Diary / Beauty / Aug 10, 2023
What Color Lipstick Should You Wear?
Written by: Piper Gray
Photography by: Ben Ritter
Lipstick, no matter the color or formulation, is an easy way to transform your day. With just one swipe of a vibrant hue, you can add impact to an otherwise simple look, or if you opt for a softer color, you can achieve a grounded look for your daily routine.
At Jones Road Beauty, we’ve always thought of lip color as a personal style preference, not as something that absolutely has to coordinate with your skin tone or undertone. But with so many colors out there to play with, that can be a good place to start. We’ll talk about how to use your natural coloring to find lipstick that will leave you confident and comfortable, and suggest Jones Road colors that are popular for different tones and undertones.
(Above, Mollye wears The Lip Tint in Ruby.)
Figure Out Your Skin Tone
You probably already have a good understanding of your skin tone. If someone is described as having fair skin or dark skin, then it’s skin tone we’re talking about. This basically refers to the amount of melanin in your skin. (And of course, there are countless shades, and ways to describe the tones, among that spectrum.) Even if you’re totally new to wearing makeup, you still know where the shade of your complexion stands.
And you’ve probably noticed how your skin can get lighter in the winter and darker in the summer. Factors like sun exposure and aging can alter your skin tone, but your skin’s undertone will stay consistent over time.
Understanding Your Skin’s Undertones
As a primer on all things skin undertone, give this a read first, but in short: skin undertones are warm, neutral, or cool.
It’s possible that two people with the same skin tone can have different undertones; say they both have a light skin shade, but one may have cool undertones while the other has warm undertones. Skin undertones, to put it simply, are the shades within your skin color.
Getting your skin tone and skin undertone right are essential for choosing color-correcting base products; if you choose a concealer that doesn’t neutralize any skin discoloration and/or foundation that doesn’t blend in with your natural coloring, then your makeup will likely look off. When you’ve got those squared away, your base will be flawless, which means any additional products that you’re using to add color and dimension—like blush or bronzer—will naturally flatter your complexion.
Complimenting Your Coloring
Understanding your skin tone and undertone can be helpful for choosing a lip color, no matter if you’re searching for an everyday neutral or a pop of color for more special occasions. At Jones Road Beauty, we believe that whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident is the right choice, and experimentation is always encouraged. But knowing your skin tone and undertone can steer you in a direction to find those colors that do make you most comfortable and confident.
But even before that, consider how you want your lips to look: do you prefer a subtle wash of color, or are you looking for something more highly pigmented?
For a light addition to your lips, it’s all about layering and blotting. Our Lip Tint glides on effortlessly and is buildable so you can add more to reach your desired color. Blotting—pressing your mouth on a napkin or tissue to take down some color—can also help set your lips. The Lip Tint is packed with moisture so if you decide to layer for a bolder look, your mouth won’t feel heavy, sticky, or coarse.
The same goes for our Lip and Cheek Stick, too: it’s light, comfortable, and buildable (and does double-duty for your cheeks as well). Another multitasker, Miracle Balm is great for when an understated lip color is what you’re after.
For shinier impact, Cool Gloss imparts warmth and polish in just one glide—use it alone or on top a corresponding color for a punchier look.
Let’s go through some tried-and-true recommendations from our team.
Most Popular Lip Colors for Fair Skin Tones
- The Lip Tint in Nude Mauve or Just Peachy
- Cool Gloss in Pink Gold Shimmer or Golden Shimmer
- Lip and Cheek Stick in Bright Coral or Mauve Rose
- (Mariella wears The Lip Tint in Nude Mauve.)
Most Popular Lip Colors for Light Skin Tones
- The Lip Tint in Just Pinky or Nude Mauve
- Cool Gloss in Golden Shimmer or Pink Gold Shimmer
- Lip and Cheek Stick in English Rose or Rosy Brown
- (Adelina wears Cool Gloss in Golden Shimmer.)
Most Popular Lip Colors for Medium / Tan Skin Tones
- The Lip Tint in Mocha Rose Shimmer or Nude Rose
- Cool Gloss in Rosy or Nude Beige
- Lip and Cheek Stick in Chocolate Mocha or Rosy Brown
- (Arnelle wears The Lip Tint in Mocha Rose Shimmer.)
Most Popular Lip Colors for Olive Skin Tones
- The Lip Tint in Nude Rose or Merlot
- Cool Gloss in Mocha Shimmer or Pink Gold Shimmer
- Lip and Cheek Stick in Rosy Brown or Tawny Nude
- (Fitz is wearing Cool Gloss in Mocha Shimmer.)
Most Popular Lip Colors for Deep / Dark Skin Tones
- The Lip Tint in Cocoa Rose or Black Cherry
- Cool Gloss in Boysenberry or Nude Beige
- Lip and Cheek Stick in Royal Plum or Chocolate Mocha
- (Olivia is wearing Lip and Cheek Stick in Royal Plum.)
Most Popular Lip Colors for Warm Undertones
- The Lip Tint in Just Peachy or Just Pinky
- Cool Gloss in Pastel Pink or Golden Shimmer
- Lip and Cheek Stick in Bright Coral or English Rose
- (Mollye wears Lip and Cheek Stick in English Rose.)
Most Popular Lip Colors for Cool Undertones
- The Lip Tint in Pretty or Nude Mauve
- Cool Gloss in Peony or Pink Gold Shimmer
- Lip and Cheek Stick in Mauve Rose or English Rose
- (Carly wears Cool Gloss in Pink Gold Shimmer.)
Most Popular Lip Colors for Neutral Undertones
- The Lip Tint in Pink Rose or Valencia Orange
- Cool Gloss in Mocha Shimmer or Peony
- Lip and Cheek Stick in Tawny Nude or Chocolate Mocha
- (Haejin wears The Lip Tint in Valencia Orange.)
The Bottom Line
Choosing colors that suit your skin tone and undertone isn’t a hard and fast rule, but it’s good guidance to keep in mind.
As you can see, you have plenty of options to get started, but if you’re still in doubt, go neutral. If you want to find your “nude,” choose the shade that most closely matches your natural lip color.
Lip colors are perfect for makeup novices and near-pros alike to play around with—just have fun. (You can always wipe it off.)