How to Pick a Lipstick Color

Posted in beauty, great tips!, makeup, tofd (tip of the day) by tokyostargirl on October 21, 2009

Light Skin Tones

Consider these colors:

  • Light-brown beiges with pink or orange undertones.
  • Medium brown with pink undertones or beige lipsticks with a pink undertone.
  • Browns like Mocha browns, and darker brown/pink lipsticks for an evening lip look.
  • Deep plum reds like soft berry and wine reds with a blue undertone.
  • Pinks such as light shiny pink lipsticks with blue undertones work well.
  • Pink with a slight gold shimmer also enhances this skin tone very nicely.

Be careful of these colors:

  • Extra pale browns with yellow undertones make fair skin look washed out.
  • Reds with an orange undertone.
  • Hot pink lipstick as it overpowers fair skins

Medium Skin Tones

Consider these colors:

  • Deep reds and the Blue-reds brighten medium skin with a yellow undertone.
  • Brown and warm reds will soften and look warm on medium skin.
  • Rich caramel shades, medium brown with yellow or pink undertones, and creamy coffee color browns
  • Pinks like rich and deep pinks. Also pinks with brown undertones enhance and flatter medium skins very well.
  • Sheers, creams, and mattes can also be tried using these shades of pink.
  • Olive skin looks good with brownish reds, light browns and raisin shades of lipstick.

Be careful of these colors:

  • Browns that are very pale can make medium skins look ashy and washed out.

Yellowish Skin Tones

Consider these colors:

  • Rich, deep brown reds and deep, dark berry shades.
  • Browns with a red or auburn or mahogany undertone and rich browns that resemble coffee, toffee, and chocolate colors work well with this skin tone.
  • Pinks like deep berries, rich rose, and soft to medium plums with strong yellow undertones are flattering to this skin tone.

Be careful of these colors:

  • Stay away from orange or reds and pink or red shades.
  • Avoid pinks that are to cool and too light as these pinks can make complexion look draining.

Dark Skin Tones

  • Plums, wines and deep reds and reds with a blue undertone.
  • Mahogany
  • Almost any shade of brown color such as light browns to a rich, dark, coffee brown suits black skin tone.
  • Pinks like medium and soft sheer pinks, pink in glosses and sheers with a touch of beige.
  • Berries and deep roses

Be careful of these colors:

  • Avoid orange and pink reds on this skin tone.


click below for tips on lipstick application


  • Prevent lipstick from seeping into cracks by coating the mouth with lip balm, letting it sit for five full minutes, then blotting the excess with a tissue before applying color. (For really chapped lips, gently slough off dead skin with a soft toothbrush or a damp washcloth before wiping off the balm).
  • To keep lipstick from bleeding, dip a cotton swab in translucent powder and roll it just outside the lip line before putting on any color.
  • Consider using a lip brush when filling in the mouth (it can give more control than using the tube itself).
  • Line the lips using lip liner, keeping to the natural lip line. Consider lining lips with a neutral pencil, even if the lip color over that is a bright shade. This way the finished mouth looks more natural and if the color fades or is “chewed” off, the layer underneath is not a bright orange or red.
  • Proceed to fill in the entire mouth with the lip liner pencil. This will also help the lipstick color last longer. Use the side of the pencil, not the point, for filling in the rest of the mouth.
  • Use a lip brush and fill in the entire mouth up to the same edge as the lip pencil.
  • Blot with a tissue.
  • You can optionally put powder over the top of the first coat of lipstick to help it last longer.
  • Reapply lip stick with the lip brush and blot again.
  • You can alternatively try staining the lipstick onto your lips: apply three coats of a deep shade, leaving it on for a few minutes, and blotting it with a tissue so only the pigment remains.
  • Blotting with a tissue will also help lip gloss last longer. The wetter the mouth, the less likely the gloss will stick.
  • To take off long-lasting lipstick, cover the mouth with Vaseline and wait a minute before wiping it off. Waterproof eye-makeup remover works quickly, too.


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8 Responses

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  1. AsianCajuns (Lauren) said, on October 21, 2009 at 5:56 PM

    This is genius! Thanks so much for all the tips. I’m usually pretty tentative about wearing lipstick: I never know the best color for me, I eat it off (it seems) after 15 minutes, and it makes my lips super-dry. Your post is convincing me that I need to get to a make-up counter asap 😉

  2. anniecat said, on October 21, 2009 at 8:20 PM

    all these color combos.. hmmm i’m confused as to what skintone i am..

  3. Blovet Beauty said, on October 22, 2009 at 4:31 AM

    i’m definitely loving pinks right now.. just can’t find one to suit me yet.. thanks for the useful advice!

  4. […] How to pick a flattering lipstick color — Tokyostargirl […]

  5. Tammy said, on October 24, 2009 at 6:25 PM

    Thanks for the tips. I’m not much a lipstick wearer so these really helped me!

  6. […] to tokyostargirl for the […]

  7. Saturday Surfing said, on June 1, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    […] How to pick a flattering lipstick color — Tokyostargirl […]

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