Experts Share the Most Flattering Lipstick Shades for Your Skin Tone

The right lipstick can brighten your complexion and make you feel like a whole new person. The wrong lipstick can ruin your look. It has happened to lipstick lovers everywhere, including me: I recently bought an orangey coral I thought would make me look like a chic sunbather on the Côte d’Azur. Instead, it made me look, well, orange.

When visiting your favorite beauty boutique IRL (or browsing online), finding the right lip color can be a challenge because there’s nothing, no hand swipe, or sample on your wrist that works like physically applying the shade directly to your lips—a germaphobe’s absolute worst nightmare!

So before making another ill-fated beauty buy, we turned to the crème de la crème of makeup experts (including Beyoncé’s makeup artist, Sir John) to help you build a flattering lipstick wardrobe for your skin tone, help us color within the lines, and achieve the most magnificent mouth, time and time again.

Charlotte Tilbury, founder of Charlotte Tilbury and celebrity makeup artist.

L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist Sir John.

Chanel makeup artist Cyndle K.

Celebrity makeup artist and on-air beauty expert Ashlee Glazer.

That Marilyn Monroe classic rouge is perfect for when you want a punch of color—or as part of your everyday uniform. No matter how often you deploy it, a tube of red lipstick is a must in any beauty arsenal.

“I believe that every woman needs her own red lip wardrobe when it comes to the perfect red lipstick shade! It’s just about finding the tones and shades that suit and work for you.” — Charlotte Tilbury

“I started my career behind the retail counter; MAC Times Square was one of my stores as a retail artist, where women from all over the world would come in to shop for makeup. The beautiful Brazilian women would come in and ask for ‘mouth color,’ aka a shade of pink that looked like their natural lips. It usually had more blue, cool tones than warmth, but it was always super flattering on their olive skin. This is a tip I take with me to this day when any woman asks for a neutral lip.” — Ashlee Glazer

“For someone who has a light, cool skin tone, I always love a pastel color.” — Sir John

 Ashlee Glazer

“With a cool, light skin tone, stick with shades that have a blue or purple undertone, like blue reds, cranberries, and fuchsia. Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur in N3 Rose Clair is a really wearable pink tone with a satin shine, and I also love the easy pencil application.” — Cyndle K.

“As a general guide, fair skin should look for blue or coral undertones.” — Charlotte Tilbury

“Like Taylor Swift and Margot Robbie⁠, you are fair but have golden to your skin tone. Peachy undertones are most flattering when going for a neutral effect, or any shade with a brown-pink undertone peach. Also, a salmon-pink base will be pretty.” — Ashlee Glazer

“For light skin tones with warm undertones, I like to stick to peach, mauve-y pinks, or maybe magenta.” — Sir John

“For a warmer undertone, I like to focus on warmer or orange-based lip shades. For the perfect everyday nude, try Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur in Warm Rosewood.” — Cyndle K. 

Sir John

 Cyndle K.

 Ashlee Glazer

 Cyndle K.

“A deep purple or magenta undertone makes the skin look bright.” — Sir John

“For a pout that won’t budge with smooth intense color, try Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme in Muted Fuchsia, or a more sheer, hydrating effect try Chanel Rouge Coco Flash in Temper.” — Cyndle K.

A warm liner like MAC Ashlee Glazer

Charlotte Tilbury

Sir John

Cyndle K.

Ashlee Glazer

Still curating your makeup capsule wardrobe? We have you covered:

12 Makeup Buys Every Single Fashion Girl Owns

I’m a Fashion Editor, and This Is What I’ve Bought From Sephora in 2019

How to Master Kendall Jenner’s No-Makeup Makeup, According to Her Makeup Artist

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