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Fall means harvest colors and all pumpkin everything—and that extends to our makeup, too. That’s right: orange lipstick is back in a big way this autumn, but actually getting this statement color out of your dreams and onto your lips can be easier said than done. So we’re breaking down exactly how to wear orange lipstick without looking like a decorative gourd—and good news, it’s way easier than you think.
1. Make it the focus of your look.
You don’t have to stop wearing bright lipstick just because the temperatures are falling—a bold lipstick is a year-round essential. To really pull orange lips off, make sure you have a beyond-perfect outline; use a lipliner in a shade similar to your lipstick to make this happen. And because this is such a major lip look, it’s important you keep the rest of your makeup balanced. We suggest pairing your orange lips with lightly highlighted skin, bold brows and mascara for a simple beauty look that lets your kisser really shine.
2. Wear it with smoky eyes.
Smudgy, sexy eye makeup is a fall beauty essential—but instead of pairing it with the usual red lip, take a turn for the unexpected and rock a swipe of orange instead. Playful without being juvenile, a semi-matte orange lip flatters every skin tone and adds a touch of glam to this classic beauty look.
3. Pick a pastel.
If you’re a little hesitant about jumping headfirst into a tangerine dream, we recommend choosing a shade that’s more creamsicle than carrot. These almost-pastel shades work in gloss, satin or matte finishes and look amazing on every skin tone—plus, they tend to allow a little of your lips’ natural color to peek through, diffusing the intensity of the orange a little. Apply these light shades with a lip brush for totally even coverage and wear with warm-toned blush for a gorgeously flushed look.
4. Pair with color.
Don’t think that fall is the time to abandon all your fun eye makeup—and never fall into the trap of believing that bold lips can only work with a neutral eye. The trick is choosing two colors that compliment one another in intensity; this pale purple eye shadow and muted orange lipstick is a match made in makeup heaven.
5. When in doubt, choose coral.
If you’ve tried everything and you still can’t get behind orange lipstick, try a shade of coral instead. Coral lipstick is still in the warm color family (which gives it the same intensity as a straight orange would), but because it has a pink base, it’s a little more readily wearable. Try adding a dab of fuchsia to the center of your orange lipstick and blending it with your finger; this allows you to customize your shade perfectly, and you don’t have to run out and buy a whole new lipstick.
More from Daily Makeover: How to Pull Off Bright Lipstick