In my early twenties, I always shied away from lip color. It makes sense that I didn’t use much more than a lip balm or a chapstick for many years. Lips draw attention to your face and complete your whole look. My look was very rarely complete, but I find now if I’m without any bit of color on my lips I feel bare. It’s just not a finished product. I started using bright red lipstick once I started blogging, some 6 years ago. I slowly became more and more and comfortable with color on my lips, even bold colors. Now I can’t go a day without it. Funny how things can change once you start a habit. In fact, I carry a small bag with me every single day inside my purse filled with endless lip options. Sometimes it’s gloss, sometimes it’s bold red and some days I still reach for just a nice lip balm. But my lips are never bare, that’s for sure.
Since one of my very favorite beauty tricks is lip color, I thought I’d show you one holiday makeup look, a smokey eye, with 5 different lip shades. You can see how each shade changes the mood of a makeup look so effortlessly that you’d think my lips were doing all the work. (But really they are doing all the talking.)


For my holiday makeup look, I used:
And now for the lips! My holiday looks go from Bare to Dare with just a change of lipstick.


I like this look for an easy day to night transition, for say an office party that starts at 4 pm. (You all know the type. Cheesy games and gift exchanges included.) I like this as a subdued but moody look to take into the holidays with. It’s also a favorite for an everyday lip color. Lipstick shown: Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Sensual

For this look, I used the Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Lip Balm underneath to give it a more glossy look.



The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve found myself reaching for pink. Pink tends to go with most every look I put together and it’s such a happy cheerful color. While pink isn’t always considered a holiday-esque color, I like to mix my pinks with cooler shades — think ice blue, navy,  or even black when I’m thinking pink for winter months. It’s a nice unexpected pop in the colder seasons. Lipstick shown: Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in French Kiss.

For this look, I used the Laura Mercier Infusion de Rose Nourishing Lip Balm underneath to give it a more glossy look.

It would be a crime to go through the holidays without a fun, bright red lip. You just can’t, I won’t allow it. Even if you think you are too shy to wear red, you are not, my dear. You just have to try it once and you’ll be hooked. And the holidays are the best time to try this classic color. I tend to think a bright blue based red is the best way to start. (Hint: with red, try lining your lips in a nude pencil and pressing with powder before you apply. This will keep your lips from bleeding and looking like you’ve been hitting the punch bowl too hard.) Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Mon Cheri.

For this look, I used the Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder underneath to give it a more matte look and staying powder. I applied one layer of lipstick, powder, then lipstick again. 


This is what I like to call Red Level 2. You’ve graduated from beginner red and now you’re ready to go darker and bolder. I love this shade for a night time look, especially with dark eye makeup. I kept the rest of my face pretty neutral and bright so that I could make more of statement with lips and eyes. I think it makes my smokey eyes pop even more. Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in Temptation.


As long as it took me to wear red lips, it took me twice as long to figure out how to wear a dark plum lip. The best trick I’ve learned? Confidence. And lip liner. The darker the lip color, the more you’ll find that lip liner is your best friend. And if you mess up, not to worry. Use a little bit of concealer to hide any outside of the line mistakes. Laura Mercier Velour Lovers Lip Colour in An Affair.




Now you can go forth and try out your holiday looks with different lip shades in confidence. My favorite looks are the last two — lately I’ve been growing fonder and fonder of darker shades of lip color. The holidays give the perfect time to try out a few dramatic looks, one party at a time.

(PS: My dress is here and similar earrings are here!)

*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Laura Mercier. 

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18 Responses

  1. The red looks awesome with your dark hair! I like pink also – it’s youthful. Pink lipstick + hoop earrings = thirty second facelift. (beauty math)

  2. I am just now wearing a red lipstick. At work. The rest of my make up is minimal and my clothes quite neutral, so it really makes a pop and I love it. It is a lipstain from Sephora and although I bought basically the same shade earlier this year as a lipstick from Rimmel (I think), I still had to buy this one because it has a great staying power. No feathering. And altogether I have like 5 lipsticks/stains, so it’s not that I’d ever buy the same colours.

  3. What a great post!! Love the darker colors, especially the deeper red! So perfect with your green dress!!

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