Make red lipstick your new accessory.
By Alissa Hicks

(Left) Pam Butler suggests making red lipstick part of your lip color palette. Photo by Gary Barragan

We’re noticing the wave of colorful trends washing up this summer — both in fashion’s neon prints and in the makeup world. We sat down with beauty expert Pam Butler to get the scoop on all things lip color.

Originally from Arkansas, Pam began her makeup artistry career when she moved to Louisville 25 years ago. She worked with major brands as a makeup artist, including MAC Cosmetics, Estee Lauder, Too Faced, Christian Dior, and Lancome. Then, two years ago, Pam started her own company, The Beauty Patrol. She and her creative team of artists and photographers are glamming up Louisville by offering on-location makeup, hair styling, spray tans, photography, and more.

“Red lipstick is really prevalent right now,” Pam says. “I am seeing a lot of candy apple red and a lot of different textures, from matte to patent (glossy) and even to satin-like finishes.”

Go Matte
“If you’re looking for a matte finish, I really like Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick and Too Faced Melted Matte, which I also mix with a touch of foundation for a hint of cheek color,” Pam says. “If you’re looking for something more economical, I like ColourPop’s liquid lipstick, which is only about $6. You could also try Milani’s Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick and Sephora’s Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color.”

To keep a pretty matte finish looking fresh for the long wear, Pam advises starting with a good lip scrub. “Tarte Cosmetics makes a great sugar scrub to exfoliate and soften lips,” she says. “That, followed by a good primer, can add a touch of moisture to your base and allows for a cleaner, smoother application of a matte color. However, you can also use a lip liner after applying the color to clean up the edges. I also suggest taking a paper towel — not a tissue, which can leave residue behind — and biting the edge of it. This helps to make the lip color look more natural.”

Go Neutral
If bold red lips aren’t your style, Pam suggests trying a chestnut color with tan undertones — “Not gray and brown like we saw in the ‘90s,” she cautions. “This New Age color looks good on most all skin tones. Think tan, chestnut, and a slight hint of burnt brown for this color. Also, a satin finish looks best on most.”

Still not sold? Pam says you can never go wrong with colors that just bump up the natural shade of your lips. “Pinks are appropriate for all ages and are naturally found in skin tones,” she says. “If you don’t wear a lot of color, find a pink that reflects the best version of yourself. Christian Dior has a product called Dior Addict Lip Glow, which is multifunctional and feels like a balm, wears like a lipstick, and has a shine like a gloss but leaves behind a stain-like color that just enhances your natural lip.”

Go Complementary
Pam suggests matching your lipstick color to the setting you’re in, whether that’s a beach day or a red carpet event. Lip color can change your whole look, and it can also enhance your eye color, she says. “It’s all about color theory. For example, a coral or orange-based lip color can make blue eyes pop. For those with green or brown eyes, anything with a lavender or berry undertone is good.”

Don’t forget that it’s summer, so if heat and humidity are a concern for you and your lip color, Pam suggests using a little powder to set your lipstick. Also, a good primer will help. “I like to put one layer of color on, blot it slightly, add another layer, and set it with powder for a really long-lasting effect,” Pam says.

What’s your favorite lip color and why? Also, here’s how to achieve a beachy summer hairstyle that will complement your lovely lips.