How To Choose The Right Lipstick For Your Skin Tone

Last updated on : June 27 2021

lipstick for skin tone

Article Summary

From bright and bold reds to soft and straightforward natural tones - the right lipstick can transform your looks, confidence, and face, and turn your look into a seductive temptress.

The secret to pulling off a bold, mind-blowing color is to ensure that it matches your skin tone.  

Click on the links to learn more.

Know Your Undertone Color

Lipsticks for Dark Skin

Lipsticks for Olive Skin

Lipsticks for Fair Skin

The Top 3 Most Popular Lipsticks

Best Lipstick Alternatives


Know Your Undertone Color

For the best impact choose a lipstick color that matches your skin’s undertone.  

Your skin has an undertone color which is usually pink (warm) or yellow (cool). Finding out which is yours is easier than you think.

A straightforward way is to look at the veins on your wrists. If your veins appear blue, then you have pink undertones. If they are greenish, then you have yellow undertones.

Your gold and silver jewelry can give you an indication too. In general, silver jewelry looks better on those with pink or cooler undertones. Gold meshes well with warmer or yellow skin tones.

Choose lipstick in shades that are similar or match your undertone color.

For example, women with pink undertones should opt for shades that have cooler tones in them. Think of colors with pink, purple, or blue tones.

On the other hand, women with yellow undertones should look for warmer colors in shades of lipstick. Think berry and deep hues.

Lipsticks for Dark Skin

;ipstick for dark skin

In general, women of all skin colors would do better to steer clear of ashy or pale shades. These shades are unflattering and can make you look sickly. Avoiding these shades is particularly true for women with darker skin.

Lipsticks in deep plum, dark reds, and berries work well for darker skin. Deeper shades naturally set off darker complexions, and you cannot go wrong with them. However, stay true to your skin undertones. Darker skin with cooler undertones can go brighter in reds or oranges, warmer tones deeper with purples and burgundies.

Perfect lipsticks for those with darker skin include Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Definition in Le Prune, Anastasia Liquid Lipstick in Candy Apple, and Dior Rouge Dior in the Twill Berry.

Or try a softer pink like the Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis Á Lévres Glossy Stain in Rose Fourreau, or YSL Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in Le Orange.

Lipsticks for Olive Skin

lipstick for olive skin

Olive is placed smack-dab between yellow and pink undertones. Women with olive skins have neutral undertones.

With these undertones, almost any color lipstick works. From bold reds to fruity pinks, oranges to nude. It's hard for olive skins to choose the wrong shade. Give lipsticks with blue a whirl because they add a flirty hue to lips of olive skins. 

Our recommendations are RiRi Woo by MAC for a bold red, Illamasqua in Sonnet for nude, Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Shade no. 49 for a dark and deep color, and Clinique Long Last Soft Matte Lipstick in Plum.

Lipsticks for Fair Skin

;ipstick for fair skin

Women with fair skin need to pick their lipstick colors wisely. Pale shades of lip color make you appear washed out and tired. More often than not, lipstick for fair skinned women looks better in shades of orange and coral. Pick a fruity color that adds to the glow in your skin instead of detracting from it.

To be sure check your skin undertone and stay true to it. However, if you're cool toned don't go with colors that are too washed out or have significant yellow undertones. Instead, stay more on the warmer side in the colors you choose. 

Another way to play around with different shades of lip color is by going for bold reds and deeper tones. Experiment a bit to see if these work for you.  

A few of the best lipstick options for those with fair skin are YSL Beaute in Le Nu, Beauty’s Life Red Lipstick, a soft and nude pink like Angel from MAC, or Topshop Lips’ Rio Rio which is a classic shade of red or NARS Semi Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red.

If you prefer lip glosses with a shimmer, try a pastel shade in Bobbi Brown High Shimmer.

The Top 3 Most Popular Lipsticks

The right lipstick is the quickest way to overhaul your wardrobe and add flirty pep to your face. When choosing one, make sure that you know the brand and what ingredients they use. 

Lipsticks that are uncomfortable to wear, need a constant touch up, bleed, or leave an unsightly film on your lips are bad choices. These lipsticks may cause your lips to be drier and irritate your skin.

Here are some of the more popular brands and what they offer. 


Think Kylie Jenner and her sensational pout. The starlet claims that MAC’s Whirl Lip Liner and Pink Plaid Lipstick are her absolute favorites.

With hundreds upon hundreds of lipsticks shades to choose from, MAC is sure to have colors that match your skin tone. MAC makes their lippies of castor seed oil, candelilla wax, beeswax, and octyl dodecanol for better mixing of its emulsion.  


Rich in pigment and with a silky-smooth texture. Chanel’s Rouge Coco offers 24 shades that cover colors from coppery peach and bright coral to bright red and perfect nude. Made of mimosa and jojoba butter, silicone, and sunflower wax, these lipsticks are known for their luminous finish, savvy packaging, and rose fragrance.

NARS Cosmetics

A semi-matte satin lipstick, NARS Audacious gives excellent color, single stroke application, and better hydration. Nars makes them from castor seed oil, candelilla wax, and shea butter. These satin finish lipsticks are available in 40 colors ranging from pink beige and antique rose to deep aubergine and chestnut. 

Best Lipstick Alternatives

These simple alternatives to wearing lipstick give your lips a sexy pout, kissable attraction, and healthy moisture and protection. 

red lipstick and red dress

Make a bold statement with red on red. Heli wears a bandage dress from The Kewl Shop - Shop The Look Today!

Lip Pencil

NARS Satin lip pencils offer creamy, moisturizing, and highly pigmented texture and color. They work well to fill in your lips, and won't dry them out as many lip pencils do.

Lip Gloss

Perhaps the most obvious alternative to lipstick, lip glosses cover your lips in a shiny finish that hydrates and moisturizes. 

They are available in clearer shades that display the natural colors of your lips and come with heavier tints. Most lip glosses do not have great staying power.

Look for Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Rouge. This lippie offers a high gloss sheen along with lip-stain-like lasting power.

Lip Balm

For a less glossy and more therapeutic finish, opt for a lip balm. These wholesome alternatives to lipstick are the perfect solution for chapped lips too.

The Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm gives you the best of both worlds—a sheer and lightweight sheen, without the stickiness of a gloss.

Another great option is Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stains. This offers long-lasting color that is both creamy and hydrating.


Choose a lipstick that matches your skin undertones, gives you confidence in your look, adds flirty pep to your face, and completes your style.

Discover your skin undertones by looking at the veins in your wrist or what color jewelry looks best on you. 

Make sure your choice is comfortable to wear and provides the hydration your lips need. For a break from your lipsticks try a range of lipstick alternatives for their comfort and look.   

sexy lips with water

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