*This content was originally found on the Axiology Beauty Blog and is shared with permission.*
By Colleen Welsch
We spend years looking for that Holy Grail of lip colours. You know, that perfect lipstick that will make you look beautiful without any other makeup. The one that will make your features pop and complexion glow. The signature lip shade that completes every outfit. But there are so many lipsticks out there – how do you choose the most flattering one?
If you’re having difficulties choosing lipstick colour, look no further! Follow these tips to find your signature shade.
Step One: Determine Your Skin Tone
To find your skin tone, examine your skin in natural lighting with a hand mirror. Pay special attention to your skin as it appears along your jawline, where the tone is less likely to be affected by sun exposure. Which of the following most accurately describes your skin tone?
Light – Your skin is pale. You sunburn easily and you may have freckles.
Medium – You tan easily and generally don’t burn.
Dark – Your skin rarely or never burns in the sun. Your skin is tan or dark all year round, even in winter.
Step Two: Determine Your Undertones
Swatch lip shades on the underside of your arm in natural lighting for best results.
Everyone’s skin either has pink (cool) or yellow (warm) undertones. Knowing your undertone is essential to finding a shade of lipstick that will make your complexion glow and whiten your teeth.
To find your skin’s undertone, take a look at the veins on the underside your wrist in natural light. If your veins appear blue, you have cool-toned skin with pink undertones. If your veins appear green, you have warm-toned skin with yellow undertones. If your veins appear both blue and green, lucky you! You have neutral undertones, and almost every shade of lipstick will look great on you.
If you can’t see your veins or you’re not sure, another trick for determining your undertone is to hold up silver and gold jewellery next to your face. Disregarding personal preference, which one looks better next to your skin? Those with cool-toned skin will look better with silver jewellery, while those with warm-toned skin will look better with gold jewellery.
Step Three: Choose a Shade
Now that you know your skin tone and undertone, it’s time to put them together and choose a shade. Match your skin combination to one of the shades below.
Light Cool – For a subtle look, try cool-toned mauves and pinks. For a bolder look, go bright with cool-toned reds and berries.
Try: Identity, Vibration, Enlighten
Light Warm – You’ll look best in warm neutrals and corally pinks. For a dramatic look, try warm-toned reds and wine shades.
Try: The Goodness, Noble, Bliss
Medium Cool – Your unique combination really pops will cool-toned reds, nudes, and vibrant pinks.
Try: Attitude, Vibration
Medium Warm – Warm-toned nudes, oranges, and reds will make your honey complexion glow.
Try: Noble, Devotion, Valor
Dark Cool – With your skin tone, you can really rock plums, berries, and cool-toned reds.
Try: Desire, Vibration, Enchant
Dark Warm – Warm-toned reds, wine shades, and oranges look fabulous on you!
Try: Worth, Infinite, Elusive
Step Four: Choosing a Finish
Matte finishes are so on trend right now and have more staying power than a glossier finish. However, glossier finishes tend to make your lips appear larger, and some people prefer the texture of a glossier finish to a matte finish. For best results, try both matte and glossy finishes to see which you prefer.
Putting Our Guide to the Test
We put together a small group of test subjects to show our guide in action! We identified each woman’s skin tone and undertone, then had her test a few lipsticks that we thought would work for her. These were the results!
Shelby (above) has light skin with cool undertones. She loved Vibration, a bold pink to match her bold personality.
Joerelle (above) has medium skin with warm undertones. She’s wearing Intrigue, the perfect “your lips but better” colour for her.
Amber (above) has dark skin with warm undertones. Her favourite lip shade was Elusive, a rich burgundy that matches her glam personality.
Finding your signature lip colour is a journey – one that takes a lot of trial and error. Experiment with different shades, even those outside of your recommended skin tone range. Ultimately, your signature lipstick is up to you. If you want to rock bright orange, navy blue, or deep purple, more power to you! Wear what makes you feel beautiful.