Lip Color Guide

“Grab your favorite lipstick color and put it on. You’ll feel better.”

During my college years, my friend Elizabeth's mom doled out that advice to us as a remedy for everything from surviving a breakup to getting through finals. She wisely understood how the simple act of putting on lipstick could be a trigger to change how you feel.

I’ve never forgotten her wise words. Even today, I slicked on my favorite lip color to uplift my spirits and, thanks to the power of color, it works! Give it a try and see for yourself.

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A slick of red lipstick instantly makes you feel sexier, empowered and like you can take on the world - Elizabeth Taylor

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Wearing lip color can change how you feel about yourself but can it change how others feel about you? Studies show it can.

Many thoughts about lip color sprang to mind when I was recently interviewed by an editor at Cosmopolitan magazine for an upcoming article. From those thoughts I put together the quick lip color guide I shared with her.

Kate Smith

Your Beyond Being Kissable Lip Color Guide

On a first date, are there any ideal lip colors for a woman to wear that cause attraction?

Red is the clear choice for a woman wanting to be seen as attractive. Several studies have shown that men find women who wear red lipstick more attractive and hold their attention longer. Wearing red lipstick also boost a woman’s confidence and men(and other women) report finding confidence in a woman sexy.

What about when you’re interviewing for a new job? Is there a color to wear that signals confidence, dependability, etc.?

Harness the attention-getting qualities of red but temper it to give you a shade that says all business. The right toned-down red for you whether merlot, plum or deep coral shows composure, confidence, and a sense of style. A red-based color draws the eye and focuses the interviewer’s attention on your lips and thus what you are saying. And don’t forget to show off your smile.

What about when you’re out and want to make new friends/be social? What should you wear on your lips to signal you are fun and inviting?

Light up your face with the lip color that matches your personality. Bright pink says you’re fun loving and have the ability bring out the best in other. Orange shades tell the world you are inventive and the life of the party. Subtle taupe or nude shades come across as warm, genuine, conservative and down-to-earth. Want to be seen as someone who is unique or different? Try an offbeat color such as blue, green or even yellow if you can pull it off.

How to think about your lip color for every occasion in life.

Important presentation or speaking gig color your lips as you would for a job interview.

Hostess for a charity event? Court the donors like you were on a first date.

Even casual occasions like a BBQ or sporting event give your lips a chance to say you’re ready for fun with your choice of lip color and a smile.

You get the idea.

Your Most Flattering Colors

Although most women have many flattering colors there are three lip color essentials that cover every occasion and every color in your wardrobe:

1. your true red

2. a subtle red such as red/orange (coral) or red/blue (merlot), and

3. a fun/friendly pink or peach.

When selecting your go-to lip colors take your time and find the colors that work best with your hair and skin tones. A color consultant specializing in beauty and fashion can help you if you have a difficult time judging for yourself.

Read Time: 3 min
  • Anju says:

    Amazing tips. You describe the importance of lipstick and color. I love lipstick shades although I often wear nude lip color. Thank you again for the post.

  • Judy H says:

    I respectfully disagree. I have seen so many woman wearing extremely bright lipstick shades and I cringe for them. If a woman has an orthodontic issue, protruding front teeth (I’m not talking about oversized rabbit teeth), yellowed teeth or any other visual problem with her teeth, bright lipstick is like wearing a sign saying, “look at this”! Years ago, I owned a public relations company with a woman I’d made friends with in our local women’s business community. She was beautiful and impeccably groomed at all times. Her clothing, shoes, jewelry and fabulous hair cut were “WOW”! She always chose a bright cherry red lipstick which was beautiful until she opened her mouth. One of her front teeth protruded almost to her bottom lip. That red lipstick SCREAMED! Also, she forever had a small amount of red lipstick on that tooth, it was virtually unavoidable. I have a neighbor who loves bright pink lipstick, not fuchsia) but a brighter pink. When she isn’t wearing bright lipstick, the color of her teeth seems a bit “off”. When the bright stuff goes on, her teeth turn yellow! The pink lipstick magnifies the slight discoloration and her teeth turn yellow. This woman is a highly regarded professor at the university in our small city and often lectures, hosts local charity events and finds herself speaking in front of groups of people. I am embarrassed for her. I think there are many women who look much lovelier with a dusty or light rosy shade, a very soft peach or even a nude lip.

    • Kate Smith says:

      Yes, I have seen many people wearing lipstick that is not flattering but it isn’t just because it is bright but because it is the wrong color for them. It might be great if someone else was wearing it but it isn’t flattering for that person. Bright colors will magnify the wrong choice. Unfortunately, most people have a very difficult time seeing what colors work best for them, which is why I recommend getting someone trained in personal colors to help.

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