Finding the Right Lip Color for Your Skin Tone

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This is post is part of our Beauty Buying Guide Series brought to you by our friends at Motives Cosmetics. Our Buying Guides are intended to offer you essential information that will allow you to buy 'Better, Not More'.


How do you choose the lip color that will look best on you? An important part is choosing a shade that complements your skin tone. Need help identifying your skin tone and the shades that look best with it? Our guide walks you through finding your perfect shade.

Undertones: Warm or Cool?

The first thing to do when finding the right shade of lip color (or any other makeup) is determine whether your skin’s undertone is warm (yellow) or cool (pink). Skin with a warm undertone will look best with shades that have yellow and orange notes, while skin with a cool undertone will look better with shades based on blue and purple tones.

Not sure how to tell which undertone your skin has? Look at the veins on the inside of your wrist. If they look blue, you have a cool undertone; if they’re more greenish, you have a warm undertone. If you can’t decide between blue and green, you’re lucky—your skin has a neutral undertone that will work with almost any color!

Complexion Types

Find your complexion type below for suggestions on the best lip color shades for you!
Fair Skin
Bright reds will really pop against your pale complexion, but for everyday wear you can stick with lighter shades like nudes, mocha, and magenta for cool undertones and pale pinks and peach for warm undertones.

Olive Skin
This skin color is often neutral, allowing you to get away with almost any color, but sunset shades are sure to look fantastic on you. That means coppers and bronzes for warm undertones, and rosy pinks and cranberry for cool undertones.
Light Brown Skin
This skin tone provides great contrast for bolder colors like bright orangey reds for warm undertones and deep wine shades for cool undertones.

Dark Skin

Vibrant, saturated shades will look great against dark skin tones. Warm undertones can play with deep fuchsias and bright berry colors, while cool shades can pull off stunning ruby reds and deep purples.


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