lips

How to choose your lipstick

The choice of your lipstick is very important: not only does it enhance your beauty features, it also completes your outfit as an accessory. To me, the color and texture of your lips has as much effect on your global allure as the shoes or scarf you choose.

To begin with, I will not speak about every colors available on the market cause, even though you can success in making bright barbie pink look great…  in general it’s never really chic.

I also won’t speak about natural tones (light pinks, beige, etc) which only enhance the beauty but are not a fashion accessory.

I decided to set the focus on 4 color families:

– Red (as in bright red)

red lipstick

– Burgundy

burgundy lipstick nars

– Coral

Chanel coco corail

– Pink (Raspberry/ Fushia)

Givenchy rouge interdit raspberry

1. What lipstick for your beauty?

1.1 Color

Basically, I think that any complexion, can wear any color.

Useful advice huh?

Of course, some colors will enhance the beauty of a person better than another, but I prefer to speak about general allure and do not like to restrict possibilities when it’s not necessary.

All the color I’ll speak about have different hues. To choose the one that suits you, the best way is to try it on and check out.

You can even ask a friend or boyfriend or hubby or kid, or cat, or goldfish for advice.

To show you what I mean, check out how this very different ladies pulling out great looks with various shades of lipsticks

Bright red

Very pin-up! For blondes, brunettes, brown/dark complexion, asian/latino complexion, redheads, etc.

Burgundy

Dramatic, and sultry. Seen on blondes, brunettes, dark complexion, asian/latino complexion, redheads, etc

Coral

Fresh and fun. Looks great on blondes, brunettes, dark/brown complexion, asian/latino complexion, redheads, etc

Pink (Rasberry/Fushia)

Ladylike and flirty. Looks great on blondes, brunettes, dark/brown complexion, asian/latino complexion, redheads, etc

The only thing I do not recommend is for women with thin lips to wear darker colors on their mouth. I will make it appear smaller.

1.2 Effect and application

Lipsticks come in different textures: creamy, matte, glossy and sparkly.

If you have thin lips, go for the textures that add volume like creamy, glossy or sparkly.

If you have big lips, avoid the glossy and the sparkly effects, and be careful with the creamy (not to shiny).

Also choose your lipstick’s texture according to the style you are trying to achieve. Matte is very sophisticated, glossy is fresh, creamy is glam and sparkly, well not my favorite, to be honest.

When applying your lipstick, you can contour and fill it with a pencil to have a defined shape. It has to be the same color as the lipstick. I beg you not to contour it with a darker color.  The filling part is important in case the lipstick goes out. And always follow the shape of your lips, cheating will always be cheap.

If you prefer to more natural “bitten lips” effect, go for the blurry application: put a little bit of lipstick in the center of your lips and spread it with your fingertip.

1.3 Associated make-up

As always, the best is to create a flawless complexion. Of course, you should always stick to your natural color and never try to create any fake tan. When using statement lipstick, be quite light on the blush, the fresh pop of color of your mouth already enlightens your face.

Regarding the eyes, you can skip the makeup for an edgy result, add  mascara for a fresh style, a black liner for a pin-up allure or a smokey eye for a sultry look.

Generally, avoid using a different makeup color for your eye as you can quickly look like a parrot. But if you really want to try, think complementary: a thin green liner with raspberry lips, a dark blue smokey with coral lips, etc.

Jessica Chastain Burgundy + purple

Jessica Chastain wearing burgundy lips and purple eyeshadow

For the eye makeup effects and texture, I advise you to contrast it with the mouth. Golden and sparkly looks great with matte lips for instance when glossy and shiny can often be too much.

Lastly, I recommend you not to match your nails with your lips. It’s a bit vampy and old fashioned. Prefer to think in terms of complementary colors. Bare well groomed nails are also a great option.

Now that you know how to choose your lipstick according to your face and to the rest of your makeup, let’s see how to pair it with the rest of your outfit.

2. What lipstick for your outfit?

2.1 Lipstick as the color statement of your outfit

Lipstick is perfect for days when you don’t feel like getting dressed.

A very casual outfit like jeans + white shirt will take a whole new dimension after the add of a statement lipstick.

For that use, I think bright red lipstick does the best job.

