Can’t pick the right lipstick? Here’s an expert guide to your perfect shade

11 September,2023 02:25 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Aakanksha Ahire

The internet is buzzing about Smashbox’s perfecting pen, Skin Story’s multistick and Tint Cosmetic’s matte lip stains. This has tempted us to refill our carts and get fresh shades for our lips. But wait. Before you go on a lipstick shopping spree, we have make-up pundits listing down tips to help you make the right choice

While nudes are the perfect option for regular use, feel free to experiment and find what makes you feel confident and beautiful. Image for representational purpose only. Photo Courtesy: istock

Key Highlights

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Nothing entices a woman quite like a rich shade of lipstick. The hues, their velvety textures, and their alluring names such as 'Walk of Confidence,' 'Radiant Elegance,' 'Eternal Charm,' or 'Seductive Coral' radiate undeniable allure. Regardless of the cost, it's the one indulgence women willingly invest in without a hint of remorse.

While women have an ocean full of brands and shades to choose from, picking the right lipstick that perfectly complements their skin tone still remains one of the hardest choices women make.

Further, with the cosmetic industry having diversified more than ever, we hear of some new cosmetic brands being launched or brands launching their new line of products almost every single day.

The internet is buzzing about Smashbox's perfecting pen, Skin Story's multistick and Tint Cosmetic's matte lip stains. This has tempted us to refill our carts and get fresh shades for our lips. But wait. Before you go on a lipstick shopping spree, we have make-up pundits listing down tips to help you make the right choice

"Choosing the right lipstick shade is crucial. Whether you're attending a formal event, going for a casual outing or simply wanting to add a touch of glamour to your everyday life, having a well-curated collection of lip colours is essential," says Manjari Singh, celebrity, bridal make-up artist and luxury beauty influencer.

Adding to this, Arshia Kaur Vijan, co-founder, Tint Cosmetics says, "The significance of lipsticks extends beyond grand occasions - being an integral part of daily routines. Therefore, it's imperative that they are not only visually appealing but also safe and beneficial for regular application."

Roadmap to adding the right lipstick into your cart for everyday use
For decades, we have seen Indian women having an inclination towards deeper browns and pinks to complement their skin tones. However, while shades of brown and pink continue to be our go-tos, many younger women have gone all out and are sporting vibrant shades of purple, blue, orange and even black.

Speaking about trending shades that women prefer for everyday use, Singh hails nudes to be the best. Nude lipsticks are a go-to choice, especially for a no-makeup makeup look or when you want your eyes or outfit to be the centre of focus. Under the nude category, you can go for brighter hues of pink, coral or brown to add a touch of colour and glow. This especially helps with Indian skin tones. However, you must know that a complete nude lip colour will end up making the face look pale so it is always best to mix different shades of nudes with different hues to create unique shades. Singh says, "Nude shades come in various undertones, so choose the ones that complement your skin tone."

Also Read: Why sneaker culture in India has taken Gen Z and millennials by storm

While nudes are the perfect option for regular use, feel free to experiment and find what makes you feel confident and beautiful. Before making a purchase, always test shades on your lips or wrist to ensure they flatter your skin tone under different lighting. Vijan adds, "If you love a shade that's not ‘meant' for your skin tone, don't hesitate to rock it anyway!"

Key distinctions between the kinds of lipsticks
Vijan lists down common kinds of lipsticks available in the market with each having a different texture and form.

They have a creamy, smooth texture and provide a rich colour payoff. They offer hydration and are comfortable to wear, making them great for everyday use.

Matte lipsticks have a flat, non-shiny finish. They offer intense colour and long-lasting wear, making them suitable for a polished look that lasts throughout the day.

Liquid lipsticks come with a liquid formula that dries down to a matte or semi-matte finish. They are highly pigmented, long-lasting and often transfer-proof, making them perfect for all-day wear.

Gloss lipsticks provide a shiny, reflective finish. They offer a plumping effect and add dimension to the lips. Glosses are great for achieving a youthful and fresh appearance.

Lip stains
Lip stains provide a sheer wash of colour that lasts longer than traditional lipsticks. They have a lightweight feel and are perfect for achieving a natural look.

Right lipstick for the right occasion

You must go with the shade that makes you feel confident and beautiful. Manjari Singh (Left), Kalki Koechlin (Middle), Huma Qureshi (Right). Photo Courtesy: Manjari Singh

Although there are no rules that restrict you from experimenting with different shades, Singh offers a helpful guide.

Classic Red
A classic red lipstick is a staple in every makeup collection. It's perfect for formal occasions such as black-tie events, cocktail parties or a night out. Pair it with winged eyeliner and subtle eye makeup to let your lips take centre stage.

