Lipstick for different skin tones

Author: Danielle Cauchi   Date Posted: 5 October 2023 

Looking for the right shade of lipstick to flawlessly match your skin tone? It all comes down to undertones. Read more here!


Have you ever bought a lipstick that you loved on somebody else and wondered why it didn’t look the same on you? Well, it turns out that different shades of lipstick can present differently depending on our skin tones.

Luckily, determining the best lipstick shades for different skin tones is a pretty simple task once you understand what causes certain lipstick shades to look better on some skin tones than others.

Before jumping into things, remember that anybody can wear whatever they please and you shouldn’t let this stop you from rocking that new lipstick you’ve been eager to try! This is just a basic guide to help you determine which shades may look best on you.  




Why does lipstick look different on different skin tones?


The reason why lipsticks appear differently on people is because we all have unique skin tones and therefore certain colours will complement our personal skin tone more than others. 

The chemistry of lipstick in terms of which mix of pigments they contain will either complement or contrast with your skin tone based on how fair or deep you are and whether you have cool, warm or neutral undertones. This doesn’t mean that certain colours are off limits, it just means that the coral coloured lipstick that you thought popped on your friend might not have the same effect on you that a berry red colour would.


How do I match my skin tone with lipstick?


You may have seen “lipstick colour theory” videos going viral on TikTok and thought “What on Earth does that mean?” but it’s really not as complicated as it sounds.

The best way to match lipstick for different skin tones and more specifically, your unique skin tone, is to first identify your undertones.

If your veins appear more blue or you find silver jewellery complements you more than gold jewellery, you likely have cool undertones.

If your veins appear more green or you find gold jewellery complements you more than silver jewellery, you probably have warm undertones.

If you fall in between these two options, you likely have neutral undertones.

Now to put this in action, let’s say you have cool undertones and are looking for the perfect shade of red lipstick. Looking at the colour wheel, blue (being a cool colour) opposes orange (a warm colour), so your skin tone would be better suited to a blue-based red rather than an orange-based red.


Lipstick for cool undertones


Complement cool undertones with purple or blue-based colours. This includes lipstick shades such as deep cherry reds, dusty nudes, taupey beige shades, mauves.

Some of our picks:

  1. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Creme 045 Naughty Plum - $4.95 (RRP $24.95)
  2. L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Liquid Lipstick 372 Petal Potion - $6.95 (RRP $17.00)
  3. NYX Butter Gloss 22 Devils Food Cake - $6.95 (RRP $12.00)


Lipstick for warm undertones


Accentuate warm undertones with warm peachy/orange-based colours. This includes lipstick shades such as corals, brick reds, peachy pinks and terracotta browns.

Some of our picks:

  1. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Pearl 782 Ruby Attitude - $6.95 (RRP $24.95)
  2. Revlon Ultra HD Vinyl Lip Polish 950 Act Natural - $6.95 ($25.95)
  3. KimChi Chic Beauty x Trixie BFF4EVR LOLips Lipstick Gingerbread - $23.95


Lipstick for neutral undertones


There is a lot more flexibility for those with neutral undertones. You can opt for something balanced if you wish, but it’s entirely up to you.

Some of our picks:

  1. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Pearl 030 Pink Pearl - $6.95 (RRP $24.95)
  2. Almay Lip Vibes Lipstick Cream 330 Rise Up - $4.95
  3. L'Oreal Matte Lip Crayon 513 Lavender Honey - $7.95 (RRP $25.00)


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