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Several open tubes of Artistry Go Vibrant lipsticks are clustered together against a white background to display their shades.

How to pick the best lipstick color for you

How to find the lipstick shade that will light up your look instead of one that will stand out for all the wrong reasons.

August 4, 2022
Several open tubes of Artistry Go Vibrant lipsticks are clustered together against a white background to display their shades.

How to pick the best lipstick color for you

How to find the lipstick shade that will light up your look instead of one that will stand out for all the wrong reasons.

August 4, 2022
Several open tubes of Artistry Go Vibrant lipsticks are clustered together against a white background to display their shades.

How to pick the best lipstick color for you

How to find the lipstick shade that will light up your look instead of one that will stand out for all the wrong reasons.

August 4, 2022

How to find the best lipstick color for you

If you want to confidently choose the perfect shade of lipstick for you, the one that you know will look great no matter what, you need to think about things like sweet cream, weak tea, milk chocolate and espresso. And then take a tour of your jewelry box.

Confused? Don’t be. According to Artistry™ Creative Director of Makeup Design Rick DiCecca, thinking about the colors of those items in relation to your skin as well as your preferred jewelry is a key first step in selecting the lipstick shade that will light up your look instead of one that will stand out for all the wrong reasons.

“Choosing the best shades of lipstick for your skin tone starts with knowing your skin’s level of intensity and its undertone,” DiCecca said. Skin intensity, or skin tone, is how light or dark your skin is, while your undertone comes from the natural colors underneath your skin’s surface.

What is my skin tone and undertone?

Consider your skin’s intensity in these terms, DiCecca said: light, light/medium, medium, medium/deep, deep, very deep.

“Think of milk when you think of a light skin tone,” he said. “Sweet cream is a good example of a light/medium skin tone. Weak tea for medium-toned skin. Milk chocolate for a medium/deep skin tone. Strong tea for a deep skin tone, and espresso or 80% dark chocolate for a very deep skin tone.”

Your jewelry box is where your undertone comes in. It can be cool, warm or neutral. If your jewelry box is filled with white/silver metals, you most likely have a cool undertone, DiCecca said. If it features mostly gold, it’s a good bet you have a warm undertone.

“If you wear silver and gold metal together at the same time, then you’re more than likely a neutral undertone, therefore you have the luxury of looking great in both cool and warm tones,” he said.

Lipstick guide for skin tones and undertones

Once you feel you have nailed down where you fall on the skin tone and undertone spectrums, you’re prepared to navigate through the endless lipstick shades out there to find the one for you. Below DiCecca describes the ideal colors and shades for each combination and illustrates them using the Artistry Go Vibrant™ Lipstick Collection.

“The great thing about this collection is that it was formulated with intense pigments and tested with more than 60 people from every different skin tone to ensure that everyone would be able to find a shade that worked with their skin,” DiCecca said.

Here’s what you should look for based on your skin tone and undertone:

 
A sample of nude lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of nude lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of nude lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of brownish-pink lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of brownish-pink lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of brownish-pink lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of dark red & bright red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of dark red & bright red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of dark red & bright red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of creamy rose & matte rose lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of creamy rose & matte rose lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of creamy rose & matte rose lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of reddish-brown & dark red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of reddish-brown & dark red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of reddish-brown & dark red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of berry-red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of berry-red lipstick smeared against a white background.
A sample of berry-red lipstick smeared against a white background.

Lipstick that enhances natural lip color

While a pop of color on your lips can make all the difference in the look you’re trying to create, sometimes you want to draw attention elsewhere. Maybe you’ve got a killer eye makeup today or you know your outfit is on fire.

That’s when you may want to choose a more natural color lipstick, sometimes called a nude lip. Here’s how your skin tone plays into that decision, also using Artistry Go Vibrant shades to illustrate:

A woman showing off a nude lipstick that complements her natural lip color.
A woman showing off a nude lipstick that complements her natural lip color.
A woman showing off a nude lipstick that complements her natural lip color.

Choosing a lipstick color to match your outfit and accessories

Once you know your skin intensity and undertone, you can use that knowledge to select clothing colors that look good on you too. Simply use the same guidelines outlined above. Bonus: When you use the same system to choose both, your lipstick and outfit will always be in sync.

But there is something to be said for going against the system, DiCecca said, if that’s what you’re looking for. “For a natural effect, choose colors within your undertone family,” he said. “When you want to make a dramatic statement, choose colors that are the opposite.”

And what lipstick color goes with a black dress? You know the one you have in the back of your closet for those special occasions? Go for the dramatic statement, DiCecca said.

“To create maximum impact when wearing your little black dress or for any significant event, choose a lipstick shade that’s the opposite of your undertone, he said. “If your undertone is warm try a shade that has a cool undertone. If you have a cool undertone try a shade in the warm family.”

Want to test out some of those shades before you leave the house? You can with the Artistry Virtual Beauty app. Download it for your iOS® or Android® device and to give them a virtual whirl to help you choose your new favorites!

A smiling woman wearing a little black dress holds up her chosen lipstick shade.
A smiling woman wearing a little black dress holds up her chosen lipstick shade.
A smiling woman wearing a little black dress holds up her chosen lipstick shade.