Choosing the perfect lipstick shade can be tricky. With so many options to choose from – nudes, reds, pinks, berries – it’s hard to know which colors will be universally flattering. The good news is that there are a few lipstick shades that look great on everyone. Here’s a look at the most versatile lipstick colors and tips for choosing a universally flattering hue.
A nude lipstick is hands down the most versatile shade. Nudes come in a wide range of hues from pale beige to deep mocha. The key is finding the right undertone to complement your skin. Cool-toned skin looks best in rosy pinky nudes while warm undertones look great in peachy golden nudes. When in doubt, opt for a nude with a hint of pink which flatters most complexions.
Here are the most flattering nude lipstick shades for different skin tones:
|Skin Tone||Nude Lipstick Shades|
|Fair/Light||Muted pinky nudes like MAC Velvet Teddy, Revlon Blushing Nude|
|Light/Medium||Peachy pink nudes like MAC Myth, Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk|
|Medium/Tan||Warm golden browns like MAC Whirl, Maybelline Nude Nuance|
|Deep||Rich espresso nudes like MAC Chestnut, Fenty Beauty Uncuffed|
Nude lipsticks are ideal for everyday wear and suit both understated daytime looks as well as glam nighttime makeup. They are incredibly easy to wear and let your eyes and the rest of your makeup really pop.
MLBB (My Lips But Better) Shades
“MLBB” stands for “my lips but better” lipstick shades. As the name suggests, these are soft, natural hues that enhance your natural lip color. MLBB lipsticks tend to be semi-sheer with a creamy formula that provides a wash of color to brighten your lips.
Choosing an MLBB shade means opting for a color that’s similar to the natural pink/rosy tone of your lips. Fair skin does well with rosy pinks while deeper skin looks great with brick reds and burgundies. MLBB lippies blur the line between bare lips and makeup for an ultra natural look.
Some top-rated MLBB shades include:
- NYX Butter Gloss in Madeleine
- Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Sweet Tart
- L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Shine in Glossy Fawn
- Maybelline Baby Lips in Rosy Red
MLBB lipsticks are perfect for no-makeup makeup days. They give you a touch of color while letting your natural beauty shine through.
Bright Pinks & Corals
Vibrant pink and coral shades are incredibly fun and flirty! Unlike bold reds which can be polarizing, bright pinks and corals tend to be universally flattering. The warm undertones in these shades complement most skin tones.
Bright pinks look especially pretty on those with cool undertones. Try soft bubblegum pinks and fuchsia if you have fair skin. For medium to tan skin, go for vibrant coral pinks and oranges like MAC Lady Danger. Deeper complexions can rock deep raspberry pinks for a striking pop of color.
Some universally flattering bright pink & coral shades include:
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Flamingo Kiss
- Maybelline Color Sensational in Fuchsia For Me
- NYX Butter Lipstick in Lifeguard
- Wet n Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit in Coral Corruption
Play up bright pink and coral lipsticks by keeping eye makeup minimal. A sweep of mascara and touch of blush is all you need to let your lips take centerstage.
A classic bold red lip instantly pulls any look together and makes a statement. Thankfully, true reds with a blue undertone flatter most complexions. The trick is finding a red with the right amount of depth and coolness to complement your skin.
Fair skin looks knockout in cherry reds while medium skin suits a slightly deeper red with a touch of warmth like MAC Ruby Woo. Deeper skin tones can opt for rich oxblood reds like Fenty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncensored.
Some top-rated reds for all skin tones include:
- NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl
- Maybelline Color Sensational in Red Revolution
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Certainly Red
- L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche in Blake Red
Red lips command attention, so keep the rest of your makeup minimal. Define your brows, add mascara, and finish with a touch of powder. Let your bold red lips do the talking!
Choosing The Right Lipstick
When shopping for the perfect lipstick shade for you, here are some handy tips:
- Test shades on your arm to gauge undertones before applying to lips
- Opt for lipsticks with blue/pink undertones if cool-toned and orange/yellow if warm
- For fair skin, stick to lighter, brighter hues. Deeper skin suits richer, bolder colors
- If a lipstick pulls too pink or purple, it likely doesn’t match your undertone
- Don’t be afraid to mix and layer shades for a custom look
Makeup Tips for Flawless Lipstick Application
Once you’ve chosen the perfect shade, use these pro makeup artist tips for flawless application every time:
- Exfoliate lips with a lip scrub to smooth texture
- Outline lips with liner to prevent feathering and increase longevity
- Apply lipstick to the cupid’s bow and center of your lips to create an ombre pout
- Blot lips between coats to build up color and remove excess
- Finish with translucent powder or clear gloss to set lipstick and add shine
While there are many gorgeous lipstick shades out there, nudes, MLBBs, bright pinks, corals and classic reds tend to be the most universally flattering. Choosing the right undertones for your skin tone along with proper application means you can rock virtually any lip color. With so many amazing options, you’re sure to find your perfect shade!