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What your lip color of choice projects to men

Ever wonder what your favorite red lipstick shade is silently screaming to potential dates? With the help of a few fab experts, we analyze this, along with a wide variety of other common (and not so common) colors, to give you the lowdown.

Celebrities wearing a variety of lip colors

Classic red lips

“When you rock a true red lip, you’re projecting a bold sense of sexuality and ambition, almost like a ‘come hither’ look.” — Megan Brandle, certified image consultant at Mackenzie Image Consulting

“This hue shouts ‘look at me!’ Moreover, it communicates that you’re classic and chic and usually love to get dressed up and have a night out dancing. You’re a true lady. Red lips are a great way to take your look to the next level and really amp up that sex appeal. Nothing catches a man’s eye faster than this color.” — Julia Papworth, celebrity makeup artist

“You’re a sassy big city girl, and the grass doesn’t grow under your feet. You’re daring, energetic and willing to take the lead.” — Sandy Dumont, The Image Architect


What do men think?

Chief Consultant for BXX Consulting and Editor-In-Chief of the Beauty Expert Exchange, Indian Tyler, has literally seen it all when it comes to men and their reactions to makeup. “I’ve witnessed hormone crazed guys mistakenly under the notion that red lips mean ‘come get me baby’ literally jet off into the aisles of a beauty show in an attempt to woo a woman only to discover she’s a happily married hairstylist with three kids,” she explains.

Alternatively, Indian has also been in conversation with male owners of beauty brands that stop mid-sentence just to comment on how an impeccably styled woman with a beautiful face and a stunning statement lip looks like a clown. “It’s all a matter of perception and oftentimes our artistic expression through makeup, however subtle it may be, may or may not translate effectively to the opposite sex,” she says.

A rosy lip stain

“I love a nice, rosy lip stain! To men, this signifies just being kissed or perhaps health, which is associated with rosy, natural-looking full lips.” — Jacqueline Bush, celebrity hairstylist/makeup artist and Creative Director at Assembly Salon

A hot pink pout

“Slightly more adventurous and wild than red, this color says ‘I love to have fun with the girls,’ and consequently, guys seem to gravitate less to this color. It seems to be a shade that ladies appreciate more than men.” — Julia Papworth

“While blue reds are domineering, bright pinks are fun and flirty!” — Julie Tussey, celebrity makeup artist and eyebrow stylist at Angelo David Salon

“A fuchsia lip says you’re elegant and sophisticated, with a strong feminine streak. You can take charge, but you’re never bossy or aggressive.” — Sandy Dumont

Nude or neutral lips

“You’re a follower, not a leader, and you don’t like to rock the boat. Your style is classic, and pearls appeal to you.” — Sandy Dumont

“The bolder the lipstick, the bolder the one wearing it! It’s almost self-explanatory the way a pretty pink pout is for a more delicate female and how racy red lends itself to a ‘femme fatale’ type of woman. Personally, I tend to fall in the neutral middle with beige shades so as not to give myself away at the first impression.” — Judy Goss, lifestyle expert and founder of Over 40 Females

“Rosy browns or more neutral shades say ‘I like to play it safe’ and that you’re a little more on the conservative side. Beautiful nude lip colors say ‘I’m very, very sexy, and I’m not afraid to let people know!’” — Amanda Shackleton, celebrity makeup artist

A burgundy or purple pout

“This is an edgy color that can polarize men. Some guys love the sultry sexiness that this shade suggests, while others just think it makes a lady seem unapproachable. Be careful with this one.” — Julia Papworth

Black lipstick

“Any guy who has his eye on a girl who enjoys wearing black lipstick is trying to date one of the undead, and unless he’s Robert Pattinson, he won’t pull it off! But seriously, black lipstick says you’re bold and supremely confident, as very few can rock this color.” — Ruth Ramsden, author of Radical Desire, co-written with her partner Mark

“Black is very powerful and mysterious. It’s also associated with silence, so you could be projecting a ‘stay away’ vibe.” — Megan Brandle

An orange or coral lip color

“Since not everyone can get away with rocking this shade, those who wear it often come across as wild and adventurous, willing to throw caution to the wind. Guys may love this carefree attitude.” — Julia Papworth

More must-read beauty & fashion advice

10 Beauty questions men would really like to ask you
What your clothing choices communicate to men
Hairstyles successful women wear

Photo credits: Ivan Nikolov/ Apega/, Brian To/,, Brian To/, Zak Hussein/, Apega/

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