What's The Best Way To Wear Gold Lipstick?

Unusual lip colors have been gaining in popularity lately (black lipstick immediately springs to mind) and none is more glamorous (or more holiday soiree appropriate) than the sparkly gold lipstick. You can wear it on its own with a cozy sweater for intimate holiday gatherings, or pair it with a cat eye and gold bangles on a night out for some serious Cleopatra vibes. Whether you choose to dress up or down, gold lips are more versatile than you'd think. Intrigued? I tried a few ways of wearing gold lipstick to see which is the most effective.

Much like applying a good red lipstick, getting a nice gold effect isn't just a matter of slopping it on your lips and running out the door. Sure, that works in a pinch, but if you're headed somewhere special, it's better to take a little extra application time at the beginning of the evening so you won't have to be reapplying all night long.

But first, where to equip oneself with gold lipstick? While it's not as plentiful as nude, red, or pink, there's a surprising amount of strange lipstick color options available these days. It's up to you to decide if you'd rather have some sheer gold shimmer or if you want to go fully opaque. Here are a few options, all under $20:

Left to right: KA’OIR Cosmetics Golden Goddess Lipstick, $16; NYX Wicked Lippie in Mischievous, $6; OCC Loose Colour Concentrate in Triptych (to be mixed with clear lip gloss), $14; Portland Black Lipstick Company Lipstick in Gilded Lily, $12

For my own experiment in gilded lips, I chose the NYX Wicked Lippie in Mischievous, a mostly opaque gold with a shimmery finish and a creamy consistency.

Since it's basically go big or go home when it comes to winter makeup as far as I'm concerned, I wanted the color to pop as much as possible. Here, four different ways of adding gold lippy to your beauty routine. Prepare to feel incredibly regal.

1. On its own

The easiest and fastest way to wear this lipstick (and most lipsticks) is to just swipe it on. You may want to make sure your lips are exfoliated and moisturized with a good lip balm first to make sure it doesn’t settle into any lines, but for the most part this NYX lipstick glides on smoothly.

I was pleasantly surprised by this lipstick: the opaqueness, lasting power, and creaminess all got thumbs up from me. Even the shimmer was the just the right amount.

Sure, it's pretty enough on it's own, but I'm not leaving until I exhaust all auric possibilities.

2. Layered over concealer

Most of us have heard the trick of wearing concealer under nude lipstick to cancel out our natural lip color, so it makes sense that that would apply to gold as well. I used NYX Wonder Pencil in Medium as my base.

Yes, you will look very weird once you’ve basically erased your lips. But does it look better once the gold lipstick is added?

Sadly, no. Somehow the nude concealer managed to make the gold less colorful, so it was more like a sad pale yellow on my lips. Keep your natural lip color, kids.

3. Layered over white eyeshadow

I grabbed a creamy white eyeshadow stick, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk, that can be used under bright eyeshadow colors to enhance them. Does the same method apply on your mouth?

This looked even stranger than the concealer lips, but I had high hopes for the final result.

Unfortunately the creamy consistency of this particular eyeshadow stick made it impossible to apply the equally creamy gold lipstick on top. You might get better results with a powder white eyeshadow, but overall it just seemed to make the gold washed out. Again.

4. Layered over red lipstick

My last idea was to layer the gold lipstick over a different color lipstick. Everyone is going to be rocking a red lip this holiday season, so why not update yours with a glamorous twist?

I used Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout, a great matte red, and then used a small angled brush to add Mischievous on top. I also added some of Mischievous above my cupid’s bow to act as a gold highlighter.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm, $6, Amazon

I really liked this result, although it will show up more in person than in photographs. You can build up as much gold as like, and you can use any color lipstick as the base (I think a dark purple would look really cool, too). You could even choose between matte lipstick, creamy lipstick, or a stain. The gold lipstick will add just the right amount of shine and if you add some above the cupid's bow, as I did, it will even make your lips look slightly bigger.

The takeaway from this? You never know what will work until you try it. If you try wearing a gold lipstick this winter, remember to experiment with it and have fun. After all, that’s the best part of makeup.

Images: Joshua Kirby