How to choose the right lipstick shade
Choosing the right lipstick shade can make a real difference to your makeup look. Read on to learn the different techniques and tips to making the right choice.
A great shade of lipstick can tie any look together perfectly. Whether it be matte, cream or sheer, lipstick is the finishing touch that elevates with very little effort involved. If you’re not sure which colour lipstick suits you best, we have you covered. Knowing how to pick the perfect lipstick shade comes down to your skin tones and undertones. From there, it’s all about your personal preference. If you tend to leave lipstick out or don’t feel completely confident about this hero makeup product, this is your sign to introduce it back into your repertoire. You’ll thank us later!
To achieve the perfect pout, read through our helpful guide below to identify your skin tone and undertone and find out which lipstick shades are most compatible.
Types of lipstick finishes
Lipstick is a versatile makeup product that can achieve an array of different moods. From fun and flirty to deep and dark, lipstick has the unique ability to highlight whatever look you’re going for. This universally loved product comes in different finishes, with each offering their own style. Matte lipsticks are highly pigmented formulas that nourish lips while leaving a non-shiny, matte finish. Their textures make lips appear full and can easily be the focal point of your makeup. Cream lipsticks offer a softer appearance by using a combination of wax and oils. They’re less glossy than lipgloss but still provide a shiny finish. Sheer lipsticks add shine and colour without completely covering the natural hue of your lips. This makes them the perfect go-to for natural makeup looks.
Identifying skin tones and undertones
Knowing how to choose the right lipstick colour all comes down to your skin tone and undertone. What colour palettes suit you depend on what aligns best with your natural skin. Not sure what the difference is between skin tones and undertones? We’ve broken down each type to help you pick your perfect shade of lipstick below.
Determining your skin tone
There are four main types of skin tone – including light, fair, medium and dark. Your skin tone will fall across a variation of these.
Think of your skin tone as your top or surface colour. Fair skin is the lightest variation, while those with light skin can still have warmness in their complexion. Medium skin tones apply to those with golden or olive hues – those with medium skin tones tend to tan easily when exposed to sun. The deepest variation of skin tone is dark.
Our skin tone can be affected by hyperpigmentation and sensitive skin conditions, so the best place to check is along your jawline, where your natural tone is least obstructed.
Determining your undertone
Undertones are the lesser known variation of colour in our skin, but they figure just as much in terms of shade compatibility. Your undertone remains the same even when you tan – think of it as your layered colour. When choosing a lipstick, your undertone will determine whether you best suit warmer or more neutral shades.
A cool undertone means you have a pink, red or bluish hue beneath your tan. Those with cool undertones have blue-appearing veins and compliment silver jewellery. If this sounds like you, the best shades of lipstick to go for are those with cool tones like blue or purple. For a subtle, natural makeup look, go for a cream lipstick with a cooler hue like our L’Absolu Rouge Liquid Cream in 422 Clair Obscur. For a bolder look that pops, try a matte lipstick like our L’Absolu Rouge Drama Matte.
Warm undertones present a golden or olive hue on your skin. An easy way to identify warm tones is if your veins appear green on your wrist. Those with warm undertones suit gold jewellery, and the same applies for your lipstick shade. Warm colours like oranges and browns help to bring out your inner glow. For a fun, flirty look try a warm sheer lipstick like our L’Absolu Rouge Liquid Sheer Lipstick in 212 Beige Muse. For a perfect day to night transition, go for a terracotta matte like the L’Absolu Rouge Drama Matte in 196 Orange Sanguine
If you have neutral undertones you suit most shades! The best way to define neutral undertones is if you have a mix of pink and yellow beneath your surface colour. Both silver and gold jewellery look good on you, and the same goes for lipstick colours. Want your lips to take centre stage? Go for a romantic red like our L’Absolu Rouge Drama Matte in 505 Adoration. Nudes like our L’Absolu Rouge Liquid Cream in 213 Atelier Parisian are also super flattering on those with neutral skin.
Now that you know which lipstick shades suit you best, discover how to choose your perfect foundation