Ask Elle: Choosing the Right Shade of Lipstick

Have a beauty question? Ask Elle!
Leave your question below or email me. Thanks!

Formal Fringe asked, "How do I choose the right shade of lipstick without looking like a clown?"

These rules apply for lipglosses as well! Color trends come and go, but the easiest way to pick the right shade of lipstick is to choose it according to skin tone. These are general guidelines I'm sharing, taken from various cosmetology textbooks, beauty books, articles, and professionals. Lighter colors go better with lighter skin tones and dark colors go better with darker skin tones. Darker lipsticks can age you if worn with the wrong skin tone. However, full lips tend to be more pigmented and can pull off darker shades easier. Thinner lips can look larger by wearing lighter colors, depending on skin tone, believe it or not! I have thin lips that are not heavily pigmented, so wearing a regular nude lipstick looks awful on me. Instead, I need to wear a brown or pink-based nude and it will work!

Light: light pinks, light peaches, beiges, orange-based reds

Medium: medium pinks & peaches, mocha-caramels, blue-based reds

Olive: dark pinks & apricot peaches, berry, mauve, toffee browns, true-to-brown-based reds

Dark: deep--berry, fuchsia, red, golden beige

What's your favorite lipstick? Lip gloss?


  1. I love this. I perpetually choose the wrong lipstick for my skin tone!

  2. Nice post. I like it. Have a great day.


  3. My favorite lipstick is a coral shade from an organic german brand called Alterra <3
    Thanks for sharing these useful tips.


  4. While celebrating my olive to darker skin color from the sun, I'm currently trying out a fuscia shade from Rimmel. It was a hit or miss decision but I'm happy to try a new shade. I'm so glad for this post.

  5. Great guidelines, Elle:) I'm really loving neutrals lately myself....

  6. Big fan of corals! I think they always compliment my skin tone.

  7. i don't really wear lipstick but i have 2: both are by dior addict called Sunset Boulevard and Paparazzi.

    i have TONS of glosses though; my fav being Beautiful by La Bella Donna (all-natural) and Popsicle by Bobbi Brown.

  8. This is such a great guide. I always wonder about this especially since I have full, very pigmented lips. thanks, lady!

  9. Nice tips!
    I do love Chanel Rouge Coco as well as Revlon. I've contemplated splurging on Tom Ford but we'll see!

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  10. I love the look of nude pinks on me - definitely my favorite! :)

  11. I was just reading an article that mentioned you should look at the color of your veins to see if you are warm or cool toned. I've always reached for colors with punch such as berries to bring me out.

  12. That's a nice article! Its indeed a bit tacky when someone wears a wrong shade of lippies!! :)
    Google Plus | Bloglovin | Networked Blogs | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

  13. Awesome, you are a great inspiration! =)


  14. I love to wear pinks and deep berry colours. Lately, I have several favourites, but mostly I buy from llamasqua, The balm, and this new affordable one that I love by Rimmel (moisture renew) lipstick.

  15. great question and answer because now I know why those light pink toned lipsticks and stains do not look right with my medium-dark skin tone!
    Thanks Elle!

  16. Thanks for another awesome and informative post, Ive learnt I need to stick to darker pinks!

  17. hi Friend! Did you the email from me? Thanks for the lipstick advise (hint hint)

  18. my favorites are nars orgasm and nars super orgasm. i have tried so many, but i always end up going back to these two!

  19. Thanks for this advice! My favorite is Mary Kay NouriShine lip gloss.

  20. I have always wanted to wear red lipstick but the color is a little intimating. Thanks to your post I know I need to look for an orange based red.


  21. pretty!

    Help me win the 1884 Roman Style Off! RETWEET/facebook/instagram (i'm @bellesnrebelles) my look! (with @1884collection)!!!

  22. Elle, this are great tips and will keep in mind next time I buy a new tube.


  23. Very helpful post. I always have trouble picking the right shades, and your guide is simple but useful.

  24. I am really bad distinguishing the blue-tone with the orange-tone, when it comes to red lipsticks…I simply tried a bunch of different reds until I saw the right one…and right now I really love the sheer/buttery lipsticks that are out, the Dior Nude Rouge line are my favorite!!!


I respond to comments via email, so make sure I can respond!
For a faster response, please use Twitter or email: elleseesyou@gmail.com

More ways to keep up with me: Bloglovin, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram , Youtube or email: elleseesyou@gmail.com

You made my day by visiting! See ya tomorrow :)


All products mentioned are purchased by me unless stated.
All pics, thoughts, etc, are mine unless otherwise noted. Publishing or redistributing any content from this blog is strictly prohibited. Please seek permission first. Thank you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...