SORTED: A makeup artist's guide to what lipstick shade actually suits you.


Lipstick aisles in pharmacies can be overwhelming.

How is anyone meant to figure out exactly which shade of red or pink or coral will suit them best out of the thousands of options to choose from?

“What lipstick suits me?!” you cry, with every available space on your hands smeared with swatches of different lipsticks.

But don’t worry, because choosing a lipstick shade doesn’t have to be daunting. We asked a makeup artist for the simple, easy-to-understand tricks for finding the perfect lippie for you.

Types of lipsticks 101.

If we’re going to split lipsticks into two groups, they are either blue-based or orange-based. (And nudes, but that’s a conversation for another day.)


  • Blue-based lipsticks have a cooler tone to them.
  • Can have blue or purple undertones.
  • Think: a cool, bright red, fuchsia, deep red wine shades and plums.


  • Orange-based lipsticks have a warmer tone to them.
  • Can have orange or yellow undertones to them.
  • Think: fire engine red, orangey red, coral, peach and classic rosey pinks.

Luckily, Maybelline New York has done the hard work for you! Their new Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick range features six universal lipstick shades that sit perfectly between blue-based and orange-based tones. These shades were tested and proven flattering on 50 (!!) different skin tones, meaning you’ll find a shade to suit you among these lippies. Here’s a little preview from their Instagram:

So, what lipstick suits me?

The good news? According to Aussie celebrity makeup artist Monica Gingold, the lipstick that suits you best is whichever one you pick up, swipe on your lips and wear with a big, confident smile.

“When it comes to choosing lipstick, there are a few things to consider, like skin colour, hair colour, eye colour, the clothes you wear and what you like,” she told Mamamia.


“There is no blanket rule that ‘blondes must wear X’ or ‘people with a darker skin tone should wear Y’. It’s more than one factor that determines if a colour suits you. If you put the same lipstick on five different people, it will likely show up slightly different on everyone. So go with what makes you feel great.”

That said, if you’re looking for a bit more guidance in which lipstick to choose for your hair and eye colours, skin tones, outfit and/or occasion, here are five helpful tips.

1. Lipstick to compliment your skin tone.


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A post shared by Monica Gingold (@monicagingold_beauty) on


Google ‘what lipstick suits me’ and you’ll find a bunch of guides that dictate which lipstick shades work best for different skin tones.

While we reckon you really can wear whichever colour you want, you can also use your skin’s undertone to help sift through the 14,264,685 shades of lipsticks in the world.

Generally speaking, all of us have one of three undertones to our skin: cool/pink, warm/yellow or neutral.

An easy way to figure out your undertone is: ignoring what you would normally wear, hold up a piece of gold jewellery and a piece of silver jewellery to your face and ask yourself, which piece of jewellery looks the best against your skin tone?

As a very, very loose guide – gold jewellery looks great with warmer skin tones, and silver jewellery looks equally great against cooler skin tones.

From here, you can narrow down your lipstick shade search:

  • Cool/pink undertone (silver jewellery) = blue-based and purple-based lipstick shades.
  • Warm/yellow undertones (gold jewellery) = orange-based, warm lipsticks shades.
  • Neutral (both gold and silver jewellery) = blue-based and orange-based lipstick shades.

Yes, it is 100 per cent possible to look fabulous in both silver and gold (and rose gold!), but if you’re stuck deciding between two very similar shades of pink, this could help you make up your mind.

what lipstick suits me
Cooler skin tones work well with blue-based reds. Image: Getty.
what lipstick suits me
A deeper red or plum/burgundy can also be blue-based. Image: Getty.
what lipstick suits me
Corals and oranges look incredible on warmer skin tones. Image: Getty.
what lipstick suits me
How beautiful does this orange lipstick look?! Image: Getty.

2. Lipstick shades to enhance your natural lip colour.

Monica also recommended looking at your natural lip colour when choosing a lipstick shade.

"Some people's lips are naturally very pink, almost red, and others may be cool toned, or even the same shade as their skin colour. Try and figure out if you want to enhance your natural lip shade, or counteract it," she said.

"If someone has naturally cool lips, meaning they have a slight blue or light purple tint and they want to warm up their lips, a peach tone will counteract that. The same colour would show up as a bright pink on someone with very warm lips, so if you want to counteract this, you might choose a nude/beige to dull the brightness down."


For those of us with a very light lip colour, nine times out of 10, lipstick shades will look true to their colour on your lips.

It's a general rule, when choosing a nude shade, your lips shouldn't be too much lighter than your skin.

3. Lipstick shades to make your eye colour stand out.

Eye colour is another way to choose a lipstick shade, because different tones can make your eyes pop without even trying.

Monica's guide: use the colour wheel to find out which lipstick will compliment your eye colour. For example, orange tones can bring out blue eyes, and pinks and reds can make green eyes pop.

what lipstick suits me
Orange lippie + blue eyes = HEAVEN. Image: Getty.
what lipstick suits me
BAM, GREEN EYES. Image: Getty.
what lipstick suits me
Even this light pink makes this model's green eyes pop. Image: Getty.

4. Lipstick shades to make your teeth look white.

Another factor you can consider when choosing a lipstick is the colour of your teeth. Real-life teeth aren't always a blinding white, and that's OK, because your lippie can do the hard work for you.

"As a rule, yellow/orange-based lipsticks may make your teeth look more yellow as the yellow tone in orange can enhance the yellow tone in teeth," Monica said.

"Whereas blue-based lipstick, like red with a cool undertone, will make your teeth look whiter, as the blue base creates a contrast."


In other words: if you want to show off your white teeth, try a warmer shade of lipstick like an orange or warm pink, and if you want to make your teeth appear whiter, go for a cooler fire engine red or a fuchsia.

5. Lipstick shades to complete an outfit.


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A post shared by Monica Gingold (@monicagingold_beauty) on

What about choosing colours to suit your outfit?

For example, if you're planning to wear clothing in beige, cream, light pink, or other colours close to your skin tone, using a lip colour with a bit more warmth can breathe life into the whole look and keep you from looking washed out.


"From personal experience, I bought a bright yellow dress to wear to an event, and my skin is fair but olive/yellow undertone. When I tried the dress on with no makeup on, I did look a bit washed out. So for the event, I wore a bright red lipstick, which meant I didn't look washed out, and both the red and the yellow looked amazing and complimented the whole look," Monica said.

A final note on which lipstick is right for you...

More important than any of the general 'rules' and guidelines above, you really can wear whatever lipstick you want.

Finding one you really love will involve a heck of a lot of trial and error, so spend some time in the makeup aisle at your local pharmacies drawing swatches of different lipstick shades all over the inside of your wrist (tissues are a must).

But then again, go with what makes you feel good. At the risk of sounding cheesier than a cheese platter, the universally flattering lipstick shade is the one worn with a smile.

For more info on the right shade for you, check out Maybelline New York's new Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick range.

What is your favourite shade of lipstick to wear? Tell us in the comments!

Disclaimer: Maybelline New York is a sponsor of Mamamia's You Beauty podcast.