1. Choose the right color for your complexion. If you have fair skin with pink undertones, pick warm (orange-based) pinks, or brick reds. Medium and olive complexions can carry true, blue-based reds. Dark skin is stunning against rich plums. Almost any skin tone is flattered by fuchsias, perfect pink-red hybrids like the one on our model (Neutrogena MoistureShine Lipstick SPF 20 in Cherry Twist, $9; drugstores).
2. Use a thin nylon brush (like E.l.f. Concealer Brush, $1; EyesLipsFace.com) to outline your lips with concealer (choose a dry formula, like Physicians Formula Magic Cube Concealer, $7; drugstores). This keeps lipstick from smudging or settling into lines around your mouth (and doesn't look harsh, the way a lip pencil can).
3. Pat lipstick onto your lips with your finger to get a soft, stained finish—it's more flattering (and less maintenance) than an opaque layer of color. (Use your ring finger—the pad is smaller and more precise, and you won't apply as much pressure as you might with your index finger.) Once you're done, clean up the edges with the concealer brush, if necessary. You can also ease into bold lipcolors with a gloss: Even the brightest tube will deliver a sheer wash of pigment. Glosses can still bleed, though, so don't skip the concealer step.
4. Keep eye makeup minimal—our model is wearing only champagne eyeshadow, a little bit of black eyeliner, and a coat of mascara. And if you're wearing a very saturated lipcolor, don't top it off with gloss ("Bright and shiny lips can start to look cheesy," says Matin).
Get the look: 6 delicious lip colors
Next: How to wear colorful eyeshadow