How Embracing My Lips and Bright Color Define My Look

Presented by ULTA Beauty I have always embraced my full lips and wore bold colors ever since I started experimenting with makeup

Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Diaz

Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Diaz

Presented by ULTA Beauty

I have always embraced my full lips and wore bold colors ever since I started experimenting with makeup. I was lucky enough to find a role model that helped me not feel ashamed of them when I was a child. Just like many other young Latinas, I was obsessed with Selena Quintanilla. I remember seeing her wearing a classic red lip on the album cover for Amor Prohibido, and I never looked back. I didn’t see anything wrong with making my full lips the center of attention after seeing her do it.

Talking about this today doesn’t seem groundbreaking. We’re living in a post-Kylie Jenner world where having full lips is desirable thanks to her celebrity and penchant for filler. Today, people are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to get her look. However, that is not the world I grew up in. Millennials have been raised to see Eurocentric standards of beauty as the ideal. Conforming to what was accepted in the mainstream meant downplaying what is natural to many women of color. That didn’t hit me until I became a beauty vlogger.

lipstick organizer

A portion of my MAC lipstick collection (Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Diaz)

I started my YouTube channel over 10 years ago where I regularly posted haul videos featuring the makeup I bought and tutorials where I tried it all on. Lipstick was one of my favorite things to buy. The brighter, the better, in my book. I ended up amassing a giant collection, especially from MAC Cosmetics. The brand was all the rage when I was in college and spending the little money I had on makeup. Their store was like Candyland because they had dozens of options in every color your heart desired. I would put on the lipstick I bought in my videos without imagining that such a simple act was actually having a massive impact on my viewers. When I started getting comments about how my videos were inspiring other people to feel less self-conscious about their full lips that I began to realize the power of makeup. A lipstick was suddenly a political statement. It’s a way for you to take back your power and be unapologetic about your identity and voice.

red lipstick

Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Diaz

As a Latina, there is no better way to do that than with a gorgeous red. It is the stereotypical color of choice for us, and instead of running away from it, I wore it with pride. The first red that I fell in love with was MAC’s Ruby Woo ($19, Ulta). The color payoff is incredible, the lack of shine makes it stand out, and it’s long wearing. The lipstick also has a blue undertone that makes your teeth look whiter. What’s not to love?! It’s an iconic color for a reason, and hearing that Rihanna wore it sold me even more. I would pair it with neutral, bronze makeup, or even just a winged liner, and I was good to go.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Requiem

Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Diaz

Loving bright lipstick actually simplifies your beauty routine. That’s why I’m such a big fan. You can skip out on an extravagant eye look and get ready faster. I only needed a classic nude and brown eyeshadow look to pull off this metallic teal liquid lipstick called Requiem by Anastasia Beverly Hills ($20, Ulta). The brand’s Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette ($42, Ulta) is my current go-to for looks like these.

Fall makeup

Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Diaz

I love a bright lip so much that I will also rock it with a smoky eye. This burgundy look I did a couple of years ago is one of my all-time favorites. I even filmed a tutorial on this makeup! The crimson eye I with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eyeshadow Palette ($42, Ulta) worked so well with the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Drop Dead Red ($21, Ulta).

Aaliyah makeup

Photo: Courtesy of Cindy Diaz

One of the most non-traditional combinations that I like to wear is purple eyeshadow and red lipstick. It all started when I saw Aaliyah wearing the combination in the music video for her song “We Need a Resolution.” Her purple smokey eye and the glossy orange-based red lip was everything! If I had to recreate that eye look again I would totally go for the Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette ($49, Ulta). It has the plum and warm orange shades you need for that sultry eye.

Celebrities have always been a major source of inspiration for me. They made me embrace color and not feel ashamed of what I look like. I’ll have my nude lipstick phases, but a bright, bold lip will always hold a special place in my heart.

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