How To Make A Dark Lipstick Lighter – 4 Easy Ways

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Cover image of the blog post how to lighten dark lipticks

Have you ever fallen in love with a dark lipstick, but found that it’s just too dark for your skin tone? Or maybe you want to lighten up a darker lipstick to make it more wearable. Or maybe it’s springtime and you don’t want to put away your darker fall & winter shades. No matter the reason, this blog post will show you how to make a dark lipstick lighter. Keep reading for tips and tricks that will help you achieve the perfect lip color for your complexion!

Perhaps you might be wondering, why do I need to lighten dark lipsticks? Or how do I make a dark lipstick lighter?

There are a few good reasons why you might want or need to lighten dark lipstick. Today we will be talking about some of these reasons you may want to lighten your darker shades of lipsticks. We will also go over some of the ways you can do this, using Red Apple Lipstick lipsticks of course.

Why Lighten Dark Lipsticks

· Too Dark– One of the most common reasons why you would want to lighten a dark lipstick shade is because it’s just too dark for your complexion. Perhaps you bought a lipstick color that you thought would work for you without being able to try it on but ended up being too dark. No worries though, you can still make it work for you.

· To Make Them Work for Spring & Summer– Another reason you would want to lighten your darker lipstick shades is to be able to wear them throughout the year. Darker lipstick is usually worn more often during Fall and Winter, while lighter and brighter colors are worn during Spring and Summer. Well, you do not have to stop wearing your darker shades altogether during those warmer seasons, just lighten and brighten them up to make them work for those seasons.

· To Make Them More Wearable- Maybe some of your darker lipstick shades are not getting much love because they do not always work with every makeup look or outfit. Sometimes a shade may be the right color but too dark for the look you are going for. Or perhaps the shade is just a bit too dark and has the wrong undertones to complement your makeup look.

How to Lighten Dark Lipsticks

Once you understand the basics of shifting a lipstick color or blending colors – you’ll be able to customize your lipsticks for exactly the look you’re going for – making every outfit or look fit together with sophistication.

· Apply Lightly– One of the easiest ways to lighten a dark lipstick color is by simply applying it lightly. Apply just one coat and blot off any excess with tissue if needed. Instead of pressing against your lips with the entire lipstick bullet, try dabbing the lipstick against your lips in various places and spread it with a clean finger or better yet, a vegan lip brush.

· Apply as a Stain– Another easy and simple way to lighten any shade of lipstick is by applying it as a stain. You can do this by applying some of the lipstick onto your finger and then apply that to your lips, this will give you more control over how much you apply to the lips and prevent you from applying too much.

· Top Your Lipstick with Lip Gloss– If the lipstick shade is not too dark and only needs to be lightened a little bit, you can just apply a lip gloss on top of the lipstick (just remember not to over-apply your gloss, you only need a light coat). A lip gloss can help tone down the intensity of the color which can lighten it up just enough to make it work for you. When a lipstick color is just a tad bit too dark, using a clear gloss can do the trick in lightening just enough without altering the color too much. As an example, RAL’s Ooh La La lipstick is a beautiful deeper brown-pink nude shade that can be too dark on lighter skin tones. Honey Badger lip gloss would be a great choice since it is a medium pigmented nude with pink and brown undertones, it would help tone it down without altering the color too much. Sun Sparkles and Tiny Dancer are also good options for toning it down just a bit since it is more of a clear gloss.

Image of close up lipstick bullet of the shade called Ooh La La by Red Apple Lipstick. Ooh La La is  Dusty Rose shade

Ooh La La by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of Lip Gloss tube with wand standing next it is in the shade called Honey Badger by Red Apple Lipstick. Honey Badger is a nude with pink and brown undertones.

Honey Badger by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of Lip Gloss tube with wand standing next it is in the shade called Sun Sparkles by Red Apple Lipstick. Sun Sparkles is the perfect clear gloss with a touch of shimmer. It appears peachy in the tube, but when applied the peach tones blend perfectly into your base lip color providing a sheer gloss to make your lips shimmer and shine.

Sun Sparkles by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of Lip Gloss tube with wand standing next to it in the shade called Tiny Dancer by Red Apple Lipstick. Tiny Dancer is a beautiful warm peachy-pink nude lip gloss

Tiny Dancer by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of back of hand model with lipstick swatches showing Ooh La La Lipstick alone, then Ooh La La with Honey Badger Gloss over it, then Ooh La La with Tiny Dancer and Ooh La La with Sun Sparkles

· Layer/Mix with a Lighter Lipstick– Another great way to lighten darker lipsticks is to layer/mix with a lighter lipstick color that’s in the same color family. This is the best option when you need to lighten lipstick significantly.

One way that I love to lighten up Ooh La La lipstick when it’s too dark for a certain look is by mixing it with a lighter nude lipstick shade such as Naughty. Naughty lipstick is a tan nude color so it is not as deep in color, it’s more of a natural-looking shade of nude so it works perfectly to lighten up a darker, deeper nude color such as Ooh La La. New York and Oh My Guava would also be great options to mix with Ooh La La since both of these are RAL’s lightest lipstick shades of nudes.

