A woman putting lipstick on her lips
5 Tips For Choosing The Best Lipstick For Your Skin Tone & Avoid Looking Like You Made Out With A Clown
by Lynsey Macdonald

Lipstick is one of the quickest and easiest ways to liven up your look. If you’re a sucker for a monochrome outfit, like me, adding on a bold lip can add a bit of edge and color to an otherwise simple style, while the perfect nude lip can really compliment a smokey eye. But searching for the perfect color at the beauty counter can be a little overwhelming, as there are endless options to choose from. So if you’ve found yourself gazing at a rainbow line of testers and wondering how to choose the best lipstick for your skin tone, you’re not alone.

Brand’s lip collections are continually growing, with good old bullet form lipsticks remaining popular and celebrities like Kylie Jenner inspiring a love for liquid lipsticks this season. Different textures and formulas are fun to play around with, but figuring out what color you should invest in is important to finding a signature hue that compliments your complexion. These days it isn’t just a case of figuring out which shade of red, pink, or brown will work, because you will find everything from classics like soft pinks, neon oranges, and stunning deep berry tones to fun, modern shades like turquoise.

To help you better understand your lip color options, here are some handy tips to take with you next time you hit up Sephora.


Find A Color That Compliments Your Skin Tone

When it comes to choosing a lipstick based on your skin tone, a few basic recommendations have been floating around the beauty world for a while now. Bright colors look best on darker skin tones, while pinks and roses look great on fairer skinned females. It may take some time to find the right shade, but once it hits your lips, you’ll never look back.


Figure Out Your Undertone

Identifying your skin’s undertone can make a huge difference when picking out the next item for your makeup bag. Those with more of a yellow complexion tend to lean towards warmer colors (think warm, pink shades), while those with a pink skin tone are traditionally more suited to cooler, blue hues. There are a couple of simple ways to identify your undertone. One is to look at the color of your veins; if they appear blue you likely have a pink skin tone, and if they appear green you have more of a yellow tone. Another is to think about whether you burn or tan in the sun. If you go home from the beach glowy and golden you have a warm skin tone, while pink skin tones are more likely to burn!


Consider Your Eye Color

You eye color can actually be a really useful indicator of what lipstick shades will look best on you. Blue eyes can look particularly dazzling with coral and red hues, green eyes can pull off orange shades, and brown eyed girls look great in pinks.


Try Before You Buy

I spoke to makeup artist Sara Hill, who launched her gorgeous eponymous makeup collection this year, and she says the key to finding the best shade is testing it out, but not on the back of your hand. “Try lipsticks on your finger tips rather than the back of your hand for a more lip-like visual reference to the colour.”


Have Fun With It

As far as Hill’s concerned, you shouldn’t worry about whether or not the shade you’re lusting after appears on an approval list. Rather, you should go with your gut instinct and what you’re drawn to.

"Makeup is about expression and personal style," Hill says."Whether you’re 18 or 80, wear what makes you happy. Your face, your rules!"

Images: Wencor Teo, VotreDame, Look Into My Eyes, PawPaw67/Flickr; Courtesy of CatheirnesPlus, SaraHillMakeup/Instagram