How to Choose the Perfect Lipstick Shade for Your Skin Tone

How to Choose the Perfect Lipstick Shade for Your Skin Tone

Lipstick can be a powerful tool in your beauty arsenal, capable of transforming your look with just a single swipe. However, with the myriad of shades available, finding the perfect lipstick that complements your skin tone can be a daunting task.

This guide aims to simplify the process, ensuring you select a color that not only looks stunning but also enhances your natural beauty.

1. Determine Your Skin’s Undertone

The first step in choosing the right lipstick is to determine your skin’s undertone. Skin undertones are categorized as warm, cool, or neutral:

  • Warm undertones: Skin has a yellow, golden, or olive hue.
  • Cool undertones: Skin has a pink, red, or bluish hue.
  • Neutral undertones: A mix of warm and cool hues, or your skin tone is the same color as your actual skin color.

A quick way to determine your undertone is to look at the veins on your wrist. If they appear green, you likely have warm undertones. If they look blue or purple, you have cool undertones. If it’s hard to distinguish, you probably have neutral undertones.

2. Selecting Shades for Warm Undertones

If you have warm undertones, stick with lipsticks in warm colors. Shades of red with a yellow or orange base, earthy tones like nudes and browns, and warm pinks will complement your skin beautifully. Coral shades can also look stunning, enhancing the natural warmth of your skin.

3. Choosing Colors for Cool Undertones

For cool undertones, lipsticks with blue or purple bases are ideal. Think of colors like deep plums, berries, rosy pinks, and rich reds with a blue base. These shades contrast with your skin, making your complexion appear brighter and more radiant.

4. Picking Lipsticks for Neutral Undertones

If you have neutral undertones, you’re in luck as most lipstick shades will suit you. However, to enhance your natural complexion, look for shades that are neither too warm nor too cool. Soft mocha, nude, or light pinks can be particularly flattering.

5. Considering Your Skin’s Depth

Your skin’s depth – from fair to deep – also plays a role in selecting the right lipstick shade.

  • Fair or Light Skin: Opt for lipstick shades like soft pinks, peachy nudes, or light corals. Avoid anything too overwhelming or dark.
  • Medium Skin: Rich reds, berries, and warm pinks look great. You can also experiment with brighter shades like oranges or rich pinks.
  • Tan or Olive Skin: Try colors like coral, deep pinks, or earthy reds. Bronze and caramel shades also work well.
  • Deep Skin: Embrace bold colors like deep plums, berries, reds, and warm browns. Bright colors like oranges and pinks can also look stunning and make a statement.

6. Experiment with Textures

The finish of a lipstick can also affect how the color looks on you. Mattes can provide intense color but may be drying, while glosses offer a moisturizing feel with a more subtle color.

Creamy and satin finishes are a good middle ground, offering hydration with vivid color. Experiment to find which textures you prefer and what works best with your chosen shade.

7. Test Before You Buy

Whenever possible, test the lipstick on your lips, as this will give you the most accurate idea of how it looks with your skin tone. If testing on your lips isn’t an option, swatch it on your fingertips; they’re closer to your lip color than your arm.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Mix and Match

Sometimes the perfect shade is one you create yourself. Don’t hesitate to mix different lipsticks to tailor a shade that’s uniquely yours.

9. Consider the Occasion

Your choice of lipstick can depend on the occasion. For everyday wear, go for shades close to your natural lip color. For evening or special occasions, bolder colors can add drama and sophistication to your look.

10. Trust Your Instincts

Ultimately, the best lipstick is one that makes you feel confident and beautiful. Trust your instincts and wear colors that make you happy, regardless of rules and trends.


Choosing the perfect lipstick shade is about understanding your skin’s undertone, considering the depth of your skin tone, experimenting with different textures and colors, and most importantly, wearing your choice with confidence.

The right lipstick can not only complement your features but also express your personality and style. Remember, makeup is a form of self-expression, and the rules are there to be played with.