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How To Find Your Perfect Lipstick Shade

Lisa Kovner

Posted on March 24 2021

How To Find Your Perfect Lipstick Shade

When it comes to cosmetics, finding the right shade of lipstick can be complicated. Many women know all too well what it feels like to invest in a luxury brand of lipstick, only to find out that the shade, when worn, completely clashes with their complexion. The good news is that those days are over — with this guide from VIOLA ROUGE Cosmetics, you’ll have all of the information you need to pick the perfect shade the first time around, and forevermore after that, too.

First Steps To Finding Your Perfect Shade

The first step to identifying your ideal shade of lipstick is to determine and learn about your skin’s natural undertone. Unlike a skin tone, which is technically the superficial color of one’s complexion, an undertone is a subtler, softer hue found in the deeper layers of the skin. When searching for the perfect shade of lipstick for your undertone, you will likely want to narrow down your viable options by looking through the lens of one of the following five color categories: 

  • Blue
  • Red
  • Pink
  • Olive
  • Yellow

Not sure which one of the above is your color category? No worries — just take our quick quiz here to find the perfect shade for your skin’s undertone.


Lipstick Temperatures: Warm, Cool, Or Neutral?

Just as skin undertones can be broken down into categories of color, so too can your ideal group of lipstick shades be found by separating skin undertones into one of three “temperature” types: warm, cool, or neutral. These temperatures each correspond with one or more of the undertones listed above, as well as an associated class of complimentary cosmetic shades.


  • Cool lipstick shades pair well with red, pink, and blue undertones
  • Warm lipstick shades pair well with golden and yellow  undertones
  • Neutral lipstick shades pair well with olive undertones, which are generally some combination of several base-layer skin shades

  • Selecting The Most Suitable Lipstick Shades

    Now that you know your undertone and your “temperature” type of cosmetic counterpart, it’s time to get to the fun stuff: selecting your most-likely-to-be-lovely lipstick shades!

    If you have a blue, red, or pink undertone, your lips will love the colors on the cooler end of the spectrum: 

    • Purples & Plums: Look for soft lilac, violet, or even periwinkle blue
    • Your most radiant “Red” will be a shade that veers more toward the bluish end of the rosy range, such as crimson or a darkly hued fuschia
    • Anything that looks berry-colored is bound to be flattering

    If you have a yellow undertone, you’ll want to keep your eyes on warmer shades of lipstick:

    • Corals, nectarine nudes, and peachy pinks are your new BFFs
    • Warm earth tones and browns: Look for spicy chai, warm sienna, and reddish cinnamon
    • If you go with a plum or a purple shade, don’t be afraid to go a bit darker than you normally would

    If you have an olive complexion with a neutral undertone, you can explore a wide range of colors with all of your cosmetics. You can probably wear most shades of warm and cool lipstick, so if you believe you can pull it off, go for it!

    Also for Olive complexions, depending on how easily (or not-so-easily) your skin gets along with sun exposure, you can more precisely determine the shades that are most likely to flatter your features:

    • Lighter Skin (burns easily; rarely tans): Look for rosy pinks and pale browns
    • Medium Skin (sometimes burns, sometimes tans): Beiges are your go-to neutral shades
    • Darker Skin (usually tans, almost never burns): Deep, dark chocolates and nocturnal plums will have everyone gawking in envy

    Get Your First Flawlessly Selected Lip Color Now

    Whether you fall into a warmer category of lipstick shades, a cooler class of hues, or somewhere in the neutrality of the in-between, VIOLA ROUGE has a full collection of cosmetic colors perfectly suited for you. Shop our lipstick shades and order your most flawlessly flattering tube today!

    Be sure to check out our other lipstick and cosmetic guides on our blog, or learn more about how to debunk the most common myths about skin tone with our resource here.

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