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Finding the Best Lip Color for You

Finding the Best Lip Color for You

Something I’ve always gone by is by Bobbi Brown:

“If I had to teach someone just one thing about lip color it would be this: Find a lipstick that looks good on your face when you are wearing absolutely no makeup.”

I believe that a good lipstick brings some color to the face without looking clownish or fake. It should also complement the skin tone, not enhance pallor or sullenness.

If I could only have one kind of makeup, I would definitely choose lipstick. I hate my lips and don’t like being seen without lipstick because of my dark lip line. I’ve tried all kinds of finishes and have decided that only matte lipsticks work for me. The next challenge was choosing a good lip color.

Finding my MLBB (My Lips But Better) shade was a long and tedious process that resulted in spending on products that looked terrible on me. Luckily, I’m a bit of a hoarder and I’ve kept most of the rejects from this year. Keep those tubes so long as they haven’t expired yet!

Some of my favorite lipsticks and lipstick combinations!

Warm or Cool?

Green = warm undertones

First, you must determine if you have warm or cool undertones. The easiest way to do this is to observe your veins under natural light. If they appear bluish, then you have cool undertones. If they appear greenish, then you have warm undertones. Knowing if you have warm or cool undertones is one of the most important things to consider in choosing a lip color.

Fair Skin

Women with fair skin would look great in beige, light pink, peach, light brown and nude colors. Stay away from very dark colors unless it’s close to your natural lip color.

My recommendations:

MAC Angel

MAC Mocha

MAC Syrup

MAC High Tea

MAC Honeylove

MAC Sweetie

MAC Viva Glam I

MAC Speed Dial

Nars Christina

Nars Wicked

Nars Summertime

Nars Venice

Medium Skin

Women with medium skin would look great in berry, coral, soft brown, warm red and orange colors. Stay away from cool reds because this will make your complexion look dull. 

My recommendations:

MAC Captive

MAC Twig

MAC Taupe

MAC Mocha

MAC Morange (Not for the faint of heart!)

MAC Viva Glam I

MAC Dubonnet

MAC Verve

MAC Spirit

MAC Bombshell

Nars Wicked

Dark Skin

Women with dark skin would look great in warm red, berry, brown, purple, deep rose and berry colors. Stay away from neon colors. I envy women with dark skin because they can wear darker colors and still pull it off!

My recommendations:

MAC Espresso

MAC Ruby Woo

MAC Mocha

MAC Strength

MAC Mulch

MAC High Tea

Nars Christina

Nars Catfight

 

You may notice that all my recommendations are either MAC or Nars lipsticks. That’s because these are the shades that I have used and are most familiar with.

When all else fails…

Get mixing! For the longest time my go-to lipstick color was a combination of two shades, Mocha and Captive by MAC. That was before I discovered my MLBB lipstick in Taupe, also by MAC. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t found your MLBB shade yet! If you’ve decided that the lipstick you just bought isn’t for you, just keep it because it could look a lot better if you mix it with another shade of lipstick. Also remember that a little bit of lip gloss can make your lipstick appear cooler or warmer.

(L-R) MAC Mocha, MAC Captive, MAC Capocha (lol)

Some Tips:

  1. If you have a melted, gooey lipstick, store it in the fridge to keep it solid. Some of my NYX ones are in there right now!
  2. Is your lipstick too opaque or heavy? Transfer it to another container and mix some petroleum jelly in it to make it appear less opaque.
  3. For better staying power, use some lip liner as a base. This acts as a stain in case your lipstick wears off.
  4. A good place to start in looking for a great lip color is to go a shade or two darker than your natural lip color.
  5. Moisturize and exfoliate regularly to prevent your lips from chapping. Creases are more likely to appear when the base is not prepped properly.
  6. To prevent lipstick stains on your glass/mug, lick the area where you would place your lips before drinking.
  7. Don’t just swatch the lipstick on the back of your hand before buying. As much as possible, try it out on your lips.
  8. Feeling iffy about using the tester lipstick? If there’s still a lot of product left, twist it all the way out and get some product from the [usually untouched] side.
  9. Darker colors may make the lips appear thinner, while lighter colors may make the lips appear thicker.
  10. In an emergency, you can always use lipstick as blush.

 

Please feel free to share your favorite lip products from any brand!

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos loves all things beauty and make-up. She’s always on the lookout for the newest tips, techniques and trends, and is always eager to learn more. Her motto for beauty products is: “A hefty price tag is not synonymous with quality.”

Patricia Ramos

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5 Comments

  1. jenn
    August 14, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Great post!

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    • Patricia Ramos
      Patricia Ramos
      August 21, 2012, 8:19 pm

      Thank you, Jenn! :-)

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  2. Sue Lin
    Sue Lin
    August 16, 2012, 10:02 am

    Awesome tips Pat! The wrist-under-natural-light test was really useful. I was wearing Angel for the longest time until I realized it was washing me out. I think I’m more to a warm, medium neutral.

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    • Patricia Ramos
      Patricia Ramos
      August 21, 2012, 8:20 pm

      Thanks, Sue! I don’t even want to think of all the cool-toned lipsticks I thought looked good on me before.. Looking back, I always thought my complexion was the problem, but I guess I wasn’t doing myself any favors with my choice of lipstick at the time. :-P

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  3. Patch
    September 8, 2012, 5:47 pm

    Hey Patricia! What if I have some blue veins and some green veins on my wrist?

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