I think most of us have been through the ordeal of trying to find the perfect shade of nude lipstick – choosing a shade that looks gorgeous on the tube, only to put it on and end up looking like you’re really unwell. It can be tricky to find a shade that matches the undertones of your skin, but the most appropriate choice should match your lip colour, not your skin tone – a colour that’s too light might wipe away the face’s natural pigments, making you look pale and sick. Here’s how to pick a flattering shade according to your skin tone:
Fair Skin With Cool Undertones
If you have fair skin with cool undertones, like Emma Stone, rosy colours will suit you best. Either pale, powdery pinks; or peachy colours with caramel undertones will add some warmth to the complexion. Steer clear of light beige tones, which can make you look ghostly, and orange or coral tones, which can turn your complexion sallow. Matte finishes, especially on lighter shades, can end up giving a washed out effect – glossier formulas are more flattering.
Fair Skin With Warm Undertones
Light skin with yellow undertones, like Lucy Liu’s, calls for more warmth and pigment than cool undertones. Pink, beige, caramel and peachy shades are all flattering options.
Medium Skin With Cool Undertones
Lea Michele’s skin tone can get away with most shades, be them lighter or darker than the skin. Darker nudes work as well as soft, pale pinks, which won’t make the lips disappear.
Medium Skin With Warm Undertones
For this skin tone (think Jessica Alba and Jennifer Lopez), rosy beige shades with warmer undertones, like caramel, will keep your complexion warm and avoid that washed out look which might come with cooler, grayish tones, or yellow undertones. Peachy and golden shades, no lighter than your skin tone, will enhance your complexion and won’t clash with the warmth of your skin.
The skin tone of Rihanna and Eva Mendes. Rosy, beige and caramel tones will add some definition and separation between skin and lip, while glossy finishes add some extra definition. Pink-toned shades slightly lighter than the skin tone look subtle without being dull.
Medium Dark Skin
Deep colours rich in pigment will suit medium dark skin tones, such as Beyoncé’s and Ciara’s. Lighter browns and more plummy tones are very flattering.
Deep Dark Skin
The deep, chocolaty skin tone which Lupita Nyong’o and Alex Wek have can benefit from playing with light and shadow to create definition – glossy formulas, or products with shimmer, add some brightness to the face and look more natural. Copper or bronze tones also work beautifully, as well as darker berry tones.