The Easy Answer To What Color Lipstick Should I Wear

1st Row (left to right): Twist ‘N Pout, Love My Kiss, Coral Crush. 2nd Row (left to right): Naughty, Oh, Snapdragon!, Fierce. 3rd Row (left to right): Brazilliant, Can’t Be Beet, Risque

I love the title of this article — The EASY answer to “WHAT color LIPSTICK should I wear”?

It doesn’t say: “this is the ONLY answer to what color lipstick you should wear”, but this is one easy method to add to your ever growing lipstick-pro-tool-kit.

This article all comes down to:


Yes, coordination.  Coordinated with what?

With something in your outfit

Once you see this, you won’t be able to unsee it. This is a lipstick technique well known to professional photographers, makeup artists, and print layout artists. It’s so very subtle, and very simple… It makes wearing lipstick FUN, because it’s so easy, especially for beginners.

You know all too well how hard it is to select shades of lipsticks.  You’re standing at the makeup counter or you’re looking at buying lipsticks online, and the number of shade choices are overwhelming.

Here’s my take on this…

Open your closet. You already know what lipstick shades work for you by looking at the colors you like to wear.  You probably already know what colors work with your skin tone, skin undertones and all that technical stuff because you know what colors of clothes and accessories you like to see yourself in.

I’ll prove it to you a little further down this post.

But first, let me answer the question of WHY lipstick coordination works and HOW lipstick color coordination works.

Why choosing a lipstick color this way works.

1. It’s fast, without overthinking.
2. It’s easy.
3. The coordinated look proves you care about your presentation.  It’s subtle the way it works, but it works almost 100% of the time.  On the days you want to look very put together, the coordinated lipstick shade is the fastest way to do it.

How choosing a lipstick color this way works.

Match your lipstick color to any of the following items.

1. Your top.
2. Bangles, bracelets, watch bands.
3. Your Shoes.
4. Your nail polish.
5. Earrings.  (provided they can be easily seen)
6. A scarf.
7. Hair Bows
8. Hats
9. Your purse or bag.
10. Your jacket.
11. Your rings.
12. Necklaces
13. Your phone case.
14. Any accessory. (broad, I know, and it works.)

Let Me Prove It To You.

Go to any store that sells magazines, and look at the fashion magazine covers. (examples below  to cut your carbon footprint or a bicycle trip)

You’ll notice instantly that most covers showing women will have matched her lipstick color to some article of clothing or an accessory. They will also have matched some writing on the cover to the same color… 

Here’s some examples.

But What About Skin Tones?

The good news is, you don’t always have to be concerned with this advanced topic.  You can use the clothes in your closet to help guide you to the lipstick shade families you should consider trying first.

For the coordinated method of choosing what lipstick color to wear, you don’t have to consider the discussions surrounding cool undertones, warm undertones, neutral undertones, dark skin, light skin and all of those deeper topics of discussion.

The fact is, if you dislike the way a color of clothing looks on you, you’ll probably dislike a similar lipstick color too.

For now, throw all the skin tone stuff out the window and concentrate on the colors you like to see in the mirror.

What If I Like A Lipstick Shade, But Don’t Own Any Clothing That Matches It?

Great question.  The obvious answer is buy something that does match it.

Trying on clothes in a store will clue you to lipstick colors you overlooked before.  Also, this technique can positively take lipstick shades out of the running by confirming the color range doesn’t match your skin.

What If My Lipstick Shade Doesn’t Exactly Match My Outfit?

My makeup artist answer is to mix two different colors of lipstick to shift the tone.  An alternative is to use gloss to shift the tone of the lipstick

The way to do this is quite simple, but does require some experimentation to get the hang of it.  Using a lip brush, work your base lipstick color into your lips stopping before your desired intensity.  Next go over your lip with a different shade in thin layers until you’ve shifted the color slightly.

An example:  If you currently own a light pink lipstick shade, but want it to be darker, go over it with a light wash of red. Don’t forget to blot.

All sorts of combinations make winning new colors.  Nudes + pink. Pink + reds. Nudes + berry, etc.

If you are using a gloss to shift a lipstick tone, you’ll need to go darker than you think.  To shift a pink lipstick requires a deeper red gloss than you might imagine. 

What If My Clothes Are Colors That No Lipstick Matches?

Of course this happens.  Black, blue, green, white and other primary colors will have no matching lipstick shade that doesn’t look like you just came off the disco floor.

In these cases, if you still want to coordinate, adding in accessories is the way.  Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, purses, shoes, nail polish are the way to achieve this. Think outside the box. Subtlety is key!


Matching a lipstick shade to your outfit or accessories is an easy way to pick which lipstick color to wear.

Vice versa, match something in your outfit to a desired lipstick shade. This technique is used by professional makeup artists, photographers and print layout specialists.

Use your closet palette to guide your lipstick palette.  Use two lipstick shades or a lipstick and a gloss of differing shades to shift the color of the lip to coordinate with your outfit for that well put together, I-gave-a-damn-today look.

What are your thoughts on this coordination method, do you start with the lipstick you want to wear, or the outfit you want to wear…or both depending on your mood??

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  1. Can you tell me a lip color that can make your teeth appear whiter.That has blur undertone ?Thanks

    1. Hi Lisa, Typically a berry color of sorts would be best. Something like Boys N Berries, Can’t Be Beet, Paris, Berrycuda, and Oh Snapdragon would all be great options. Unless you’re looking for a red lipstick or another color of lipstick that has a cool undertone 🙂 If that’s the case let us know and we can help.

  2. Hi are you going to make Summer Sands available this summer. It’s such a nice shade. Janice

    1. Hi Janice, I don’t believe there’s a plan to do so this summer. If you’d like though we can add a tally mark on that one for you. If we were to get enough requests it’s possible we could bring that one back sometime.

  3. Hi Gals—–I really like two lipstick shades that are no longer available: Sun-kissed and Petal Pusher. Could you let me know when they become available again??? Many thanks!
    Best wishes to all, Betty

    1. Hi Betty,

      Thank you for your inquiry. At this time I don’t believe there are plans to make more or bring these back. It
      is always possible that we could in the future should we have enough requests to do so. I will have Gail put tally marks on these for you 🙂

  4. I have blue eyes and grey hair. What color of lipstick should I wear?

  5. Sandy Brummel says:

    I wished you would of listed the color of lipsticks that was in the grid with the 9 lip colors that are closest to the picture that red apple carries ( I know colors look different on everyone depending on their natural lip color) at the top page of your The one color that really seems to go with my clothing color pallet is the bottom left one If you could give me recommendations to the ones you recommend that would be great !

    1. Andrea Harper says:

      Great idea, Sandy! Just added the list of shades for you 🙂

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