All women know a good lipstick can change their looks completely. In addition, all women know some lipsticks go great for office days, while others represent the highlight of evening attire. However, do you always wear the best lipstick for your skin tone? Are you choosing your lip tint depending on your skin’s undertones, or are you just picking those you like best?
When it comes to the latest lipstick trends of 2017, you have dozens of choices at your fingertips. Nevertheless, in order for you to look beautiful, sophisticated, feminine, and elegant, you should choose your lipstick depending on your skin tone. Today, we will learn together how you can decide the best lipstick for your skin tone. As a bonus, we will present you with some of the best lipsticks out there, guaranteed to turn you into a superstar.
What is skin tone?
Skin tone is the amount of melanin that each person is genetically endowed with, it is practically the layer on the surface of the skin. Melanin, a complex polymer produced by cells called melanocytes, refers to a group of dark brown or black natural pigments in human skin.
When the skin is exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, melanocytes function as a natural defence mechanism, producing a large amount of melanin along the epidermis to absorb harmful rays. For this reason, the precise determination of a person’s skin tone varies throughout the year depending on how much time he spends exposed to the sun, but the tone in which he was born is based on each person’s eyelashes.
Our ancestors have adapted to their living environment – for example, those in sunny regions have evolved to naturally produce more melanin for sun protection and therefore have darker complexions.
In general, skin tones fall into three categories:
White and very white skin derives historically from the countries of Northern Europe, which have always faced snow and clouds and therefore did not need so much protection from melanin. People with light skin tone are usually very sensitive to the sun and burn much lighter than those with olive skin. If this is the tone of your skin, you should always be careful to use products with a higher UV factor (SPF 30 or 50).
The average skin tone is specific to Southern Europe and northern Asia. Also known as “olive”, this type of skin has a beige, neutral and balanced look. Which makes it easy for people with such skin to find the right shade of foundation and tan nicely.
Dark skin tone has its origins in those parts of the world that are extremely exposed to ultraviolet radiation (the Middle East, India and Africa). Like olive skin, dark skin is less sensitive to sunlight, which does not mean that it should not be protected at all with SPF products.
Three Ways to Determine Your Skin Tone
Have you ever passed a cosmetics department to look for lipstick, and you don’t know what shade suits you best? To choose the right lipstick for you, to get make-up like a book, it is very important to find out what undertone your skin has. Knowing the tone and undertone of your skin is very significant. Why? Because you’ll buy products that will make your face stand out as well as possible. An inappropriate lipstick, concealer or blush can make you look orange like a clown or white like a porcelain doll.
Makeup should combine naturally with the natural tone of your skin. And not notice a darker or lighter stripe on the jawline. For this reason, to choose lipstick, it is good to discover your tone and undertone. This can be a difficult task, but not impossible.
Before choosing the best lipstick for your skin tone, it is best, to begin with determining your skin tone. Many women know their skin looks fair or tan, but how about undertones? This is a quick guide on how to learn everything you need to know about skin tones, undertones, and the means you have to find out which is which.
1. The Natural Light Complexion Examination to Determine Skin Tone
First, you need to examine your face skin in broad natural light. Pay attention to the skin around your jawline.
- If your skin looks very pale or translucent, you have a fair skin tone. This means you burn out easily when exposed to the sun. You may also develop freckles or redness from time to time.
- If your skin is pale, burns in the sun, but then turns tan, you have a light skin tone.
- If you get a tan easily, but your skin does not burn quickly, you have a medium skin tone.
- So, if you rarely burn, and you have a tan even in winter, you have an olive skin tone (or tan).
- If your skin is brown, dark, and you never get sunburns (and you probably have dark brown or black hair), you have a deep skin tone.
2. The Classic Vein Test to Determine Skin Undertones
This is a tried-and-true trick. Look at the veins on your wrist in broad daylight, or in bright light.
- If your veins look blue or purple under the skin, you have cool undertones.
- So, if your veins look green in color, you have warm undertones.
- If you cannot perfectly distinguish between blue or green vein shades, it means that you probably have a neutral skin tone. In terms of lipstick, it means that you can choose colors that fit both the cool and warm undertones’ spectrum. As a matter of fact, people with olive skin are more likely to feature neutral skin undertones.
3. The Metal Test to Confirm Skin Undertones
If you find the jawline and the vein test to be rather inconclusive, you can reinforce or confirm the results by performing the metal test. This means wearing silver or gold jewellery and learning which one works best for you. In order to do this test, ignore your personal preferences for a second and pay attention to the assessment itself:
- Gold jewelry looks best with warm (yellow) skin undertones
- Silver jewelry looks best on cool skin tones (pink) skin undertones
- If both metals look good on you, you probably have a neutral skin undertone
Despite general myths and misconceptions, you can easily figure out what skin tone you have and what undertones define you best. Two women can share the same skin tone, but they may not share the same undertones. Let us sum up:
- Cool skin undertones equal pink, red or bluish undertones
- Warm skin undertones equal yellow, peachy, golden undertones
- Neutral skin undertones equal a mix of warm and cool undertones
Now let us go pick the best lipstick for your skin tone depending on all the possible combinations of skin tones and undertones!
