These are my recommendations of five essential lipsticks (in my opinion) for anyone and everyone who is either new to make-up or prefers to have a few staples on hand that are practical, yet still offer a nice variety of choices. Although I myself am very pale, with a cool undertone, I think these colors, selected in the correct shades and undertones, are universally flattering; just make sure you select a shade that fits your particular skin tone or ask the person at the make-up counter to match you accordingly.
I am also providing specific brand and shade examples for the sake of having examples, in case you have the same skin tone and would like to check these particular lipsticks out, I love them all and recommend them all. As you will notice, there is a nice range of brands and price points. Without further ado, here are the shades you need:
1. A NEUTRAL/NUDE
For me that’s a light, wearable pink, with a cool undertone. My particular example here is Angel by MAC. Because I am so pale, nude lipsticks do not look flattering on me as I need just a hint of color to look lively. This one works perfectly as a “nude” for me because it goes well with any makeup look and is an everyday type of color that is easy to wear, flattering, and pretty.
I also tend to stay away from matte nudes because they really blend in with the texture of your skin and wash you out. Angel is a frost, which is not my favorite MAC finish, I usually prefer a satin because it has just the right amount of sheen without being overwhelmingly sparkly, but for this particular shade, the frost finish doesn’t bother me. I do have to blend it out with my finger once I apply it, but after that it looks perfect. So, if you have a lipstick that doesn’t quite sit well when applied straight from the bullet, try blending it out.
When selecting a neutral/nude for yourself, make sure you really test it out and see how it looks with your skin tone. I think this shade is great for light/medium skin tones. If you are medium/dark, select a shade with a warm undertone, more on the orange/brown side, rather than pink. It will complement your skin tone and give you just the right amount of color.
2. A WEARABLE BERRY
Again, take into consideration your own skin tone and select a berry that enhances your lips, giving them just a nice hint of color. The one I have here is Lancome’s The New Pink in a sheen finish, which I love, because the finish makes it wearable.
3. A HOT/FUSCIA PINK
Here I break my rules about wearable and recommend a fuscia pink. Every girl should own a shade like this, especially for the summer, because not only does it look great on everyone, it makes you look radiant and bold. Keep the eyes simple with neutral eyeshadow and a nice sharp winged liner and pop this lip color on; you will have juicy bold lips which will brighten your overall look and give you that controlled pop of color without being overwhelming. If you’ve always wanted to try a shade like this but have been afraid, don’t be, you’ll see. In this case, I prefer a matte/satin finish because the color speaks for itself, but you can really take this in any direction. If you want shiny, go for shiny, just make sure there’s no glitter in your lipstick or it will get slightly overwhelming.
Once again, select the correct undertone for your skin tone, this one here is Shiva by NYX, and is a very cool fuscia, to match my skin. It pops and brightens up my face without looking overwhelming. You will get a lot of wear out of this in the spring and summer, and if you have a special occasion and want to look festive, but don’t want to wear red, this is a great substitute for that as well. By the way, NYX’s Shiva is a great dupe for MAC’s famed Girl About Town.
4. THE PERFECT RED
If you have previously shied away from red lipstick, this will change your life…I mean it. Bold red lips are universally flattering and will make you look sophisticated and gorgeous. For years I used to think that I could never pull off red because I am so pale. I was so afraid of it being too bold and smudging, or ending up on my teeth, and thought that reds only looked good on people with blonde or very dark hair. WRONG. The secret to wearing red is finding your perfect shade. As with previous recommendations, all you need is the right shade and undertone for this to look good. Spend a little extra time in selecting your perfect red because once you do, it will look incredible on you. Go to the store (whichever one you prefer) and do a few swatches of your respective undertone to see how the shade varies depending on texture and finish; there are brighter reds, mellower reds, which is actually great because that means there’s a red out there for everyone.
For cool-toned light skin girls, make sure your red has cool undertones. Medium skin tones can pull off a much wider range of reds and dark skin tones – make sure your red has warm, orange undertones. This one I have here is Very Cherry by Maybelline from the Color Sensational line. For medium skin tones, I recommend MAC’s Russian Red, and for dark skin tones, MAC’s Lady Danger. So go to town, find your perfect red, and wear it for your next night out on the town!
Important tips to take into consideration with your red lipstick – make sure you get a lipliner of similar color and apply it all over your lips. This will do wonders for your red lipstick; not only is this going to prevent it from bleeding and smudging, it will prolong the wear and give you that precise outlined mouth. If you’re still not happy with how precise you want it to be, take a tiny brush and some cream concealer and clean up the edges for that perfect finish. As for it not ending up on your teeth – once you finish applying it, take your pointer finger, put it in your mouth straight in the middle and pull it out. This will take off any extra lipstick on the inside of your lips, and there you go – no lipstick teeth!
5. A WEARABLE BURGUNGY/VAMPY RED
My final recommendation is a wearable burgundy aka vampy red color. Gorgeous for fall and winter, I can’t live without this one. This changes up your look completely without doing anything drastic. I recommend a wearable one here because you won’t have to go through the procedure of lipliner and concealer as you will with an intense color, which would require that. I love my intense vampy reds as well, but I do have to do the “red lipstick” routine with them, so I only wear them for special occasions. A wearable burgundy will even be appropriate for work, if you work in an office, like me, because although it will be a strong color, the saturation will make it look appropriate for the daytime.
This one I have here is Revlon’s Plum Velour from the Super Lustrous line. This is a great, sheer, burgundy that applies with ease and is wearable, but still has that gorgeous dark color. Again, these burgundy shades are universally flattering, so try out a few and see what fits you best.
And those are my recommendations for the top five shades of lipstick every girl should own! I hope this was informative and inspirational for you.
Questions, comments, and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
What are your top five?