• Put it in neutral. The most versatile lipstick you can own is a shade that’s just a bit brighter than your natural lip colour. It will even out and define your lips the way a subtle coat of mascara draws attention to your eyes. For some people, that colour is a peachy brown or rosy pink. Keep in mind that a neutral lipstick shouldn’t be the colour of concealer (a look that only works on the runway) and that a matte lipstick that is lighter than your natural lip colour will wash out your face.
• Try it right. Use the middle of your lower lip as a guide when looking for the right colour, and try lipstick on in the daylight for the most accurate assessment. If you’ve tested more than three or four shades, take a break—your lips will be stained. You may also need to find a new colour if you’ve been out in the sun a lot, since your lips might be darker.
• Know yourself. The colour of your lips affects the way a lipstick looks. If you see your friend wearing a great colour, don’t assume it will be right for you. Her shade might look ashy or muddy on your lips.
• Mix it up. Every season has its lipstick trend, and just because your perfect colour is a pinky beige, that doesn’t mean you can’t wear deep burgundy. Apply one coat of your neutral, then add a thin coat of wine, burgundy, or any other colour you want to try on top. Even the craziest lipstick shade can be adjusted to suit your colouring.
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