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Lipstick Shade Guide

Lipstick Shade Guide
Fragrance Direct Blog
Writer and expert3 years ago
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Your lipstick can significantly impact your look, which means it can play a role in your mood whenever you wear it. Many women love a bold red lip, which can be a true confidence booster and perfect for special occasions. Some prefer pinks or neutrals to enhance natural lips; there’s one thing we know for sure – there are plenty of choices out there to suit every wearer.

What is a perfect lipstick shade?

Is choosing your ideal lipstick all about the colours you prefer? Kind of, but there’s a little more to it, like picking the shades that work with your specific skin and hair colour.

Does that mean that some colours won’t suit you? No! Choosing lipsticks to compliment your complexion means looking out for the right shades, not colours. There’s a red, pink, brown, and every other colour out there to suit us all. But the actual shade that works for you might not be the best choice for someone else.

Do lipsticks look different on everyone?

Yep! For example, suppose three friends with fair, medium, and dark complexions share lipstick. In that case, the product will look a lot different on each face. Depending on the shade and skin tone of the wearer, specific lipsticks might look beautiful or could equally appear misplaced.

That’s why it’s essential to try and choose the shades that work with your skin tone. A blue-based red might make one person look and feel beautiful, while the same shade could miss the mark on someone else. These people are more likely to suit orangey-red shades, while those who wear blue-bases might not pull these off.

It doesn’t mean one skin tone is better than another, just that certain lipstick shades might not suit everyone.

What are skin tones and undertones?

No matter your race or ethnicity, you’ll fall into the light, medium, or deep category when it comes to your complexion. And there’s more… As well as your noticeable skin colour, you have an undertone that’s either cool, warm, or neutral.

When you match your lipstick to your skin’s undertone, you can get the most out of your complexion and make your entire face shine. But how do you figure out which undertone you have?

Working out your skin’s undertone

1. Cool

Look at the veins in your wrists. If they look blue through your skin, you probably have a cool undertone. You can get the most out of this by choosing lipsticks with subtle blue or purple tones, like berry shades and pale nudes.

2. Warm

If your veins look blue-green or you have a golden or olive hue to your skin, you most likely have a warm undertone. Warm colours like letterbox red, coral, or peachy nudes will work beautifully with your complexion.

3. Neutral

Greenish veins? You probably have a neutral undertone. Good news! Most shades suit neutral skin tones, so you can try out a bunch and figure out which specific colours you prefer, rather than worrying about what to avoid.

Lipstick shades for light skin

The fair-skinned among us know how hard finding a perfect lipstick shade can be. Light skin can look washed out with the wrong lipstick shade, while certain shades of pink, nude, and dusky reds can make your complexion sing.

Light skin with a cool undertone

If you have fair skin with a cool undertone, make your lipstick work for you by choosing a frosty pink or pinky-nude shade for everyday wear. If you’re looking for a red, be sure to scope out options with blue undertones to work with your skin – think old-school Hollywood glam!

Light skin with a warm undertone

If you have light skin and warm undertones, a dusky neutral lipstick will work beautifully with your complexion. Pink-nudes will also look gorgeous on you, while pink-toned reds can be ideal when you’re after something bold.

Light skin with a neutral undertone

If you think your light skin has neutral undertones, you can probably pull off any shade you fancy. Still, your daily choices might be pale pinks or pink nudes, while brown nudes might look a little dark against your fair skin. Red will be a bold look, contrasting your pale white complexion; you might save it for special occasions or rock it daily – whatever makes you feel your best!

Lipstick shades for medium skin

If you have a medium skin tone, you’re more likely to have yellow and olive undertones. That means many lipsticks labelled nude might look unnaturally pink against your complexion.

Medium skin with a cool undertone

If you have cool undertones, blue-red lipsticks will work beautifully against your complexion. These bold shades will look a little less striking against your medium skin than they might on your fair friends, so you could wear them every day without feeling too made up. Cool, bright pinks can also be perfect for you. Again, the darker your skin, the easier it is to wear bold lipstick without feeling like a big deal.

Medium skin with a warm undertone

You might like to choose lipsticks with a glossy finish, which can bring out the gorgeous glow in warm undertones. Warm, orangey reds will be beautiful too, and peachy nudes or coral shades can look stunning.

Medium skin with a neutral undertone

Again, neutral undertones can carry off lots of lipstick colours and shades. Brown can be beautiful and versatile, while dusky pink options will be easy to wear every day.

Lipstick shades for dark skin

Dark complexions can pull off many lipsticks beautifully. Even the most shocking shades of red, orange, or purple will look laid back against dark and very dark skin tones. Still, undertones apply, and you can make the most of your natural colouring by choosing lipsticks that suit.

Dark skin with a cool undertone

Blue-based lipsticks will still suit you the most, so look out for reds and cool pinks that fit the bill. Actual blue shades, like purple or violet, will also look perfect on you; not many people can get away with these hues, so enjoy them!

Dark skin with a warm undertone

Coral pink could be your go-to if you have dark skin with warm undertones. These shades will suit you down to the ground. You could also try warm browns, caramel shades, or indulgent reds.

Dark skin with a neutral undertone

Your neutral undertones mean you can wear most shades, and your dark skin means you can wear most colours, so go crazy! Try various lipsticks until you find the options that you love. Like with all darker complexions, reds, corals, and dusky pinks will look beautiful.

Choosing the best lipstick colours for your hair

Curveball! More than just choosing a lipstick shade to suit your skin, you might want to think about how your product works with your hair colour. Your makeup can help you get more out of your hair colour, creating a beautiful look that you can fall back on time and time again.

Lipstick for blonde hair

If you have blonde hair, glossy pink, peach, and berry tones will look beautifully feminine and complement your locks. A statement-making red lip can be gorgeous against blonde hair, too, while browns can work if you choose a suitable shade for your skin tone.

Lipstick for red hair

Redheads can look stunning with bold red and pink lips, but depending on the shade of your hair, these bold hues might also clash with your complexion. It’s all about finding your unique complementary colours, which will probably include lots of nudes or sheer glosses. Your hair makes a statement on its own, so you might not need bold lipstick to add anything to your look.

Lipstick for brunette hair

Brunette hair is versatile enough to look good with lots of lipstick colours, so you might want to focus on what’s best for your skin tone. Still, burgundy and letterbox red should look beautiful alongside your hair – just choose a shade that suits your complexion, whether it’s blue-based or warm.

Lipstick for black hair

Black hair with red lips is one of the most striking looks out there. Choose a shade that suits your skin tone, and enjoy your special occasion go-to. Depending on your skin colour, you might try a variety of pinks and browns too. Black hair can mean very fair or dark skin, so consider your complexion as a whole when choosing the lipstick for you.

Our favourite lipsticks to suit everyone

Based on your skin colour, undertones, and hair colour, you should have a good idea of the lipsticks that will work for you. With that in mind, here are some of our favourite products, which are available in a rainbow of colours and shades, so you can pick the exact one that will work for you.

All these beautiful, nourishing products are available in shades to suit anyone, so take a look and discover your new fave! Remember to consider your skin colour, undertones, and hair colour when choosing a new lipstick to get the most out of your natural beauty.

Fragrance Direct Blog
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