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A Lucky 7 For Lip-Lockers — 7 Orange Lip Colors With Plenty of Bite

Succulent red pout may convey old Hollywood glamour (particularly a Film Noir-era femme fatale penchant for seduction) while nude lips may convey a minimalist approach to beauty that conjures up images of bare skin on beachy locales, and pink puckers conjure a doll-worthy sense of sweetness and innocence, but orange lips scream, “I’m confident, modern, and unafraid of color.” The color that was once most closely associated with looming danger — hence its use for such safety paraphernalia as life jackets, traffic cones, safety goggles, flashlights, and “Workers Ahead,” “Detour” or “Lane Closed” signs — has, in recent years, been reinvented as an inviting shade for those with an adventurous sense of style and an experimental approach to makeup. Sure, there was a period when tepid corals offered an alternative for dubious, slow-on-the-trigger types, but within one or two seasons, the dial had been turned up on these citric colors, with neon orange, vermilion, and blood orange pouts adding an unexpected punch to fashion runways,

Looking for the most richly pigmented, sophisticated-looking orange lip colors out there? Start with these seven lip world wonders!

1. MAC COSMETICS NEON ORANGE LIPSTICK  ($15; no longer available for purchase)

Introduced as part of the Spring 2011 Stylishly Yours collection, the MAC Neon Orange Lipstick captures that flaming red-tinged orange hue of Franka Potente’s hair color in the cult classic Run Lola Run. The amplified color is bright, clean, and perfectly opaque, without any excess shimmer or sparkle. That being said, since this particular shade was available for a limited time only, your second best option is snatching up the classic MAC Morange lipstick.

2. MAKE UP FOR EVER ROUGE ARTIST INTENSE LIPSTICK 40 ($19 at Sephora.com)

Never a brand to shy away from color, when Make Up For Ever adds the “adjective” intense to any of its products, customers know to stand up and take notice. Nothing could be truer of the Rouge Artist Intense lipstick line, which features shades formulated with 50% more pigment than traditional formulas and enriched with vegetable wax, candellia, rice, and beeswax to both moisturize and condition lips and to help the color adhere to lips for longer wear. The 40 shade is a fiery molten lava color with an all-even sheen that creates an irresistible luster.

3. NAPOLEON PERDIS DEVINE GODDESS LIPSTICK IN HARA ($24 at NapoleonPerdis.com)

Featuring slightly more scarlet undertones than some of the other orange colors featured here, the Napoleon Perdis DéVine Goddess Lipstick in Hara resembles the reddish skin of a ripe blood orange fruit — and, like all lipsticks in this range, it’s formulated with antioxidants an herbal extracts to help smooth lips, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and seal in moisture.

4. ILLAMASQUA FLARE LIPSTICK ($22 at Sephora.com)

A true ring-the-alarm orange, the Illamasqua Flare lipstick would make old-school gas pumps and Fanta soda cans feel meek and mild-mannered in their comparatively lackluster containers. In true Illamasqua fashion, not only is this color a tour de force in terms of color payoff, but it lasts all day long, so you can maintain your steamy lip look without worry. I’m also quite smitten with the semi-matte finish, which makes the color feel rather mature instead of thrusting it into raver kid territory.

5. OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE COSMETICS LIP TAR IN BETA ($14.50 at OCCmakeup.com)

A hybrid between a lipstick and a lip gloss, the astoundingly pigmented Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar is 100% vegan and features hemp oil, peppermint oil, and vitamin E, so that the light-as-a-feather color feels deliciously cooling and soothing on your pout. Like the incandescent orange Betta after which it was presumably named, the OCC Beta Lip Tar features a near-phosphorescent quality, while its wet-looking finish amplifies the dramatic effect via a vinyl-like shine.

6. ILLAMASQUA BLAZE LIPSTICK ($22 at Sephora.com)

Before there was Flare, Illamasqua lit our fires with the Blaze lipstick, a slightly lighter orange shade with more of a burnt peach quality. While it’s far from lackluster, it doesn’t have the in-your-face attitude of the Flare lipstick, making it more attractive to those of you who are just beginning to feel comfortable with donning orange lipstick.

7. SMASHBOX LIMITLESS LONG WEAR LIPGLOSS SPF 15 IN BOUNDLESS ($22 at Sephora.com)

Designed to last up to six hours and formulated with SPF 15 to keep lips safe from harmful UV rays, the Smashbox Limitless Long Wear Lipgloss offers a nice veil of punchy color without dehydrating lips or feeling overly sticky and tacky. As for the Boundless shade, it’s only slightly deeper than a coral color, so that I’d describe it as a light flamingo orange or even a subtle sunset orange. The shine on this gloss, meanwhile, will make your lips beam like the sun.

Next, check out swatches of the Illamasqua Flare lipstick, Napoleon Perdis DéVine Goddess Hara lipstick , MUFE Rouge Artist Intense 40 lipstick, and the MAC Neon Orange lipstick:

To wrap things up, check out swatches of the Smashbox Limitless Long Wear Lipgloss in Boundless, the Illamasqua Blaze Lipstick, and the OCC Lip Tar in Beta.

Which of these orange hues have you tried? Which are you coveting?

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