Tangerine Tango is Pantone’s color of the year, and we’re officially in the midst of Spring – Chicago’s dismal weather aside. Orange is sizzling hot right now for lips, cheeks, nails, and even eyes. Yes ma’am, just the other day I gave Make Up For Ever’s orange Aqua Cream a try on my eyelids under a bold, black cat eye, with peachy cheeks and a shimmery nude lip. Lately I’ve been rocking orange lips in varying degrees of intensity, and it’s a head turner of a look. If done wrong, it can be very eighties. (When I told my mom I was writing a post on orange lips she said “IT’S BACK!!!” with tremendous excitement. That was her signature for a while!

Photo via Fashion Bomb Daily.

Recently a friend on Twitter asked me if I had a recommendation for THE perfect orange lip for brown skin. I didn’t know if there was one special orange for all of us. I had to ask incredible makeup artist Tia Dantzler, who offered some helpful orange lip tips. “That orange can be tricky. I like to use a pencil first to fill in. Sometimes you have an orange that’s too bright. So I like to use a brown or burgundy pencil as a base to tone it down. Or you can use a gloss or an orange lip balm. I like to tone it down before I turn it up.”


I dug deep into my own orange-or-in-the-orange-family lippie stash to see which were the best. Photographed here with my camera phone, apologies for photo quality:


MAC lipstick in Watch Me Shimmer from Shop MAC Cook MAC, which is a coral pink that’s super pretty and wearable

Black|Up Cosmetics lipstick in RAL 26 – creamy, bright, buildable orange with a touch of red coral to it, if you feel me

OCC Lip Tar in Safety Orange – the gold standard of longlasting orange lippies, with a touch of red for the bravest among us

Lancome color design lipstick in Corset, a matte coral peach that is so smooth and fabulous

Milani Lip Flash pencil in Flash Light – coral with red shimmer, very shimmery, great over lip pencil

Cover Girl blast flipstick in Cheeky, interesting orangey coral you customize – one side is shimmer, the other cream

Avon Glow Lip Gloss in Coral, the safest, sheerest, shiniest option for those who are a tad too shy for overt orange. Just a hint of creamsicle orange that’s super sheer, excellent when layered over a lipstick or pencil.

Those are the few I have – couldn’t find my tube of MAC Morange for the photo. Classic shade, one I LOVE.  Check out this post by Style And Beauty Doc for a few more classic MAC oranges.

If you’re looking for a brand new orange lippie, might I recommend Sephora? I stopped by the one on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue recently to check out their orange lip collection. And there were some GREAT oranges in store.


Urban Decay’s Super Saturated lip pencils are chubby and slick and highly pigmented and full of win, and Punch Drunk is a delicious orange cream. A Go Go by Kat Von D is a hot coral color. And then I hit the motherlode — Sephora has a Pantone Color of the Year collaboration that you can shop in store or online! Check out this display with all the Tangerine Tango you could want. Look!



So if you’re looking for your ideal orange, check out Sephora. And if you want to know how to wear them, consider the advice I got from Tia Dantzler. “It’s best to use a scrub on your lips first, because with bright lip colors they really show if your lips are peeling.” TRUE STORY.

Have you found YOUR perfect orange lip color? Tell me about it!


Jess Day says:
May 1, 2012, 12:45 am
Orange fever in spring and summer! Not everyone knows hot to work out an orange lipstick and yes, you are totally right that bright lipsticks show peeling unfortunately. Thanks for the tip of using a scrub. This is the second time someone advised to check Sephora for orange makeup; they probably got a good collection. Cheers!
Doctor Cris says:
May 1, 2012, 7:33 am
Thanks for sharing Tia's tip for toning down the orange lipsticks. Now you have me excited about finding the right orange lip color so off to Sephora I go. I will try your recommendations first to see if they work for me.
Tori D. says:
May 1, 2012, 8:38 am
I haven't worked up enough nerve to go all out orange, but a while back I found a nice orangy-coral that works well for my dark skin. It's a shimmery, kind of sheer lipstick and I LOVE it. Unfortunately, it's been discontinued. Although I can still find it in some corners of the web, the hunt is on for a replacement. Hopefully one of your suggestions will work!
Mswednesdaysgirl says:
May 1, 2012, 9:02 am
Thanks for sharing, I am ga ga for orange at the moment as it helps to brighten up the dismal weather we are having in London. I am on a mission for awesome orange lips and will definitely try out your suggestions. I have had success by using a brown lip pencil with MUA'S coral, MAC so chaud and MAC vegas volt.
Cheekie says:
May 1, 2012, 10:28 am
I LOVE that orange on Eva! I'm actually on the hunt for a good orange lip color and that one is in the family of oranges I want. It's bold and fiery, which is perfect for spring/summer. Can't wait to cop me the perfect one!
Danielle says:
May 1, 2012, 3:12 pm
Great post, Bella! And thanks for the link love :)
MsXpat says:
May 1, 2012, 4:31 pm
I've not got my true orange yet, but after seeing your pics I'm very tempted to find one :0) It looks fun and vibrant. I do believe in ex foliating lips for colours such as these, it true they do show imperfections on lips.
Alice says:
May 1, 2012, 9:32 pm
So Chaud by MAC is my favorite! I'm wearing it here with a bit of gloss over it to make it more "day time" appropriate: http://tiny.cc/matndw. It's just red enough that it's a too in your face like some oranges can be. Alice Alice in Nappyland
swapna says:
May 16, 2012, 1:35 am
MAC Lipstick:It's the only one I buy. I love the vanilla scent, the reasonable price, the wide array of colors and finishes. There's a decent length of wear, but they're not "long lasting." My only complaint is that they can be a bit drying.