How to Wear Hot Pink Makeup, According to Experts

A collage of the best hot pink makeup products and a model with bright pink eyeshadow and dress
Product images courtesy. Runway photo by Getty. Collage by Ashley Peña
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Call it the Barbie effect. Bold shades of hot pink are not only dominating the runways and red carpets this summer, but the hue is also making its way into the realm of makeup. While previously the trendcarried with it a connotation of overly sweet submissiveness or naiveté, in 2023, nothing could be further from the truth. The hot pinks we’re seeing on the lips, cheeks, and eyes of models and celebs are nothing short of a mainstay that, dare we say, might just overtake the classic red lip. “As Pierpaolo Piccioli introduced his Valentino PP Pink collection back in winter 2022, I found this wonderfully deep pink shade to signify something strong, ultra-confident, and independent,” the famed makeup artist Daniel Martin says.

The hue taking over the cosmetics industry right now goes far beyond the hype behind the Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling movie, points out Robin Black, the distinguished global makeup artist and photographer. “It’s part of our culture right now,” she says. “The pink appeal transcends fashion—and intellectually speaking, is also a sign of our times. It’s satisfying a yearning for something we all need right now: enjoyment. Pink is the color of optimism, and in Western cultures, it’s associated with a very specific type of youthful femininity. With everything going on in the world, I think people are craving brightness and visual optimism.”

We reached out to industry tastemakers to share their favorite standout pink makeup products: from lipsticks to highlighters, blush that doubles as playful eyeshadow, and everything in between.

For a Glassy, Bold Pink Lip Color

“For high shine, I love Make Beauty Cream Supreme High Impact Lipstick in Fluorescence, says Robin Black. “This extremely high-shine, hot pink is not for the shy. If you want an updated way to wear an ’80s look or a more editorial take on the current Barbiecore trend, then this is the pink for you. What I find interesting about this formula is that, although it has an almost lacquered finish, it doesn’t bleed and has surprisingly good lasting time.”

Foolproof, Flattering Lip Pigments for All Skin Tones

“I’ve been doing Barbie press with the director Greta Gerwig recently, and these two lipstick shades are currently circulating in my kit as my favorite hot pinks: Valentino Rosso High Pigment Lipstick in Pink Is Punk, and Candy Yum-Yum by MAC—a bright neon pink that’s gorgeous on deeper skin tones, too,” Daniel Martin says. “To blend the look and give the right proportion of balance for both lip colors, the staple in my kit is the highlighter from Dior’s Backstage Glow Palette. It contains four different options, not just for every skin tone, but also to help create so many different looks. I find it often an essential component.”

A Creamier, More Intense Pink Lipstick

“Instead of a bright red lip this summer, I’m opting for a vibrant hot pink lip,” reveals Mary Philips, the acclaimed makeup artist known for creating drop-dead gorgeous looks on Kendall Jenner, Jennifer Lopez, Camila Morrone, and Hailey Bieber. “I like to shape and define the lips first using the Make Up Forever Aqua Lip Liner Pencil in Grenade (#19C), which glides on smooth and is extremely long-lasting. Then I apply the Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge Cream Lipstick in Rose Cocktail (#355). This color gives the perfect amount of intensity with an ultra-creamy texture that is smudge-resistant and long-wearing.”

A Daytime Lip Color That Shifts Perfectly to Night

“Rose Dehli by Sisley Paris is a sophisticated ‘adult’ pink, a true statement lip color,” notes Black. “It’s right at home in the boardroom or on date night. The color depth and strong pigment work well on a wide variety of skin tones, plus the formula has hydrating ingredients—so although it’s an opaque finish, it’s almost like a balm, and has a soft satin feel.”

The Perfect Pink Polish, Bar None

“To say I am currently very enamored with Chanel’s deep pink nail color, Diva, is an understatement,” says the L.A.-based makeup artist Stevi Christine. “Diva is a beautiful deep pink that is ultra-glam but also playful. And unlike some deep reds, which can be tricky on some skin tones, deep pink looks great on everyone and it’s easy to pair with whatever you are wearing this season.”

Dreamy Lashes to Highlight Your Pink Pout

When wearing a strong lip color, go softer on the eyes and cheeks for the most flattering look. Makeup mastermind James Molloy (whose clients include Hailee Steinfeld, Alexandra Daddario, Jourdan Dunn) concurs. “Now, I treat a bold pink lip the same as a red—by playing down the eyes while still giving them a little something,” he says. “I like to use Lashify to create a little kitten flick at the outer corner of the eye. I use either the Lashify Amplify Gossamers (A) for a gentle flick or the Plushy Tame (PT), which has a lovely soft curl. I place one Gossamer in 10MM and two in the 12MM length at the outer corner of the eye, and the look becomes chic and seamless. I love a soft bronze lustered shadow like the NARS Afterglow palette with this shade—golden bronze tones feel softer than a grey or black smoke. Another perfect way to accessorize a pink lip is with a corner lash. They give a feline shape without the heaviness of liner.”

Bold Lip Liner With the Best Staying Power

“What I love about the Very Terri Stay Put Lipliner in Raspberry is that it delivers, especially when you are wearing a stronger pink,” says Gregory Arlt, the makeup maven who has delivered flawless looks on Angelina Jolie and Minnie Driver. “This pencil is not only my go-to for a hot pink lip pencil because of its sophisticated pigment, it also does not move. It’s one of the best lip liners on the market because it holds up, even if the lipstick I use over it doesn’t!”

A Light, Sheer Blush

A flawless blush, both in color and texture, will properly highlight the best undertones of pink makeup. Romy Soleimani, the revered New York-based makeup artist (Cara Delevingne, Carolyn Murphy, and Reese Witherspoon are all clients) shares with us one of her favorite combos. “The new Glossier G-Suit in Pilot is a gorgeous and vibrant pink formula with a whipped matte texture. For this look, I also recommend a great hybrid cream or powder formula to give a sheer brightness to the cheek. One I find that blends nicely and helps awaken the complexion is the Rosy Glow Dior Blush.”

A Cream Blush That Accentuates the Lips

A trusted favorite of Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, and Ashley Graham, makeup artist Ash K. Holm notes the right cheek color can tie together a hot pink look flawlessly. “Summer is a perfect time to wear all shades of pink, and the cheekbones yield beautiful accents to the whole look,” she says. “The Persona Dreamstick Cream Blush and Super Blush in Bubble are two that can be worn together or on their own. They are multiuse and Bubble is the perfect soft, cool pink for all skin tones: easy to blend, buildable, and minimizes the appearance of skin texture. I think you can easily pair Bubble with any bold pink lipstick. If you want your pink lipstick to be the focus of your summer glam, gently tap Dreamstick onto your cheekbones and blend. It will give you the perfect pinch of pink. For longer wear, layer the Super Blush on top of the Dreamstick cream blush. Your blush will have the perfect pop of pink.”