Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Temptalia Asks You


How do you decide if a lip color is going to work for you? Share your methods!

Temptalia's AnswerI think trial and error is really the best method!  You’ll find out much faster what does and doesn’t work well with your coloring, features, etc.

Thanks to Sue for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

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34 thoughts on “How do you decide if a lip color is going to work for you?

  1. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of rebecca blueraccoon

    Trial and error and swatching :) At this point I have a general idea what colors do work for me and what don’t: for example, oranges and I don’t get along at all, but I do really well with rose pinks and pink-browns. I find that while I can wear a lot more colors than I normally buy, that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable in them, so it’s not just a question of “does this look good on me” but also “am I comfortable wearing this around?” and I think for that, trial and error is the only way to go. I swatch everything I can when I’m shopping in-store or at a counter, but sometimes I still need to wear a lip product to decide if I like it on me or not.

  2. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Amy xamyx

    When it comes to lip color, I think it’s primarily a matter of preference. Unlike other products, lip color is very flexible, and once you decide what sort of shades you like, the rest is downhill. I prefer deep, vampy shades, reds, and nudes, so I just go with colors that I like. There are times I’ll wear a shade and think, “This would be better if it were just a bit…”, and then I’ll keep an eye open for a shade that I’ve pictured in my mind.

  3. JQ

    I try it! If I look in the mirror and think “Yeah!” then I wear it. If I look and cringe, I don’t. Haha.

  4. I know it’s going to work if the color has the right undertones, if it will suit my needs in terms of different events where I may wear it, and if it has a texture I prefer. Christine, you’re right, trial and error is the fastest way!

  5. definitely agree that trial and error is the way to learn. And the number one result that turns me off is if the lipstick makes my teeth look yellower…dirty light pinks, I’m talking to you.

  6. grlnxdor

    Well, since I found this website, I have to say that you, Christine, factor into my decision to pick a lipstick. The color of your lips is similar to mine. If I factor in my dark blonde hair and lighter complexion with what looks good on you, I can decide if I want to try something out. So far, I have two winners based on this method…..Nars Como and Bobbi Brown Uber Nude. Love them both and look forward to more winners now that I have found this website!

  7. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Marina Marina

    I search for swatches/reviews on Google images, compare my the skin tone to the reviewer and how the lipstick looks against the reviewer lips. If it looks orange or warm I just forget about it, if not I read the description. If it contains the words plum, berry, rose or cool, it’s a sure thing for me. It works for blushes very well, too.

    Incidentally, this is how I found this site. Thank you so much Christine! You avoided a lot of bad purchases for me!

  8. I think if it matches my dark auburn brown hair/ dark eyes/ yellowis skin/freckles! I usually go for warm reds/corals/peaches because of these.

  9. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Tigerlily Tigerlily

    Check out in the daylight if it brings out the pink in my skin (= healthy look)…or the yellow. If it is the latter, then it’s a no. Also, it’s a big no if it makes my teeth appear even a teeny bit yellow. I’m looking at you, warm pinks…

  10. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Xero Xero

    I agree that the only way to know at first is trial and error. Knowing if you’re cool-toned or warm-toned helps at first but everyone is different. For myself, I know that cool-toned or even anything with blue or purple in it doesn’t work on me…ever. Not even cool-to-neutral red lipsticks, I can only wear reds with a healthy dose of orange. However, there are warm-toned ladies that can rock a fuschia lipstick or prefer cool-toned reds, so that’s more of a guideline rather than a hard-and-fast rule.

    Also, I know that since I have a very young-looking face, dark colors look ridiculous on me. Even medium colors that would suit most skin tones end up looking too severe on me. What this means is that for red lipsticks, I can only wear light, bright red-oranges, which most people seem to hate/be scared of, lol.

  11. ms

    you gotta try it on. that is why i prefer high end to drug stores, cos you can actually try it on. i have a few lipsticks that i wouldn’t have bought if i hadn’t tried them on. case in pt, CYY, pink pigeon.

  12. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of T Violet Lee

    Yeah, trying different colors is definitely the way to go. For instance, I always think corals look so pretty when Christine swatches them but on me they pull way too orange and garish. I’ve finally learned that lipsticks that lean blue look most flattering on me.

  13. ms

    you should have products you are lemming someday as question of the day

  14. I agree with the knowing if you are cool or warm-toned. I didn’t know what I was until recently, so I just used whatever shade I liked. A girl at the Sephora near me told me I was cool toned and that I looked best in nudes or berries, so I’m sticking to those shades now.

    And yeah, trial and error is pretty much a foolproof method.

  15. Renee

    I find that if i dont try it on my skin, all i have to go with is how it looks on other peoples. the description only gives me small clues, as it describes the lipstick as for example, “true red”. and that red will go pink on me. a “deep blue red” will work perfectly.
    I am NC 30 and blue reds look great, but pink red ends up pink, orange red ends up orange. no idea why.

  16. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Pamela Pamela

    Having worn make up for as long as I have, I can usually tell at first sight. I know cool tones are terrible on me, especially lighter pastels so I always pass on those. I always go for color with warmth that is mid tone. The name of the color can help, too, as long as it isn’t a number or a vague name. For example, Clear Coral tells me a lot more about the color than if it were called #285 or Drive Me Wild.

