1. Look at the color of your lips without any makeup on at all. Are they reddish, dark or light pink, beige or deep beige to brown? Your natural lip color provides a great direction in your choice of colors. Start by choosing lip colors that are in the same color family, but a few shades darker or lighter. This would mean that light pink lips would look good in very light to medium pinks and reddish lips can go darker and lighter shades of red.
2. Match the color of your skin. If your skin is really pale, you will look best in pale to medium shades of lipstick. If you put a bright deep red on very pale skin, everything about your face will disappear except your lips. Needless to say, this isn't a great look for anyone. Deeper skin tones can carry darker shades but not very pale ones as their lips will disappear. If you have a great deal of natural color in your skin--rosy cheeks, for example--you can choose a brighter lip color. The trick is not to let lips disappear completely or overpower the rest of your face.
3. Dark skin tones should look for brown, purple, very deep red, and crimson shades. Chocolate is a wonderful choice. Try a caramel or medium brown like a walnut for the daytime and a deeper plum or wine berry color at night.
4. Match up medium skin tones with rose, berry, and mauve shades. Medium skin tones aren't really flattered by red, but they can usually wear a medium to deeper burgundy color well. Colors that are too light will make their lips look too prominent in their faces and make their other features "disappear."
5. Consider your hair. If your hair is pale and your skin is pale, use your lips to bring out a little rosiness with a nice frosty pink or rose with a blue undertone. If you have black hair and dark skin, you can try reds that don't have any trace of blue undertone, wines and deep hot pink tones. African Americans with very dark hair and skin tones can wear reds with a blue tone or plums, deep wines and blue toned oranges. Olive skin with dark hair can carry off warm beige colors, plums and more orange-reds.
6. Think about your teeth, too. If your teeth have a slightly yellowish cast, you should avoid any kind of orange as it accentuates the yellow. You should wear lipsticks with blue undertones which will include pink, plum and wine colors. If you have nice white teeth, you can wear anything that is OK for your skin and hair type.
7. Choose a lighter shade by day and a deeper shade by night. If you have heavy eye color, you want a lighter to medium shade of lipstick. Deeper colors look better with lighter eye makeup. You can only have one outstanding feature. If you draw attention to more than one at a time, you can come off looking garish or gaudy.
8. Keep your age in mind as well. Older lips tend to have feathery lines around them and dark and bold colors will collect there and make a shabby looking lip line. A lip pencil in a neutral shade will help this, but you should avoid colors that are very dark or bright. Frosty and shimmery high gloss lipsticks look best on the young because these draw a great deal of attention to lips. If your lips are narrow rather than full, choose lighter shades, as lips tend to appear smaller with darker lipstick colors. Light tones make the lips look fuller.
9. Check out different shades before you buy. Go to a few large department stores and check out the lipsticks with the salespeople at each one. Listen to their recommendations and get their input. Remember never to buy anything that you don't feel comfortable with. Even if it looks terrific on you, if you hate it, you won't wear it. Everyone has a few lip colors that are fantastic for their coloring, age and preferences. Make it a treasure hunt where you go searching for the perfect lip color and don't stop until you feel terrific with your choice.
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- How to Apply Fake Eyelashes
- How to Re-Wear a Dress
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