Sep 3, 2009

Lip Service: Sexy Shades for Every Skin Tone

Let your kissable shade do all the talking. A vibrant lip shade lights up your whole face and brings warmth to your skin. In fact, in these hard economic times, women are turning to their beloved and newly acquired lip shades to boost their moods and succeed in looking glamorous and beautiful without having to splurge on a new pair of Jimmy Choos. So basically purchasing a few new lipsticks and glosses is a way for you to save money this season! Who would have thought!?

Although Summer is unofficially over you can still always rock bright summery shades like juicy watermelons, raspberries, plums, cherries and more! So let’s find the lip shade that's going to make your skin sparkle.

New York-based celebrity makeup artist, Beau Nelson (whose worked with Brooke Shields, Iman and Marcia Cross to name a few) says "A great rule of thumb about finding a great everyday lipstick is to find a "Your Lips But Better" (YLBB) shade, which is something that closely matches the natural shade of your lips but in a slightly deeper tone.". If you're in the mood for something a little saucier to glam up your outfit you'll need a major pop of color. In fact the right shade for you might not look like your lips but will definitely compliment the color wheel you’re most accustomed to.

FAIR SKIN (Think Cinderella, Belle, Ariel and Snow White)

Nelson says fair skin looks great in bright colors, pastels and neutrals in pinkie shades. Peach based colors look vibrant on redheads while brunettes and blonds work pink based shades best. Also look into shades in gold, coral and mauve.

Emily Mullins, a 26-year-old Boston-based Blond, loves peachy pinks like Maybelline's VolumeXLSeduction lipgloss in Born With It (Shade 105) for an everyday look. "It plumps my lips yet gives me a natural glossy look", she says. For her evening look she leans towards plum shades like Bare Escentuals's Lipcolor in Spiced Raisin ($15, Sephora). The formula uses natural oils (like jojoba) and waxes to create a long lasting, moisturizing color.

For redheads look for lip shines that enhance your complexion and hair color. Try MAC LipGlass in C-Thru, a soft peach-beige with shimmer. Crimson-haired Anne Mulligan (a North Carolina native with fair skin) loves how natural the color looks on. Her go-to going out shade is MAC LipGelee in Jellybabe (both $14, The thick gloss is a beautiful rose color that delivers high shine but is "fabulously smooth and not sticky at all".

Other recommendations include Stila's Lip Glaze ($22, Sephora) in Brown Sugar for fair skin and Vanilla for medium skin. Both shades are nudes with a golden shimmery tint (Brown Sugar) and pearly iridescent gloss (Vanilla). Or try a beautiful mauve shade like Clinique Lipstick in A Different Grape ($14, Department Stores)

Stila Lip Glaze

$22.00 by Stila at Sephora

Different Lipstick

$14.00 at Clinique

Red is also stunning on fair skin. Nelson says to find a bright red with blue undertones rather than orange. If you're going for high drama try a neutral full powered scarlet like Beaute Cosmetics Weightless Lip Crème in Masochist ($26,, a shade from Nelson's own line that he uses on Dita Von Teese-who might even beat Gwen Stefani in the 'who can wear red lipstick and look eternally glamorous without ever overdoing it' category.

If you're more a medium-fair than fair (e.g. when you're tan or if you have red undertones) look for rosy or spiced neutrals. Try Nars Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls) or Chihuahua (both $24, Sephora)–the former is a subtle nude beige and latter a glossy guava. Or try Bobbi Brown Lip Crayon in Honeysuckle and Pink Raspberry-creamy textured neutrals. Nelson says Bobbi Brown has a stunning array of neutral YLBB shades. Rachel Quintner, a DC based blond recommends in Praline ($22, Sephora). The dual lip liner and color revives lips using caffeine.

