Pink is the basic black of beauty, appearing in blush, lipstick, eye shadow, and even eyeliner. Pink never goes out of style, but lately it’s been more popular than ever. The NPD Group reported that shades of pink lipstick have outsold red. When Kim Kardashian West launched her own line of lipsticks with KKW Beauty, she started with pinks and nudes before launching a red half a year later.
Although the color pink might traditionally imply femininity, its widespread use in beauty goes beyond that. Pink “evokes a pleasant emotional response in our psyche,” says celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin. Pink connotes health and naturalness, in a way that has nothing to do with parabens or sulfates. “It looks like healthy flesh,” explains celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose. “Pink adds a fresh healthy flush to the face, and that’s what women have been trying to mimic with make up for centuries.” If health is wealth in our wellness-dominated culture, then pink is better than green (not to mention more flattering on the skin).
Barose says that pink acts almost like a neutral for makeup: “I go for it when I still want the overall look to be natural and not too colorful.” Pink also has the range: There’s the softness of baby pink, the richness of raspberry, the rock star tones of fuchsia. “Pink can look great on every skin tone,” explains Barose. On fair skin, mauve pink looks beautiful. Coral looks great on medium tones. And berry pinks and more plummy shades are flattering to darker skin tones, without looking like doll-cheek flush.
Here are some of Martin and Barose’s favorite pink products.
A Lipstick That Acts Like a Gloss
Says Martin, “I’m in love with the new Dior Addict Stellar Shine Lipstick in Be Dior right now because it’s a bold, blue-based pink that’s not as harsh as a red but still an impactful color. It’s a cool hybrid of lip gloss and liquid lipstick, and it looks great on so many skin tones.”
A Blush That Looks Good on Everyone
“I love this universal pink blush,” says Barose. “It works on a lot of skin tones from fair to medium to dark. I always reach for it when I want a natural pink flush that pops.”
An Eye Shadow That Costs $5
“The Innisfree eye shadow single in Pink Peach is a beautiful matte pink that looks great as a wash of color on the eyes and also on the cheeks. It’s one of the best $5 investments in my kit,” says Martin.
A Raspberry Stain for Cheeks and Lips
“This deep berry tone is the perfect pink for darker skin,” says Barose.
A Pink Lipstick for Every Day
Barose calls this “the perfect fresh pink lip color that’s natural and easy to wear. It’s one of my favorite daytime lips for fair skin.”
A Highlighter for a Healthy Glow
“This is a shimmery pink that makes for a great highlighter on so many skin tones,” says Martin. “It has the right amount of pink shimmery sheen to it.”
A Dramatic Pink Lipstick
“This is a classic bold pink — a fun color that’s also elegant,” explains Barose.
A Lipstick That’s Literally Infused With Gold
Says Martin: “This is the perfect no-brainer plum-pink lipstick. It’s flattering on so many skin tones, and because it’s infused with 23-karat gold, the warm radiance adds a beautiful dimension on the lips.”
If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.