The Best Lip Colors for Dark Skin for Every Season
Finding a go-to lip color can be challenging enough for those of us with dark skin as a result of one unfortunate reality… many beauty products are not developed with our skin tones in mind. Consequently, this usually results in nude lipsticks that appear pasty or abnormally pale and bright shades that look dull. However, there are key secrets behind finding the best lip colors for dark skin that can help you easily avoid this problem! Armed with the knowledge of how and why lipsticks appear uniquely against our dark skin tones, you will be ready to face the beauty market to find the right makeup for women of color in your perfect shade, no matter the season.
Know Your Complexion
Despite what you may think, determining the color of your skin goes beyond the shade. Finding the right lipstick shades or any makeup for dark skin is very dependent upon the individual tone of your dark skin. Your skin tone is what you would readily think of when considering the shade of your skin. Ultimately, this is a pigment known as melanin - the presence of which, or lack thereof, determines skin tone. Women with dark brown skin tones have a higher concentration of melanin in their skin than those with medium brown skin, who in turn have more than those with light brown skin… and so it continues across the full spectrum of skin tones.
The undertones of your skin, as the name suggests, are the colors or shades underneath the surface of your skin. While your skin tone might change over time (say, after sun exposure), your undertone will not. This means that while you might have the same skin tone as someone else, you could have a very different undertone. Your undertone can be classified into one of three general categories:
How can you accurately determine your skin’s undertone? Turns out, it’s quite simple. Position yourself with a white wall behind you and a mirror in front of you, ensuring your skin is completely clean. The white backdrop should help to emphasize the colors and undertones of your complexion. If you don’t have a white wall, there are also easy alternatives. For example, hanging a sheet or towel behind you should work just the same.
Skin tone and undertone are not the same things, but both work together to create your overall skin color and influence how certain colors look on you. This is not only true for colors of clothing and jewelry, but also makeup. Evaluating your overall complexion - considering both skin tone and undertone - will help you choose the right lipstick color for brown skin, black skin, olive skin, or however you identify!
The Best Lipstick for Dark Skin
Like most things in the fashion and beauty industry, the lip colors you may be drawn to or see available in stores often vary with the seasons each year. Summer tends to bring trends that utilize brighter colors, while the fall or winter will usually highlight deeper, more muted shades. While changing your style with the season does bring an element of fun, on the other hand, it also adds another layer of complexity to your lip color selection. To help you wade through it all and walk away with your perfect shade, we are breaking down the best tips for every season.
As we move into the spring season, with the start of warmer weather and more days spent outside, our makeup choices tend to follow suit. Nude or pink lip colors start to be seen in increasing frequency to create a fresh-faced look as you head out into the sun. Try to find lipsticks that will add warmth to your face, regardless of your undertone. This means browns, pinks, and purples, as these shades will help to brighten up your complexion.
If you have warm undertones specifically, try to find a caramel brown or peach which will further flatter your skin color. Cool undertones, on the other hand, should look for reddish pinks and purple browns for their most advantageous choices. Not sure where to start? We created the Mented Spring Matte Lip Shade Collection for a trio of lip colors meant to provide that perfect fresh, matte look on darker skin tones moving into the spring season. You can play with different shades based on whether you want to achieve a natural lip or brighter look.
Things start to heat up when summer rolls around and brighter colors soar in popularity. From attention-grabbing magentas and classic reds to electric purples, now is the time to experiment with color. Again, you can find a shade of nearly any lip color you find appealing by matching the shade to the undertones of your skin. Cool tones can have a lot of fun with pinks, reds, blue-based purples, and soft browns, while warmer undertones can look to terracotta reds or oranges, yellow tinted browns, and peachy pinks.
Embrace the free-spirited nature of summer and experiment with colors! Often, blending two different shades together can create a fun look. Mented made a collection of Summer Semi-Matte Lip Shades that all feature a perfect blend of pinks and browns to enhance your multi-hued lips for your go-to summer color.
Fall is the time of year to start vamping up your look with deeper, bolder colors. Think about incorporating deep purples, rich reds, and maybe even greens to your repertoire of colors using your undertones to find the right shade (are you sensing a pattern here?). Purple-based reds and browns with subtle hints of red will pop on the lips of someone with cool undertones, while burnt orange, reds and yellow-tinted browns will play nicely on those with warm undertones.
Opting for a matte finish in the fall can also help to deepen a shade that may otherwise seem too bright with a glossy effect that reflects light and tends to amplify color. This trick can help you turn one of your favorite colors into a more sophisticated fall look. The Mented Fall Semi-Matte Lip Shades can help jump-start your fall color collection in just this way with a trio of warm pinks, browns and purples all in a beautiful semi-matte finish.
Wrap up your year in style by seeking out deep browns, reds, and purples or cherry reds. Similar to the fall season, cool undertones can play with rich reddish browns and blue-based reds for a sophisticated and festive look. Women with warmer skin tones should stick to lip colors that will emphasize and highlight the natural undertones of their skin to help brighten their complexions. Do you have yellow undertones? Look for tints of yellow in your lipsticks to find a shade that will truly help you look radiant.
For an added bonus during dry winter months, look for shades made with moisturizing ingredients to keep your lips hydrated and smooth. We know the importance of maintaining your beauty routine across every season, so our Winter Semi-Matte Lip Shade Collection was created to be ultra-moisturizing with colors to enhance your winter look.
The final tip for finding the best lipstick shades for dark skin is to listen to yourself! If you find a lip color that you like and looks great on you, don’t let the season stop you from wearing it. Regardless of the season, great lip colors are timeless. Whether bold and deep or soft and subtle, beautiful lip colors can not only make you look your best, but also help you feel your best. And that is what truly matters.
Other Cosmetic Tips
As you create your signature beauty regimen, following a few simple guidelines can help you find the right products that highlight your natural beauty.
Choose the Right Foundation. As the base for your entire look, it’s critical to pick a foundation that matches your skin tone and undertone. Generally speaking, cosmetic companies tend to organize their hues in families of shade and then in subgroups incorporating undertones. To find the perfect foundation for dark skin, apply a variety of shades to your skin and let them sit for about five minutes before evaluating them under natural light. The shade that seemingly disappears into your natural skin is the best match.
Emphasize Your Natural Features. Your everyday makeup routine should highlight your natural beauty rather than hide imperfections. Emphasizing the natural features of your face and playing up your eyes can help you achieve a level of sophistication that is timeless. Learn how to best contour for dark skin to add some dimension. If your eyebrows are sparse, try experimenting with pencils, liners, and powders to help create a bold frame around your eyes. Highlighter, bronzer, and blush can also accentuate facial features to add depth and a warm glow to your skin. If you’re new to these products, try following a step by step makeup tutorial for dark skin to learn easy tips and tricks.
Develop a Skincare Routine. Achieving your best makeup look starts by taking care of your skin. A simple regimen consisting of a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer can go a long way in helping to clear your skin of breakouts, even your skin tone, and visibly reduce any signs of aging. Start with these basics and add more targeted products as you become more comfortable. Developing a strong skincare routine can lead to noticeable impacts on your skin and help your makeup apply more smoothly.
At Mented Cosmetics, we believe every woman should be able to find herself in the world of beauty! We designed our line of nude lipsticks with dark skin tones in mind because we believe great products and colors all come back to how they’re pigmented to fit your needs as a woman of color. Our focus is you, so you never have to be disappointed by lack of product or lack of representation again. Become your best and most confident self with the lip colors, foundations, eyeshadows and more, for every style through every season.