The Shy Person's Guide to Rocking a Bold Lip

As someone who doesn't like being the center of attention at all, the prospect of wearing a bold lip out in public used to scare me. I would always put one on, decide it was "too much," and replace it with a more understated nude. Over the last few months I've been working my way up and building up my comfort levels around wearing bolder lip shades, and I've finally started feeling like it's no big deal. I figured I'd share the tips that really helped me for my fellow lipstick hoarders out there.

Start with deep nudes & neutrals

The first step I took in branching out to bolder looks was to wear deeper nudes/neutrals. Since they were still a natural brown/pink shade, they remained in what I felt was "wearable" territory, while still looking a bit more "done" than my previous nude staples. Try to pick something a few shades darker than your natural lip color. My lip color is more of a cool-toned rosy shade, so something like the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Do Me Baby is my perfect deeper nude shade.

Blot, Blot, Blot

Once I started heading towards brighter shades and away from neutrals, I found them much easier to wear and get used to when I blotted them down. Starting with a layer of lip balm really helps to sheer out the color, as well. Deeper berry shades like the NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress or Audacious Lipstick in Audrey work really well as they add a really natural-looking flush to the lips. Or if you know what color family you're going for, a sheer matte lipstick like the Glossier Generation G's would be perfect - Jam is a good way to ease into berry shades, Crush into bright pinks, and Zip into reds.

Wear it around the house

This was the biggest one for me - I just had to get used to seeing myself in the mirror in these bolder shades, so popping one on when I had nowhere to be really helped. I did this with deeper liquid lipstick shades. It also helped me get used to how these particular shades wore throughout the day, so once I started wearing them out, I knew when it would be time to touch up. We're our own toughest critic, so we often think we can't pull something off, when in reality, you're just not used to seeing a different look on yourself. I thought I couldn't pull off bright reds for the longest time until I started wearing the MAC Lipstick in Russian Red and the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red around the house - once I got used to it, I realized I loved the look and bought myself the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, which had been on my wishlist for years.

Keep the rest of your makeup minimal

My biggest problem with a bold lip was that I felt a little too "done." I prefer to keep my makeup on the natural side of things, so I found that adding in a bold lip made everything look too much on my face. So I brought down the amount of makeup I wore on the rest of my face to keep everything looking fresh. A dewy base with bright, minimal eye makeup and fluttery lashes looks perfect with any bold lip - I had a whole post dedicated to that specific look here.

Do you wear bold lip shades? What are your tips for easing into them?