Bright lip colors are hot hot hot for spring 2012. It can be intimidating to try out some of the mega bright hues we saw on the runways, but don’t be alarmed. You can wear them as a focal point, as long as you play it safe with the rest of your makeup and choose the right shade.

1. Keep the rest of your makeup simple. We’re talking covering trouble spots and under eye circles, adding mascara, a hint of blush, cleaning up the brows and that’s about it. You don’t want any serious eye makeup or blusher competing with your bold lips. It can be done, but there’s a fine line between garish and high fashion. For most of us, letting the lips be the center of attention works best.


2.  Blue-toned pinks work best. They are the easiest transition for those who already wearing pink and red lipsticks on a regular basis. Look for a more neon or hot pink take on your basic pink shade. Those with warm or deep skin can also experiment with orange. Coral looks great on many skin tones, but keep in mind it should hint slightly more red than yellow. Very warm or yellow-based colors often bring out the yellow in our teeth. Blue-toned colors allow teeth to look white, and remember, a lot of attention will be drawn to your mouth when sporting a bright lip color.


3. Exfoliate lips. Bold colors tend to seep into every crevice and nook in our lips. Keep your lips well-moisturized and soft to avoid cracking with bright lip colors. Start by exfoliating lips with a scrub to slough off dead skin. If you’re wearing bright lip colors regularly, this should be done at night on a regular basis. After lips are dry, apply a thick lip balm that will penetrate the lip surface overnight. You’ll wake up with soft, smooth lips that are ready for any lip color.


4. Start by lining lips. Line lips with a nude lip color if you do not have a color that matches your lipstick. This allows the color to fade evenly as it wears off throughout the day. Apply a strong lip color. Blot the lips with a tissue and apply another layer. Remember that most lip colors will not stay as bright throughout the day, so keep your lipstick close by for touch-ups. The trend is all about rich color that stands out. There’s nothing fashionable about faded lip color in these of-the-moment hues