Beware when choosing a lipstick

LipstickThere are literally thousands of lipstick colours to choose from and choosing the right lip colour is a huge challenge. A big no no is to vary your lipstick in accordance with your wardrobe, which many women do. Lipstick is supposed to complement your skin tones!

It’s not difficult to choose the right colour as long as you know one simple fact, which is whether your skin tones are "warm" or "cool". It's not about how dark or light you are, or even about your hair or eye colour, but what the undertone of your skin is—is it bluish (cool) or yellowish (warm)? Everyone is either warm or cool and it's all about your facial colouring: blondes, brunettes and redheads can be either one.

Not sure? So how can you tell? Search through your makeup bag and find just two shades of any kind of makeup—lip colour, eye shadow or blush. Find one colour that is orange or rust and another that is pink or lavender. Apply one colour on the apple of your cheek and the other colour on the other cheek and then compare. Does one look more "right" than the other? Does one look garish or just wrong? The colour that works will show you your skin tone. If the orange colour looks right, you have warm tones; if the pink colour looks right, you are cool.

Once you have discovered your skin tone, you are free to choose any lip colour in that colour family. But that doesn't mean you'll only wear one lipstick shade: you still have plenty to choose from! Take a look at this list of potential lip shades for either colouring:

Warm Colours
Coral, Peachy, Russet, Rust, Amber,
Brown, Brick Red, Melon, Salmon, Orange,
Sandalwood, Red with yellow undertone
and Taupe

Cool Colours
Pink, Raspberry, Cherry, Mulberry,
Lavender, Plum, Rose, Strawberry,
Crimson, Amethyst, Lilac, Red with blue
undertone and Mauve

You have probably noticed that the colour names associated with warm and cool tones tend to fall into two groups. The warm tones tend to be earthy, woodsy, with only a couple of fruit names (peach and melon). The names of berries tend to be in the cool tones, which more often than not are shades of pink or purple or reds with blue undertones. Women with warm and cool skin tones can both wear red lipstick, but the ‘true red’ tend to be bluish, so warm women should look for reds with a slight leaning towards brown or orange. Now that you understand your skin tone, don’t fall for the trick of a pretty name when the shade doesn't flatter your skin. Cosmetic makers know that a luxurious name, reminiscent of flowers or jewels or romance, can sell a lipstick even when the colour looks terrible on most women. So beware!