The right lipstick can put a spring in your step, making you look brighter, more awake and just… better. The wrong shade, however, can make you look washed out, your teeth discoloured and generally ruin a look. Not everyone can pull of every shade – just because Kim and Kylie can rock a matte nude lip, doesn’t mean everyone can. But how do you know which colour to choose?
The answer lies in your skin undertone. A swipe on the back of your hand unfortunately won’t tell you what colour suits you, since your skin is not the same as your lip colour. Before you buy another unsuitable lip colour, check our guide for your most flattering shade ever.
Everyone’s skin either has yellow or pink undertones, which determine which shades suit you best. Your undertone doesn’t change with the seasons and always stays the same. How to tell yours? Easy – look at the veins on your wrist. If they are blue, you have pink, cooler undertones. If they are green, you have yellow, warmer undertones. If they look both blue and green, you have a neutral undertone and can wear any colour.
If you have… warm yellow undertones, choose warmer colours in red and orange hues.
If you have… cool pink undertones, choose shades with blue or purple tones.
And now, our pick of lipsticks based on your skin tone…
IF YOU HAVE… OLIVE SKIN
CHOOSE… Nude, pink, coral, orange and red shades. Olive skins are generally neutral and can pull of any shade.
Maybelline Color Sensational Shine Compulsion Lipstick in Taupe Seduction
Clinique Lip Pop in Nude Pop
IF YOU HAVE… FAIR SKIN
CHOOSE… Bold reds and deep colours. Choose a red with blue or purple undertones instead of orange. Avoid anything too light or with yellow undertones, which will make you look washed out.
MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red
Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Ruby Cream in Shade 133
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G in Pillow Talk Intense
IF YOU HAVE… DARK SKIN
CHOOSE… Deep plum, cherry and red shades. Bold, unconventional colours look fabulous – just look to Lupita Nyong’o for inspiration.
MAC Matte Lipstick in Heroine
Ciaté London Glitter Storm Lipstick in Flash
Nars Iconic Lipstick in Inappropriate Red