"I'm going to be doing my own makeup to save some money, but I'm stuck on the lips. I don't usually wear lipstick and I don't like how it looks, but I feel like I should wear something on my lips to brighten up my face. I'm looking for a product that is sheer but provides a pop of color. It can't be sticky, and I don't want to reapply every 30 minutes. Advice, please! —Elissa, Denver
It's definitely important to wear lip color—a nude lip looks okay in real life, but color reads better in photos. But that doesn't mean you have to wear traditional lipstick: A sheer, berry-colored gloss or lip stain will warm up and brighten your face, preventing you from looking washed out on film. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. DuWop IcedTeas, $19 These hydrating lip balms provide the slightest hint of color (I suggest Black Currant for brides), plus they contain sunscreen and offer a subtle cooling effect—perfect for summer.
2. Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip Stain with Argan Color Stick, $21 On the lip stain end, you get a pop of color plus hyaluronic acid and sugar extracts to smooth and plump lips. The color stick side adds some extra color and creamy moisture.
3. Revlon Just Bitten Lip Stain + Balm, $7.99 The lipstain on this dual-ended marker refuses to smudge or streak; the creamy balm on the other end makes sure your lips don't get dried out.
4. YSL Gloss Volupte Sheer Sensual Gloss Stick, $30 This cult gloss-lipstick hybrid has a non-sticky formula that lasts for up to eight hours (and it smells like mangoes).
5. Dior Addict Lip Glow, $29 For lip color perfectly suited to your skin tone, try this balm, which reacts directly with the chemistry of your lips before releasing its color ingredient.