Expert Advice

How to Find the Perfect Lipstick Shade 

Mature woman laughing wearing her perfect lipstick shade

Wondering how to find the perfect lipstick shade? It can be a challenging task and you might not know where to start, but we’re here to share some tips to help you on your way to finding the right hues for you and your makeup look.

With a little guidance, you can narrow down the options and find the one that complements your natural beauty.

How to Find the Right Lipstick Shade

When it comes to how to pick a lipstick shade, there are a few things to think about before diving into the colors. Why not consider our top five tips to set you well on your way to finding your perfect match?

1. Determine Your Skin Tone:

The first step in finding the right lipstick shade is to determine your skin tone. Genetically predetermined, your skin tone is dictated by the amount of melanin in your epidermis – the outermost layer of skin.

The darker the skin, the more melanin is present, however, all skin colors can change due to exposure to the sun.

Whether you have fair, medium, or dark skin, there will be a plethora of lipstick shades that will complement you.

2. Consider Your Undertones:

Once you have determined your skin tone, you need to consider your undertone to help you find the ideal match.

It is important to accurately determine your undertone as this will impact what shades work best for you. If your skin holds more yellow tones, you have warm skin, while more pinkish hues often indicate cool skin. If you are a little unsure, we have a couple of easy tests to carry out which will help you decide whether you have a cool, warm or neutral undertone:

How to Discover Your Undertone:

Vein Test: Use the underside of your forearm and determine what color your veins appear. If they have a green tinge, you likely have warm undertones. If they have a bluish hues, you may have cool tones.

Jewelry Test: Are you a gold or silver jewelry wearer? Gold often exhibits a yellowy warmth, while silver has a cool, crisp feel. If you are a gold lover, we suggest you have warm undertones, while silver suggests you are cool.

If you find these tests a little more difficult as you have a mixture of blue and green hues in your veins, or you suit both gold and silver jewelry, you may have neutral undertones. If you feel this is you, you have more freedom to experiment with your lip color.

So, what does this mean for my lipstick shade? Well, as a general rule, we recommend looking for blue or purple-toned lipstick shades for cool-toned skin, while warm undertones are better suited for yellow or orange hues lipsticks.

3. Work with Your Hair and Eye Color:

Your hair and eye color can also influence the lipstick shade that looks best on you. Finding the most complementary lipstick shade will be based on color contrast between your features. Discover whether you have light or dark features and match accordingly to ensure appearance is balanced correctly.

4. Determine Your Lip Shape:

The shape of your lips can also impact the lipstick shade that looks best on you. If yours are on the thinner side, then lighter shades like nude or peach can create the illusion of a plumper pout.

How to Pick a Lipstick for Your Skin and Undertone

Your skin tone is one of the best guidelines to find your perfect lipstick shade. Once you have identified the undertones of your skin, the lipstick journey is well underway.

Whether you have cool, or warm hues, we’ll share which lipstick shades will be the best match for you.

Lipstick Shades for Dark Skin

Darker skin can be uplifted with a bold lipstick shade, from deep berry to vibrant orange.

Cool Toned Dark Skin: Go for reds with blue undertones or deep purple shades to marry those blueish undertones in the skin.

Warm Dark Skin Tones: Burgundy and deep cranberry shades work best to add a sense of depth to the lips, while remaining neutral. For a bold pop of color, orange reds suit this undertone.

The Best Shade of Lipstick for Fair Skin

Fair skin pairs well with soft, muted lipstick shades if you enjoy natural makeup, but work equally as well with vibrant shades for a bold vibe.

Fair Cool Skin Tone: Cooler tones often present themselves as pink in the skin, which look great with soft, neutral colors, such as light pinks and deep berries for a more dramatic look.

Whether it’s an occasion, or you’re just feeling bold, we recommend raspberry pinks on the lips to boost and brighten the complexion.

Fair Warm Skin Tone: The warmth in fair skin is brought out by peach or coral shades, whilst cherry reds work well as a pop of color.

How to Choose a Lipstick Shade for Olive Skin

Olive skin is often an incredibly versatile skin tone due to the presence of both warm and cool hues. However, everyone’s skin tone is unique and can present more of one undertone than the other, so here are our suggestions.