Smashbox Doubletake Lip Color

$22.00 by Smashbox at Sephora

MEDIUM DARK/OLIVE-TONED SKIN (Think Mulan and Princess Jasmine)

This is considered the most versatile of skin shades and can pull off most colors. Medium skin or skin with olive tones looks great in neutral nudes, beigey browns and mid-tone plums says Nelson. While darker shades can wear deep purple, pink, red and brown shades.

My all time favorite lip pick is a cherry-red tinted balm stick by Labello ($8.95, I discovered it in Italy and have been ordering online ever since. I'm addicted to this moisturizing lip treatment. The tint looks perfect on my lips and leaves a deep red stain that somehow never looks clowney. If you're looking for a subtle color try Clinique’s A Blushing Nude, the color is a soft rose that makes you look romantic and flushed. An editor-favorite that’s reached iconic status is the brand's Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (both $14, department stores). The sheer berry color is universally flattering and glides on leaving a just-bitten look. I love how bright and punchy L'Oreal Colour Juice Gloss in Cherry On Top is ($8.49 CVS). I layer it over Lipstick Queen's Oxymoron in Minor Crisis ($20, and revel at how pretty it looks. I also love Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Cherries in the Glow ($7.99, Walgreens). A cranberry hue (similar to the shade Freida Pinto has been sporting) that’s not sticky. If you're feeling bold, try Johanna Thomas's favorite, Dior Addict Gloss in Fuchsia Poplin ($25.50, Nordstroms). If you're a pale-medium or have strong yellow undertones try mauve based shines like M.A.C. LipGlass in Pop Mode ($14,, or Chanel Glossimer in Imaginaire ($24.50, Saks Fifth Avenue). Embrace the color wheel!

Clinique Long Last Soft Shine Lipstick, .14 oz

Clinique Almost Lipstick, .07 oz

$14.00 by Clinique at Macy's

Clinique Almost Lipstick, .07 oz

$14.00 by Clinique at Macy's

Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Matte Lip Gloss - Minor Crisis

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss, Cherries in the Glow

$7.99 by Revlon at Walgreens

Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss Reflect

$25.50 by Christian Dior at Nordstrom

Tinted Lipglass

$14.00 at M·A·C

Chanel Glossimer

$24.50 by Chanel at Saks Fifth Avenue

When wearing red lipstick keep the rest of your makeup minimal, it'll look classic in 50's Mad Men kinda way. I love Julie Hewett's Noir Reds ($23, A collection inspired by Pearl Harbor, the film she worked on in which she created a variety of vintage-looking ruby lips. Belle Noir has an orange base which looks amazing against tan skin and Film Noir is a sheer blackberry that can look dark and sexy or flushed and lightly stained depending on how you apply it.

DARK SKIN (Think Pocahontas and Princess Tiana from the upcoming Disney feature The Princess and the Frog)

If you've got dark skin or have deep red undertones, you want to find shades with rich pigments. While your skin can pull off a variety of shades as well, deep plums, burgundies, browns, bronze and warm brick tones compliment your color best.

According to the editors of Instyle, Lancome Lipstick in Brick House ($25, is the perfect balance between cherry and chocolate, ideal for darker skin. They also recommend a mauve-magenta mixture like Chanel Lipgloss in Bubble Plum ($27, Or embrace the grape with MAC Lipstick in Diva ($14 department stores)-high wattage color in a reddish-burgundy. I also love CO Bigelow Lip Mentha Gloss in Violet Mint ($7.50 CO Bigelow). It feels tingly and fresh on your lips and adds just the right amount of color to look flirty and pulled together. Or if you're feeling kinda rustic try Lipstick Queen Saint in Rust. It's a gold flecked copper that looks dramatic without adding heavy matte layers.

Color Fever Lipstick

$25.00 at Lancome

Lipstick Queen Rust Saint

Finding your perfect lip shade can be a daunting task. However, once you know what looks good on you, you'll be pleased as punch (a shade which incidentally looks great on most people) by what an instant glamour-maker you'll have to slick over your lips.

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