It’s all in the name and with this season’s neon lip colours you get exactly what is advertised — a sure-fire way to inject light and life into your look. We all know that now’s the time to brighten up our blush and bring some spring into our eye make-up options, but with the sizzling lip shades that currently abound, you can really achieve illumination.
Be bold and be brave, by all means, but make sure to tone everything else down if you dare to flip the switch on neon lips.
Our top-rated neon lip comes from Bobbi Brown, which generally excels at quality, flattering nudes, and so is well-placed to advise on how to do neon without looking nasty.
The number-one rule is play it low-key but polished when it comes to the rest of your make-up. Stick to skin-perfecting foundation, almost colourless eyeshadow and bare-minimum eyeliner. Lashes can have some impact, but use your most discreet blush and the cumulative elegant effect will allow your mouth do the talking.
Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Neon Pink, €25, Brown Thomas; Arnotts, D1; House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre, D16
The brand does brilliant nudes for those who have put crazy colours behind them, but still care for cosmetics. So, it’s unusual to see Bobbi Brown embracing the neon trend with two lip colours and a purple eyeshadow. This is a classic neon pink in a semi-matt finish that will suit most skin tones. And shades of teeth. “This is certainly a change from the school-run colours that I usually love from BB,” said a panellist. “Statement, but not eye-scalding.”
BEST TANGERINE GLEAM
Bourjois Sweet Kiss Shine in Juicy Tangerine, €11.99, available nationwide
For those who can’t carry off those super-bright pinks, the citrus shades are a good choice, particularly if you are more sallow of skin tone. You need to have a pretty perfect smile to carry off this orange-red shade, but it is lovely and the juicy, shiny texture is very pretty. “My only objection to this is the five minutes it took to work out how to open it,” said a panellist. “Quite a yummy, perky lip look.”
BEST BIG LIGHT
Mac Lipstick in Hot Pink, €17.50, Brown Thomas and BT2
Of all the neons that lit up our lips, this was by far the most intense in terms of texture. Nothing sheer here, it’s a full coat of lipstick in a colour that is a light but lively pale pink, with a touch of metal. A product that makes the very most of your mouth, with nothing low-watt about it. “Fantastically full-on — love this one,” one panellist said. “Brightened up everything, while demanding a complete easing off of any other cosmetic colour.”
BEST ROSY LIGHT
Lancome Rouge in Love in Rose Boudoir, €25, Lancome counters nationwide Part of the long-wear range of lip colours from Lancome, in a shade that is very much of this season. Pink with a hint of very flattering coral, which softens the neon and makes it very wearable by day. It’s long-wearing but comfortable, with a sheer finish that, surprisingly, won’t budge. “Very, very pretty colour that is gorgeously girlie but with enough punch to set it apart from your pedestrian pink,” one panellist said.
BEST BIT OF BLUE LIGHT NYC
Ultra Last Lipstick in Blue Rose, €2.49, available nationwide
There are some who steer clear of neon because they imagine that their skin or teeth just aren’t near perfect enough to sit beside it. If that’s what you fear, then seek out a little blue in the lipstick mix. This intense and slightly deep pink has a pronounced blue to it, as the name suggests. “There’s a slightly Seventies feel to this lipstick,” a panellist said, “with the metallic gleam and the blue-pink colour. A great night-out number.”