Cool Olive Skin Tone: Look for a blue base in shades of dusty rose, pink, berry, purple, and mauve.

Warm Olive Skin Tone: Vibrant colors like oranges and deep reds will brighten the complexion and harmonize with your warm skin tone. For an everyday go-to, olive skin lends itself to brown-toned nudes and caramel shades for a natural finish.

Lipstick Shades for Different Hair Colors

Whatever your hair color, the right shade awaits. Our recommendations will help you to find the most complementary shade to uplift and enhance your beauty.

Lipstick Colors for Red Hair

A common misconception for those with red hair is to avoid red lipstick, but when matched with the right shade, it’s a great combination with this hair type.

Cool Tone Red Hair: Redheads with cooler tones are best complemented by rosy pinks and mauves.

Warm Tone Red Hair: Corals or peaches work well with warm undertones in red hair to create a cohesive, natural look.

How to Choose Lipstick for Blonde Hair

Whether you have blonde hair with warm or cool undertones, we are here to help you discover the right shade.

Cool Tones: Cool tones work harmoniously with soft nudes or light pinks for a soft, everyday look. For an occasion, why not opt for a deep red with blue undertones for a bolder look?

Warm Tones: Warm blondes go with peaches and corals for everyday and orange reds for those wanting a statement lip.

What Color Lipstick Should a Brunette Wear?

So, what is the best lipstick color for a brunette? Deep shades work well to balance out both warm and cool toned brunettes.

Cool Tone Brunette Hair: Cool toned brunette hair looks great when paired with deeper shades like plum or berry hues.

Warm Toned Brunettes: Brunettes with warm-toned skin should opt for lipstick shades with coral or orange tinges to further enhance the rich undertones found in this hair type.

Best Lipstick Colors for Gray Hair

Gray hair is elevated when paired with bright colors, as this adds dimension and color to your look, so don’t shy away from the more vibrant shades.

Cool Toned Grey Hair: Gray hair with ashy tints works well with soft pinks, dusky rose shades and mauves.

Warm Toned Grey Hair: Bolder shades like deeper coral and berry tones work with sandy greys to play on those beachy hues.

How to Pick a Lipstick for Your Eye Color

Eye color is also a great indicator of which colors to reach for when it comes to makeup, and – in this case – lipstick. Discover your best shade match with our expert guide.

The Best Lipstick Shade for Green Eyes

Green eyes have unique hues that are beautifully complemented by deeper lipstick shades.

Cool tones: Greens harmonize with berry shades and purples to achieve the most striking finish.

Warm tones: Stick with berry colors, but opt for those with rich deep red undertones create a luxury feel to your makeup look.

How to Find Lipstick for Blue Eyes

Blue eyes look great with lipstick boasting pink undertones. Whether you err on the cool or warm side, there are plenty of shades.

Cool tones: Icy blues are enhanced when paired with pinks and vibrant raspberry hues.

Warm tones: Warm blues are complimented with mauves, peaches and corals to bring out the woodsy tones in your eyes.

How to Find Lipstick for Hazel Eyes

Hazel eyes contain many different shades, forming an earthy, golden appearance. Their unique blend allows them – in some cases – to be compatible with both cool and warm shades, but if you are complemented by specific undertones, here are our recommendations.

Cool tones: Soft, nude shades work well with cooler undertones, opt for nudes or browns with purple undertones to find the best match.

Warm tones: Deeper colors allow you to bring out the green or gold tint in the eyes, we recommend, a rich berry or mauves to accentuate those rich, earthy tones.

How to Find Lipstick for Brown Eyes

Brown eyes hold jewel-like tones of gold and bronze, thus, work well with rich and indulgent shades.

Cool tones: Brown-toned nudes are a great mix with cool toned brown eyes, but deep mauves or plum shades are also a good match.

Warm tones: Brown eyes are well balanced with deep berry shades or warm oranges and reds.


So, how do you find the perfect lipstick shade? It’s fair to say the right one will depend on your personal style and the occasion, but following the natural tones of your skin, hair and eye color will set the best foundations.

We encourage you to experiment with different shades and finishes to discover what’s best for you.

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No7 Beauty

No7 Beauty

Writer and expert