How to Tone Down Bright Lipstick

Last Updated on October 6, 2022 by Ellen Christian

Learn how to tone down bright lipstick with these tips. Find out how to make lipstick lighter so you can use lip shades that are too bright for your skin tone.

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How to tone down bright lipstick

How to Tone Down Bright Lipstick

We all have that favorite bright lipstick we pull out when we really want to turn heads. You know, the one you wore to the New Year’s Eve party but probably won’t choose when you head to the PTO meeting or the grocery store.  

I do enjoy wearing bright lipstick when I go out in the evening but I feel like I don’t pay them enough attention for day to day wear.

I know that some women choose bold, bright makeup colors all the time and some women can definitely pull off that look. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.

There’s a reason I choose neutrals. I look better wearing them. That doesn’t mean I never choose the bold colors, I just don’t choose them often.

red lipstick, powder and other makeup on a white background

I fell in love with a gorgeous, satin finish lipstick with blue based red tones. As much as I adore this lipstick, it’s a bit bright for me. 

Now that I know how to tone down bright lipstick, my purchase wasn’t a complete and total waste.

Here’s the process that I used to tone down bright lipstick.

  • Apply the lipstick as you would normally.
  • Blot off any excess using a tissue.
  • Add a clear gloss to dilute the color of the lipstick.
  • If you find the color is still too bright, instead of layering on a clear gloss, try layering on a lighter neutral color gloss over the top.

Here’s a tip. If your lipstick is too glossy, add some pressed powder over the top. If your lipstick is too matte, add some gloss.

Have you ever tried to tone down bright lipstick? Or do you give up and return it to the store?

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8 thoughts on “How to Tone Down Bright Lipstick”

  1. I bought what I thought would be a beautiful (and hip) new shade of lipstick with a Sephora gift card and wore it every day.  Then I needed to take pictures of myself. Ummm.  Why had no one told me how horrible it looked?  I need to try these tips to try to salvage the lipstick.

  2. I use this one tube of slightly gold colored lipstick over the red, that seems to do the trick. I don’t look good in dark lip shades and I often want to tell some gals they don’t either, but of course I bite my lip and say nothing. They need to read this, lol. I’m more of a gloss girl than a lipstick person these days.


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