Lipstick is a cosmetic product that contains pigments, oils, waxes and emollients, these apply color, protection and texture to the lips. Lipstick is typically but not exclusively worn by women.

Matte lipsticks contain more filling agents like silica but do not have many emollients. Crème lipsticks contain more waxes than oils. Sheer and long lasting lipstick contains more oil, while long lasting lipsticks also contain silicone oil, which seals the colors to the wearer’s lips. Glossy lipstick contains more oil to give a shiny finish to the lips.

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The art of choosing the right lipstick shade:

  • Identify your undertone:

This is the most basic step to be followed. Everyone has a skin undertone, either it is yellow or it is pink. Yellow skin tones appear warmer while pink skin tones appear cooler. Knowing your undertone is very helpful when you are trying to find which lipstick will suit you. A quick way to identify your skin’s undertone is to look at the veins on your wrist. If they are blue, and you also tend to gravitate towards wearing blues, whites, and grays, you’ve got pink undertones. If your veins appear greener, you have a warmer yellow undertone. If they appear to be both blue and green, you have neutral skin tone (meaning equal pink and yellow tones), and you can wear any color. Another easy way of identifying the same is by doing the jewelry test. Try one article of gold jewelry and one of silver and see which suits your skin more. Gold jewelry suits the warmer yellow skin tone more while silver jewelry suits people with cooler and more pinkish skin tones better.

  • Find out which shade works with your undertone:

For yellow undertones, stick to warmer colors and for pink undertones, look for shades with blue or purple tones in them. Everyone should avoid lipstick colors with a gray, ashy or overly pale feel, these make the skin look sickly or unhealthy and are universally unflattering.

  • The easiest way is to choose based on your skin tone:

Fair Skin Tones: The great thing about really fair skin is that bold reds and deep colors can be a fun way to play up your makeup and can look fantastic. Avoid anything too light or with too much of a yellow undertone so you don’t look washed out.

Darker Skin Tones: Deep plums, berries and reds look fantastic. Unless you are going for a retro feel or a statement bright lip, avoid anything too light or pale on the lips. Deeper shades look more naturally flattering.

Olive Skin Tones: Olive skin tones are generally neutral, so it’s hard to go wrong. Most nude, pink, orange, and red shades will look good. Look at what you are wearing to determine your lip shade. For an outfit with warmer colors, you should stick to a warmer, bright lipstick.

Regardless of your tone and undertone, it’s up to you to decide what looks best and most flattering on yourself. If you love bright orange lipstick and it makes you happy, then wear it.

How to buy the right lipstick:

  • Try the lipstick on before you buy it.Clean the tester with a little alcohol (the store should provide this in a spray bottle) and use a test brush or a cotton swab to apply the color to your lips. If you don’t want to apply the tester lipstick to your mouth, test it on the pads of your fingertips. Your fingertips are closer to your lip color than your wrist or the side of your hand.
  • Remove one lip color completely before trying on the next.Otherwise, you will be mixing multiple colors together. Remove the lipstick with a makeup remover.
  • Make sure you are in a well-lit area.
  • Try on lipstick with little or no other makeup on your face.Look for a shade that, worn with no other makeup, brightens your face and makes other makeup unnecessary.
  • Ask for help at the makeup counter.Sometimes it’s hard to objectively judge what looks best on ourselves. A professional at the makeup counter can match you with the right color.

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Written by Taarini Chandramouli

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