Entering a boutique or drugstore to choose a lipstick color can be daunting, because there are a millions shades and formulations out there. Do not be lured in by a brand name or stellar marketing, because the proof is how the lipstick complements your look. Whether you go with the 99-cent special or a designer brand, follow a few key guidelines to determine the lipstick color that will make you look your best.
Check the lipstick against your skin tone. Rub a swatch on your wrist to get a sense of the look. In general, people with fair skin look good in deep plum reds, medium browns, pink beige, mocha browns and shimmery pinks with blue or gold undertones. People with medium shades of skin look best in deep blue-based reds, warm browns, deep caramels, creamy coffees, deep pinks and pinks with brown undertones. Skin that has a yellowish tone looks better in brownish reds, plums, dark berries, auburn, mahogany, toffee and chocolate shades. Brown and black skin looks great with blue-based reds, deep plums, wine, mahogany, many shades of brown, sheer pinks and berry.
Look at your eye color. While not as strong a determinant as skin tone, eye color can be highlighted through lip color. Hazel eyes look best with reds, browns and pinks. Blue eyes are a good match for pink and beige. Complement green eyes with orange, red or brown tones. Brown eyes look great with bright and bold lipstick colors.
Complement your hair color. Blondes can try warm pinks, plums, soft reds, corals, mauve and rosy browns. Brunettes may opt for deep or warm reds, rich pinks, mauve and beige and brown that has a pink undertone. Redheads can try shimmery bronzes and coppers or orange browns, sheer colors, beige and brownish reds. Women with black hair can choose from bolder shades like raspberry red, reds with blue undertones, geranium, coral, fuchsia, vivid roses, berry, burgundy and plum. Women with gray or white hair should try warm reds, rose, mauve and creamy textures.
Select a color that fits your needs. That bold and brassy red may be an eyesore at a conservative office, while that delicate pink beige all but disappears at the nightclub. Aim for a natural look during the day and go brighter at night. If you are wearing heavy eye makeup, go lighter on the lips.
Consider the level of brightness of a given shade. A deep plum that is several shades darker than your skin tone and natural lip color is going to look brassy in the light of day. For a more natural effect, select a hue that is only a shade or two darker than your complexion and natural lip color. Try a lipstick on just your lower lip and compare it to your unadorned upper lip. If the two have a startling contrast, aim for something mellower.
- Avoid using a much darker lip liner with your lipstick. Try to stay within one shade darker.