How to Find the Perfect Lip Color for Your Skin Tone

by AFTON WILLIAMS

How often do you find yourself staring at the shelves of lipstick, feeling lost and confused and questioning your entire (beauty) existence? Even for me, as a makeup artist, it’s often. Luckily, there are a few quick tips that can help you in your journey to find the perfect shade. Keep scrolling to see what they are!

First and foremost, it helps tremendously to know your skin’s undertone. This little detail can actually assist in many fields of beauty and fashion, so it’s great to have it in your arsenal. Most people fall into one of two categories: warm or cool. Those with cool undertones tend to be a little fairer while those with warm undertones can have a golden or olive hue. If you find it really hard to determine your undertone, there’s a chance you’re neutral (a mixture of both).


Cool Undertones

Photo: Imaxtree

Photo: Imaxtree

Related: 4 Genius Hacks For Figuring Out Your Skin’s Undertones

For your skin tone, lip colors with blue- or purple-shaded undertones look best. So when you go to choose a red lip, steer away from the orangey shades and more toward the deep bluish reds. Be careful with shades too light, as they can wash you out.

Keep scrolling to shop three lipsticks that are perfect for those with cool undertones!

Chanel Rouge Coco in Etienne 

Too Faced Melted Liquid Lipstick in Melted Fuschia 

Julep Matte Lip Mousse in At Midnight 


Warm Undertones

Photo: Imaxtree

If you have a yellow, golden, or olive hue to your skin, you likely have a warm undertone. You can tell your undertone is warm if the veins in your wrist look green, gold jewelry complements your skin, or you tend to tan or get bronze fairly easily.

Related: How To Pick The Perfect Shade of Orange Lipstick For Your Skintone


Photo: Imaxtree

For your skin tone, lip colors in warm shades will look best. So go for those really red and orangey colors.

Keep scrolling for some red-hot lipsticks that are flattering on warm undertones!

Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Atomic Orange 

Nyx Matte Lipstick in Indie Flick

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in 1975 Red


Neutral Undertones

Photo: Imaxtree

You guessed it! Those with neutral undertones look good in both silver and gold jewelry, and typically a wide spectrum of colors tend to complement your skin. So for you, it’s a free-for-all!

Related: How to Find the Perfect Red Lipstick for YOUR Skin Tone

Nars Satin Lipstick in Afghan Red

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lolita 

Dior Addict Tie Dye Lipstick in Red Bliss

If you still struggle to identify your undertone but you have a pretty basic understanding of your skin tone, don’t fret. People with fair skin look radiant in bold and deep colors to provide contrast to their tone. If you feel like you’re a bit more olive, then pinks, nudes (Tom Ford’s Lip Color, in Warm Sable is a sure bet), and corals will suit you well. If your skin has a darker tone, choose a berry lip or a bold dark shade, like MAC’s Lipstick in Heroine, to amp up your look.

The main thing to remember is that ultimately your lip color is up to you. If you feel like you look best in a coral, but that doesn’t align with the “guidelines,” say screw it and do you. At the end of the day, we all feel the prettiest in whichever choice makes us the most confident. For example, most beauty experts would tell you to stay away from shades that seem too ashy for fear of washing out or making yourself appear dead-ish. But sometimes looking a bit gray is exactly what I aim to achieve—so an ashy lip it is!


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