Perfecting your pout is like scoring a fabulous pair of jeans. We’ve got you covered for this how-to.
Identify your skin tone
First up, know the undertones of your skin. You’ll either be yellow or pink. Yellow is considered warmer, pink is cooler.
Hold your wrists out, facing up, under direct sunlight. If your veins look greenish, then you are a warm tone. If they look bluish, then you have a cool skin tone.
The perfect shade of lippy will be one that’s similar to your undertones.
Pink undertones like Taylor? Look for shades with blue or purple tones in them like fuchsia or plum.
Yellow undertones like Shaaanxo? Stick to warmer colours like peach and coral.
If you’re having trouble figuring out if your veins look blue or green, then it’s likely you have a neutral skin tone like Jessica Biel, above. Damn you’re so lucky ’cause pretty much all colours will suit your beautiful complexion.
If you’re still in doubt, the following might help…
Choose colours based on your complexion
Fair complexion = Cherry, wine or cranberry
Vibrant, blue-based cherry reds contrast with the pink undertones in fair skin to make lips pop (which also makes your teeth look whiter – bonus!) If you opt for this colour, be sure to keep the rest of your makeup light and natural. A touch of blush, winged eye-liner and a few coats of mascara will look perf.
General rule: Try to avoid orange shades as they have contrasting tones that can make your complexion look a bit dull.
Olive skin tones = Nude, pink and orange
For the most part, people with olive skin have neutral undertones, which means most shades will look good on you.
General rule: Pick your shade based on your outfit. E.g. an outfit with warmer colours would be complemented best by a warmer, bright lipstick.
Alternatively, if you’re opting for a nude lipstick or more natural shade, try to match it as close to your natural lip colour as possible. Sticking within a couple of shades deeper or brighter is a good guide.
Darker complexion = Deep plums, berries and reds
Blue-based reds and cool shades work best with darker skin. Unless you’re going for a fashion-forward, statement bright lip, you should avoid anything too light or pale on the lips. Deeper shades look more naturally flattering and really highlight your smile.
Warm up the rest of your face with a cream bronzer and highlighter.
Consider the shape of your lips
Rule 1: Darker colours tend to make your lips look smaller, while lighter and brighter colours make lips appear bigger. Make a mental note of whether you want to accentuate or minimise your lip shape before you reach for a particular shade.
Rule 2: There actually are no rules. We know, we know. “CLEO, you just said…” If you’re really digging a colour and feel like it’s making your smile shine, just go for it! Regardless of your skin tone or lip shape, the most important thing about wearing lipstick, or any makeup, is that if it makes you feel good, it’ll make you look good!
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