  17. helen

    I’ve been playing with makeup for a long, long (LoNG) time and i still don’t really know if a lipstick suits me or not. I never try anything on in a store so my solution to an ill-fated purchase is blending it with other colours in my stash.
    If a colour looks too orange, i will find something that i’ve already purchased to counteract the problem. And the extra bonus is that it creates a totally unique colour. In conclusion, no purchase is a complete disaster…

  18. Kristy

    It can’t have even a tiny scrap of warmth! As soon as I put the wrong color on, any peach, orange, or golden tones that weren’t apparent by looking at the tube will immediately pop, and I will look like I have the flu. Pretty simple. By the way, I am medium rosy/olive tan-beige.

  19. Haha oops I read that question totally wrong and wrote a whole answer about what colors I like best for work. Anyway, yes I agree, trial and error, knowing what colors worked best in the past, if your warm/cool toned can be helpful, how your natural lip color affects products etc… essentially trial and error

  20. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of hazel Hazel

    I hardly wear lip colors as I have a small mouth and typical redhead complexion. I know enough to head for the more peachy-coral colors and stay away from anything blue-ish.

  21. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of looovemac LK

    Depends what I wear on my eyes and cheeks.. some lip colors look best on certain eye makeup I’m wearing.. I have different range of colors on my collection and pretty much I wear them all… I don’t know but I wear and love on me pink, coral, red, orange, purple… cool, warm… etc. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  22. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Rachael Rachael

    Trial and error. I know my own colouring well enough by now to know which colours looks best on me. Classic reds, classic nudes, brownish-nudes, brownish-warm-pinks – are pretty much all I wear.

  23. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Sabriel Sabriel

    I have been working my way through the Revlon Lip Butters and learning a lot from them. They’re cheap, easy to get, and feel nice.

    I think I mostly do best in berry and mauve, but I can pull off some rose and brick tones as well. I can’t do cherry, peach, or coral.

  24. Danielle

    I’ve actually found that I can wear basically any lip color as long as I have the right blush and eye makeup to compensate.

  25. Lark

    I’m a big girl so I know what does and doesn’t suit. But I need to swatch to see what the color truly is. And mid tone colors. As one ages ones lips start to get thinner so dark colors are now out. So are very light colors with an opaque thing. More transparent colors are more forgiving, too. Guerlain Shine in a Holiday LE color, 760, is my current go to. I’m liking their lipsticks a lot. Very ladylike as I go into my pearl wearing years.

  26. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Erica Erica

    The range of lip colors are so complex now (satins, amplified, semi-matte v. matte, the list goes on), that swatching is my preferred method. Colors I ran away from 10 years ago are now some of my favorites. Also, the expansion of lip glosses and lip liners help to “modify” a lip color if I find the lipstick doesnt work on its own.

  27. Mietta

    Hahah I must be strange because if I like a colour, I’ll wear it and have my other makeup respond to that. I usually test it in two places, on the back of my hand to see what it is like with concealer or MAC’s Lip Erase and also on the tips of my fingers (because they are a similar colour to my very pigmented pink/coral lips). Other than that, I wear what I feel like!!! It was only in the last half of 2012 that just by chance I saw how nice peaches are on my lips. (I have cool complexion, dark blonde hair NW10-20 and cool blue eyes.)

  28. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Mariam Mariam Shah

    Being a resident if the most expensive county in the world (austratia) when it comes to makeup, I buy online or from the American online stores. Si it’s always luck. I see swatches, first yours and then others. If it still doesn’t suit me, I pass it to family and friends. My sisters get heaps of makeup from me:)

  29. Catherine

    Definitely trial and error in my experience – especially with regards to red lipstick.

  30. jess

    Now that I am in my late 20s I am all about lip colors that enhance my natural beauty. I have enough bright and fun colors and I barely ever wear them anymore. I love light rose colors, pinks, peaches and am now starting to like pinky-brown shades. I think trying a few colors from a drugstore brand is an easy way to see what looks good on you. All of the new sheer lipsticks are amazing!! I love Revlon Colorburst, L’Oreal colour caresse sticks and Maybelline whispers are okay too (weird smell!). When you can get a lipstick for $5 or 6 its a lot easier to experiment with many shades! Especially if they are sheer to medium coverage and are buildable.

  31. Lorraine ER

    After enough years of wearing lipstick I can pretty much tell when something will work or not.
    Still like to experiment though and when I do I try to find an inexpensive version of the color to try and see if it works before I buy any high-end similar shade.
    I realized this way that lavender (which I love) just doesn’t really work on me. I like to wear it sometimes anyway just because I like it but I know it’s not the most flattering color for my lips…

  32. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Jade Jade

    I used to go based on warm tones, but now I know I can look really nice in blue or cool based lip colour. I also avoid anything too brown – I just don’t have enough depth to my skin to pull it off.

  33. Geneva

    I try them on, I only purchase lipstick from dept stores so it’s easy to find out if they suit me or not.