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how to: pick the best lip shades for every age

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    Slideshow

    Lipsticks are a miraculous time saver—a painted pair of lips is the easiest way to polish your look with a quick slick here, a well-placed dab there. Whether you like the drama of a brazen lip or the coquettish charm of a rosy one, we show you how to master a perfect pout at any age.

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    20s: Loud mouth

    Inspiration: Why can Rihanna sport any lip colour under the rainbow and wear it with such confidence? When you’re in your 20s, you can experiment with a whole range of colours and textures.

    Colour Cue: “Go for bright, neon and bolder shades, like fuchsia and orange,” says Sarah Lucero, Stila’s Global Director of Creative Artistry. “Pick sheer shades inspired by fresh fruit like strawberry, raspberry and grape.” Glossy, matte, satin and sheer textures are all fair game.

    Glow Picks: A. Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids in Vivid Rose, $11 For an intense pop of colour, layer an orange lipstick over a bright pink one to create your own custom shade. B. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Fiore, $29 C. Lancôme Rouge in Love in Miss Coquelicot, $30

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    30s: Well Red

    Inspiration: A bold red lip is the LBD of the beauty world. It’s been the weapon of choice for leading ladies past and present, from Elizabeth Taylor to Milla Jovovich. Sole prerequisite? A willingness to smoulder.

    Colour Cue: There are myriad reds to choose from, whether you go for the fire-engine variety or a cool crimson. For best results, those with fair complexions should lean toward blue undertones, women with olive skin tones should pick orange-based reds and people with darker skin tones should choose brown-based reds. If you’re intimidated by lipstick, Lucero recommends using a tinted balm or sheer lip glaze. “Wear it like you mean it.”

    Glow Picks: A. Nars Lipstick in Dressed to Kill, $30 B. Rimmel London Lipstick in Kiss of Life, $9 This vibrant red will complement most skin tones. C. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Love Me, $22

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    40s: Swell Season

    Inspiration: Romantic hues like dusty rose and blush tones, with a high shine or satin finish, are not only complementary, they’re more forgiving. Paler shades, like the pink-meets-nude worn by Cate Blanchett, give the illusion of fuller lips.

    Colour Cue:
    Select colours that are soft and romantic, in flattering textures. “Matte lipstick can give a flat finish, so I recommend staying away from those formulas and trying shades with a nice sheen instead,” says Jarman. “The slightly glossy finish will give a fuller look to the mouth.”

    Glow Picks: A. Shiseido Perfect Rouge in RD734, $30 This bullet’s moisture-sealing ingredients add fullness and extend wear. B. Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Sandwash Pink, $28 C. Lise Watier Rouge Plumpissimo Lipstick in Corail Punch, $21

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    50s+ PRETTY IN PINK

    Inspiration: Forget trends. Your inventory of classic, tried-and-true colours will always wear like a charm, whether it’s raspberry or coral, as seen on classic beauties like Julianne Moore.

    Colour Cue: Earthy tones can read as dull, while too-dark shades accentuate fine lines around your lips. If you’re into pink, choose hues with blue undertones. “I love the feeling of fresh-looking lips and tend to suggest stains with a cool hue as a base or under a beautiful gloss,” says Lucero. “They add brightness to your complexion and allow you to wear less makeup on your eyes, so it’s an easy, effortless look.”

    Glow Picks: A. Bourjois Paris Sweet Kiss Lipstick in Rose Corset, $18 B. Dior Addict Lipstick in Bobo, $31 C. Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipstick in Front Row, $16 This lipstick’s non-drying formula contains aloe and shea butter.

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