Be bold, sexy and fabulous this fall with plum lipstick. I embrace every opportunity to wear a bold lipstick because, if done correctly, it can be the pop of color that pulls your whole outfit together. The key phrase here is “if done correctly.” This look can go south very quickly and is probably why a lot of women love the look but get the jitters thinking about trying it themselves.

Here are some pointers on how to wear plum (or any bold color) lipstick safely:

Light on the eyes

Plum lipstickIn my opinion, the most important tactic to remember when wearing bold lipstick is to keep everything else simple. The lipstick is the focal point of your entire appearance, so remember to allow it to have the spotlight. This starts with your face. Too much face and eye makeup with bold lipstick is the quickest way to look like you’re applying to clown college. But this also doesn’t mean you can’t wear any face makeup either. My suggestion is to use foundation, eyeliner and mascara. I do not put any eyeshadow on, but if you’re dead set on it, do a matte neutral color and apply lightly. Be very careful.

Wear neutral or complimentary colors

Plum lipstick

Again, the No. 1 rule applies here with your outfit. Keep it simple! That means absolutely no patterns or statement pieces, unless you’re going to Phoenix Fashion Week or something similar; otherwise, don’t do it. Most people seem to have pretty good common sense in that department. What I see more of is missteps in colors. The safest way to get the look right is to stick to neutral colors like black, white and beige. But if you want to step out of the box and play up the whole fall experience, you can pair plum lipstick with the right burnt orange. But I must warn you people are either going to love or hate that combination. Never try to pair it with burgundy, and be extremely careful with the addition of more plum. It has to be the exact same color of the lipstick to work.

Be aware of your audience

One of the things I’ve noticed about bold lipstick is that it isn’t liked by everyone. I personally love it, but it is very loud, and it can be a turn off to certain people, especially certain men. I’ve found they either love it or hate it. So know that if you go out for some drinks and are wearing bold lipstick, you become less approachable and may end up impressing more women then men. On the other hand, some men love it and it may get you noticed. As a general rule, I’ll never wear it on a first date. I also suggest staying away from bold lipstick on a job interview. It can come off as obnoxious or distracting to some people, which may hurt your chances. Otherwise, I say go for it.

With these things in mind, you should be set to try the trend yourself. Whether you’re on a shopping spree or a night on the town, you will be looking like a fashion master instead of a fashion disaster.