All About That Base:
First things first, you’ll need to identify the base color of your skin. You either have more of a yellow (warm), or a pink (cool) tone. According to Women’s Health Magazine, 80 percent of women fall into the cool zone, but don’t just assume that you do.
A quick trick for determining your undertone is to evaluate the veins on the underneath side of your forearm in natural light. If your veins appear to be more on the blue side, you’re a cool; if they’re more of a green, you’re a warm. Another quick trick is to hold silver jewelry and gold jewelry up to your skin, and disregarding personal preference about which metal you favor, compare the two options to see which pairs the best with your coloring. Silver compliments cooler (blue) undertones and gold compliments the warmer (yellow) ones. Once you have identified your undertone, this will be beneficial in helping you narrow down which lipstick shade works best for you. Generally speaking, cool tones work better with fair skinned women and warm tones work better with the darker complexions.
If all else fails, according to renowned makeup artist, Bobbi Brown, the most flattering lip colors will be one to two shades darker than your natural lip color. Her best piece of advice is to “find a lipstick that looks good on your face when you are wearing absolutely no makeup”. Another no-fail tip according to the pros, is to go with the universal shade for all, dusty-rose. This flattering, muted mauve color may be worn for daytime and evening events and flatters all skin colors and tones.
Rise to (err…Match to) the Occasion:
After you’ve sufficiently selected which undertone you are, you can get a little more adventurous with your selections and match your lipstick shade with the occasion and/or the message you want to convey. Read more about lipstick and color psychology here, as well as color recommendations for your skin tone paired with the corresponding occasion.