Red lipstick

But neon matte coral, or raspberry pink could work too for instance. Anything bright that pops!

2.2 Lipstick as a complementary color of your outfit

Pair the lipstick with your look as you would pair any clothe.

And remember that with neutrals (like in the aforementioned example), everything matches.

When you are wearing colors, pay more attention. For instance flashy coral does not match a winter harmony made of burgundy and purples. And raspberry is not that good with baby blue.

To nail it, think complementary colors and think contrast.

Inspiring clothes/lipstick combination:

– Raspberry with emerald green (complementary and sophisticated)

Raspberry lipstick

– Coral with baby blue (complementary and fresh)

– Burgundy with pastel pink (contrast of dark with pale)

Edgy pastel bourgeoise

– red with navy blue (complementary and contrast of bright with darker color)

2.3 Lipstick to emphasize the mood of your outfit (or to constrast)

Lipstick tells a style story.

Glossy pink = I am a lolita

Bright matte red = I am a fashionista

Creamy burgundy = I am sexy

So you can either make the style of your lipstick match with you look to emphasize it or choose a lipstick that clashes with your clothes for a very stylish effect.

– Matching lipstick inspiration

– Black pin-up dress + creamy red lips

– Fresh floral dress + innocent coral lips

Coral lips

– Clash inspirations

– Boyfriend jean and white T with creamy red (pic above)

– Sweet pastels and dark burgundy lips (pic above)

I hope this will inspire you to use lipstick as a stylish accessory.

And you? How do you wear the rouge à lèvres?

Bisous de Paris!

PS: For the best tips on makeup, go check out Lisa Eldridge’s tutorials.

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Comments
167 Responses to “How to choose your lipstick”
  1. SarahV says:

    Hi there,
    I’m getting married in may and my dress will be ivory over champagne. I have fair skin, medium blonde hair and very green but fairy dark eyes. In pictures you usually can’t tell they’re green and I really wish that you could especially when I get married. I’ll be 30 and will post the pics on social media so I want to keep it classy and sophisticated but still a little sexy 😉 What kinds of colors should I go for eyes/lips?

  2. Razel says:

    Hi,

    We’ll be having a bohemian theme Christmas party next month. My outfit would be dark brown square pants with red tops and black stylish chaleco on it. May I ask for your advice on what shade of lipstick best match my complicated outfit? I appreciate your advice.

  3. Louise says:

    Hi! I have a fitted dress in a darker shade of red for prom. I want to use bronze-y eyeshadow and eyelash extensions because I am Asian. I have brown hair and eyes and a fair to medium skin tone. I was thinking of wearing a matching dark red lipstick but it might be too much. What would you suggest? Thank you!!

  4. Razel says:

    Hi, I will be attending a corporate party tonight. I will be wearing a silver square pants and an off shoulder purple top. Please help on what shade of lipstick and make-up should I match my outfit. Thank you!

  5. Rebecca says:

    Please Help! I’m dark haired, fair skinned with bluey/ green eyes. I’m wearing a dark green dress, I don’t wear much makeup, what coloured lipstick and eyeshadow/ eyeliner should I wear? It’s for an evening posh party. Thank you.

  6. Barb says:

    I am wearing an ivory and gold dress to daughter’s wedding in October. I am 61, medium complexion, brunette. What color lipstick? I have full lips that are naturally pigmented

  7. Sinead says:

    Going to a wedding this weekend. Wearing a navy waterfall skirt and grey top. Wondering what color lipstick to choose? Irish..sallow skin, blonde.

  8. Tee Tee says:

    Hello i am loving the blog its very helpful for me. But i just need a little help on a color lip stick so normally i wear make-up occasionally but never been much a lip stick girl, but anyways its my mom’s birthday party and i wanted to try something differnt i have a olive green long-sleeve dress, nude ankle boots. i am a mocha brown skin with curly dark brown hair. help what color should i go for?????

  9. Kristina says:

    Hi! I will be going to a wedding and will wear a dark fuchsia dress. I am Asian and have a medium complexion. What color of lipstick should i wear?

