Do Certain Lip Colors Make You Look More Youthful or More Mature?

My mom always says that red lips age a person. She prefers sheer nudes but I always think brighter colors make a person look more lively, more cheerful. Bright lips instantly perk up a woman’s complexion and I always tell my mom she looks so much better with them on. She, on the other hand, thinks it’s too much. I was wearing a more opaque rose lip color the other day, pretty tame, if you ask me, and she said it made me look older. I had to remind her I’m turning 40 soon. I’m not 18 anymore. It’s OK for me to look mature, and not a bouncing teenager. I have 3 kids of my own, mommy!! Perhaps I’m still just a baby to her.

But anyway, I got curious. Do different lip colors make us look younger or older? More playful or more serious? I believe lighter shades and pinks are playful, which might be associated to being youthful, and darker colors more mysterious and sexy, hence more mature. Here are a few photos of me, wearing the same makeup throughout, except for lip colors. Do I look different as I progress to darker lips?

FYI, I was wearing Tom Ford Summer 2015 Naked Bronze (cream shadow only) on my eyes and Chanel Joues Contraste Tumulte on my cheeks.



lip change



So, what do you think?


xoxo Lily




  • Darcey Fernandez

    I always think frosted lipsticks make people look older, because it accentuates lines.

    • Lily

      You have a point there. Frosted lipsticks are only for those with smooth plump lips 🙂

  • I’m with you that brighter colours make you look more youthful, and darker colours more mysterious. I find that vampy colours look quite aging on me, or maybe thats because the only vampy colour I have is terribly matte, so it just sits there and cakes and cracks… reminds me I should put it in the bin and next time find one I like better… I love the photo set up you’ve done with all the progressive looks! xx

    • Lily

      Thanks Sofia! I was preparing to head out the door, and decided to take a few photos and abuse my lips. LOL!

  • I love this photo of you and how cute your expression in each photo is. If you ask me a not so dead nude makes you look younger. The one in the first photo looks younger to me. I was wearing Tom Ford First Time which is close to this shade you are wearing and people said the same to me.
    I think bright shades are also good if well balanced with the rest of the makeup, like the second photo. Last two look more mature but sexy. Gosh, Lily you look good in all of them LOL.

    • Lily

      Thanks Sara. Looking at the photos now, I guess less ‘makeup’ does make a person look fresher, hence younger, right?

  • Ha my mom has the same problem, too! She thinks Estee Lauder Defiant Coral makes me look old… Or basically any makeup that is “visible” for her. It’s insane because I’m 31 and not 12 anymore, but I guess we never grow “old” enough for our parents!

    • Lily

      You’re right Sunny! Anything too visible makes my mom cringe too. Hahaha! She’s all for the no makeup makeup look

  • Not sure on you, but on me certain shades make me look like an old lady these days. Rose shades and certain berries make me look old. They have to be brighter with a bit of pink.
    You’re too young to worry about it yet! But I’m heading near 50 and really dark vampy lips are a no now.

    • Lily

      Oh yes, I love a bright pink on you! You carry off ALL pinks so well Tracy. I’m jealous. I can only wear certain pinks that don’t clash with my skin tone.

  • Interesting topic! But first let me say you look so adorable in those pictures. 🙂
    I think the undertones and the finish play quite big to determine what ages a person when it comes to lip colors. I used to wear sheer nude/pink almost exclusively but I love sporting brighter color. Also pairing is important, I think? I tend to keep my eyes neutral with brighter/deeper lip colors.

