Skip the mascara and focus on vibrant matte lips for a luminous look that screams summer
“I’m obsessed with a fresh face and matte lipstick,” says celebrity makeup artist Nico Guilis, who works on “It” girls like Dree Hemingway, Poppy Delevingne and Leigh Lezark. “It’s a total nod to the 1950s and ’60s when women relied on beautiful lipstick to really complete their look.” The super clean, superchic combo of a shine-free bold lip with almost nonexistent eye makeup and luminous skin is a summer classic—one that Guilis says is a favorite.
Besides her own clients known for pulling off strong lip looks, the makeup artist says she’s seen Sienna Miller, Diane Kruger and Zooey Deschanel rocking it. The look works so well, she says, because of the classic rules of sticking to either an eye or a lip—not both. “Matte lips go so well with a bare, luminous face, because there must be a balance between the skin, eye and lip. The lip is a powerful statement, and with too much blush or bronzer it could give a different effect,” she says, adding that “finding the right bronzer to contour the cheekbone without adding too much red to the skin can look amazing.”
When attempting this, it’s not just about throwing lipstick on a bare face. The idea is “skin that’s light and luminous with wispy lashes, a beautiful brushed-out brow and contoured cheek.” For summer, try shades of hot pink, orange crush, mango red and cotton candy, says Guilis. “Punchy colors—like NARS Damned and Heat Wave, Chanel La Fascinante and L’exubarante and Tom Ford Flamingo, Wild Ginger and Violet Fatale—are what I’m most drawn to. If it makes me go ‘Ooooh,’ then I’m all in.”
Skin tone is also a factor. Look for hues that work for your ‘season.’ “People with winter and summer coloring usually go for blue-based reds; autumns and springs do orange-based reds.” With a tan, orange-y shades really pop, but ultimately the most versatile skin tone is pale, because it’s a “clean, fresh palette.” Before applying any product, make sure your lips are exfoliated, says Guilis. Then, “use a concealer or primer on the lips to block out moisture. Add lip liner as a base, then finish with lipstick over—it will last all night. Dip a Q-tip in loose powder to clean up the edges.”
While this look may seem effortless to an outsider, it makes a very girlie statement. “The kind of girl who rocks a punchy lip seems to bestow a confidence that is different from a woman who just does a gloss,” says Guilis. “There is a classic energy that’s timeless. She owns it.”