How to Wear Bright Lipstick Like You Know What You’re Doing

If you’ve always worn natural lip colors (or no lip color at all), the prospect of suddenly waking up one day and slathering a shock of neon orange or purple across can feel impossible. Yet some people seem to regularly rock bright lipstick as naturally as if flamingo pink were the lip shade they were born with. What oh what is the secret to pulling off bright lipstick?

First of all, as corny as it sounds, there’s no such thing as an ability to “pull off” bright lipstick—there’s simply the confidence to wear a color that might say something like “I’m not afraid to draw a little bit of attention to myself” or “Yes, I put a little bit of effort into my makeup today, and I’m comfortable with other people seeing that.”

But getting to that place sometimes requires a little help, so to assist us, we tapped makeup artist to the stars Molly R. Stern, who’s decorated the lips of Julia Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Lucy Boynton, and more. Below are a few of Stern’s best and easiest tips for pulling off bright lipstick like you wear it all the time.