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Your Perfect Lip Color

By Tara Sabeti

Being that lipstick is the number one cosmetic item we women purchase, you would think we would all have a handle on what colors work well for us. With so many choices, it is easy to get confused when selecting lip colors that make us look our best. Fortunately, this is one area where you don’t have to follow guidelines to a "T", but the next time you find yourself standing in front of a display of seemingly endless lipstick colors, you’ll find the following tips are definitely helpful to remember:

Fair Skin – A strong lip color can overwhelm your features if not chosen correctly. Look for berry shades and "true" reds; that is, reds with blue undertones.

For a softer look, peachy colors and beige lipsticks with pink undertones work well for fair skin. Almost all major cosmetic companies offer a variety of lipstick colors which look great on your skin tone.

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Medium and Olive skin – Many Hispanic and Asian women have medium to olive skin tones and therefore have a lot more room than others to experiment with lip colors. You can create stunning looks with rich, deep reds with brown undertones and darker pinks with a hint of purple. Light browns with warm undertones and dark berry shades also work well with your medium or olive skin.

Generally, I recommend staying away from reds with orange undertones and reds with pink undertones. However, a warm shade of orange, such as nutmeg, looks incredible on olive skin tones, especially during the summer.

Dark Skin – African-American and Caribbean women can easily wear lip colors which contain more pigment. Rich, dark toffee colors, deep plums and reds with blue undertones work well with dark skin tones.

You may want to avoid anything with a strong orange undertone; your skin may end up looking washed out. However, African-American women, for example, can pull off wearing bright orange lipstick. I generally recommend sticking to warmer shades of orange lipstick and gloss.

A great lip color can draw stares from across the room. The wrong lip color can make your skin look washed out or full of flaws. Depending on the mood you want to create, choose a lip color which also coordinates with eye and cheek makeup.

© Tara Sabeti
Tara Sabeti is Vice-President of Marketing at, an online retailer of cosmetics, skin care and fragrances. A graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, she has spent more than five years researching and working in the cosmetics and fashion industries. Her in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the cosmetics industry, from product development to e-marketing, as well as cosmetic applications for women of varying backgrounds, makes Sabeti an authority women can trust.


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