’Tis the season for two lipstick trends that always take center stage come fall: vampy and nude (or neutral). The former is less about complementing your skin tone and more about evoking the mood or feel of the season. Neutrals, on the other hand, look best when they closely matches your skin tone.
According to Mally Roncal, seasoned makeup artist and founder of Mally Beauty, the best way to do this is by pulling down your bottom lip and selecting a shade that most closely matches the inside. “That color tends to be a little darker than your natural lip color and looks very flattering,” she says. Your skin’s undertones also play a role in determining the most flattering shade for your face. There are many ways you can go about doing this, but the easiest would be to check the color of your veins on your forearm. If they look blue, you’ve got cooler undertones, and if they appear more green, consider yourself warm.
Generally speaking, Roncal recommends the following guidelines:
For fair skin: “You want to stray from nude shades that have warmer undertones, like reds and oranges. Instead, opt for a nude that has cooler undertones, such as blues and purples.” For fair skin with a summer tan, stick with cooler undertones, but opt for a darker hue.
For tan/olive skin: “Tan skin tends to have warmer undertones, so you should stick with warmer undertones when selecting your perfois nude. A beautiful chestnut lip color works great with this skin tone. I would recommend staying away from creamy vanilla shades,” says Roncal.
For deep brown skin: “Opt for a shade that has a red undertone, like a gorgois cocoa or cappuccino, and nix the beige nudes,” says Roncal.
With that being said, here are some options for each category.
A warm chestnut for rich, deep skin tones.
$18 at Fenty Beauty
A rich mahogany that perfectly compliments beautiful brown skin.
$18 at Flesh Beauty
A flawless blend of brown and pink undertones with a satin finish.
$16.50 at Mented Cosmetics
This neutral lipstick has more pink than brown tones if you want just a little pop of color.
$29 at Sephora
This rich brown shade delivers a sheer tint of color and sun protection.
$24 at Nordstrom
A neutral lipstick with warm undertones and a matte finish.
$90 at Net-A-Porter
A silky cream formula that dries down to a non-flaky, matte finish.
$19 at bareMinerals
A low-key lipstick formulated with lemon butter and coconut oil for ample moisture.
$19.50 at Kiehl’s
A supermodel-inspired taupey nude with warm undertones.
$34 at Charlotte Tilbury
A beige nude that delivers just enough color on those low-key, almost makeup-free days.
$24 at Ulta
A peachy nude made with 12 different oils for moisture and comfortable wear.
$26 at Sephora
A luxurious-feeling lippie that delivers intense color with just one swipe.
$38 at Pat McGrath Labs
A gorgeous lip butter that feels like a balm, but delivers the color payoff of a lipstick.
$9 at Flower Beauty
A light pinky nude infused with hyaluronic acid.
$24 at Sephora
This creamy mauve is made with a hydrating vegan formula.
$12.99 at Honest Beauty
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