How to pair lipstick with a bright top!

A Cooking Class with Girlfriends


One of the things I love about wearing neutrals is the endless options of lipstick. It’s one of my favorite makeup items and probably the thing I’m most brave about trying.

But on the rare occasion I wear a bright color, there are a few rules I follow for coordinating lip color.

Mainly, if I’m wearing a neutral, I can go as bright and poppy as I want with lipstick, and conversely, if I’m wearing a bright color, I don’t want the lipstick to compete with the shirt.

Orange is the most statement color I would wear, and since it’s so bright I stick to subtle or nude lips. I can’t go full-on nude because I look deceased, but a nude with just a hint of pink in it is perfect for a bright shirt that does all the talking.

Pink, whether a deep rosy pink or a bright baby pink, I think it’s fun to coordinate a pink lip. If your top is bold, go lighter on the lip shade, but if it’s a baby pink, it could be fun to pair it with a bright pink lip!

For some reason I always want to pair something glossy with purple, I think it feels the most glam to me. A sheer, deep shade of plum or something completely clear could both work in my opinion.

For more lipstick suggestions, check out a sheer pink lipstick and 2 drugstore summer lipsticks!





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Kris says · 08.10.16

Hey Kate ~ would you be willing to link the lipsticks in this post or let us know what color and brand they are? I’m always on the hunt for a good nude color and have been totally unsuccessful in the almost-40 years of my life! Finding good lipstick colors has never been my forte.

Thank you for all of your great tips and suggestions! I have learned so much from you!

Kelly says · 08.10.16

Loving that purple dress! Where is it from? Love your posts!

Michele says · 08.10.16

Links! Where’s the links??? I neeeeed to know about that purple dress and more than one of those lip sticks! Please!!!

Melissa G says · 08.10.16

I think your face looks so bright in the pic with the blue shirt! It’s great to see you in color. i much prefer that makeup look to the one in the orange!

Kacie M. says · 08.10.16

I love how you’re able to wear SO many different shades of lipstick. I tend to stick to nude/light pinks as darker ones just do anything for my face. Lately, some peach tones have been looking good. But, I’d love to be able to branch out, though. And BTW… is that the McAdams Beaded Neckline Blouse from SF?? If so… that is my unicorn. I got it in a medium a LONG time ago, but can’t seem to find it in a small (and they didn’t have it available to size exchange). If it’s not… I love that beading and color! The blue shirt is adorable, too.

Alyssa says · 08.10.16

I love this post! I would love to know the names of some of the shades. I have my eye on that NYX lipstick!


Emily says · 08.10.16

What color lipstick would you recommend for a brown top? I battle this all winter and go without because I’ve never found a color that looks good with brown. (Thanks for this post!)

Kate says · 08.10.16

a good rosy pink would be pretty!

Reply says · 08.10.16

So helpful, I’m always at a loss with lippy pairings but always need colour or I end up looking anaemic! I never go with a nude because I never know if its too pale and try to not go too bright because I’m not that brave but both looks are gorgeous so I will endeavour to broaden my lipstick horizons!

Nohemi Lugo says · 08.10.16

what color lipstick do you use when you are wearing green?

Kate says · 08.10.16

I’d go with something pink!

Sarah Chavis says · 08.10.16

I love the pink top! I actually had one very similar last summer, but I wore it to much last year to bring it back this summer. I naturally do no like to wear a ton of makeup, so in the summer months I am more natural..if I wear a black..white…gray shirt I will be more willing to wear a more poppy color (the drew barrymore brand has poppy colors that are reasonably priced). But most days I wear a lip gloss by Nars called’s really pretty. In the fall and winter months I will find a way to incorporate my favorite lipstick in the world.. Brandy by Bite. Every year I were it and every year I go out a buy a new one! I really love the Bite Matte Creme Lip Crayon, I have yet to try a more everyday color.

Katrina says · 08.10.16

I can never find bright lipsticks that look right on me, and you are always able to rock a bold lip! Do you have any suggestions? My complexion is similar to yours but I just end up looking like a clown when I try to wear anything other than nudes.

Arielle says · 08.10.16

I am wearing a bright pink-orange colored bridesmaid dress this weekend. What color lipstick should I pair it with? Thanks!

Abby says · 08.10.16

Thanks for these great suggestions! I struggle, wanting my lipstick to go not clash or be too matchy-matchy. When in doubt, I always go with nudes or sheer glosses because they just work with everything!

sahara says · 08.10.16

Red lipstick with red dress is too much? 😀


April Lemons says · 08.10.16

Kate, I love your blog and videos. Please make more videos. Can you do a hair video where you also describe how we would tell our stylist how to cut our hair so it is styled like yours? I love your cut. I’m letting my hair grow out and I love this style. I would love to see how you give yourself a haircut or color or cutting your families hair. I cut my boys hair and I love watching cutting tutorials. Also, are you planning any hair shows or meet and greets in the triangle area?

Jody says · 08.10.16

Great post! Thanks! I’m a lipstick newbie so these types of tips are so helpful. : ) Ps: The gold bar earrings you’re wearing in your Snaps today are super cute; care to share where there from?

jakin says · 08.11.16

Why you r so beautifull? .. love this pair

Kate says · 08.11.16

I love this!! thanks!
this is random – but I’m having engagement photos done on a farm north of charlotte, in about a month. I’m DYING for help trying to figure out what the heck to wear. I always love your clothes, especially when you layer in the fall! can you help a sister out?! there have to be more girls looking for fall looks (haha maybe not since everyone is mourning because summer is coming to a close…)

Karla says · 08.12.16

I’d like to add my voice to the links for the lipsticks 🙂 Thank you!

Sarah says · 09.05.16

What foundation did you us in these pics?

Joyce says · 10.27.16

As your dress already has a “lipstick color”, my advice is to skip the lipstick. Just scrub your lips and use some lip balm and that’s it! You can go for a light gloss too.