  10. shagun Bajaj says:

    how colour of lipstick i use with white and blue dress combination.. i want blue i shadow with my dress so how colour of lipstick i use for good look plz help

  11. I am a african with a dark complexion. I am going to a wedding will be wearing a dark royal blue and gold dress don’t know what color lipsticks to wear. PLEASE HELP.

  12. Dr.DMD says:

    Hello,

    I love the blog however I’m Not into lipstick lol, kind of scared of them but I’m wearing red jeans, and a white fitted top what color lipstick would be perfect?

  13. Jessica says:

    My dress is white with a deep sky blue pattern. I have an olive skin tone with dark hair and eyes. What colou r lipstick will suit me?

  14. Shubnam says:

    Hi your article is very helpful thanks I wanted to ask I’m going to an evening party and I am wearing a choc brown and gold colour dress. My complexion is medium brown to fair what lipstick colour would look nice ?

  15. Madiha Kanwal says:

    I have a white color dress with light blue embroidery on it (front shirt)
    And a mix up of printed design in blue and red on the back.. My shoes color is dark red and black.. I want to wear navy blue lipstick on it.. Does that lipstick shade suit on me and my outfit?
    I have a fair complexion not too white or brown, just medium tone

  16. Jackie says:

    Hi,
    Some quick advice. I have a very important meeting with an Asian Client. Wearing black trousers and silk shirt with a bright clear red overcoat. As I have blonde grey hair (not yet silver) blue eyes and pale skin (blue veins on wrist) what colour lipstick and nail colour would you suggest? Love your blog by the way.

  17. Kerry says:

    What a fantastic , informative article.

    My question is regarding a graphite/grey lace dress that I am wearing to my sons wedding. I normally wear reds/burgundy, but have been told that a ‘vintage pink’ with smokey eyes would go best – what are your thoughts?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  18. Malaika says:

    Oh my gawd this post gave me an adrenalin rush!
    Hi, I’m malaika from India and my birthday’s coming up. I’m wearing mint green pants with a feminine fuchsia tee. I am visually challenged with two different eyes – a white scar on the right one. I’m told that my skin is medium with neutral to cool undertones.
    Do you think you could suggest me lip and eye colours and shoes?
    Many many thanks and hugs.

  19. Suzie Lawburg says:

    I’m a redhead and have fair to light freckled skin and I’m thinkin of getting a navy blue lip color from Kylie Cosmetics tomorrow and i have a lot of different answers so I was wondering what your answer would be, would this go well or not

  20. Alexa says:

    Hello!
    This is such a great and helpful blog post, thank you!

    I’m thinking of potentially wearing a hunter/emerald green dress to my cousins wedding. What lip color do you think would go best? And just a black liner for the eye, or eyeshadow too?

    Thank you!!
    Alexa

  21. Zee says:

    Hey, I’ll be wearing a beige colored dress for a wedding. Could you please suggest me a lip color? And what color should I paint my nails? I’ve a medium complexion with brown eyes.
    Thanks! xx

  22. Alana says:

    Hey, I am wearing a dark navy blue long elegant dress to my school ball. I am going for either a natural brown eye look or a dark eye look, What lipsticks would be best for those looks? Please and thank you

  23. Stephanie says:

    Hi, I have my prom coming up in a few weeks, so I was wondering what lip shade would be best with a cobalt blue long dress and I’m wearing gold accessories. I was also wondering if there is any particular bands you would suggest?

  24. Ava says:

    Hi what lipstick would go well with a baby blue cocktail dress? I am fair/medium skin and light brown hair. Thank you! Love the article

  25. sam says:

    Hi, my dress for my sis wedding is brownish maroon and grey. What lip color would go with it? I am fair with black hair and eyes

  26. Laila says:

    Hi Alois
    This article is amazing, thanks so much. Im not overly girly so this helps me heaps.

    Although i am struggling, im heading to a masquerade ball on the weekend, i have a navy long gown, with navy heals, and a navy/black mask. What color would you suggest as i couldnt work out if i go natural nade or a pale pink, or im completely off base

  27. Maria says:

    I meant to say teal dress in my last comment…

  28. Maria says:

    Hi,

    I am going to a graduation ceremony this weekend and I am wearing a real dress. I have a fair complexion with light brown hair and hazel eyes. What would you suggest for makeup? This article was great!!

