Diary / Beauty / May 20, 2024

Which Lipstick Colors Make Your Teeth Look Whiter?

Written by: Jones Road Beauty

Photography by: Ben Ritter & Jon Paterson

The Jones Road Lip Tint

We’re firm believers that whatever lipstick color makes you feel confident and comfortable, that’s the one you should wear. Rather than choosing a color for your skin tone and undertone, choose the hue according to your personal style preference. 

But sometimes, the color you most want to wear may end up working against you. Even if you stay away from red wine and coffee or other teeth-staining culprits, your smile may appear somewhat yellow (more than it is in reality) when paired with certain lip colors. The good news is, the right lip color can make your teeth look whiter and pristine.

It’s the rare person who has perfect teeth, who is completely satisfied with their smile. This is nothing to be ashamed of—more than likely, we all face one or more of the contributing factors to stained, yellowing teeth. Luckily, there are a few measures you can take to keep this from becoming a severe issue.

We’ll go over how to avoid teeth stains in the first place and how to find the right lipstick shade to make your smile pop.

What causes teeth stains and how to avoid them

Sometimes, yellowing teeth can’t be avoided. We eat, we drink, we may have some bad habits that are tough to shake (no matter how hard we try or how much we want to change). The accumulation of all this over the years means no one has teeth as white as when they were children.

With that said, go easy on yourself, but be aware if any of these are sabotaging your best smile from appearing.

Aging: As we age, the enamel on our teeth starts to wear out, making some yellowing and staining of the teeth unavoidable.

Genetics: Does this seem to affect other family members? Genetics are probably to blame.

Coffee and tea: Depending on how much you consume, coffee and tea may contribute to a less-than-white set of teeth. 

Red wine: No surprise here, but red wine can also lead to staining—not only due to the color but also thanks to its acidity. (Somewhat similarly, take caution with any tomato-heavy dishes.)

Antibiotics: Some antibiotics may lead to issues here (google Tetracycline) but it’s no reason to go against professional medical advice. Consult with your doctor if you have concerns regarding your specific antibiotic.

Teeth grinding: This habit weakens your teeth and over time, they may become less able to fend off stains.


If you know you’re going to be consuming coffee, tea, or red wine, you may think it’s important to immediately brush your teeth after. However, your teeth may be more sensitive to abrasion due to the beverage’s acidity.

Instead, brush beforehand so you remove anything that the beverages can cling to.

There are also professional treatments you can undergo to brighten your smile. Proceed with caution before trying out over-the-counter teeth-whitening trays, strips, pens, or other kits. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, these are best skipped, and you may prefer a professional treatment administered at your dentist’s office.

Jones Road Beauty model

Lipstick colors for a whiter smile

If you’re looking for a lip color that can fake brighter teeth, then a cool shade is your best bet.

But how do you know if a color is considered cool-toned?

Saying that a red or pink is blue-based may sound confusing, but it’s true: cool-toned lip colors do have blue in them. (It all comes down to the color wheel.) They tend to be vivid and clear. 

Warm shades, on the other hand, are more bronzey—think brick red or orange-based. Some of these are best avoided if you’re nervous about a less-than-white smile. Try them out though to see how your go-to coral or ruddy fuchsia appears. You may be fine; this guideline is just a starting point to help you navigate the variety of colors out there.

If you’re unsure if a color you’re considering is warm or cool, it’s a good idea to swatch it along with a couple of others to compare the shades. Even if a color isn’t evidently cool-toned or warm-toned on its own, you’ll be able to get a better idea when you place a few hues side by side.

When in doubt, look at the packaging and name of the lip color. Very often, the color will be described as warm or cool (even as blue-toned or blue-based). 

Other things to keep in mind

The texture of your lips and the finish of your lipstick are also important.

Rough texture is a distraction so keep your lips smooth through occasional, gentle exfoliation and regular moisturizing.

Use a damp washcloth to lightly rub over your mouth and follow up with a powerful lip balm, like The Lippie Stick, or if you need more heavy-hitting support, Bobbi recommends using Eye Cream for very dry lips.

As for the finish of your lipstick, avoid anything too matte or too shimmery.

While long-lasting lipsticks tend to be matte, a flat finish may heighten the dull appearance of teeth. Similarly, a color with a lot of shimmer may reflect and draw attention to your teeth.

Opt for something moisturizing, with a light gloss. This will provide a natural, healthy-looking finish that nicely complements your smile. This is the sweet spot in between anything flat or reflective. 

With this in mind, consider Cool Gloss in Peony or Great Red. Or The Lip Tint is our modern, moisturizing take on a traditional lipstick; it comes in plenty of shades so you can play around and find which tone really pops.


There’s no need to hide behind a dull smile, or to be embarrassed by it. Everyone has something about their teeth they’d like to change so you’re not alone if you feel self-conscious.

But the key to any good makeup look is a natural, confident smile that radiates your best self. While there are tips and tricks you can follow to avoid worsening stains or even whitening teeth (consult with a dentist first, of course), one easy hack is relying on a lipstick color to give your teeth a whiter appearance and perk up your smile. 

Look for a blue-based lipstick—a vibrant red or pink—and skip warmer tones for now. Lipstick finish is also important, so pay attention to that next time you’re trying out colors.

Bottom line: Give yourself permission to play around with different hues and have fun experimenting!

Shop the article:

Lip and Cheek Stick

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New Shades

The Lippie Stick

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Diary / Beauty / May 20, 2024

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