BONUS TIP: When you choose your lipstick color, make sure you pick it in natural light to see its true shades. On lighter skin, the lipstick will show more color (the shade will look closer to the truth and bolder on your lips than in the tube). On darker skin, the lipstick will add more depth to the color.
1. Best Lip Color for Fair Skin with Cool Undertones
This is what we call porcelain skin. This type of skin and undertone may look washed out by the improper use of makeup. Bolder, brighter colors can overwhelm fair and cool complexions.
- For casual looks, the best lipstick shades for this type of complexion are soft rosy pinks, light mauve, soft mochas, light peach, or one of our top picks of best nude lipstick shades for a natural look.
- For more dramatic effects if you want to go a little bolder for an evening event you can also try a baked orange tint or one of our top ten coral lipstick shades for a fabulous look.
If you are looking for the best lip color for cool skin tone and fair skin at the same time, we have three ideas for you:
This gorgeous lipstick from Chanel has a non-sticky texture and long-lasting hold. Moreover, the brand enriched its formula with film-forming agents and a high concentration of pure pigment.
Winner of the Allure Best of Beauty Award, this lipstick comes with natural marine plant extracts Coenzyme Q10 and vitamins A & E to help you get smooth lips and a polymer complex to make your lips cushiony and plump. The formula containing hyaluronic microspheres adheres to your lips to make the color long-lasting and rich.
This lipstick is lighter than you might see on your computer screen, but if you want to go all-in and pick a shade that perfectly matches your skin tone and undertone, this might be one of the best makeup choices you made recently.
2. Best Lip Color for Fair Skin with Warm Undertones
There are myths out there saying that women with fair skin cannot have warm undertones. However, have you met Emma Stone or Nicole Kidman? If you have fair skin with warm undertones, you are in a very select company! Moreover, if you are looking for the best lip color for warm skin tones (and fair at the same time), here are our recommendations!
- For a casual look (office days, errands, casual events), try warmer peachy-pinks or salmon hues.
- For a more dramatic look for evening events and attires, try an orange-red lipstick that plays on the warm side to liven up your skin tone and make your eyes pop. Keep in mind that orange-red hues are a staple of the retro makeup that is making a comeback as we speak!
Let us see three amazing lipstick tints that work great on your fair but warm skin tone:
This enriched formula comes with more hydration, coverage, and hold. The texture is creamy and the lipstick perfectly balances color and sheen.
The formula comes with Aloe Vera extract for moist (and well-hydrated) lips, conditioning ingredients (vitamins A & E), and long-lasting hold.
The nourishing Shea butter, emollients and skin conditioning agents will make your lips stay healthy and hydrated. The formula is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, while the color will compliment your skin tone.
3. Best Lip Color for Medium Skin Tone with Cool Undertones
Medium skin tone and cool undertones translate into complexions a la Taylor Swift and Cameron Diaz. Here is what you need to know about choosing your lipstick:
- For an everyday look, nude shades of lipsticks are your best friends! Dusty roses also pull the warmth into your skin. If you want to achieve a gorgeous nude look, consult at our top five professional tutorials on how to rock nude makeup!
- For evening and special occasions, you can try blue-hued red lipsticks to truly stand out of the crowd.
Here are our three lipstick suggestions if you want to enhance your medium cool skin tone!
This long-wearing, waterproof, smudge-resistant, and matte lip color does wonder to your casual appearance and your fabulous celebrity-like complexion.
Long-lasting and gorgeous, this lipstick will turn you into a diva everywhere you go. The lipstick is a bestseller, coming in a rich texture and a fabulous tint.
Big, bold, beautiful. These are the attributes of this amazing lipstick, which will make you look like you just have descended from the red carpet into the world of mortals.
4. Best Lip Color for Medium Skin Tone with Warm Undertones
If you have medium skin with warm undertones, you may go shopping for lipstick with Blake Lively or Jennifer Aniston. In order to highlight the beauty of your complexion, you should choose the makeup that plays on golden tones and hues.
- For a casual look, you should get a lipstick in deep rich nudes and copper hues. Copper is an excellent choice of eyeliner if you also have blue eyes. For more inspiration, check out our top picks of eyeliners for blue eyes!
- For an evening dramatic look, you can choose a glossy finish to bring out the golden undertones of your skin and warm ripe peachy nude shades.
Now let us go shop for the best lipstick for your skin tone!
This lipstick will help you get saturated lips with lustrous color that holds for hours. Your lips will look plump and well defined, with perfectly sculpted curbs.
Rich, creamy, and long-lasting, the Marc Jacobs 242 lipstick is a dream come true for women with medium skin tones and warm undertones.
Oh, you will indeed cause a storm showing up wearing this lipstick at any event! The lipstick hydrates and protects your lips, enriching them with hyaluronic microspheres, coenzyme Q10 and vitamins A & E. The semi-matte cream finish will last for hours.
