A Guide to Lipstick for Tan Skin

Tan skin serves as a beautiful base for achieving that glowy look. However, the wrong shade of lipstick can detract from your skin’s tanned vibrancy, making it look off-color. Choosing the right lip color to pair against tan skin means landing on a shade that enhances your complexion, as opposed to taking away from it. The ladies at Mented earned the reputation for crafting fantastic lipsticks and makeup for women of color - from an everyday neutral to red matte lipstick - so we know a thing or two about the right lip shade for tan skin. Learn our top tips for choosing a lipstick color for tan skin below.  

A Clarification on Tan Skin Color

Say the words tan skin and most people think of a shade that is darker due to time spent basking in the sun. But this is only half of the story. You may have naturally tan skin without the help of UV rays. Tan skin is also considered its own skin tone category, falling between light and medium. 

Most of the time, women with naturally tan skin will have warm, yellow undertones. This means there is a peachy, golden, or sometimes olive hue to their skin. Of course, skin tanned from the sun can be any tone or undertone. We’re going to focus on women whose complexion falls into the tan skin tone category in this article. 

Nude Lipstick Shades for Tan Skin

We’re putting nude lipsticks first on our list because a nude, natural lipstick is the forever ruling queen of lipstick shades. Nude lipstick goes with any look at any time  - from the office and errand-running to a nightclub or lunch with the in-laws. If you are ever in doubt about what color to put on your lips, you can’t go wrong with a nude lip shade.

Whether you have lighter skin or medium skin, tanned ladies will want to grab nude shades with warm hues that play up their warm undertones. In other words, think of nude shades with touches of peach, brown or caramel in them, rather than shades heavier on pink, red or purple. These pinkish, red shades are best paired against cool skin tones that have blue undertones. Mented’s nude shades Nude LaLa and Dope Taupe, for example, both have subtle orange notes that look stunning on ladies with tan skin. A nude, natural lip is truly color sensational.

Hold on… How Do I Identify the Color Hues in a Lipstick?

Before we go further down our list of lipstick shades for light tan and medium skin, it’s worth going over how to identify underlying hues in a lipstick shade. It’s one thing to understand that one nude shade can be pinker than another nude shade, that say is more brown; it’s a whole different thing for your eyes to see these differences in a lipstick formula.

A fun exercise to appreciate color subtleties in lipstick is to swatch shades against your skin color. You’ll want to choose a lipstick shade - say a nude lipstick - and swatch it on the inside of your arm. Now swatch lipsticks very similar to the original shade. Take notice if the shades are cooler or warmer than each other. In other words, compare each to distinguish the blue undertones and yellow undertones in the lip colors. Cooler colors will have purple, pink or red in them. Warmer colors will have orange, yellow or peach tones. If you can, try and identify the specific shades that differentiate one lipstick from another. It’s also important to appreciate how the different colors and tones look on your skin. Generally speaking, women with tan skin will look better in shades with warmer hues in them, regardless of the type and texture. Whether you prefer a matte lip stain, the creamy texture of a lip crayon, or even the glossy appearance from a liquid lipstick, it’s in your best interest to stick to golden hues. 

Red Lipstick Shades for Tan Skin Tones

Ladies with tan skin will typically find that their perfect shade of red matte lipstick has more yellow in it, rather than blue. Pomegranate and cardinal are examples of bright red with yellow notes. Red shades with more blue would be burgundy or claret, which ultimately portrays a dark lip. Want to know how to wear red lipstick that suits your tan skin? You’re in luck. Mented makes a beautiful red with yellow in it that looks remarkable on tan skin -  Red & Butter Matte Lipstick. Now, once you know how to apply red lipstick perfectly, beauty awaits!

Brown Lipstick Shades for Tan Skin

Another fun lipstick shade for tan skin is brown. Brown shades rich in yellow and orange, like butterscotch or warm nut colors, wear beautifully on various versions of tan skin. Whether you have lighter skin, darker skin, or fall somewhere in the middle, Mented’s Brown Bare has deep orange tones perfect for tan skin, while our Foxy Brown has orange-red notes that also complement light, medium, and dark tan tones nicely.

What Lipstick Color Goes with Tan Skin?

You may have wondered before what lipstick color is the most flattering against tan skin? Now you can better answer the question and confidently pick the right lipstick for yourself, whether it be in the form of a matte lipstick, semi-matte lip shade or lip gloss. When choosing the best lipstick color for warm skin tones, the choices are endless! Mented is a makeup company founded by women of color that are dedicated to making flattering lipsticks, foundations and more for ladies with all skin tones.