During the summer months, it’s essential to scale back your makeup routine for the sake of your skin. With sweltering temperatures opening your pores, it’s no surprise heavy foundation, bronzer sticks, and cream blush are likely to clog them. Further, as your face sweats in the heat, any trace of mascara or dark eye shadow will be running as fast as Usain Bolt down you cheeks.
Summer doesn’t require you spend three months totally bare-faced, you just need to go a bit more minimal. On top of a tinted SPF, there’s one standout form of makeup you can rock every day without worry: lipstick. You can count on these 11 lipstick colors to keep you looking put together and polished.
1. True orange
There is one universally flattering lipstick color every woman needs to try this summer, and that’s true orange. Whether your complexion is too freckled and fair to be in the sun or you’re already perfectly bronzed, true orange will compliment you flawlessly. However, this generalization only applies if you choose the right shade. No, we don’t mean light orange or orange-red (more on that one later), we mean an orange as true as the Yves Saint Laurent’s Tint-in-Balm in Catch Me Orange. Trust us, once you see it on, you won’t want to spend a minute of summer without it.
During summer, raspberry makeup looks just as great on your lips as the fruit actually tastes. That being said, you should definitely stay away from the deep, dark, raspberry shades that work better during autumn. Instead, find a highly pigmented purple option, such as Tarte’s Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Fly. You can rely on it to dry instantly and never transfer or fade.
3. Cool pink
If your lips are prone to dryness during the summer, we highly recommend switching to a cool pink lipstick with a nourishing formula. Stila’s Color Balm Lipstick in Isabelle is the perfect example of a cream lipstick that hydrates just as well as a balm thanks to ingredients like peppermint oil and and plant-based emollients. With this chic, gold tube in your purse, you’ll never have to fear flaking or cracking.
4. Hot pink
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, summer is the best time to experiment with eye-catching pops of color, both in your wardrobe and makeup routine. As such, you shouldn’t carry a cosmetic bag that lacks a hot pink lipstick. If you’re currently on the lookout for one, we’d like to point you in the direction of Dior’s Dior Addict Lipstick in Lucky 536. Unlike most high-shine formulas, this one actually adheres to your lips and stays put for hours. It has the perfect mix of shine, moisture, pigment, and comfort.
You may start noticing a theme of our favorite lipstick colors reflecting summer’s seasonal fruits. On top of your raspberry red, you should definitely invest in a feminine peach. Unlike true orange, this ladylike shade isn’t going to command too much attention. Instead, it adds a subtle hint of color and freshness to give you a healthy glow. Go pick up this Nars Lipstick in Barbarella at your nearest Sephora to see what all the fuss is about!
6. Bright plum
You probably consider plum a shade exclusive to winter, but we’ve discovered brighter purples actually work perfectly during the summer. This Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipstick in Brocade is a treatment and lipstick in one. It miraculously rejuvenates dry lips, reduces the appearance of lines, stops flaking, and even slightly plumps your pout. Just a single swipe of this bright plum lipstick delivers intense color, so you won’t have to build up thick layers for full coverage.
Orange-red lipstick is a lot like peony flowers; they’re both absolutely stunning and worth having, but are only around for a short period of time. That’s right, red-orange really should only be worn during summer, then promptly shoved to the back of your makeup drawer when the leaves begin changing during fall. Still, you can really make the most of red-orange while it’s popular. We suggest Buxom’s Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Rouge Red, which can easily be taken from a day to nighttime look.
8. Bubblegum pink
If you prefer a subtle touch of color rather than brazen neon, bubblegum pink is the summer lipstick for you. This shade embodies femininity at its finest. And although it may seem Barbie-esque, this shade was also a go-to lipstick color and favorite of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, proving tough women can also wear bubblegum pink. For an option with moisturizing mango butter and vivid shine, look no further than BareMinerals’ Statement Luxe Shine Lipstick in Biba.
We firmly believe summer is the time to perfect your sans-makeup look. One way to do so is to take a break from your favorite pops of color, and instead wear a creamy nude. While it doesn’t necessarily complement your outfit, nude lipstick isn’t totally pointless. In fact, an option like Tarte’s Rainforest of the Seat Color Splash Lipstick in Beach Babe can make your lips look bigger, smooth over any discoloration, and moisturize.
10. True red
Like a black leather handbag or a good pair of pumps, true red lipstick is timeless and classic. When you find a pure red that suits your skin tone, you can confidently wear it year round without thinking twice. Though there are countless options, the widely adored Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy in Boldface has a hold on us. With just a swipe of this red, you’ll feel an instant boost of confidence and power.
Finally, we’ve arrived at the grand finale of summer lipstick shades: coral. This quintessentially sunny color is a must-have for all women from June through August. Not only does it compliment a tan, it also adds the appearance of health and radiance. Don’t believe us? Pick up the Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in 5 Melon Pop to see its gorgeous effect for yourself.