It wasn’t long ago that red lipstick was considered a rather bold beauty statement. Now, far quirkier colours are becoming increasingly mainstream. Among the latest launches you can find goth-y midnight black (CoverGirl’s Katy Kat Matte Lipstick);deep cool grey (Smashbox’s Always On Liquid Lipstick);pure white, pastel mint and navy blue (Make Up For Ever’s Artist Rouge Lipstick); and even metallic green shimmer (Urban Decay’s Vice Lipstick).
So what’s driving this trend? I’d say that social media is the major factor. Before mainstream brands embraced the eccentric lip look, indie players such as Jeffree Star Cosmetics and Lime Crime (both created by provocative Internet personalities with big fan followings) carved out their niche with offbeat shade ranges—proving there’s a real market, particularly among millennials, for such colours.
Zany shades lend themselves to the Instagram age, when so many beauty enthusiasts want to stand out and look different. You can see the same thing happening in hair colour, too—for instance, you can now find L’Oréal Féria kits for achieving pastel pink, smoky blue or lavender at home. All of this reflects a modern beauty attitude that celebrates playful, somewhat rebellious individuality.
Of course, not everyone will be into the idea of sporting smurf-blue lips. But for those who are adventurous enough to flaunt an unconventional shade, they’re likely uninterested in following rigid rules on how to choose, apply or wear it. The best way to find what works best: try with an open mind.