Building up a lipstick collection can seem daunting, knowing where to start can be worse. Hopefully this will give you a couple of ideas where to start with lipstick, where to go when you find your style and how to choose colours that are really you.

First of all you need to find out if you have red or yellow toned skin but don’t worry the test is easy. Look at the veins of your wrist. Are they purple? You’re warm-toned. Green? You’re cool-toned. Bonus point: if you’ve ever wondered how that trick works then its actually pretty simple. It’s just colour theory, all veins are blue so red + blue = purple and yellow + blue = green. Now from here you have a good starting point for choosing good colours. Cool toned lipsticks will suit a cool-toned skin and they have bases of yellow, grey and white often. Warm-toned skin suits warm lipsticks that often have pink, brown and orange bases.

Knowing what you suit I would say that investing in a nude lipsticks is the perfect place to start, its a universal one that you’ll find you can dress up or down as needed. A good nude should have pride of place in any good collection followed closely by a ‘your-lips-but-better’. A YLBB is a lipstick that is one or two shades lighter or darker than your actual lips. It just makes your makeup pop. Its understated whilst just different enough to show you’re wearing something. My favourite YLBB is NYX’s Liquid Suede in ‘Soft Spoken’.

What else could a girl need? Her girlboss red. A girlboss red? What’s that? It’s the lipstick that eminates confidence saying ‘I’m taking no prisoners’, it’s the makeup equivalent of strutting down a corridor with ‘Crazy in Love’ playing over the speakers. A popping red is a MUST. After that? Go wild! Try a vampy shade, a light, hell even try a blue, green, yellow, orange etc. if you’re feeling brave.

Of course just because your skin tone says you should suit a colour doesn’t mean everything cool-toned/warm-toned will. For example, I often steer clear of anything that’s too orange toned as I have ginger hair so I get clashing if a colour is too orange. That being said I can still pull off a nice coral like MUA’s ‘Nectar’ so still experiment with areas that seem like a bad idea. Also, just as a side note, if you have blonde hair don’t worry about yellow tones because you have blonder hair, not yellow hair so it doesn’t clash particularly.

To help along the journey of finding your next lipstick I’ve gone through every lipstick I own and created a chart to get you started.

lipstick chart

I hope this helps and let me know if you see your favourite colour here! And if not, tell me what you think I’m missing as I’m particularly lacking on the cool-tone side given that I’m warm-tone.