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How to Pick the Best Lip Color for Your Skin

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Finding the right shade of lipstick seems to be a universal issue—one I’ve struggled with in the past. Which red? Is that pink too pink? There are a million shade options and a lot of what makes a lipstick just right is it being the right complement to your skin tone. I’ve spent a good amount of time at Sephora trying lipstick shades until the back of my hand became a pink-red mess, only to come home with a shade that was not only expensive, but just OK. On the flip side, I’ve perused shades at CVS, taking guesses on what I imagined would look good on my lips, only to purchase it, open it, and find out that it just didn’t work.

Save yourself the hassle. Here are some tips and tricks that’ll help you pick out the best lip colors for your skin every time you hit the makeup counter:

  1. First and foremost, determine if you are a cool or warm toned person. Here’s how: Look at the underside of your wrist in bright natural light. If your veins are bright blue you are a cool tone and pinks and berries work best for you. If your veins are on the greener end you’re a warm undertone and you should always lean toward corals and peachy tones.  
  2. There is also an interesting eye-color theory, which I’ve found to be totally true. If you have blue eyes coral hues work best for you, green or hazel eyes really pop with vibrant cherry red hues, and brown eyes come to life with pink and rosy tones.  
  3. When choosing an everyday color a good rule of thumb is to look for a shade two shades darker than your natural lip color. If you have a lot of pink to your lips, opt for something a bit more sheer. If you have less color to your natural lips, then go for a bit stronger shade to give your lips some life.  
  4. Pink lipstick shades are not only on-trend but basically look good on everyone. When going for a pink shade, avoid frosty formulas. They will look outdated and unflattering. Fair-skin ladies should opt for a baby pink option. Medium/olive skin tones should go for a bit bolder shades, like watermelon. For the dark-skin ladies, stick with bright pinks with a hint of berry.
  5. Reds can be really scary for most people. A true fire-engine red hue looks amazing on all skin types. Fair-skin women should try coral-tinted reds. If it has an orange-y look to it with a little pink then it’ll be great. Dark reds also are ideal for fair skin. Medium skin is flattered most by berry-hued reds and brick reds. Darker complexions should aim for burgundy reds. 
  6. When shopping for new shades, ask the consultant at the makeup counter for suggestions. Sometimes having an outside perspective can be really helpful. Make sure you actually try on the lip color; seeing it on can really change your mind about a shade. 
  7. Don’t be afraid to reach outside your comfort zone. Who knows, red lips may become your new staple! 

images via Getty: Reese Witherspoon – David Livingston / Contributor :: Kerry Washington – Jason LaVeris / Contributor :: Eva Mendez – Angela Weiss / Stringer

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