  29. Maureen says:

    Hi, Can you tell me what color lipstick I should wear with a navy blue/salmon chevron-patterned sleeveless maxi dress? I have fair skin, blue eyes and brown hair with a lot of red in it. Thank you so much!!

  30. Kiran says:

    Hi, I love this article! I have a rosewood pink color long dress with black tiny stripes.Which color lipstick to go with ?

  31. MS says:

    Hello!

    Can you tell what lipstick should I use if I wear a sea green and white dress? I have very fair skin and brown eyes and hair.

    Thank you so much!

  32. Tanner says:

    Hi! I’m going to a graduation ceremony this week and am wearing a black and white skirt with a maroon top. I have very fair skin, lots of freckles, and red hair. I was wondering what color lipstick would compliment my fair skin and outfit best? Thank you!

  33. Larissa says:

    Hi, I am going to the races in a powder/sky blue lacy dress, I’m a dark redhead with freckles and fair skin, what lipstick would you advise? I was thinking coral?
    Thank you so much!

  34. Janice says:

    Hi Alois! Going to a formal and have a long black dress with sequins. Don’t know what lipstick colour would look good with my Asian features (black hair, brown eyes and tanned skin). And don’t know whether to go matte, creamy or glossy. What would you recommend?

  35. Karley says:

    Hi! I’ve really enjoyed reading all of the posts here! I am wearing a blush/nude/pink dress to a wedding, it’s pretty and pleated and flows. I have a nude clutch and heels. I have blonde hair and light to medium complexion. I’ve just had my nails done in a very neutral colour. I’m thinking minimal eye makeup and raspberry lips? Could you please share your recommendation of eye and lip colours?

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Minimal eyes and raspberry lips sound perfect!
      If you girls enjoy the reading, please share my posts on Facebook and talk about my blog to your friends 😉

  36. Gitanjali Suresh says:

    I have my graduation coming up and this year im going traditional. Therefore ill be wearing an Indian saree which is a mixture blue and gold. I will also be wearing golden earings. So I would like to know what colour lipstick would go with this outfit.

  37. Chelsea says:

    Hi
    I have a prom coming up and would like to know what lipstick colour I should use. I am brown in complexion and my prom dress is white and gold.

  38. Sonya says:

    I would like to know what colour of lipstick would go with an all navy outfit, long evening dress and hat.

  39. Mekayla says:

    I have a formal coming up i have a tight black dress with nude shoes, i have a brown skin tone and I’m not too sure what lipstick colour would suit?

  40. Emani says:

    I’m going to a party and I am wearing an all black outfit with a army green cardigan. I didn’t know if I should wear a matte purple or a matte burgundy. Which one would go best?

  41. Ngakwana says:

    Hi
    I am caramel in complexion and have a graduation coming up ,I am planning to wear a tight black dress with a bit of gold on the shoulders and black and gold shoes. I wanted to ask which make up is suitable and which lip color should I go for

  42. Deondra says:

    What kind of lipstick would go with a denim sky blue shirt and black jeans

  43. Meryl Burke says:

    Love this page! I am a copper redhead with blue eyes and freckles. I have a bridesmaids dress for this spring that is granny smith apple green. Can I do a fuschia lipstick or is it best to stick with coral?

  44. Natasha Cool says:

    I’m have a dance coming up and I have bought a Mint Green dress with Black Pumps. What color lipstick do you think would go good with the outfit I have red hair and a fair complexion:)

  45. Natasha says:

    What color lipstick would go with a teal dress and black pumps

  46. Missy says:

    Very usefull,
    What colour lipstick could i wear with a mild green teal maxi with gold embroidery

  47. Des says:

    Hi…I appreciate your help. I’m wearing a black and coral dress. I have been searching for the right lipstick, can you advise? I am of dark complexion.

  48. Viva says:

    Hi I really need some help I’m wearing a tight full sleeve lace navy dress with a few sequins here and there and I have no idea what color lipstick to wear. Thank you!

  49. Usha Mahendru says:

    I am wearing a skin colour suit with black embroidery on the neck, which colour of lipstick will go with this?

