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  • Writer's pictureJordan Nicole

Looks You Can Do: 4 Lip Styles that are *Actually* Worth Trying

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

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We use our lips to speak and communicate. We use our lips to smile, to make silly faces, and to make duck-lips in selfies with our friends. For women and non-binary people of color, our lips mean even more.

Not only are lips used to communicate, but they are an important part of applying make-up. Putting on a shade of lipstick might seem like something you don’t think about much, but the color of lipstick or lipgloss you choose to use can have meaning and can represent a certain emotion or feeling you are trying to evoke. Large plump lips is a physical characteristic associated with women and non-binary people of color, but especially with Black women. Black women have been bullied for decades for having bigger lips and have been called dehumanizing names, such as “monkeys” or "soup cooler lips". Only in recent years have bigger lips become the beauty standard. This is mostly due to celebrity figures like Kylie Jenner, who have undergone the cosmetic procedure of lip fillers and have used lip liners as a way to overline and create the look of larger lips. This prompted more women to favor larger lips and thus, having bigger lips became the beauty standard. Now that larger lips are more valued and appreciated, it is important to acknowledge the bullying that women of color experienced for naturally having plumper lips.

“The problem has never been large lips, it has always been with who naturally has them,” said New York University student Sasha Dubose. “ I feel like white/non-Black people love Blackness, but not Black people. Large lips exude “Blackness”, but they are only attractive when they’re not on a Black person and the cycle of anti-blackness continues.”

Lips Appreciation Day should be a day where women of color can show off their lips and celebrate their natural beauty. Here is a list of lip looks that people of color can try out in celebration of Lips Appreciation Day:

Red Lips

If you prefer a more classic make-up look, then a red lip is the perfect look for you. Historically, in beauty, red lips have been associated with being seductive and sexy, but recently U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has also turned the red-lip into a symbol of power and strength. In Vogue’s Beauty Secrets video series, AOC revealed her full beauty routine, including her favorite red liquid lipstick.

Black Lips

If you prefer darker lipstick, but still want to make a bold statement, don’t be scared to try out a black lipstick. Rihanna has consistently promoted black lipstick and rocked it on several red-carpet occasions. She even has a shade of black lipstick in her Fenty beauty line.

Gold Lipstick

If you prefer a lipstick that has a little bit of shine and that will accentuate your melanin, try a gold lipstick. Wearing gold lipstick makes for beautiful pictures of your lips in the sun and is the perfect way to draw attention to your pout.

Ombre Lips

If you’re looking to bring your basic lipstick shade up a notch, try using the ombre effect. Line your lips, apply your darker shade, and then add a shade that is lighter in the middle of your lips. Use your fingers to blend the two colors together into an ombre These can be two shades that are in the same color family or two completely different colors that go well together.

It is important as women and non-binary people of color to take pride in our natural features, so use these looks as a way to celebrate and appreciate your naturally plump lips. Happy Lips Appreciation Day!

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