How Do I Choose the Best Lipstick for Fair Skin?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee
Light pink and burgundy are generally the best lipstick shades for people with fair skin.
Light pink and burgundy are generally the best lipstick shades for people with fair skin.

The best lipstick for fair skin generally comes in shades of light pink, burgundy, and gold. Skin tone is generally considered the most important factor in choosing a lipstick color. Makeup artists generally recommend that lip color should also be taken into account when choosing lipstick for fair skin or other skin types. The ideal color for lipstick is said to be about two shades darker than the natural color of the lips. Experts further recommend evaluating lipstick shades under natural light whenever possible.

People with very pale complexions tend to look good in light pinks, such as peach or coral.
People with very pale complexions tend to look good in light pinks, such as peach or coral.

It is generally believed that color should be applied directly to the lips when choosing a lipstick shade. Some recommend trying lipstick shades in the absence of any other makeup, to get the best possible skin tone match. If lipstick cannot be applied to the lips, the package or sample can be held up next to the face for comparison.

Those choosing lipstick for fair skin are usually advised to avoid dark brown shades, dark pinks, reds, and purples. Red lipstick for fair skin should be chosen to match the complexion. Ruby-red shades are said to complement pinkish complexions. Very pale complexions, however, are generally advised to avoid reds in favor of light pinks, such as peach or coral.

Lipstick should be one or two shades darker than the user's lip color.
Lipstick should be one or two shades darker than the user's lip color.

Those with fair skin are often advised to avoid the very darkest shades of purple, burgundy, and red, and to avoid most shades of brown. Shimmering lipsticks in warm golden-brown shades, however, may be the exception to this rule. Deep shades of red and maroon are generally recommended for those with a medium skin tone, but may be acceptable for some with fairer skin, especially as evening wear.

Ruby red lipstick complements pinkish complexions.
Ruby red lipstick complements pinkish complexions.

A certain level of experimentation is generally encouraged when choosing lipstick to match one's complexion. Lipsticks that appear too dark or too light can be blended with other colors to create a suitable shade of lipstick for fair skin. Some recommend applying clear lip balm to the lips before applying a dark shade of lipstick. The application of lip balm can mitigate the lipstick's color, while adding moisture and shine to the lips.

Natural light conditions are usually considered best for evaluating a lipstick shade's interaction with skin tone. These colors often look slightly different under artificial light. Try choosing lipstick shades near a window, if possible.

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Discussion Comments

Lostnfound

These are good, general guidelines. I have very fair skin and I love red lipstick, but I stay with a red that has blue undertones because my skin has pink undertones.

Some fair skinned women (redheads, for instance), have golden undertones in their skin, so they need a red with yellow or orange undertones. Comparing two reds will quickly show their undertones.

A fair skinned woman can wear a darker lipstick, but it does require care. A more burgundy shade is fine if she is wearing a burgundy top. Plus, in my opinion, dark lipstick looks better on fair skin if the lip has some shine. Doesn't have to gleam like wet glass, but totally matte tends to look like a Kool-Aid stain.

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    • Light pink and burgundy are generally the best lipstick shades for people with fair skin.
      By: Minerva Studio
      Light pink and burgundy are generally the best lipstick shades for people with fair skin.
    • People with very pale complexions tend to look good in light pinks, such as peach or coral.
      By: Marina Karkalicheva
      People with very pale complexions tend to look good in light pinks, such as peach or coral.
    • Lipstick should be one or two shades darker than the user's lip color.
      By: Rafa Irusta
      Lipstick should be one or two shades darker than the user's lip color.
    • Ruby red lipstick complements pinkish complexions.
      By: Monika 3 Steps Ahead
      Ruby red lipstick complements pinkish complexions.