What’s my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

This week our beauty correspondent, luxury make-up artist, Jules Cardozo-Marsh gives us the low down on choosing the right lipstick for your skin tone. A lipstick is a real impulse purchase, but are we choosing wisely? Do you have a drawer full of lipsticks that you bought on impulse and now regret buying? Not all of us can rock a red lip, and how do we know which brands are best?

Luckily, Jules can offer a simple guide to purchasing the right lipstick for your skin tone and hair colour and the latest colours for your lips in 2014.

The Eternal Hunt for the Perfect Lippie - Darling Lovely Life blog - What's my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

For pale skin tones

If you have fair skin with pink undertones you should opt for nude colours, pinks, peach and light coral lipsticks. Pale skin can also benefit from adding a pop of colour to the lips to add contrast so you could try a hot pink lip as long as you keep the rest of your makeup understated.

Your perfect red lipstick? Choose a bright cherry red. Tom Ford in Wild Ginger, £36, is one lipstick I wear all the time.

Tom Ford in Wild Ginger - Darling Lovely Life blog - What's my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

Colours to avoid? Blue-based reds, dark brown and burgundy.

For pale skin and red hair

Redheads are lucky – it’s the in colour this year – but which lipstick tones can you wear with this bold coiff?  Warm tones suit your pale skin best such as golds, copper and oranges which are right on trend.

Your perfect red lipstick? Russian Red by MAC, £15

Russian Red by Mac - Darling Lovely Life blog - What's my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

Colours to avoid? Pale pinks can wash out pale skin, and any other dark colour than red can look melodramatic.

For fair-to-medium skin tones

If you have a medium skin tone then you can try pinks, browns, corals, oranges. Fiery reds compliment a warmer skin tone, try a blue-based lipstick for best results.

Your perfect red lipstick? Try Dolce & Gabbana Italian Monica, £25 at Harrods

Dolce & Gabbana Italian Monica - Darling Lovely Life - What's my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

Colours to avoid? Anything too pale.

Olive skin tones

If you have olive skin, you have an amazing choice of colours that will suit you! Look for bright corals and orange lipsticks that are bang on trend for 2014. Bronze and warm pinks can also look great especially in the summer. Choose blue-based colours to complement your skin.

Your perfect red lipstick? Opt for a bright pillar box red. Smashbox Be Legendary, £15.50 has blue tones which is perfect.

Smashbox Be Legendary - Darling Lovely Life blog - What's my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

Colours to avoid? Yellow or brown based lip colours.

Medium-to-dark skin tones

Olive and medium-to-dark skin tones are best suited to deeper colours, so try pinky browns, plums and reds but nudes and oranges can work just as well depending on the hue.

Your perfect red lipstick? A brick red will look amazing. Try MAC Ruby Woo, £15 or Russian Red.

Ruby Woo Mac - Darling Lovely Life blog - What's my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

Colours to avoid? Anything chalky based also nudes/browns that are far too light.

For dark skin tones

Dark skin tones can aim for deep colours like chocolate, raisin, blackcurrant, deep plum and purple. A pop of colour can give a wow factor, so a hot pink can offer a statement piece.

Your perfect red lipstick? Try a bright cherry red, I love Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood, £19.

Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood - Darling Lovely Life blog - What's my perfect lip shade? Lipsticks for different skin tones

Colours to avoid? Anything too white and chalky.

Buying and applying – top lipstick tips

And, to take advantage of the expert advice, we asked Jules a few more questions to help you all in your search for the perfect lipstick!

What’s the best way of testing lipsticks in the shop?

When testing lipsticks in the shop, do not apply them directly to your lips or skin as they are rife with bacteria. Instead, scrape the top layer off and apply the lipstick using a disposable lip brush.

What’s the best way of applying lipsticks?

When applying a lipstick, use a lip brush for precision and that perfect polished finish.

I have thin lips, which colours should I avoid?

Avoid darker toned lipsticks, pop a clear gloss on the centre of your top and bottom lip for extra volume.

I want to keep my look youthful, what can I do?

Avoid a dark lipliner as this ages you and your look.

How do I keep my lipstick on for longer?

Hydrate and exfoliate your lips keeping them in tip top condition. Lip liner helps keep lipstick in place as do the stay-put lipsticks on the market like Max Factor. Finally make the most of your lipstick by blotting and re-applying

I have a bunch of old lipsticks I never use and I don’t want to throw them away. What can I do with them?

Create a new lipstick by blending and mixing your old ones. it’s easy to do, just balance out the colours and get creative.

Thanks Jules, another excellent column of advice that has sent us at DLL HQ off to the shops! Let us know how you lovely readers get on in your search for the top lipstick in the comments below!

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