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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ball State chapter.

There’s really nothing easy about picking out lipstick, espeically if it’s your first time up at the plate. When we received samples of Rimmel London’s “The Only 1 Lipstick,” it seemed like a good time to take a moment and remember the best ways to know what lip color works best for each of us.

We fell in love with the lip colors – “It’s a Keeper,” “Listen Up!” and “Peachy Bleachy” – but here are six tips to finding out which of these colors (and others) fit you best.

1. Figure out your skin tone

Before you even walk downt the makeup isle, make sure you’re able to determine what your skin tone is so you know how dark or light you’re able to go on your lipstick. To determine what tone best describes you, see below.

  • Fair skin: your skin is very pale or translucent and you burn very easily. You may have freckles and some redness.
  • Light skin: your skin is pale. When you are in the sun, you burn and then may possibly tan.
  • Medium: you tan easily and generally don’t burn or have sensitive skin.
  • Tan: your skin is tan or olive. You rarely burn and look tanned even in the winter.
  • Deep: your skin is dark and you never get sunburned. Your hair is possibly black or dark brown.

2. Check your wrists

The color of the veins on your wrists is an easy indicator to help you determine your skin tone, and this is a quick way to figure out if you have a warm, neutral or cool skin tone.

  • Blue or purple veins indicate you have a cool skin tone.
  • Green veins mean you have a warm skin tone.
  • If you have difficulty deciding if your veins are blue or green, you likely have a neutral skin tone and can choose colors from both the cool and warm spectrum. People with olive skin usually have neutral undertones.

3. Determine your undertone and complexion

Your undertone and complexion will be very helpful when figuring out the best colors, but they don’t have to be the final say for which lipstick colors you can and can’t choose from. With this, it’s important to try on different shades to ultimately choose what you feel looks best.


4. Decide if you want your lips to look smaller or larger

Dark shades will actually make your lips look smaller, while lighter shades can add plumpness. The lip volume may depend on the occasion, but for everyday lipstick, you might consider a more subtle look to match the rest of your makeup for the day.

  • Lipstick with a matte finish can also cause lips to look thinner, while glosses and shimmery shades can make them look fuller.

5. Test some shades that experts recommend for your complexion and skin tone

It never hurts to get an expert opinion once in awhile! Consider visiting your local cosmetics store or beuaty consultant to hear what they have to say about what works best for your skin tone, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and try on different shades while you’re there!

  • If you have fair or light skin, try light pink, coral, peach, nudes, or beige. If you have cool undertones, try a soft mocha and nude. Warm undertones, try pale pinks or a nude with a little peach.
  • If you have medium skin, try rose, mauve, or berry shades. Cool undertones: try shades of pink or cranberry. Warm undertones: experiment with copper or bronze.
  • If you have tan skin, try to avoid browns and purples and go for colors with an orange undertone. Most other colors will look great. Try coral, or deep pink.
  • If you have a deep complexion, try browns or purples like walnut, caramel, plum, or wine. Cool undertones should look for ruby and wine-colored reds. Warm undertones: try copper or bronze.

6. Have fun and experiment, but consider these guidelines if you aren’t quite sure:

  • Nude lips look great with just about anything. It’s a great casual look and can help play up dramatic eyes.
  • Red can add drama to a fairly plain outfit. Try not to overwhelm by wearing red with very bright clothing or clothes with crazy patterns.
  • Pink is versatile because there are so many shades. Pinks that are just a few shades brighter than your natural lip color work for a subtle, everyday look.
  • Berries can make a dark ensemble seem sombre and can weigh down an airy, summery look. Try matching berries with mixed neutrals.
Ball State Chapter of Her Campus
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Casey Smith

Ball State