To lighten darker lipstick shades for Spring and Summer, try mixing them with lighter and brighter shades to make them work for those seasons. Mix your deeper, richer reds with a brighter and lighter red lipstick. Or as mentioned already, mix your darker nudes with lighter ones to lighten them up. You can even mix colors to customize your lipstick shade such as a deep plum with a light pink!

Layer your deeper, richer plums and berries with brighter pinks or even red lipsticks. Spice ‘N Easy lipstick is a popular choice for fall, it’s not necessarily too dark of a shade but does have a deeper undertone to it (a medium spicy orange with a brownish-red undertone). To lighten and brighten it up for Spring and Summer I like layering it with Day After Morocco lipstick (a reddish-pink with a coral-beige undertone), it makes the most beautiful rich yet brighter color!

Image of up close image of a lipstick bullet in the shade called Naughty by Red Apple Lipstick

Naughty Lipstick by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of back of hand model showing lipstick swatches with Ooh La La by itself, then Ooh La La with Naughty Lipstick and Naughty Lipstick by itself

Image of lady with long dark hair and dark eyes looking downward. She is wearing Ooh La La mixed with Naughty Lipsticks by Red Apple Lipstick

Noemi has on a mix of Ooh La La and Naughty Lipsticks

Image of up close lipstick bullet in the shade called New York by Red Apple Lipstick. New York is a pink based nude shade

New York by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of up close lipstick bullet in the shade called Oh My Guava by Red Apple Lipstick. Oh My Guava is a pink based nude shade

Oh My Guava by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of the back of our models hand showing lipstick swatches in Ooh La La by itself, Ooh La La with Oh My Guava and Oh my Guava by itself. All by Red Apple Lipstick.

Image of Noemi is wearing a mix of Ooh La La and Oh My Guava Lipsticks by Red Apple Lipstick

Noemi is wearing a mix of Ooh La La and Oh My Guava Lipsticks by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of up close lipstick bullet in the shade called Spice N' Easy by Red Apple Lipstick. This gorgeous warm lipstick is a medium spicy orange with a brownish-red undertone

Spice N’ Easy by Red Apple liptsick

Image of up close lipstick bullet in the shade called Day After Morocco by Red Apple Lipstick. Day After Morocco is a reddish pink tinted with a coral-beige undertone

Day After Morocco by Red Apple Lipstick

Image of back of hand on our model she is swatching lipstick colors by Red Apple Lipstick in the shades Spice N Easy by itself, Spice N Easy with Day After Morocco and Day After Morocco by itself

Image of lady with medium skin tone dark long hair and dark eyes. She is wearing a mixture of Spice N Easy and Day After Morocco Lipsticks by Red Apple Lipstick

Noemi is wearing a mix of Spice N’ Easy with Day After Morocco

Don’t be afraid to play around with your dark lipstick colors. Try some of these tips and see what works best. There are so many combinations you could come up with and customize your colors, making darker lipsticks more wearable year-round. Do you have any favorite lipstick combos? Let us know in the comments as well as how you like to lighten your lipstick shades.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How can I tone down my lipstick?

If you just need to tone down the intensity of your lipstick color, the easiest way is to apply your lipstick as normal and blot off any excess with tissue. Then top with a clear lip gloss, this will help dilute the color enough to tone the intensity down. If you need to tone it down, even more, try using a lighter nude color gloss instead. Check out RAL’s lip glosses by clicking here.

  1. Can you mix two lipsticks?

Absolutely! Doing so is the best way to custom-make your own lipstick shades. This is also a great way to tone down and lighten darker shades that otherwise, you might not use. Play around with your lipsticks and see what combos work best for you. Check out all of RAL’s lipsticks by clicking here.

  1. How do you mix and match lipstick color?

There are no rules when it comes to mixing lipsticks. You can honestly mix any lipstick together so don’t be afraid to play with your colors. Try mixing different textures and finishes. If you are a beginner though, start by mixing two lipsticks that are in the same color range. Once you get comfortable doing so, then start incorporating different colors.

  1. How do you make dark red lipstick lighter?

One way to lighten dark red lipstick is by topping it with a nude color lip gloss- either a pinky-brown or a peachy-pink nude, such as Honey Badger and Tiny Dancer, would work great. Another way is to mix with a lighter nude color lipstick. Depending on the undertones of the red lipstick, you can go for a pink nude or a peachy-tan nude lipstick. New York, and Oh My Guava lipsticks are great choices.

  1. How do you make lipstick less pink?

The easiest way to tone down a pink lipstick is to apply it as a stain and then top that with a clear lip gloss if you wish. Sun Sparkles lip gloss is a perfect clear gloss choice. Another option is to mix your pink lipstick with a pinky nude lipstick or lip gloss. New York and Oh My Guava lipsticks are perfect pinky nude choices as well as Honey Badger and Tiny Dancer lip glosses.

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