There are two camps of people: those who love to rock a bold lipstick and those who don’t. It’s easy to feel “like a clown” when we put on a bold lipstick color, even though we see other people do it so effortlessly. Why is that?
I recorded a podcast episode on this topic, so if you’d rather listen, you can click below!
You go to the store, you’re at the makeup counter looking at a hundred different shades. Naturally, you start to look for the
shades you naturally gravitate toward (aka the “safe” ones). These are the colors we like, but they might not be the most flattering color for us.
Here’s a few basic things to know to find that lipstick color that’s going to POP in all the right ways.
Every color has an undertone. If you look at the color wheel, you can see that the blues, greens, and purples are grouped together as “cool” colors and the reds, oranges, and yellows are grouped together as the “warm” colors. You’re probably not going to wear a green lipstick, but when you look at the nudes, browns, and reds, you might be able to see that they have green, blue, and orange undertones.
Most of us have warm undertones because we have blood pumping through our veins, we’re healthy, and our lips are naturally pink and red. Most of us can grab a warmer lipstick color and it’ll look just fine!
If you have a really cool blue or purple undertone to your skin (a lot of women of color have this undertone to their skin) and you put a warm lipstick on top, it might look a little bit strange. Cool lipstick colors look best on these undertones!
Knowing which undertone you have will go a long way in telling you whether a cool or warm toned lipstick will look flattering on you and which shades will get you that dynamic pop of color that looks custom created for your face. If you need help determining your undertone, you can
Terry Tomlinson created the Flesh Toned Color Wheel, which is a tool I use all the time! I even have a photo of it in my book because I think it’s so valuable for people to see and understand. You don’t have to be a pro makeup artist to buy a color wheel for your makeup bag! I think taking one to the makeup counter would be a great step to finding your ideal lipstick shade!
Opaque is when no light can go through. Opaque lipsticks are going to completely cover the natural color of your lips, and these are great options if you want to go BOLD. Transparent lip colors is more sheer (think tinted lip balms) and will allow the natural coloring of your lip to pop through.
If you found a shade you love but it’s too opaque for an everyday look, you can always look for a satin version of it, or even a lip tint in the same shade.
Something I love to do is create my own lip look by adding a balm over the top of my super pigmented creme lipstick to sheer it out a little bit. This is also a great way to get multiple looks from the same lip color. You can also blot your lips and put a gloss on top!
Create Custom Blends – I love to do this for clients! Blend a nude color with a bold color and make something new! It’s a great way to play with makeup and take away any fear you have with lipstick. Use what you have before hitting the makeup aisle every single time you want a new look.
Just Own It – It’s just lipstick, guys. You can take it off if it looks weird, but don’t be too scared to try new things! Keep this in mind: everybody is so worried about their own appearance, their own lives, and how they’re being perceived. No one is paying as much attention to you as you’re afraid they are. I guarantee, if you wear a red lipstick, you will receive compliments. Something good always happens when you’re wearing red lipstick! Just own it.
Check The Ingredients – This is gross, but true: we end up ingesting a lot of the lipstick we put on our lips. People with gluten allergies (or other allergies) need to be careful. Read the ingredient list, and if necessary, reach out to the company to make sure the lipstick isn’t dangerous for you to wear.
If you can’t tell, I believe that makeup is for everybody. If this philosophy resonates with you, you can click here to learn more about my 100+ makeup book that is designed to help you feel more comfortable with becoming your own makeup artist and unleashing your inner beauty!
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I’m Natalie, an American born makeup artist & makeup educator based in Wiesbaden, Germany. I truly believe that makeup, when applied well, can transform us in so many ways. My page is a space for inspiration, education, and advice. Thanks for being here & I’d love to connect with you!