How to Find the Best Lip Color: An Interview With Bobbi Brown
Bobbi Brown is a makeup artist and the founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. She is the author of four books, including Bobbi Brown Living Beauty (Springboard Press).
The ideal neutral lip color is like the perfect pair of jeans: It is a basic that you can dress up or down, and it will always look great on you.
• Put it in neutral. The most versatile lipstick you can own is a shade that's just a bit brighter than your natural lip color. It will even out and define your lips the way a subtle coat of mascara draws attention to your eyes. For some people, that color is a peachy brown or rosy pink; for an African-American woman, it might be eggplant. Keep in mind that a neutral lipstick shouldn't be the color of concealer (a look that only works on the runway) and that a matte lipstick that is lighter than your natural lip color will wash out your face.
• Try it right. Use the middle of your lower lip as a guide when looking for the right color, and try lipstick on in the daylight for the most accurate assessment. If you've tested more than three or four shades, take a break—your lips will be stained. You may also need to find a new color if you've been out in the sun a lot, since your lips might be darker.
• Know yourself. As a makeup artist, I learned quickly that the color of your lips affects the way a lipstick looks. If you see your friend wearing a great color, don't assume it will be right for you. Her shade might look ashy or muddy on your lips.
• Mix it up. Every season has its lipstick trend, and just because your perfect color is a pinky beige, that doesn't mean you can't wear deep burgundy. Apply one coat of your neutral, then add a thin coat of wine, burgundy, or any other color you want to try on top. Even the craziest lipstick shade can be adjusted to suit your coloring.