What’s the Best Lipstick Color for Your Skin Tone?

Lipstick can instantly add a pop of color to your look. With such a huge selection to choose from, it’s hard to find your favorite shade. Even if you love the color, you still won’t know if it looks good on you.

Fortunately, finding the perfect shade of lipstick isn’t a guessing game—it all depends on your skin tone. Once you get that figured out, you can finally wear a shade of lipstick that complements your skin.

How to Determine Your Skin’s Undertone

Before diving into lipstick shades, you need to determine your skin’s undertone. Identifying whether your undertone is warm, cool, or neutral is as simple as taking a quick look at the inside of your wrist.

Take note of the color of your veins. If they’re blue or purple, your undertone is considered cool. On the other hand, green veins signal a warm undertone. Can’t determine whether your veins are blue, purple, or green? You probably have a neutral undertone, which means you’ll look good with both warm and cool colors.

If the vein method doesn’t work for you, then ask yourself whether you look better in gold or silver jewelry. Cool complexions tend to look better with silver jewelry while gold jewelry flatters warm complexions.

Lipstick Colors for Fair Skin

fair skin lipstick

When you have fair skin, you burn easily. Your skin is typically pale, and you might have some freckles.

For Warm Undertones

For those with pale skin and warm undertones, try a vibrant coral or salmon-pink tone. You can even spice it up with a blood orange. We recommend MAC Morange Amplified Lipstick in Morange and Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Impulsive.

For Cool Undertones

If you have fair skin on the cool side, try deep purplish red or even a pale plum. We recommend Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Violate and Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Violette.

Lipstick Colors for Medium Skin

medium skin lipstick

People with medium skin tone tan easily and usually don’t burn. If you have medium skin, you might even have an olive complexion.

For Warm Undertones

When you have medium skin with warm undertones, you’ll want to stick with vibrant peach or rose-colored lipstick to bring out your skin’s golden hues. For a more sophisticated look, you can also try elegant copper or bronze shades. We recommend Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick and MAC Frost Lipstick in Bronze Shimmer.

For Cool Undertones

If you have medium skin with cool undertones, try a purplish rose or raspberry. These colors instantly give you a stunning and bold look. We recommend MAC Viva Glam Lipstick in Subdued Pinkish-Beige Mauve and Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy in Sly Ingenue.

Lipstick Colors for Tan Skin

tan skin lipstick

With tan skin, you have a sunkissed glow throughout the whole year. Your skin is a deep shade of beige that doesn’t burn.

For Warm Undertones

Tan skin with warm undertones looks best with pinkish nude shades or bright orange. It’s best to stay away from brown, as it won’t give your face the attention it deserves. We recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick in Staunch and NARS Sheer Finish Lipstick in Barbarella.

For Cool Undertones

For those with tan skin and cool undertones, you’ll look amazing in dark wines, mahogany, and black cherry shades. We recommend MAC Love Me Lipstick in La Femme and NARS Audacious Lipstick in Mona.

Lipstick Colors for Deep Skin

deep skin lipstick

When you have deep skin, you have a dark complexion that allows you to pull off several eye-catching shades of lipstick.

For Warm Undertones

If you have deep skin with warm undertones, you should wear red wine or dark plum lipsticks—these dusky shades will flatter your features. We recommend Laura Mercier Rouge Essentiel Silky Creme Lipstick in Rouge Ultime and Lancôme Color Design Lipstick in Edgy.

For Cool Undertones

For those with deep skin and cool undertones, you’ll want to try blue-ish plum colors. Since a dark complexion is so versatile, you can even rock cherry reds or merlot colors. We recommend Dior Rouge Lipstick in 999 and NARS Sheer Finish Lipstick in Metallic Raspberry.

Experimenting With Lipstick Is Key

Lipstick is a colorful addition to your look, so make sure to have fun with it! Try out different shades to see which ones make you feel the most confident. Once you find the perfect shade, you won’t want to take it off.

When it comes to lipstick, you should always purchase designer brands. If you don’t know whether to buy other makeup products from the drugstore or from Sephora, check out our article on how to choose between drugstore and designer makeup brands.

Emma Roth

Emma is a staff writer at Modern Ratio. Not only is she an avid writer and tech geek, she's an expert in makeup, skincare, and fashion. She's based in Connecticut.