Lipstick colour

Lipstick colour

Lip colour has the longest history of all makeup, and is still evolving every year. Nowadays, with the huge range of brands, colours, and textures, we find it difficult to select products that suit us. Many women refuse to wear anything but the one or two lipsticks they are accustomed to using. I believe that every woman should own an assortment of lipsticks in various shades, each of them looking great with specific attire and in certain situations.

All of us would like to have a collection of lipstick colours, but we don’t want to waste money on products we will never use. When choosing lipstick quality, you will need to consider the performance of the lipstick, and how it feels on your lips. Most importantly, you must select the right shade.

In this article you will learn the three aspects of colour, which are:

  • hue,
  • brightness, and
  • transparency.


The hue of a lipstick may belong to the warm, cool, or neutral palette.

Lipstick colour warm

Warm colours look best on skins with warm undertones. Asian, some Hispanic, and warm black complexions look fabulous with salmon pink, coral, or golden brown lips.

Lipstick colour cool

Cool colours in pastel look more natural on women with skins that have cool undertones: pinkish European complexions, and black skins with red undertones. However, for stunning lips, a bright fuchsia or dark plum shade works best with warm-toned skin and hair.

Lipstick colour neutral

Neutral colours are the most universal. Indeed, the most flattering lipstick shades for any complexion, pale or dark, will be on the boundary between the cool and warm palettes. Neutral lipstick colours, from soft peachy shades to poppy red, are also easy to wear with outfits in warm or cool shades.

If you have the confidence to wear the boldest looks, then try making your lipstick and outfit palettes complementary, instead of matching them. For example, the combination of a bright apricot lipstick with a navy blue suit, or fuchsia lips with an apple green dress, will create a stunning effect.


Lipstick colour brightness

The brightness of your lip colour will depend on the pigment density of your lipstick. However, lipsticks of the same brightness may look very different, depending on how strongly the lip colour contrasts with your skin tone. In this illustration, you can see how a single pastel or dark lipstick can appear different on light, medium, or dark skin.

For everyday makeup, choose a shade that corresponds to the natural colouration of your skin and hair. Your most flattering shades will sometimes change, depending on how tanned your skin is, and on your current hair colour.

To accentuate your mouth, your lipstick shade should contrast with your natural skin tone. Its brightness will depend on your attire, your personality, your mood, and the occasion. For a classy look, match your lip colour precisely to the hue and brightness of one of your accessories, or your jewellery.

To liven up your entire look, use a bright lipstick in any hue of red. The best shades of bright red are the hues between the warm and cool palettes. Dark reds are much easier to wear than bright reds, and offer a larger range of hues, from brownish reds to dark berries. Dark red lipsticks will also make your teeth appear whiter.

Coordinating with your outfit is also very important. I don’t like matching the brightness of makeup and attire: if both are bright, they will compete for attention; if mute, they will make you look washed out. You can match the hue of your lips with one of your outfit’s colours, but not the brightness.


Lip colour can look transparent, sheer, or opaque, depending on its texture.

Transparent gloss is ideal for a young face; it makes the lips look full, sexy, and luscious. Gloss is also great for an instant lift when applied on top of your favourite lipstick, adding festiveness.

Sheer lipstick is ideal for natural, sensual lips, and suits women of every age group. Its texture is close to that of lip balm, making sheer lipstick moisturising and comfortable enough to wear every day. I also like the satiny finish, which creates luscious lips.

Opaque lipstick gives the best coverage and contains stronger pigments, making the colour appear more pronounced. Opaque lipstick is best for evening makeup, or for when you need to make a statement. Satiny, metallic, or matte finishes will create very different looks, from confident and bold to glamorous and sophisticated.

If you are creative and willing to experiment, blending different lip colours and textures may help to enrich your palette, but there are limitations: two products with differing transparencies may not blend well together, and blended colour is much harder to retouch because you must maintain the relative proportion.