I was terrified to buy or try lipsticks for a long time because I’m very pale, and I just thought that bold lipstick shade was not made for me. Even after I became acquainted with great lip products, I was afraid to buy them on my own because I worried they made my teeth look orange (or worse).
Well, I did a lot of research and did a bit of product testing, and I finally figured out what looks look on my pale, pale skin, and now I’m happier than ever to rock bold lips every day.
So, I thought this is the perfect time to share my findings with you ladies since bold lips are a perfect summer accessory. Many women, especially beauty bloggers, will know these things about how to find the right lipstick shade, but I also know that many of my readers are not beauty bloggers or beauty experts (really, who is?) and may need a little guidance. Everything that I am about to tell you is readily available on the internet; I have just compiled it in a simple and informative way!
Tips in finding the right lipstick shade for you
1. Know your undertone.
Knowing the undertone of your skin will be the key to finding a perfectly matching lipstick shade for you; whether you are pale, fair, medium, or dark, you probably lean towards an excellent (pink, red, or blue) or a warm (yellow) tone. Knowing your undertone will not only help you buy lipsticks but also match your skin to a foundation. Since I don’t wear foundation, it took me a while to figure out my undertone. I honestly thought I was neutral.
Suppose you aren’t immediately drawn to either cool or yellow tones. In that case, an easy way to know is by checking the color of your visible veins under natural light: if they appeal blue (like mine), then you have a cool undertone; if your veins are a greenish tone, then you have a warm undertone.
Also, think about the types of colors you look good in: do you look good in yellow? How about orange? Green? Or blue?
There are many confusing undertones, especially when it comes to olive skin or artificially tanned skin, but some generalizations can be made. For instance, most pale or fair girls (like myself) have a cool undertone. Girls who can achieve a natural tan (unlike me) are usually warm-toned. Dark skin has an extensive spectrum of undertones, with the lighter end of the spectrum being yellow toned and the darkest skin being red-blue. Asians are generally warm or yellow toned, although that is not always the case, as they can also be neutral or cool.
No one fits a type to a tee, so don’t assume your skin is a certain undertone without doing a few self-tests (like some of the ones mentioned in the video).
If you got a cool undertone like me, you should avoid oranges and orangey corals unless you want your teeth to look very yellow. I know oranges are all the rage right now, but stick to berries and reds!
If you are planning on shopping for lipstick online or in a store, do your research first. Unless you are shopping for a true red (neutral and flattering on everyone), you should find out whether it is a cool-toned or a warm-toned color (if you can’t tell by looking).
High-end cosmetic companies like MAC or Lancôme will have descriptions on their websites noting the hue, and of course, you can always ask a consultant in the store. However, it’s even better if you can find a lipstick guide to help you.
Drugstore brands are a little more challenging to find out the undertone without opening the product in-store, so I recommend finding swatches online before purchasing. Try to find a blogger or YouTuber with a similar complexion to you and check out which brands or colors look good on them. When doubtful, check the return policy before buying.
2. Work with your complexion, not against it.
So, let’s face it, the same red that looks good on my pale skin will probably not look good on a darker girl. The most flattering shades of lip color will only be a couple (1-2) shades darker than your actual skin tone, so don’t go too crazy buying the boldest colors you can find.
For example, pale girls should say away from browns; medium toned girls should stay away from bright reds. Mauves and berries look pretty great on pale and medium skins, oranges, flatter bronzed and tanned girls, whereas dark skin is complimented best by plums and chocolates.
A key to wearing bright lips is having a relatively clear or even complexion. If you have red blemishes anywhere on your face, bright reds and pinks will only enhance that redness. So, concealer is your best friend!
If you don’t want your lips to clash with the rest of your facial makeup, then try using your lip color as a cream blush. This will prevent colors/tones from clashing and will make your face appear much more cohesive. Also, keep your eye makeup minimalistic if you are rocking a super bold lip.
3. Work within your comfort zone.
There are a ton of color and texture choices for lipsticks and lip glosses, and they aren’t all perfect for everyone. For example, I love bold reds and dark purple-y burgundies, but bright pinks terrifies me; I also love matte, creamy lip colors and rarely wear anything glossy because I don’t like the extra attention it draws to my lips.
This example is that you should not buy or wear anything that you aren’t entirely comfortable with. Not comfortable with bold red lips? Then don’t force yourself to wear or buy them just because they are in style. Do you think that sparkly lip gloss looks tacky? Then, don’t wear it!
Small, delicate lips? Stick to lighter colors. Want to keep your smile looking as white as possible? Stay away from orange-reds.
If you want your lipstick color to be as true to the packaging as possible, then conceal your lips before applying the color. This will give you a blank slate that is not altered by your natural lip color.
These are all of my tips and tricks for picking the right lipstick shade for your skin tone, personality, and complexion. I hope that these few things will make your next lip color purchase a little less overwhelming. With so many colors and texture options, it’s a huge time saver to know precisely what is right for you.