Ultimate Guide to Lipstick

In the field of lip makeup, lipstick is the oldest and most popular product. Historically, lipstick was composed of crushed berries, insects, diamonds, and even poisonous pigments. Its origins trace back to more than 5,000 years ago. Through the years, lipstick has remained one of the most popular cosmetics across numerous cultures.

Today, lipstick is largely used for aesthetic purposes, but it can also contain nourishing chemicals and serve as a form of skincare.

Let’s explore the many lipstick types and finishes!

Different colors of lipstick

Kinds of Lipstick

There are two principal varieties of lipstick:

1. Traditional Lipstick

The first is a classic lipstick, also referred to as a bullet lipstick because of its form. This is a traditional, creamy, solid lipstick that comes in a twist-up tube.

2. Liquid Lipstick

The second is a lipstick in liquid form. As the name implies, liquid lipsticks are liquid and come in tubes with doe-foot applicators, similar to lip glosses and many concealers. After being applied, liquid lipstick dries on the lips. In addition to these two major varieties, cream lipsticks are also available. Popular among makeup professionals due to their space-saving packaging and ability to create bespoke hues, this type of lipstick typically comes in a lip palette containing various lipstick tones.

We will not devote much time to discussing cream lipsticks because their formulae are frequently the same or very similar to those of traditional lipsticks. Many makeup artists create cream lipstick palettes by melting down regular lipsticks and applying the hue with a brush.

Lipstick Finishes

Thought that every lipstick tube was identical? Uh-uh! In actuality, there are quite a few distinct finishes, and each one offers something unique.

A thin tint imparts a splash of color to the lips. This finish is perfect for a natural appearance, but can be built up with a few additional layers to achieve a darker hue.

Satin: Swipe across the lips for a silky, satiny (go figure) feel, a subtle sheen, and a substantial color payoff. This finish virtually does everything, making it ideal for lip color beginners.

Matte: These lipsticks dry without a sheen and are currently extremely fashionable.

Natural: A natural finish is the most common type; therefore, you are probably already familiar with it.

Frosted: These lip tints have iridescent shimmer and are not for the faint of heart. While they may not be suitable for everyday use, they are ideal for adding a touch of sparkle and shine to a special occasion.

Metallic: Metallic is the shiny finish you’ll soon observe on your favorite style icons and desire to adopt yourself. This lipstick trend is a little bit extreme.

Different color of lipsticks on the female lips

How to choose the ideal lipstick?

1. Determine your skin tone.

Try determining your skin’s undertone before selecting the best lipstick for yourself. It gives you an ideal notion of the lipstick hues you should possess. The best technique to determine the undertone of your skin is to examine the veins on the inner side of your wrists. If they appear blue, their undertone is cool or pink, whereas if they appear green, their undertone is warm or yellow.

If you can’t tell if they’re blue or green and they appear to be a combination of both, you deserve congratulations. You have a neutral undertone to your skin. Now choose colors according to the undertones. For instance, warm undertones pair well with peach, pink, and red hues, whereas cold undertones look best with crimson and maroon.

2. Choose corresponding hues to your natural lip color.

When selecting a lipstick that will work for you, look for a shade that is comparable to your natural color but somewhat deeper. If your lips are pale, a lipstick that is beige, sandy, or pale pink may be suited. Browns and roses complement medium-toned lips, whilst raisin complements dark-toned lips. Choose chocolate and blackberry hues if your lips are extremely dark, violet, or brown.

Increase the intensity of your daytime colors for the nighttime. If you wear a berry lip gloss during the day, a satiny burgundy can appear more stunning at night.

3. Complement your skin tone.

Your skin tone is another factor that might influence whether your lipstick looks nice or poor. A woman with white complexion appears charming when she wears orangey-brown lipstick, just as a blush pink lipstick destroys olive skin. The appropriate lipstick shade is decided by whether a person’s skin tone is warm or cool (rather than their skin color). Warm skin will have yellow and possibly orange undertones. The undertones of cool skin are pink with red undertones.

4. Test before purchasing.

If possible, test a new lipstick on your lips to determine its natural hue and how it appears on the skin (use a cotton bud). Alternately, because the pads of your fingertips are closer to the color of your lips than the side of your hand, test the lipstick on the pads of your fingertips as opposed to the side of your hand. It will also reveal the texture of the lipstick, such as if it is extremely sheer, fully matte, sparkling, etc. Matte finishes, on the other hand, tend to make lips appear thinner and older, whereas dazzling colors and glosses make lips appear fuller.

A person testing a lipstick on an arm

How to determine the ideal lipstick color for your skin tone?

1. Select the lipstick color for you skin tone.

Determining your skin tone is the first step in selecting the proper lipstick color. There are five primary varieties: fair, light, medium, tan, and dark. On fair or light-skinned individuals, coral, peach, nutmeg, and dusty crimson lipsticks look stunning. In contrast, berry, rose, cherry red, and mauve are ideal for medium complexion tones. Girls with a tanned skin tone can sport vibrant red, coral, and deep pink hues, but those with a dark skin tone will radiate in brown and purple hues such as plum, caramel, wine, and blue-based reds.

