, thrifted. Shoes and glasses, ASOS.

Alex Grant, 25
Toronto via Vancouver | To Vogue or Bust

I was beyond excited when we were given this challenge because I am all about the strong lip. As a general rule, I don’t really wear eye makeup from day-to-day anyway, and I think my proclivity to bright lips has something to do with that. Balancing a strong shade on your lips with minimal makeup elsewhere is the first key in nailing a bold colour, and keeps the whole look from feeling too done-up: I usually use a bit of highlighter on my cheekbones and that’s it. In terms of clothes, I love the bright-on-bright clash of a red lip with an equally strong hue for a high-impact overall look, but a pared-down neutral look like this white-on-black outfit really lets the lip colour pop out.

Alex’s wearing: Top and ring, H&M. Skirt, Club Monaco. Lip colour, NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Red Square. Shoes, Kimchi Blue. Clutch, BCBG. Necklace, Cheerfully Charmed.

Alicia Quan, 25
Vancouver | Alicia Fashionista

I used to be a gloss girl all the way. However, after many awkward hair-stuck-on-lip situations, it was time to grow up and try out matte lip colour instead. If you’re a bright lip beginner like I was, I suggest heading out to your local beauty department and starting with the perfect shade of rouge! Red lips look great with the classics, such as black and white Parisian-chic and a little nautical navy. Though I still love me some red lips, my latest obsession is a bright pink pout, much like the one pictured above. Match it with colourful prints, especially if that print contains a bit of the same colour in it, just to help pull the entire look together.

My all-time favourite outfit to pair with a bold lip colour? A little black dress. You really just can’t go wrong!

Alicia’s wearing: Floral blouse, Barefoot Contessa. White Cafe capri pants, J.Crew. Pink pumps, vintage. Windsor Square “Angeline” bag, Kate Spade. Viscid watch, Anthropologie. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in “020 Lovesick.”

Kristin MacDonald, 27
Fredericton | Doll Parade

Bright lips have been just about everywhere this season, and though they can seem a bit daunting to makeup minimalists like me, you can take comfort in the idea that this trend has actually taken on a somewhat neutral quality. Using a beauty tool like well-defined and purposeful lips as your accessory makes for a fun switch-out when getting ready, and when you’re stumped for a way to feel fresh, a delicious matte bright is always an instantaneous mood lifter. Though I love brights on brights just as much as the next gal (think safari print and bubblegum pink, or fuchsia and orange), an always-safe-bet option is to go with a neutral or white colour palette. I opted for multi-dimensional flesh tones in order to let this lip colour speak for itself, though I would have felt right at home in an equally bright shade. For fall I will be paying preference to pair this colour with darker tones like navy and burgundy, proving that this trend is one year-round friend that I can always come back to.

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