How to find your perfect lipstick shade in 2 easy steps

I’m a lipstick girl and own more than I’d like to admit. From nudes to hot pinks, I wear whatever I’m in the mood for that day. A swipe of lipstick instantly makes me feel polished and pretty.

While trendy shades are fun and a great to express yourself or glam up an outfit it’s really important to have one shade that’s appropriate for all occasions and seasons. Whether you’re a lipstick lover like me or terrified of lipstick like I used to be, I think every woman should have one lip color that you feel natural and pretty wearing.

Here are makeup artist Bobbi Brown’s tips for finding your most flattering lip color:

1. Pick it in neutral

The most versatile and flattering color you can own is one that’s just a shade or two brighter than your natural lip color. It should even out your lips and look polished yet natural. It should be noticeable but not so much that people immediately notice your lip color before anything else.

Bobbi Brown says that the ideal color will vary for each person based on skin tone. For someone with my skin tone, a nudish peachy pink seems to be my most flattering color. Others may look best in a peachy brown or rose shade. For dark skin tones, an eggplant shade may be the way to go.

Bobbi also clarifies that a neutral lipstick should never be the color of concealer. Shades that are lighter than your natural color will wash you out and not be flattering at all. The perfect neutral should warm your face up.

2. Try it right

Bobbi Brown suggests using the middle of your lower lip as a color guide to determine if the lipstick is the right shade based on the above criteria. Try it on in natural daylight for the most accurate color. Also, if you’ve tried several shades your lips may become stained and not give an accurate color representation.

I read these tips in Allure recently and instantly starting playing around with my colors to see about finding my perfect shade. While I love most of the lipsticks I own and wear them often, none seemed to fit the bill just right for the above criteria. I tried mixing two of my favorite go-to neutral lipsticks, MAC Creme Cup and CoverGirl Delish. Creme Cup is a girly pale pink and Delish is a natural-looking peachy nude with a hint of pink.

20120806-120615.jpg{Left left to right: Mac Creme Cup, CoverGirl Delish}

20120806-120620.jpg{Creme Cup & Delish mixed together}

It ended up making a gorgeous shade that’s a neutral peachy pink and it’s just a bit brighter than my natural lip color. My perfect shade! Here’s a picture of the color combo I came up with on my lips. I think it brightens and warms my face while looking natural and feminine.


I would definitely suggest playing around with shades you already have to see if you can come up with the right mix. I’m now on the hunt for one tube of lipstick that gives me a similar effect to my own concoction (I could always melt them together into one DIY lipstick like one of my favorite bloggers does here but I like both shades on their own too much).  If you plan on trying to find your perfect shade at the mall, ask the rep for help and explain what you are looking for. She will be able to do the hard work for you and give you several options to try. I would suggest picking a lipstick at a place like Sephora, MAC or a cosmetics counter. This way you can play around with colors before comitting to a purchase and an expert can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Even though these lipstick brands will be pricier, it’s worth the investment since this is a color you will be able to wear year-round and for any occassion. Plus, it will probably save you money in the long run to fork over $15-$30 for one perfect lipstick instead of praying you bought the right one from the drugstore and having to keep buying different shades until you find the right one.

“The ideal lip color is like the perfect pair of jeans: You can dress it up or down, and it will always look great.”- Bobbi Brown

I’d love to know what your perfect lipstick shade is!

Source: Allure Magazine