  50. Shae says:

    I need urgent help!!!!
    I am wearing a white dress but it has purple and blue flowers on it. Not to girly and not to gothic but just in the middle. I need help with my make up I have sort of thin lips but not too thin a little plump, what colour lipstick do I wear that will compliment me dress and skin nicely (skin tone is beige, well at least that’s what I use for foundation) and what eye make and blush should I use ?!
    Thank youuuu xo

  51. Harpreet says:

    Hi

    I have a dress with beige shirt ,purple scarf (it has work on it with golden) and royal blue bottom. Can you please help me, which lipstick shade n makeup, I have to wear with it. It’s a very special occasion.

    Thank you

  52. Emily Deutmeyer says:

    My show choir has a dilemma. Our first outfit for our competition show is silver, and our second outfit is red. What color of lipstick do you suggest we use?

  53. Alicia says:

    Hi Aloïs,

    I just wanted to say that your blog is fantastic and extremely helpful. Thank you for your posts!

    (Also, I went and bought a nice, burgundy lipstick after reading this post)

  54. Morga says:

    I have a off white/tan dress with silver sparkles and am wearing neutral eye makeup, though it had a gold metallic kinda shade but really light. Will red nails and red lips look good with this. If not what color lips/nails?

  55. Marissa Jones says:

    For homecoming, My date and I are wearing black and light pink. My accessories will be gold. What color lipstick would work?

  56. Mckenna says:

    Hi. My first homecoming is coming up. Would creamy red look good with a short navy blue dress?

  57. Liz says:

    Hi there!
    I know someone already asked about a plum colored dress, but I have a wedding in October and it will be an outside wedding. My bridesmaid dress is a dark purple and we will all be wearing black pumps and black jewelry. I am trying to go for a minimalist make up look. What lipstick shade would you recommend? I am brunette, green eyes (yes I want to make them pop!) and semi-tanned skin. Please help!

    Merci!

  58. psha says:

    Hey.. i was wondering if i could get some color advices
    I have a party this weekend for which I am wearing a plum (main color)+slight pink+black (2nd main) dress. Could u pls advise me on the lipstick color i could use and also the eyes please
    thanks!

  59. Alexa says:

    Hello!

    This was such a helpful article. I have a wedding tomorrow and I’m considering wearing a black dress that has light mint popping through the detailing. What color lipstick could I wear with it? And also what would be the best eye makeup?
    I may also be wearing a grey dress with a black band around it and black heels, any lipstick color that might pair good with that??

    Thank you!

  60. Sadbh says:

    Hi, I was wondering if I could get some advice for my lipstick colour?
    My outfit is a white, sally cut, crop top and navy (slightly floral), high waisted shorts and I’m wearing it for a night out with my friends clubbing. My make-up is smokey eye and dark and I’ll be using bronzer rather than a blush. I also have dark hair and features, but with fair skin!

    I was considering going without lipstick and instead opt for lipgloss but i don’t know. If anyone could help me it would really be appreciated 🙂

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Skipping the lipstick sounds fine as the rest of your makeup is heavy. Bests. If you wear a gloss prefer a fruity one rather than a creamy sparkly one.

  61. Aja brown says:

    Hi my homecoming dress is burgandy my jewelry is gold and my heels are black with gold wrap around straps bit I have no idea what color lipstick I should wear or even if I should apply any I am dark skinned with brown hair. Thank you

  62. Nicole says:

    Hi, if it’s alright with you, I’d like to ask for some colour tips.

    I’m wearing a dress with a light teal which deepens to a slightly darker teal, and then it goes to a deep-ish orange at the bottom.

    This is all with a black line pattern through the whole dress.

    What lipstick colour should I wear? ((I’m caucasian with medium brown hair w some blonde))

    Thank you, and sorry!

  63. Rosa aleman says:

    I please advise me am going to a wedding and I will be wearing A fuchsia with black dress I am having trouble figure out what color lipstick to to wear with my dress because I do noT like pink or fuchsia color as a makeup I am Latino my hair color is dark brown with ighlights please help me thank you

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      As your dress already has a “lipstick color”, my advice is to skip the lipstick. Just scrub your lips and use some lip balm and that’s it! You can go for a light gloss too.