The nude lipstick is a versatile shade that works effortlessly for both casual and professional settings. It's ideal both for everyday wear, as it enhances your natural lip colour and adds a touch of polish to your look as well as for parties and black-tie events whether you want to rock a dramatic smoky eye or a minimal classy glam look.

Pink lipsticks offers a playful and feminine touch to your makeup look. From soft pastels to vibrant fuchsias, there's a pink shade for every occasion. Light pinks are great for daytime events, brunches or garden parties, while brighter pinks add a pop of colour for a fun night out with friends. Pair it with soft, rosy cheeks and a hint of mascara for a fresh and youthful appearance.

If you're looking to make a statement, a rich berry shade is the right way to go. Berry lipsticks range from deep burgundies to bold purples and they add a touch of drama to your makeup look. This shade is perfect for evening events like weddings, parties or romantic dinners. Keep the rest of your makeup minimal to let your lips be the centre of attention.

Bold/statement shade
Every makeup collection needs a show-stopping, bold shade that reflects your personality and adds a touch of excitement to any occasion. This can be a vibrant orange, a daring purple or a unique shade that complements your individual style. Wear it confidently for special events, music festivals or when you simply want to express your creativity through makeup.

Buying lipstick online
Although the idea of purchasing a new shade of lipstick online seems convenient, we are still hesitant at times. Most of us end up ordering a shade that looks perfect on screen but refuses to fit well with our skin tone after we try it out post-delivery.

Sangeeta Kunder, senior social engager (marketing & communication), Nykaa, shares a few friendly tips that can help us purchase the correct shade when ordering online.

1. It's important to read reviews and check product descriptions for colour swatches and finishes.

2. Buy from known and reputable websites. It's also a good idea to purchase from a brand that works well for you.

3. Always check the return/exchange policy and don't hesitate to reach out to customer service if you have any questions or concerns.

4. Before adding a shade to the cart, consider your skin tone. Warm-toned skin typically looks best with warmer lip colours, while cool-toned skin can pull off cooler shades. Consider your hair colour, as well. Warm shades such as reds and oranges match well with warm-toned hair, while cool-toned hair looks best with cooler shades of pink and red.

5. Additionally, consider your personal style and where you'll be wearing the lipstick, as matte formulas work better for everyday wear and glossier formulas are suited for special events.

6. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many brands have come up with a try-it-on feature too where the customers can virtually try out products and see how it suits them. This feature has revolutionised
the beauty industry and all online buyers must definitely use it.

Invest in a good-quality lipstick
Even though all cosmetic brands today claim to be safe for application, it is best to test the quality yourself. Sharing some tips to check the quality of the lipstick, Singh urges all to always look for skin-loving ingredients in your lipstick that actually keep your lips nourished.

To protect your lips and maintain their health, look at the ingredients of the lipstick before buying it. Do not buy lipsticks that have toxic, potentially harmful chemicals like parabens, petroleum, lead, artificial fragrances and synthetic dyes.

If the texture of the lipstick is making your lips too dry and making it difficult for you to even smile, it's a strong sign to dump the lipstick immediately.

Check for the lipstick's pigment. If it needs multiple swipes to get the true colour on your lips it is not a good quality lipstick.

Further, if the lipstick peels off like wall paint or gum, it is another indicator of bad quality lipstick.

If you are genuinely invested in taking care of your lips, opt for clean beauty. Clean Organic lipsticks are made from natural ingredients that are great for your lips and do not cause them any harm. Ingredients like beeswax, jojoba oil and shea butter along with other essential oils are the ones used to make organic lipsticks.

Lipstick recommendations
If you are looking for some top lipstick recommendations and want to save the hassle of hunting for lipsticks for yourself, Singh shares some of the shades you can try out

Mac Cosmetics
Velvet Teddy
Please Me
Runway Hit
Kinda Sexy
So Chaud
Ruby Woo

Tint Cosmetics
Guava Matte Lip Stain
Toast Matte Lip Stain
Tint Hydrating Lip Gloss

SUGAR Cosmetics
Matte As Hell Crayon Lipstick - Holly Golightly
Matte As Hell Crayon Lipstick - Miss Rosa
Nothing Else Matter Longwear Lipstick - Browning Glory (Caramel Nude)

Smash Box Cosmetics

Jeffree Star Cosmetics

Nars Cosmetics
Slow Ride
Dolce Vita

Chanel Rouge De Baume
Pink Delight

Charlotte Tilbury
Pillow Talk
Hot lips 2.0
JK Magic

Huda Beauty

Disclaimer: Lipsticks mentioned are personal recommendations and completely non-promotional.

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