Patrice Grell Yursik wearing red orange lipstick from MAC cosmetics

5 Orange Lip Colors That Perfectly Embrace Sweater Weather

Upgrade your makeup bag with these bold shades everyone can rock.
By Patrice Grell Yursik
September 14, 2021
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The idea of orange lipstick can sound garish or intimidating but consider orange as a spectrum of shades. There's a perfect hue for just about anyone. I grew up with a mom who loved orange lips and nails in the '80s, and now that I'm older, I've come to embrace the color myself. Orange is a color often associated with summer; there's something about that pop of citrus on sun-kissed skin that just captures an essence of warmth. I also happen to love orange as it deepens in the shade with the seasons. In my opinion, you can rock an orange lip color year-round. Just broaden your range to include all the tints and tones of orange in between.

In spring, my orange may take on more of a soft, subtle peach or coral hue. For example, Urban Decay Flower District ($13, Urban Decay) is a coral shine with a springtime vibe. In summer, I go for a true orange, hot and bold. In fall, when pumpkin spice flavors take the forefront, my lip color of choice deepens to burnt orange or terracotta or takes on a metallic finish to become copper or a bit bronze.

Clothing designer and makeup artist Niehla Ollie loves orange tones on the lips. Her favorite orange lipsticks are both by MAC Cosmetics, the iconic and vivid Lady Danger ($19, MAC Cosmetics), and Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor in the bold orange-red Quite the Standout ($22, MAC Cosmetics). Ollie believes there's an orange out there for anyone. "Skin tone doesn't matter when choosing an orange lipstick. It's about your level of comfort. You'd choose your orange as you would your red lipstick, based on the intensity that you're comfortable with," she says.

How to Choose the Right Orange Lipstick

Here are Ollie's top tips for anyone seeking their perfect shade of orange lipstick.

Match Your Skin's Undertone

"First, make sure the shade doesn't cause your teeth to look yellow. If an orange lipstick has too much yellow in it, it can highlight those tones in your smile. As a rule of thumb, the best way to choose the perfect orange for you is to pick one that matches your undertone. If you have a warm undertone, choose a warm orange. If you have a cool undertone, choose a cool orange. But a true orange looks good on any skin tone," Ollie says. 

Pair It with Lipliner

Second, power up any orange with the right lip liner. "If you want to wear orange like a pro, choose a liner that coordinates with the lipstick color. A warm liner will soften and neutralize it, which can give a more casual look. A cool-toned liner can sharpen it and give more of a formal feel. For example, with a color like MAC Marrakesh, for a warm look, you can line it with Cork lip pencil ($19, MAC Cosmetics), which is a muted golden brown. For a sharper look, you can line it with Mahogany ($19, MAC Cosmetics), which is an intense reddish-brown. Cherry ($5, NYX Cosmetics) is a cooler bluish-red lip liner that would make your edges sharper and give a cool ombre look to your orange lip," she explains. I use this technique myself when I rock NYX Butter Gloss in Orangisicle, a deep, coral-orange that I love to rock over a nude brown lip pencil.

Embrace the Boldness

And finally: Go bold! "Don't be shy when selecting an orange lipstick because it screams confidence, and there's nothing unintentional about that color choice. Make sure every time you swipe that color on, you feel like you're on vacation and are living your best life," Ollie says. I love that beauty advice! 

Here are more brands to check out if you're seeking an orange lipstick or gloss of your own, just in time for pumpkin spice season. There's an orange out there for everyone, no matter your skin tone. The main thing is to rock it with confidence. 

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mac cosmetics lipstick
Credit: Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

MAC Cosmetics

Besides Niehla Ollie's two favorite oranges, MAC has got orange lips on lock in all shades and finishes. For a bold punch of color, I'd recommend Morange, their signature, self-described "loudmouth orange." For a deep, sultry terracotta that's perfect for fall, I recommend their burnt orange "Marrakesh" shades that come in different finishes from matte to gloss. I love wearing Marrakesh matte lipstick with my fall looks. Think leopard top, cognac suede or black leather jacket, jeans and that bold lip color, perfect for fall and winter glam.

Buy It: Amplified Lipstick in Morange ($19, MAC Cosmetics)

milani lipstick
Credit: Courtesy of Milani Cosmetics

Milani Cosmetics

Milani Cosmetics is known for delivering high impact makeup at drugstore prices, and their orange lipsticks aren't to be overlooked. If you're looking for a high impact orange-red, try their Color Fetish Shine lipstick in Roleplay. It's the kind of lip color I'd rock for a memorable date night.

Buy It: Milani Color Fetish Lipstick in Roleplay ($9, Milani Cosmetics)

revlon kiss lipstick
Credit: Courtesy of Revlon

Revlon

Revlon has a range of vivid lip shades to choose from, including lipgloss and lipstick. For something different on the orange spectrum there's Kiss Cushion Lip Tint in High End Coral, for a softer, springy, more pastel approach to orange that's easy to wear for a range of skin tones.  

Buy It: Revlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint in High End Coral ($10, Revlon)

the lip bar lipstick
Credit: Courtesy of The Lip Bar

The Lip Bar

For something totally different on the orange spectrum, consider Conceited by The Lip Bar that's such an unforgettable metallic orange! That's right. Copper and even bronze are on the orange lip spectrum. Metallics are trendy for the holiday season, and this is right on time for fall. Conceited isn't a shade for the shy, so go brave and rock it for a night on the town!

Buy It: Conceited Lipstick ($9, The Lip Bar)

urban decay lipstick
Credit: Courtesy of Urban Decay

Urban Decay

Drive In might be my perfect orange lip, It's creamy, bold, deep, and easy to wear. An orange this vibrant doesn't require a liner for maximum impact.

Buy It: Vice Lipstick in Drive In ($13, Urban Decay)