How To: Finding the Best Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

Best Lipstick Shades That Complements Your Skin Tone

Lipstick colors can make your break your look; it’s a standout among the cosmetics family. Picking a color that clashes with your skin tone can distract from the look you’re going for, but pick the right color and you’ll be the belle of the ball… or wherever you’re going.

The problem that many of us encounter is just figuring out which lipstick colors and shades work best for our unique skin. Granted, what really matters is whether or not you like how a color looks on you, but often, the colors we like best are the ones that flatter our features.

Understanding Skin Tone

Understanding the genuine shade of your skin is basically about finding your skin’s tone, which is the way to purchasing the right lipstick shade and making an immaculate cosmetic look. Top makeup artists are so practiced in this skill, they could do it in their sleep. For the rest of us, who haven’t dedicated so much time to the art of makeup, it’s not so easy. Believe it or not, making sense of lipstick colors and your own skin time can be less demanding than you might suspect.

Cool, warm, or neutral are the hues that get through your skin from underneath the surface to influence its general tint. Individuals of all skin colors, pale peach to deep brown, can have cool, warm, or neutral undertones.

There are a few approaches to decide your skin’s undertone. Begin by taking a look at the inner part of your arm, where it’s less affected by and exposed to the sun. This is your skin’s truest color. This method is the easiest for a lot of people, except those who tan regularly or easily, as even that part of your arm will be tan. That said, a suntan gives your skin a warm hue.

Another way to figure out your skin tone to check what color your veins appear under your skin (again, the inner part of your arm is usually the easiest and true place to check).  Veins that look blue or purple-ish mean your skin tone is cool. Green or yellow-ish veins imply a warm tone. If your veins look like a combination of blue and green-ish, you most likely have a neutral undertone.

Another, less scientific, approach is how you look wearing gold or silver. Silver often complements a cool skin tone, whereas gold (sensibly) complements warm. Both look equally great on someone with a neutral undertone. This method isn’t so reliable though, because of how biased it can be.

lipstick shade

Testing lipstick colors.

Relating Skin Tone with Lipstick

Alrighty, now that you know how to figure out your skin’s undertone, how does that play into finding your perfect lipstick? As with determining your skin’s undertone, picking the perfect shade of lipstick can be approached a few different ways.

All things considered, your skin reveals significantly more about the way different colors will work with (or against) your body’s natural tones, whether we’re talking about makeup, clothing, or hair color. With lipstick in particular, the natural color of your lips is an easy indicator of what shade to choose, especially if you’re going for a subtle look.

Lipstick Colors for Fair Skin

Pretty much any color lipstick really “pops” on light colored skin, making it easy to stand out, if that’s the look you’re going for. As a rule, pinks and reds are reliable options, but even these come in so many shades, you need to choose wisely. Beyond that, beware anything too light or yellow, which will wash you out.

Lipstick Colors for Dark Skin

In contrast with fair skin, the best colors to make your lips stand out are lighter, bright colors. Colors that complement your skin tone and look more natural are dark reds and berry hues.

Lipstick Colors for Olive Skin

Olive-toned skin is generally a neutral complexion, meaning that any color, more or less, can look great and you can plan your lipstick around other things, like your outfit or hair color.

How Your Undertone Plays a Role

So all of that is well and good, but with so many shades of a single color to choose from, how do you know which shade works best for you? The answer is simple! If your tone is cool, choose a shade with more blue or purple tints, rather than orange-y red, which looks better on warm skin tones.

For anyone lucky enough to have a neutral skin tone, the best of both worlds, you have a diverse scope of warm and cool hues to try.

Try It Out

Upscale makeup stores usually offer product that you can test. To know for sure how a color will look on you, you can use a provided cotton swab to apply it on your lips, although that isn’t ideal if you want to try on a number of colors. If you’re weighing your options, swipe the color on the back of your hand instead, to see how it pairs with your skin.  

If you’re more of a drugstore kind of gal, you can simply purchase one of the least expensive choices to try the color out, and if you like it, purchase another in your favorite brand.

Colors by G. Sonsie

The best part of knowing which colors work for you? It applies to more than lipstick. Take swimsuits, for example. Swimsuits for women by G. Sonsie come in a variety of colors–and patterns–that look great on so many women. Armed with the knowledge of your own skin tone and which colors flatter you most, you can more easily choose your favorite suits from our collections.