Find which lipstick color and type works best for you – The Beauty Biz

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Learn your way around the maze of lip products

Author: Charlotte Kuchinsky
June 4 2008

Whether they want to admit it or not, most women look better when they wear lipstick. That single pop of color, done in the right shade, does more to accent a woman’s facial features than any other makeup product. Yet many women decline to wear lipstick; not because they don’t want to, but because they simply don’t know how to find the right color or the type that will work best for them.

On today’s market there are lipsticks, lip glosses, lip balms, lip butters, lip stains, lip creams, and lip gels – no wonder women are confused about which product to choose. On top of the huge variety of lip products available, there are a seemingly endless number of colors. There are hundreds of shades of pink, coral, red, brown, and much more. So finding the perfect color may turn into a lifelong process; especially given the fact that as soon as you find it, the cosmetic company will probably move on to the next big shade.

Forget everything you have heard about lip color. Any woman can wear pink if they find just the right shade and, yes, even redheads can even wear red lip color, if the tone is just perfect. Any woman can wear at least one shade from any color grouping, be it pink, mauve, red, brown, coral, or berry. The trick is in finding the proper shade to go with a woman’s skin tone and natural coloring. While that may still seem a daunting task, let me see if I can offer a few tips that might help.

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The basics – your skin undertone

There are basic points to keep in mind in choosing a lip color. Women must be mindful of their skin’s natural undertones. Skin with a pink undertone does better with lip colors that carry a decided bluish tint. Skin that skews yellow should consider warmer lip colors with an orange tint. Most women can find their proper hue in at least one berry and one red shade, which is ideal since neither of those seems to ever go totally out of style. Pale pink shades really don’t work well for olive skin tones, or women with deeper skin colors, because of their natural yellow skin undertones. Instead, women in that category should look for darker pink shades. Perfect deep corals, on the other hand, are almost impossible to find for women whose skin is decidedly pink in nature. Instead, they need to stick to a more pinky coral shade.

Nude lips

Today, with nude lips all the rage, women are beating down the doors of cosmetic companies searching for the perfect nude shade. Many are simply missing the point altogether. Nude lips are about the sheen and shine that says “take me, I’m yours.” They aren’t about finding a pasty brown color that mimics the natural color of the lips. If that were the case, why would a woman need lipstick at all?

Just as you would do with any other color, in choosing a nude lipstick, a woman must keep the skin tone in mind. Fair women should look for a taupe with a slight kiss of rose color. Olive toned women should look for those that are more of a taupey coral shade. Everyone should stay away from matte bronze colors that do nothing for any woman’s lips. While its okay to seek a killer summer tan on the body, that look doesn’t belong on the lips. Instead women should go for something a bit lighter to make the lips stand apart from the rest of the tan.

Lipstick types

Now that color should be a bit easier to determine, let’s talk about finding the right “type” of lipstick. Much of that will depend upon the age of the woman and the condition of her lips.

Lip gloss: Contrary to popular belief, any woman can wear lip-gloss today. The trick is matching the right color and just the right amount of gloss. Lip-gloss is popular because its add softness, moisture, and sheen or shine to the lips; automatically making them look a bit fuller, younger, and oh-so-kissable! Women of a certain age (over 40), however, should look for glosses that lean more towards sheen than a wet slick shine. They should also search for glosses that contain extra hydrating ingredients. These extra moisturizers will help even dry, parched lips look younger than ever.

Lip balms are perfect for young women who are just beginning to experiment with lip color and don’t want to go to any extremes. They are also good for any woman who just wants to keep her lips looking soft and supple but isn’t anxious to add too much color.

Lip stains can often be drying and should be avoided by older women who already have dry, aging lips. On the flip side, lip stains are perfect for women in their 20’s and early 30’s who want a deep pigment of color that will remain in place for a longer period of time.

Lip gels attempt to bridge the gap between a lip stain and a lip-gloss, offering lots of color pigmentation with plenty of shine. Unfortunately, many tend to be too shiny for older women, making them look like they are wearing their daughter’s makeup. However, a few on the market have mastered the art of combining color and sheen for a truly amazing lip product. Be cautious, though; lip gels seem to make their way onto the teeth more often than just about any other lip product. And that isn’t a good look, no matter what your age.

Lipsticks today come in so many forms and colors that there is bound to be one to suit the needs of any woman. There are moisturizing lipsticks, color stay lipsticks, sheer lipsticks, shimmery lipsticks, matte lipsticks, glossy lipsticks and so much more. Moisturizing lipsticks are perfect for women of any age and, although they don’t come in as many colors as some of their sister brands, there are plenty to choose from in the marketplace.

Color stay lipsticks are meant to provide the long-lasting qualities of lip stains without some of the negatives; the most obvious being the fact that they severely chap and dry out the lips. To offset those effects, most of the newer color stay lipsticks provide a heavily emollient topcoat that moisturizes the lips without fading or ruining the lipstick’s color.

Sheer lipsticks contain less pigment than standard lipsticks but more than lip balms, making them the perfect choice for women who prefer a softer, lighter look but still want to add a bit of color. Most sheer lipsticks contain amazing moisturizers that help dry lips look full and luscious. Because they aren’t overt with color, they are perfect for daytime or for nighttime casual dress.

Shimmery lipsticks often look metallic, pearlescent, opalescent, or glittery in nature. Women over the age of 40 shouldn’t wear them except as an accent in the center of the lips for the most perfect “pouty” look. They are also more suitable for nighttime than they are for daywear.

Matte lipsticks often contain few, if any, emollients since they would add at least a small amount of sheen or shine. They usually carry heavy pigmentation that adds a lot of color to the lips. However, the matte finish can often look caked on and too artificial without an overcoat of lip balm or gloss.

Lip creams often carry the most saturation of vitamin E and always contain emollients and moisturizers that help to keep the lips looking soft and supple. Some even include a silicone derivative that helps to fill in lip cracks to give the lips a richer, more feminine look. This form of lip product is well suited for women who want the effects of a lip-gloss with a bit less shine and a lot more moisture.

Lip butters contain one of today’s most popular lip ingredients – shea butter – and are quickly capturing the hearts and minds of women all over the world. Although they tend to carry less color pigmentation than stains or gels, they easily match that of most other lip products while also providing a highly coveted natural healing component for dry, chapped lips that women love.

Now go and treat yourself!

Hopefully the above information helps to answer some of the most pressing questions about today’s lip products. If you have a specific issue that wasn’t answered, feel free to drop a comment in the section below and we will attempt to provide you with a timely response. In the meantime, take care of those luscious lips!

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