5. The Best Lip Color for Olive Skin Tone with Cool Undertones
These are the ladies who can absolutely rock deep rose or wine lipstick hues. If you think about Bella Hadid and Alexa Chung you know what we mean by that. Such shades bring warmth to the skin, more flush, and more glam, making the eye colors pop.
- For casual looks, pick a pinkish nude with a bit of blue undertone for a fresher look that enhances your natural skin tone and undertone. If you want to take things up a notch, also try one of our nude nail designs suggestions to create a balanced and feminine look.
- For an evening wow effect, do not forget to experiment with deep rose and wine shades of lipstick. If you are looking for sophisticated elegance, look at our top picks of nail colors to try for a fabulous spring (Givenchy’s Pourpre Defile in deep wine may be exactly what you need).
Now let us buy some lipsticks, shall we?
Winner of the 2016 Allure Best of Beauty Award, this deep warm plum-hued lipstick offers eight straight hours of color and moisture. It is ideal for special occasion wear, as the moisturizing creamy texture in a smooth satin finish will keep your lips plump and gorgeous.
Your lips and complexion will love this everyday wear lipstick in rich color and hydrating formula.
The semi-matte, creamy finish of this lipstick in a glorious color will hold on for hours. This bestseller formula contains hydrating skin-care ingredients.
6. The Best Lip Color for Olive Skin Tone with Warm Undertones
If you have olive skin with warm undertones, it means that you play in the same league as Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Alba, and Eva Mendes. You need to focus on lipstick shades that enhance the golden honey tones of your skin and make it look radiant.
- For casual wear, try red hues, warm orange or nudes in orange. Look at our red lipstick for casual wear guide to get some good tips on how to rock red lipstick during the day!
- For dramatic, red carpet looks, try deep red shades of lipstick. You can also consult our top five shades of red lipstick to find the one that suits you best!
Now let us see three more lipstick suggestions for olive skin with warm undertones!
Lasting for up to 16 hours, the Play with Fire lipstick is kiss-proof, transfer-proof, and food proof. It will keep your lips moisturized and plump, while it will enhance your complexion to diva-level!
Get a red carpet superstar makeup with the powerfully sophisticated look of unadulterated color offered by Tom Ford’s Plum Lush lipstick.
This fashionable, elegant lipstick works miracles on your skin tone. The best part is that you can wear it during the day with casual makeup, or during the night, with fancy clothes and glam makeup.
7. The Best Lip Color for Dark Skin with Cool Undertones
When it comes to the best lip color for tan skin (deep skin), you can pull off a handful of shades, just as Viola Davis or Lupita Nyong’o do. Deep plums, berries, and reds look fabulous, because these intense colors contrast with your skin and undertone and make you stand out of the crowd.
- For casual looks, outfits, and occasions, try some berry-hued, plum, and darker red lipsticks. Take a look at our top 9 best shades of matte lipstick for the brown skin to expand your options.
- For a bold and glamorous look, you can also try maroon and burgundy shades of lipstick. Here is everything you need to know about how to wear maroon lipstick.
Onwards to the cosmetic products aisle, ladies!
This is an ultra-luxurious, hydrating lipstick enriched with moisture-boosting Pro-Xylane. It holds for up to eight hours and works miracles all year long due to its SPF sunscreen and rich creamy texture.
This shade of plum will keep your lips moist and plump while turning heads for you in any crowd.
This lipstick redefines luxury, providing you with 10 hours of deep color and plump lips.
8. The Best Lip Color for Dark Skin with Warm Undertones
If you feel like your skin resembles that of Halle Berry, Ciara, or Gabrielle Union, it means you have dark skin with warm undertones. You need colors that bring out the gold while giving cheeks a healthy flush.
- For casual wear, try rich Merlot or Cabernet wine shades.
- For stunning, dramatic, and even unusual looks, you can try black lipstick. Look at our black lipstick guide to learn how to rock this radical color!
It is time to get some lipsticks for day and night!
A bestseller in its own right, this lipstick will take you everywhere from your 9 a.m. business meeting to your 9 p.m. black-tie event.
This high-pigmented matte finish lipstick comes with some serious staying power. Moreover, it offers an intense pigmentation without drying the lips.
Not many women can pull off this black velvet color and texture, but you should definitely try this if you want to achieve an amazing look that will keep people talking for days.
Picking up the color palette
Remember to shake away the fear of experimenting with lipsticks. Until you find the best lipstick for your skin tone, you should try several shades and hues. You may find that the best lip color for Asian skin tone works miracles on your look even if you are not Asian. After all, you should make sure that your makeup represents a statement of whom you are. If it makes you feel like a queen, then that is what you should wear.
However, you should learn how to put on lipstick like a pro, to maximize the color, your beauty and the product’s quality and features.
Did you find the best lipstick for your skin tone in this list? Are you now more comfortable with choosing your lipstick depending on your undertones and personal preferences?