Beauty Tips & Tricks


Here’s How to Choose Your Absolutely Ideal Lip Colour

25 Jul, 2017
By Andie Reeves
In celebration of National Lipstick Day (yes, it's a thing) we're talking lipstick, specifically how to choose the perfect one for your pout.
Selecting the right shade for your lips sadly isn't as easy as picking the colour you're most attracted to in the make up aisle. We're sure you have had a scenario where you bought a tube based on how cute you thought the colour was (or you were swayed by it's fun name, we’ve been there) but every time you put it on it doesn't quite work. It's probably because it's just not the right shade for you, and that’s not about to change so throw it away or give it to a friend and read on to find your dream lipstick colour.
Use this guide to choose your best lippie shade for you based on your skin tone, your undertones, your eyes, and yes, even your nipples...

Start with Your Undertones

If you don't know what undertones your skin has, often struggling to know whether you should be choosing cool or warm tones, now is the time to learn.
 Undertones are what your skin is based on, and generally we only notice them when we’ve clearly chosen a super unflattering shade for ourselves. This is why an olive-skinned person pulls off that bronze brown lippie so well but it just looks weird on a super pale person.
All skin shades are different and although, for example, you might be very tanned you could still have cool undertones to your skin, which will affect what colours suit you.
The relatively fool proof way to discover your undertones is to look at the veins in your wrists. If your veins appear yellow or green you have warm undertones, if they look blue then your undertones are cool, and if your veins look both blue and green then you have neutral undertones.  
  • If you have cool undertones your skin usually has a pink, red or blue-ish tint to it, you burn easily in the sun, and silver jewellery suits you best. Choose lipsticks with blue or purple undertones to best complement your skin. We don't mean reach for the bright purple lippie (necessarily), but rather choose reds and pinks with cool undertones to them - try Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte Liquid Lipstick in Electric Pink. Stay away from anything with a hint of orange to it, which will look garish, or too-pale tones, which will leave you looking washed out.
  • Warm undertones have a golden yellow or olive tinge to their skin, tan easily and look great wearing gold jewellery. Play up your golden glow with warm lipstick shades (think super red reds, or bold oranges, like Michelle Ori Plumping Lipstick in Casablanca.
  • If you have neutral undertones then lucky you, you look great in most colours (and suit both gold and silver jewellery). You can pretty much pick whatever colours you want when it comes to playing around with lipsticks, but if you need more help read on for a few more tips.

Match Your Every Day Lipstick to Your Skin Tone

While everyone's skin will be different there are a few general rules that are pretty safe to play by when buying lipstick. Assess your basic skin tone (it's usually something to do with whatever it says on your foundation, like 'pale ivory', 'dark mahogany' or 'medium beige').  
  • For dark skin you can't go wrong with a bold berry shade, for both day and night wear. Our pick: Catrice Ultimate Lip Colour in Berry Bradshaw.
  • If you have medium skin it's likely you have warm yellow undertones and your go-to every day lippie should be a mauve-brown, giving you the perfect mix of natural with a touch of glam. Try Almay Butterkiss Lipstick in Nude for Medium skins.
  • Olive-skinned women can pull off an orange-red shade like Maybelline Colour Sensational The Loaded Bold Lipstick in Orange Danger, as it plays up your warm tones beautifully.
  • If you have fair skin with cool undertones you suit a bright red shade (like Rimmel The Only One Lipstick in Best Of The Best), and if you have fair skin with warm undertones (most Asian women do) then a subtle orange or peach like Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector in Orange will look amazing on you.
  • If you are super pale then a pretty pink is your best bet for giving you definition without washing you out. Try Palladio Lip Stain in Pinky.

Related: 10 of the Best Lipstick Hacks Makeup Artists Want You to Know

Your Perfect Nude Shade Could Be Right in Front of Your Nose (Well, Down Your Shirt Any Way)

If you are searching for the perfect nude or natural lip look no further than your own body. The latest craze in nude lip choices involves matching your lipstick to the colour of your nipples (yes, you read that correctly). It all started with a snippet in The Doctors TV Show which you can see here. The thinking is that if it matches a shade that is naturally found on your body it will look super natural.
Try it; it's surprisingly accurate. However, if you are really pale your areola might be too light to duplicate in your lipstick shade, and if you've got really dark skin then a lippie in that colour be way too dark for your liking.
It does make absolute sense in a weird sort of way. Makeup artists have always looked to natural skin tones for guidance advising that you should look for a nude lipstick one shade darker than your lip colour. Remember that your top lip and bottom lip are not the same colour, and the next best shade to match your personal nude tone to would be the colour of your top lip.
Our nude lip picks: Catrice Lip Colour in Ultimate Maroon 020, Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Anniversary 054 and Clarins Instant Light Lipstick in Rosewood.
Related: How to Find the Most Perfect Nude Lipstick for Your Skin Tone

Look into Your Own Eyes for Inspiration When Choosing Reds

We now know to match our lipstick shades to our skin (by our skin tones, undertones, or apparently the shade of our nipples) but there's another part of your body that could hold the key to finding the perfect hue.
Skin has the tendency to change, be it from the change in weather or from using bronzers or highlighters, but your eyes are a constant in their colour. Try matching your lipstick shade to your eye colour to get a look that both enhances your lips and makes your eyes pop; the perfect double whammy.  
  • If you have blue eyes go for pure, pillar-box red (L'Oreal Color Riche Extraordinaire in Rouge Soprano) to make them extra sparkly.
  • For dark brown eyes try a berry-red hue (Essence Glossy Stick Lip Colour in Brilliant Burgundy), which will play up the warm mahogany tint in your eyes.
  • If you have light brown or green eyes than you can pull off an orange-red shade (Maybelline Colour Sensational Lipstick in Citrus). It's unusual so will get you noticed for all the right reasons, plus it makes the golden flecks in your eyes shine.
Related: Finding the Most Awesome Red Lipstick for You Is Actually Easy

Shop Your Products Now

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Catrice Ultimate Lip Colour - Maroon 020
R 79.95

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector - Orange 04
R 315.00

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Balm Perfector - Rosewood 06
R 315.00

Maybelline Color Sensational Vivid Matte 15 Electric 8Ml
R 121.95

Palladio Lipstain - Pinky
R 40.00

To Find the Perfect Nude Lipstick – Check under Your Shirt!


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