2. Find your skin undertone.

Knowing the undertone of your skin is equally crucial when selecting the proper lipstick hue.

3. Consider your lips’ contour.

It is crucial to consider the contour of your lips when selecting the ideal lipstick. Here’s a simple guide:

Use bright lipstick on your lower lip and a slightly darker shade of the same hue on your upper lip to balance out top-heavy lips.

  • For bottom-heavy lips, use any hue that complements your undertone, with a touch of light beige in the middle of your top lip. Use a lip pencil in a color comparable to your lipstick to outline your lips if they are asymmetrical.
  • If you have thin lips, opt for milder tones and avoid dark and showy hues.
  • For full lips, opt for darker tones and avoid those that are too light and glossy.

4. Consider your hair color.

Your hair color has a significant impact on how your lipstick will turn out. Observe this color guide:

  • Black hair: fair and light skin: crimson, cherry, plum, pink
  • Blonde hair:  fair skin: purplish pink, dusky pink, pale pink, and red
  • Dark hair:  tan and deep skin: ochre, terracotta, golden brown, bronze
  • Blonde hair: tanned and dark complexion: warm pink, salmon pink, caramel, ochre
  • Brown locks: medium complexion: beige, coral, salmon pink, and deep dusty pink
  • Red locks:  fair complexion: salmon pink, coral, terracotta, burnt sienna

How to apply lipstick?

1. Use a primer.

Primer is unparalleled when it comes to leveling out your lip tone and assuring the longevity of your lip color. Similar to how eye primer can increase the longevity and wearability of eye shadow, lip primer can prevent lipstick from wrinkling and smudging. Lip primer helps reduce discoloration on the lips that might alter the color of lipstick. Last but not least, lip primer helps create a smoother surface.

Wait until the hydrating lip balm has settled into the lips before applying lip primer. Then, apply lip primer, paying particular attention to the outer borders of the lips. This eliminates feathering.

Woman with pink lipstick

2. Choose the correct lipstick color.

To pick the appropriate lipstick hue, you must be aware of your skin tone and undertone.

Following is a breakdown:

Skin tones are split into four major groups:

Fair – Translucent skin that burns fast when exposed to the sun.

Medium – Slightly darker than fair, develops a tan with extensive sun exposure.

Olive – Bronze complexion that quickly tans.

Golden brown skin that tans easily in the sun.

Skin undertone is further classified into three groups:

Warm – Appears attractive in gold and white.

Cool – Appearance is enhanced with silver and off-white.

Neutral – Able to rock both silver and gold, as well as white and off-white.

Peach, mild pinks, and neutrals complement fair and warm skin the most.

  • Beige and bright reds look best on fair and cool complexion tones.
  • All fair skin tones look fantastic in coral.
  • Orange and copper look best on medium and warm complexion tones.
  • Cranberry and bare skin look best on medium and cool complexions.
  • All medium skin tones look fantastic in orange-red.
  • Pink and coral look best on olive and warm complexion tones.
  • Red and wine look best on olive and cool complexion tones.
  • All olive skin looks fantastic in nude.
  • Blue-red and orange look best on dark and warm complexion tones.
  • Berry and copper look best on deep, cold skin.
  • All deep skin looks wonderful in wine.
  • Neutral undertones can pick between neutral and warm colors.

3. Line your lips.

Should you really use lip liner?

It’s a valid question. Lip liner feels like overkill. Why would you use it if you’re already applying lipstick?

Here are a few reasons why lip liner is indispensable:

  • Increase the fullness of your lips. If your lips are thin, you can overline them slightly to create the illusion of fullness.
  • Increase the life of your lipstick by using lip liner. When you use lip liner, you will need to apply less lipstick.
  • Keep lipstick from bleeding. Lip liner prevents lipstick from bleeding. It is essential to combine liner with glossy formulas that tend to bleed.

Lipsticks on white background

4. Don’t discard poor shades.

So, you’ve purchased the incorrect shade of lipstick for your skin tone. What should you do now?

Before discarding the off color, it may be possible to salvage it.

Here are some suggestions for doing so:

  • Pair it with a lip liner of a different hue. Different undertones can significantly alter the appearance of lipstick.
  • Combine it with another lipstick that you choose. This can enhance the appearance of your favorite lipstick, allowing you to explore without incurring additional costs.
  • Prime your lips with a colorless base. Occasionally, an off-color will look better against the neutral canvas provided by a lip primer.

To summarize

Adding color to your lips can accentuate your appearance, making you stand out and boosting your confidence. Remember that your undertone should coincide with the color of lipstick you choose if you’re having trouble finding the ideal shade for your skin.