Top 5 Tips to Finding the Perfect Lipstick for You!

Hey Everyone,

There are many times when I’m walking down the street and I notice a beautiful girl. Eye-make-up down wonderfully, blush applied perfectly, foundation is flawless until I see her lips and they are either basically erased or filled up with an unflattering color. I think lipsticks should only be worn if they flatter you – the right lipstick shade will be able to give you almost a face lift, enhancing your skin tone and making your eyes look brighter. I have to be honest with you, I’m not a fan of nude lips at all. I just don’t see the point of erasing your beautiful lips. So here are my top 5 tips to finding the most flattering shade for you.

1. Match Undertones

Believe it or not, lipstick colors tend to have undertones too. They might have a cool or warm undertone just like your skin or foundation has. The trick is in deciding what undertone the lipstick is and then knowing what undertone you are and then matching the two. A cool undertone on warm skin can look like an ashy mess and a warm undertone on cool skin might look a little weird too.

2. Types of finishes

Lipsticks have different finishes and not all tubes of glory were created equal. Here are a few different types of finishes and a few tips and tricks to using them for different situations.

Matte Lipsticks – Matte lipticks usually have a powdery finish and are great to make that poster finish. They’re dense, last the longest and are partially known for being a little drying. If you have dry and flakly lips no matter how many lip scrubs you’ve taken, matte lipstcks are not for you. They will emphasize the flakes on your lips which isn’t a hot look.

Sheer Lipsticks – Sheer lipsticks are semi-transparent colors that are great for everyday. They tend to have a semi-gloss finish that makes it more moisturising. If you are looking to add just a tinge of color, try going sheer. However, if you know that the color will make your look, you might want to opt for something else.

Amplified Lipsticks/Lip Tars – These are the most pigmented forms of lippies. If you’re looking to create that Classic Holiday Look or Katy Perry’s hot pink lips for an event or a costume party, then these lipsticks will really put a boost. They’re more long lasting and can even semi-stain your lips so remember when removing

3. What Characteristics do I judge it on?

When I’m reviewing lipsticks, there are three characteristics that I really look for in a good lipstick. I want to know about it’s texture, lasting power and color payoff. The texture should be smooth, silky and not dry. It should also last a while. Some lipsticks (NYX round lipsticks are notorious for this) last perhaps an hour or so. I want a lipstick that won’t make me look like a vain pot when I’m out and will need constant re-application. At least stick around for a few hours. I also really look at color payoff. A good lipstick like a good shadow will produce great color payoff. I can always pat the lipstick for a sheer finish so I look for a decent color payoff so my lipstick becomes more versatile that way.

4. Put the lipstick to your face

At the store, it might not be super hygienic to apply the lipstick on the spot. What I tend to do and what makes a great tip is to just put the lipstick to your face, not on it. That way you can see whether the lip color matches your undertone or would look good on you without the nasty germs that tend to live on testers.

5. Lipshades best for different Skin tones

It’s a fact that different lip shades are best for different skin tones or rather different shades of lips. From the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual, here’s a quick guide for selecting lip colors according to the natural color of your lips. If you have pale lips – go for beiges, sand pinks, light corals, pale pinks or bright reds. If you have medium lips, go for brown, pale rose, pink, oranges, warm reds. If you have dark lips, go for browns, deep reds, plums, deep chocolate, or deep berry colors. For two toned lips, go for chocolate, blackberry, deep plums, deep raisins and deep reds. A rule of thumb is if you have pale lips, use pastel shades like pale pinks or beiges because deep tones tend to be overwhelming for daily wear so apply them with a light hand. If you have super dark lips, blue-toned or deep lip colors go best and pale, nude shades will appear ashy on you. For uneven colored lips, try concealing your lips first to even out the skin tones and then apply the natural lip color.

And there you have it! The best lipsticks for daily wear are those that enhance your natural features, not try and mask them.

What’s your favourite lip color?




  • Amy

    I usually apply the lipstick tester onto my fingertip before placing it close to my face as fingertips are the closest to lip skin/texture.
    I hate seeing people apply the mascara testers and lipsticks testers directly onto their eyelashes or lips…Eww:(

  • wenny

    hey, thanks! this is really a good guide :)

  • Ilyana

    Great post, Roseanne! I think picking lipstick can be tricky, especially the nude ones in my opinion. I always have a hard time with them because they may look beautiful on display but on me, they look ghastly! So really, I completely agree that despite how unhygienic testers are, you need to get these colours on you or risk buying a tube of lipstick you’re never going to use ;)
    Ilyana recently posted..Sketch For SummerMy Profile

  • Allie

    This might be a stupid question, but I’m quite new to the online beauty community and so have only recently found out about things like lipstick finishes, skin undertones, etc… How can you tell your skin’s undertone, and also the undertones of things like lipsticks and eye shadows?

    I’ll watch videos where people describe a lipstick as a “pale pink with subtle blue undertones” and think to myself that I don’t see subtle blue anything. o_O;

    • roseannetangrs (author)

      No worries love, thanks for asking :) The easiest way to tell your skin tone is to flip over your arm and look at your forearm. If your viens appear blue, you are cool toned and if they have a greenish tone, you are warm toned. With eye-shadows and lipsticks, it’s a little harder. If it’s leaning towards more than a blue tone rather than an orange or yellow tone, than it’s cool and vice versa :) There’s not really a trick to it, you can just tell by looking at it :p

  • Terri

    Thanks for the tips! Can you do a post on your favorite cheap drugstore lipsticks and colors? Thanks!

  • Roxanne

    Thanks for sharing the Bobbi Brown tips! I still have yet to find that one perfect lip shade, but I won’t stop looking!

    Roxanne recently posted..Holiday 2011 Gift GuideMy Profile

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