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
1. Consider your skin tone and eye color when picking a vibrant shadow. Greens are stunning on women with fair skin that has pink undertones (especially if they have green or hazel eyes); they're not ideal for olive and dark skin because they can create a sallow cast. Purples and blues are beautiful against green and brown eyes, but better avoided if the circles under your eyes tend to be bluish. Teal blends green and blue into a shade that is flattering across the board. And yellow (like our model is wearing) is a surprisingly lovely eye brightener on everyone: Women with darker skin tones can choose bright and more opaque shades; lighter complexions need sheer golds.
2. Start by hiding any darkness around your eyes (if you don't, it could be accentuated by a bold shadow). Matin recommends using a thin nylon brush and a full-coverage concealer (one of his all-time favorites: Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, $28; LauraMercier.com). To avoid emphasizing fine lines, put the concealer only where you need it (most likely around the inner corners of the eyes, but not near the outer ones). Be especially judicious with concealer if you have puffiness around your eyes—light tones can highlight it.
3. Use a natural bristle brush to apply powder shadow; swirl the brush over the shadow, then on the back of your hand (to disperse the color evenly). Gently press the brush over your eyelid, concentrating the color along your lashline. Blend up toward the browbone—the color should get more and more sheer along the way. "Between the crease of your lids and your browbone, you should definitely see your skin color through the shadow," says Matin. If you want to intensify these shades and use them only as liners, put a drop of Visine on the powder to create a creamy texture, then use a fine-tipped eyeliner brush to run the color along your upper lashline.
4. With eyes this enhanced, the rest of your face should go quite bare. A soft rose or beige lip gloss is enough.
Get the look: 9 dreamy shadows
Next: How to wear bright blush
1. Pick the best shade—and consistency—for your skin. The most flattering blush will match the natural flush of your skin. To pinpoint the right shade, check the pad of your index finger; that's the color you're looking for. If you have fine lines or dry skin, avoid shimmery blushes and look for very soft powders or creams that melt into skin.
2. Bright blush can accentuate blotchiness, so before applying it, use a light foundation or tinted moisturizer to even out discoloration or redness. Cover up blemishes or age spots with concealer on a small nylon brush.
3. Smile! Now apply the blush (with a natural bristle brush for powders, your fingers for creams) at the highest point of the apples of your cheeks. Blend it outward, in small circles, until it has disappeared seamlessly into your skin. If the color looks too intense, use a dry sponge to pick up excess pigment.
4. Give your lips and eyes soft washes of color that balance the blush without overwhelming it. Try a sheer pink or tangerine gloss, and a taupey eyeshadow with two coats of mascara.
Get the look: 6 rosy blushes