Choosing the right lip color comes down to the look you are trying to create, but you need to know what shades work with, not against, your skin tone. First, determine whether your skin has more of a yellow or pink undertone. “Pink undertones look best in berries, red and pink while yellow undertones can pull off orange and peachy shades,” says celebrity makeup artist Rea Ann Silva.
Stick with neutral and nude shades or bright colors like orange-based or dark red. “Pale skin looks great in soft rose and berry because they give a bit of contrast,” says celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff. Stay away from deep brown and burgundy, which can look muddy.
The Perfect Pick: Boasting a sweet vanilla scent, Beauty is Life Lipgloss in Salsa 13 W strikes a perfect balance between orange and red. $25, barneys.com
Simple roses, bright pinks and rich berry and wine tones in the mauve family are complementary to medium skin tones. “To play up the honey warmth of your skin, look for rich, pigmented colors,” says Lipstick Queen founder Poppy King.
The Perfect Pick: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain Rebel Nudes in No.107 Naughty Mauve combines rose and mauve tones in a stain-meets-gloss-meets-lipstick that lasts nearly all day. $34, yslbeautyus.com
Golden, peach and warm brown, as well as reds (keep them glossy and sheer with brown undertones) pair well with olive skin. With nudes, pick one that’s a shade or two lighter or darker than your skin, so your lips and skin don’t blend into one.
The Perfect Pick: The perfect peach shade, rms beauty lip2cheek in Smile promises long-lasting, rich color on both the lips and cheeks. $36, rmsbeauty.com
Dark skin can pull off almost any color, especially fun shades like coral, orange and bubblegum pink—just make sure it’s not milky or has too much white in it because it can look chalky.
The Perfect Pick: Kevyn Aucoin The Lip Gloss in Tammabelle is a pretty, shiny peach shade. $30, barneys.com
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