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I am certain like many other women out there, most of us would have a makeup bag full of different lipsticks, lip glosses, different colours, different shades… shades we purchased only to get home and realise that it looked much more appealing at the cosmetics counter than applied to our pout – so at the bottom of the makeup drawer they shall sit.

So how do you select the right colour lipstick that best suits your skin tone especially when you are confronted with so many different shades and colours to choose from?

The most simple and accurate answer to finding the most flattering colour for you is to select tones that are one to two shades darker than your natural lip colour. Once established you have a fabulous everyday lipstick or gloss that you can comfortably wear with confidence.

Let’s take a closer look at finding the perfect shade for your skin tone.

Dark Skin Tones

If you are fortunate enough to have an exotic dark complexion you can select from the widest range of colours to compliment your skin tone. Anything from deep chocolates, plums, reds, oranges even pale shades of pink. If you have a confident personality you can really pull of some amazing deep, rich & bright colours.

Medium Skin Tones

Looking to find the perfect shade of red? People with more of a medium skin tone suit most shades of red, especially a blue based red or a deep red (deep red is a perfect Autumn/Winter lip shade). Deep and/or sheer pinks and mauves are also flattering for medium skin tones.

Pale Skin Tones

Nudes, beige tones, shimmery sandy or pale pink hues… even light coral colours are all perfect shades for pale complexions. Try to avoid orange based reds, browns and hot pink as these have a tendency to make you appear washed out.

Shimmers, mattes, gloss or lipstick?

All of the above… it doesn’t matter what skin tone you are you can wear any form of gloss or lipstick whether it shimmers or it is matte… let your personality or the occasion decide finish and intensity of the colour.

If you long for plumper lips you should always apply a lip gloss or apply lip gloss over your lipstick. This will give the appearance of fuller lips.

Should you apply a pencil?

Pencil does help to hold your lip colour in place preventing the colour from bleeding into any fine lines around your lips. It is important to select a lip pencil that is as close to the shade of lipstick or gloss as possible. You can use a lip liner to shape your lips giving a more defined appearance and always run your liner over your lip line after you have applied your lipstick to help set it all in place.

If you happen to have a few of those unwanted shades of lipstick &/or gloss in your makeup drawer, don’t throw these out – experiment! Use a lip liner in a different shade to fill in your lips before apply your lipstick or gloss, this will alter and intensify the shade. You can also try applying your lipstick then add a different shade of lip gloss over the top to update the look. A colour you may have given up on may work when applied and mixed together with another lip colour.

Matte vs Creamy Formulas

Matte Lipsticks offer more staying power and in most cases a more intense colour however, some Matte lipsticks can feel quite dry after an hour or so on the lip. When you find a product that feels great stick to it.

Creamy Lipsticks provide hydration to the lips which is fantastic if you live/work in an environment that is constantly air-conditioned as the hydration will prevent your lips from drying and cracking. While they don’t have the same staying power as a matte lipstick there are a number of beautiful shades available in a creamy formula that range from nude through to rich deep colours.

I hope this helps you with your next lipstick colour choice… It is essential to remember that the most important rule is ‘How does it make you feel’? Your personality and style should be the top priority to dictate the colours you are most comfortable wearing. Enjoy adding colour to your canvas and perfecting your pouts!

  • I like to stick as close to natural colour and probably like lip gloss look more.

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  • Great tips!

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  • All great tips to remember when looking for the right shade.

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  • Thank you for these tips, I am one of those who owns few different shades of lipsticks and wearing only couple of them. As you said in the article, they always look better in the store. ;-)

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  • Never realised my skin tone was a factor in what colour lipstick.

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  • Make up is totally beyond me, have to say it is in the two hard basket for now

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  • I am still totally overwhelmed by lipstick

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  • I still need a professional, but great tips.

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  • I very rarely wear lipstick these days, I tend to focus on my eyes and go with glossy lips with a smudge of lip liner for colour….

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  • I am lucky enough to have an extensive lipstick collection and my lip colours range from nudes through pinks, reds and berry shades….Ive not yet found a colour that i dont like and anything that doesnt quite suit is easily toned down or altered with a lip gloss.

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  • great advice about putting a different colour liner underneath or gloss on top. Maybe I wont throw out all those wrongly purchased colours just yet

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  • Oh in think I’m getting my shades right! I don’t use the pencil though.

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  • Might have to start wearing lippie again!

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  • so beautiful topic. love the pic. i have medium complexion and loved the advice of reds and pinks

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  • thanks for these tips, I have never been good with colour matching

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