  64. Brianna says:

    Hi I have a grade 8 graduation soon and I’m wearing a royal blue dress. I was wondering what colour lips would go well with it. I have dark hair, and light skin, and am opting for a natural makeup look.

  65. Funmi says:

    Hello,
    I am wearing a long purple dress for my sisters wedding. I also opted for gold/champagne colored shoes. I was wondering what color of lipstick would go perfectly with this outfit and would make me look matured more mature (i look way younger than my age). I am dark skinned.
    Thanks 🙂

  66. Funmi says:

    Hello,
    I am wearing a black and blush striped skater dress for graduation. I also opted for blush shoes to keep it simple. I was wondering what color of lipstick would bring the outfit alive and make me look sexy vibrant and mature. I am dark skinned.
    Thanks 🙂

  67. tee jay says:

    What lipstick color would you recommed with a pink n silver colour dress?

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Hello, with pink or red colored dress, lipstick is often not necessary as the dress enlightens the face itself.
      Otherwise, it completely depends of the shade of pink on your dress so I cannot answer.
      Best,
      Aloïs
      PS: I appreciate “hi” and “please” 🙂

  68. Jess says:

    Hello! I’m wearing a coral colored formal dress soon and was wondering if you had any recommendations on color choice? thanks!

  69. Alexa says:

    I am wearing a pastel pink skirt and beige/ whitish shirt on Saturday going with a bright coral purse. Would purple lipstick look bad??

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      I think if it is pale it might look doll like. If darker it can work as long as your outfits feels a bit “rock”. Otherwise just choose a coral a different sahde than the one of the purse.

  70. Jenny says:

    I’m struggling with picking out a lipstick or gloss color to wear with a deep fuchsia-colored top. I will be wearing a bold black necklace with it, and I have warm medium brown hair and brown/hazel eyes. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  71. Aileen says:

    What lipstick color would you recommed with an aqua-blue dress?

  72. Miranda says:

    I really love this article, and it helped a lot. I have to wear a dark green “tactical” polo shirt (almost the same color as the emerald dress in your article) for work everyday, with jeans, and tan ankle work boots. My fiance suggested that burgundy, black cherry, and darker lipsticks in general did not go well with the green shirt and are pretty hard for me to pull off. The best match I have found so far has been a peachy coral but I am tired of wearing the same color everyday. With a neutral/warm skin tone, medium to beige complexion, small upper lip, greenish-blue eyes, and light brown hair, do you have any suggestions? I have the hardest time picking out lipstick. Thank you so much.

  73. Harpreet says:

    Brilliant article. Very concise and informative for beginners like me 🙂

    I have one question about colourful outfits, for example yellows, greens, pinks. What colour lipstick would you wear?

    • Aloïs Guinut says:

      Well, it depends of the yellow, of the green and of the pink 🙂
      For yellow, for instance, I’ll wear plum or burgundy for mustard yellow and, for pastel yellow, I’ll skip or would wear a very neutral color and emphasize the eye makeup.
      Generally, if you wear a super bright color, like flashy blue or green, yellow or pink, I advise you to go for the eye rather than for the lips.

  74. Kelly says:

    Hi, I love this article! So good.

    I am usually a vibrant red lipstick wearer. Although I have a dress which is raspberry pink (wont let me attach, but google “Lipsy Sweetheart Pencil Dress with Wrap Skirt”) and was wondering what colour lipstick you thought would be a good choice? I have blonde hair and fair to medium skin tone

    Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂 Thank you x

  75. Lina says:

    Wow, thanks for the great advice! Haven’t seen anything like this posted before. I’ll be passing this along to others. 🙂

  76. Angel says:

    This helps so much! But i still can’t decide what to wear with my teal green dress 🙁

  77. Annie says:

    Oh my goodness this helps me so much with lipstick! I can’t find any other articles like this one, thank you!!

  78. Jessica-Anne says:

    Hi there Alois! Thanks so much for the comment on my blog! Loving this post, it’s so thorough and there were a few lipstick tricks and tips that were new to me 🙂 I also noticed that the photo of the lips at the beginning of the post is a picture that I actually reblogged on my Tumblr a few days ago! Such a small world 🙂

    Pop by and visit my blog Taken By Surprise! xx

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