POUT PERFEC It’s a good idea choose a colour about two shades deeper than your natural lip colour.
How to find the right shade of lipstick
I’m constantly being asked how to find the perfect shade of lipstick, red, pink, even nude. I’ve worn red lipstick since the ’80s, and now feel I look half dead without it. In fact, as far back as the early ’80s it was like my signature, an old boyfriend told me his mother called me ‘Yer woman with the red lipstick’!
I can still get the wrong shade though, there’s just no perfect formula. Covid hasn’t helped, as we can’t even see the shade we’re buying anymore. However, there are a few guidelines. One recommendation is that you choose a colour about two shades deeper than your natural lip colour.
If your lips tend to be thin, stay away from dark shades. Lips will thin as you age, and in this case gloss is sometimes a good option, as it gives the illusion of a plumper lip. You can also line the lips with a pencil, similar to your own lip colour, then apply lipstick inside the line. Make sure the line is similar to the lipstick you’re wearing, as there’s nothing worse than an obvious line that’s a completely different shade.
First and foremost, identify your skin tone. Most people fall into one of two categories: warm or cool. Just remember the skin on your hands is a different shade than your lips, so try to avoid swiping lipstick on the back of your hand to gauge the shade. It will look different on the lips.
If you have cool undertones, you’ll have a pink, red, or bluish tone to your skin. The veins in the wrist look blueish, you may prefer silver jewellery, and you have a tendency to burn in the sun. People with light skin tones can wear a bright red for a bold pop of colour against their fair skin, but they tend to look better in blue reds, or berry reds with blue undertones.
When going for a red lip, go for blue reds rather than orange. Maybe try a lip tint or balm, These tend to be less concentrated than full on colour, yet still give a lovely stain. Another great thing about blue reds, rather than orange, is that the cooler tone makes your teeth look whiter.
If you have warm undertones you’ll have a yellow, golden or olive skin tone. The veins in the wrist are more green, and you probably favour gold jewellery. Warm skins also tend to tan more easily. The best lipsticks are bold oranges, orange reds and bronze shades. Fiery reds and oranges pop beautifully on warm undertones. If you’re feeling bold, coppers and gold shades also look amazing.
Red lipstick adds oomph to your makeup. However, you can be bamboozled with all the different shades. Keep these tips in mind when shopping for your perfect red.
If you have medium skin tone, that is neither very warm or cool, you definitely have more choice. You will actually know yourself whether you like the shade as soon as you apply it. Unfortunately, mistakes can be costly. I have box full of opened lipsticks that looked great in the packaging, not so good when I put them on.
Is there a universal shade that suits everyone? Well Maybelline claims there is. Their ‘Made for All Lipstick’, is a collection of six lip colours which have been tested on 50 skin tones to ensure beautiful results. Mauve, Pink, Plum, Fuchsia and Ruby in a satin finish and Red in a matte finish. Reviews are good and the price point won’t disappoint: €9.45 at lookfantastic.ie or chemists nationwide.
MAC claims Ruby Woo flatters all skins, however I dare to contradict that claim. I just didn’t like the texture, found it far too drying. You should always check beforehand whether lipstick matte or creamy. You will have a preference for one or the other. MAC does a trio in every possible shade, as well as a mini trio pack. Mind you, the sizes are tiny, so don’t expect full-size products. This mini trio is €36 in Boots. I actually saw them on lookfantastic.ie for €21.50. As always, check prices before buying.
Check if your local Boots is still offering a shade-matching service, it’s well worth doing, if only to avoid expensive mistakes in future.
Maggie Gibbons is an Image/Style Consultant based in Louisburgh. She can be contacted at email@example.com.