Check your mood ring. When in search of the perfect lipstick, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to peruse. A leisurely stroll on a weekday over a hectic weekend is your best bet. It is also a tremendous help if you are actually in the mood to try on lipsticks. Finding a great lipstick takes a little time and patience. When I worked for M.A.C. my one manager would actually tell customers who were frustrated with trying on lipsticks, “you’re not in the mood to buy a lipstick today. Come back when you are ready to try on lipsticks.” My mouth would be agape in shock, but she was absolutely right. If you’re not in the mood you are just wasting your time.
Natural selection. If you’re on the hunt for a great lipstick, my recommendation would be to go somewhere with a lot of choices-but not so much so that you drive yourself crazy. If you are shopping at Sephora, try and select a lipstick from one specific makeup line, not the entire store. Of course I am partial to M.A.C. as they have a comprehensive selection with over twelve different finishes to choose from. My advice would be to go to a department or specialty store where you can actually try on lipsticks. Make sure the lipsticks are properly sanitized with rubbing alcohol before sampling.
Put it in neutral. When it comes to a versatile lipstick you want a shade that is like your own natural lip color. A “your lips, but better” shade if you will. A color that will define your lips and brighten your features the way curled eye lashes and a coat of mascara do. Depending on skin tone, this shade may be a pinky brown (fair skin tone) a rosy pink (medium skin tone) or a deep berry (darker skin tone). A neutral lipstick shouldn’t make you look like you are wearing concealer on your lips-while this is an editorial look it will wash out your face in everyday life. If the lipstick is matte and lighter than your own natural lip color it will definitely drain your face of color. You will know when you found a good natural lip color when you don’t need to add any more makeup to compensate for wearing it. Another good rule of thumb for neutral colors is the ability to put it on without using a mirror.
Don’t over think it. I know a lot of magazines have told you a lot of different things over the years when it comes to finding the perfect lipstick. They recommend all kinds of things; pinch your lips to deepen the color and find a lipstick to match that, flip your lower lip down and use the inside shade as your color guide. Um, how about no? It’s not rocket science, its lipstick. No one needs to be hurt or grossed out. Apply the lipstick normally and preferably in daylight so you can get the most accurate assessment. If you have tried on more than four or five shades, give yourself a break-as your lips will be stained.
To thine own self be true. If a magazine trend, or a salesperson is telling you to buy a lipstick that you know, deep down, you will never realistically wear and the tube will remain untouched in your makeup drawer, do not buy it! Also, if you covet a friend or celebrities shade of lipstick know that it may not work for you. Lip color, like fragrance, is a personal thing. The color of your lips affects the way a lipstick looks. One girls nude, is another girls mud.
Explore trends. Trends in makeup are as inconsistent as celebrity couples. You can always try a lipstick trend, with using your neutral lipstick as a base. Apply a coat of your tried and true, then add a thin layer of red, wine, orange (whatever the trend du jour may be) on top. You can’t go wrong with custom blended makeup and this combination is tailor suited for you. There is no trend that can’t be adjusted for your coloring and comfort level.
What is your best lipstick? Leave the brand and shade name in a comment! I’ll go first, mine is M.A.C. Lustre lipstick in Hug Me.