6 Lipsticks You Should Not Wear

Lipstick may be one of the easiest ways to take your beauty look to the next level. From a flirty pink pout to a va-va-voom red kiss, one little tube can work some serious magic. And lips can do all the talking with just the right shade. But it’s important to make sure they’re saying all the right things. After all, the wrong lip color can ruin an otherwise good look. In that spirit, here are six types of lipstick that you really should not wear.

1. Oxbloods in the summer

blonde woman in a bright coat and dark lip

This is not a look for warm weather. | iStock.com/kobrin_photo

There is seasonality when it comes to certain shades of lipstick, meaning some hues aren’t going to be most appropriate year round. Oxblood is one of those colors. Its dark, moody nature is simply too heavy for spring and summer — unless you want to channel the goth girl look. But that goth side can easily turn into a more glam approach when the briskness of fall rushes in. When paired with more substantial clothing, such as textured fabrics, nubby knits, and all measures of knee boots, the richness of the oxblood really comes to light. This seasonal rule also applies to similarly bold shades like burgundy, plum, and Bordeaux.

2. Matchy-matchy lipstick

Model Woman with Long Brown Wavy Hair

Matching red lips to red nails is too precious. | iStock.com/opolja

The era of matching your lipstick with your outfit, accessories, and/or your nails is over. It isn’t necessary nor is it really recommended on most occasions. In fact, it will look better if there is some contrast between your lips and the rest of your look. For example, a bright raspberry pout is a beautiful pairing with a turquoise top. Same for a ruby red lip and jewel-toned, emerald dress. And, no, you don’t need a red manicure to go with it.

3. Statement lipstick with a statement eye

Girl with dramatic evening burgundy makeup

Instead of going bold with both, choose one feature to highlight. | iStock.com/dsirik

It’s best to choose just one asset to draw attention to on your body — whether you’re more covered on top with a leggy look on bottom, or vice versa. In much the same way, it’s often preferred to focus on a statement eye or lip, but not both. If you’re flaunting a dark, smoky eye, it may be a bit overkill to also paint on an equally bold lip. The two just cancel each other out and make it seem as if you put on too much makeup. So, if you put the pout at the center of attention with a deep, saturated shade, you can afford to lighten up your eye.

4. Lipstick colors that compete with your complexion

sexy caucasian female model with glamour red lips

Your complexion plays a big role in finding the right lipstick. | iStock.com/ekomasova

From fair, porcelain skin to dark, espresso complexions, not all lipstick hues are right for every skin tone. This rule of thumb is seen, for example, in red lipstick. Red may be a universally flattering color — but only if you choose the right shade for you. Bright reds with blue undertones and berry-tinged hues add vibrancy to fairer skin, while fiery, orange-tinged reds and burgundy-based hues flatter olive complexions. Bold, highly pigmented orange-reds and dark plums are perfect for dark skin tones.

Aside from the color red, test out your next new lip hue and honestly size up how it makes you look. If it brightens your face and lights up your complexion, it’s a good shade for you. If it makes you look tired, pale, or sick, then stay away — no matter how trendsetting that gloss might be.

5. Situation-inappropriate lipstick shades

beautiful brunet woman in grunge style

Black lipstick is pretty bold. | iStock.com/melanjurga

As with fashion, beauty rules are subjective. But there are some situations where certain lip hues — think purple, blue, or turquoise — simply should be skipped, unless you want to throw all caution to the wind. Even a deep red can be deemed a bit too much on occasion. A professional job interview is one of those times, unless of course, that interview is with MAC Cosmetics or an avant-garde fashion brand. You have to know your audience and what you can get away with — it’s all in a day’s work, after all.

6. Lipstick colors you cannot wear with confidence

Girl with pink eyeshadow and violet lipstick

If bright purple lips make you feel insecure, people will notice. | iStock.com/Alexa_Sh

From royal blue to ritzy red to lovely lavender, it’s all in how you wear it. If you don’t feel 100% confident with your pout, then that lack of self-esteem will compromise the effectiveness of your lipstick. Make any color you wear your signature. If you are doubting it, don’t flaunt it.