    • Lily

      Thank you! You look great in pinks, Lena. Bright pinks, bright rosy pink, and I know for sure you carry off oranges beautifully 🙂

  • I love that spectrum of photos! So fun! And you look lovely 🙂

    I think it’s true that mothers just think we’re kids forever. I wore red lipstick on my wedding day and afterward she told me it was too mature or maybe not the best shade for a wedding…and yet she wore a nearly identical red shade on her wedding day (I didn’t do this on purpose, it’s just the shade I fell in love with and the image I wanted for my wedding). And she said my dad agreed with her, but of course he must have thought she was utterly beautiful on THEIR wedding day, and she wore the same damn color, so, I think it’s perspective, hahaha. I think color can maybe change our overall look here and there, but like Lena said, I think pairing is important, too, and there are tons of things you could do with your makeup that would age a person much more, I think!

    • Lily

      LOL that you and your mom wore the same lip color for your wedding. That’s so cute! My mom sported a really dated hairdo on her wedding. Those huge stiff curls, man. I asked her if she regretted it, and she just laughed. And yeah, there are so many other ways makeup can age a person. I need to remind my mom that. Hahahaha!

  • Hahah I love that photo progression! They all look great on you. Sometimes I think it has to do more with undertones/finish/opacity than the color necessarily, and it’s also about how your overall makeup routine evolves. But ya know, moms will be moms.

    • Lily

      Yes, I think it’s a mom thing, Sarah! I hope I’ll be a really understanding supportive modern mom to my daughters… but I have a feeling I’ll be nagging quite a bit myself. Eeps!!

  • Jaa

    Love the photos side-by-side, Lily! So fun! To me, you look youngest in the 3rd (middle) photo! The first one even though it’s supposed to portray an “innocent” no-makeup look but I think the brighter lipstick adds a lot of youthfulness and liveliness to your face, hence I love it the most! 😀 This post reminds me that I need to wear brighter colors more. ^_^

    • Lily

      I always think bright red lips look VERY good in photos. In person, I usually like to tame it down by sheering it out a little 🙂

  • Liz

    My favourite is the red but you look awesome in ALL of them. And I don’t give two shits about looking older or not. Apparently I look about 12 when I go out and used to be obsessed with looking more “mature”… but FUCK IT ALL. I am what I am, or at least what I feel like on a day. I have to tune out my mom because otherwise I’ll just go MENTAL. Their generation is obsessed about making impressions on other people and I just can’t with that stuff anymore.

    • Lily

      I know right? I asked her the other day, if appearance is so important. Whether we have good skin, or be a certain size. When she said yes, I just tuned out completely. I’m like, whatever mom… you live in your world, I live in mine, even though I still love you 😛

  • I agree with Jaa – the youngest look is the bright red, so your mom is IN ERROR, lol! I think darker shades are more mysterious and therefore seem more mature, and brights make someone seem more plugged in to trends and therefore seem younger. I think you look bitchin’ in all of these snaps. I think lip colors lend more of a vibe than an age. It was cool to see these side by side!

    • Lily

      I like that you said lip colors lend more of a vibe. I couldn’t agree more! My mom and I have different opinions in a lot of things, but it made for a good discussion for the blog. Heh! I love darker lip colors though. Paired with my bitchy resting face, I look untouchable. And well, bitchy. HAHAHAHA!

  • I totally agree that brighter lips make you look more youthful, but i also think it comes with a certain age…. a teen with red lips will look older, but me with mauve lips now look older and less lively. Love all your comparison shots, you look so good in each of them!!!

    • Lily

      You’re too kind, Linda. I think brighter shades liven up a complexion, hence making us look younger. I agree that reds age a teen to a certain degree but heck, I think a teenager with more makeup than necessary makes them look older 😛

  • Berry, red, and nude/beige make me look more mature. Peach (especially), coral, and pinks (particularly hot pink) make me look much more youthful. Rose is my neutral my-lips-but-better colour; not too young, not too old.

    • Lily

      Looks like you really know what’s for you! That’s awesome!! I just randomly pick one and hope for the best. Hahaha!

      • Oops. LOL. It is great that you have a healthy amount of optimism towards all lipstick colours! I guess I just prefer to be more precise and gotten bitten too many times – especially by nudes and lavender pinks. =(