Nothing pulls your outfit together quite like a good shade of lipstick. You could be wearing jeans and a t-shirt and instantly look pulled together just by applying a quick swipe of lipstick. Here are some ways to choose the right lipstick for different outfits and situations.

Don't Forget Undertones


Everyone's skin has an undertone. There are two main ones: warm and cool. If your skin is warm, it will probably have a bit of a yellow tinge to it. You look good in red, orange, yellow and brown. Cool-toned skin is pinkish and is complemented by blue, silver and gray. If you find a lipstick in a great color that looks bad on you for reasons you can't quite articulate, it might be the wrong undertone. It takes a while to learn how to identify the undertones in lipstick, especially reds. If you're unsure, try a very brown brick red and a very purple berry shade; the brick is warm and the berry is cool. You'll be able to identify your undertone by determining which color looks better on you. From there, you'll be able to shop the lipsticks in the correct undertone category. That's more than half the battle when it comes to selecting a good shade.


Be Realistic about the Situation at Hand


You might be tempted to wear a vampy plum or rich red lipstick on a first date, but you should reconsider that notion. Dark colors migrate outside of the lip line as time goes by, and they fade unevenly as you eat. You don't want to have to pop into the bathroom every hour to babysit your lipstick. This is why it is so common to wear a smokey eye and a nude lip on dates. The eye look compensates for the pale lips. A similar thought process applies to your day job. Opt for a natural-looking tinted balm or a sheer lip gloss if you don't have time for multiple primping breaks throughout the day. Save the bold lip colors for events like concerts or outings where you're only going to have one or two drinks.


Consider Texture as Well


Glosses are more comfortable but rub off easily. Matte lipsticks may feel drying but cling to the lips for a long time. A cream or glossy lip is the better choice for a lip color you're going to be wearing for a full day. These types of lip products also layer well on top of themselves, so reapplying throughout the day won't be a problem. Matte lipsticks, particularly liquid ones, don't budge but can sometimes be uncomfortable. It can be worth wearing a matte lipstick for a night out, since the color will stay put through drinks and dancing. You might feel that it's worth wearing a drying lip color for three or four hours if it's going to stay in place the entire time. You could also reach out to a LipSense distributor for long-wearing lipsticks to experiment with.


Factor in Your Outfit


Your skin's undertones aren't the only ones that matter. You should also take your outfit into account when picking out your makeup for the day. A warm outfit obviously demands a warm lipstick, and a cool outfit demands a cool one. You could wear any lipstick you want with jeans or an overall blue ensemble. Even if your complexion is cool-toned, you will look good in a warm lipstick if the rest of your outfit is warm too. This is a good way to expand your wardrobe and wear things you might not otherwise be able to wear. All you have to do is skew your entire look in the direction of the same undertone.


Keep in mind that these suggestions are just guidelines. Part of wearing makeup is using it to express yourself. If you want to express something that demands an unconventional lip color, you should follow your muse and wear that color. You could also work within your undertone and textural preferences to explore colors and finishes at extreme ends of the spectrum.

Author's Bio: 

Jeremy Sutter is a freelance writer from the Seattle, Washington area. He loves everything to do with small businesses and is a marketing and growth consultant for many start-ups. His favorite days are when he can ride his bike to a local coffee shop to write or just walk his dogs for inspiration.