The Best Lipstick Colors for Warm Skin Tones

Knowing your skin’s natural undertone is a game changer when it comes to picking out lipstick colors, or any makeup color for that matter. Sure, lipstick is just a small tube of color, but a hue that complements your skin’s undertone can illuminate your entire complexion, making you look more vibrant and bright. Mented broke into the cosmetics industry with lipsticks and has expanded the makeup line based on our success in crafting quality and flattering makeup for women of color. Here’s a checklist to help you pick the best lipstick colors for warm skin tones.

But First...Do I Have Warm Skin?

Landing on a lipstick shade that looks fabulous on you is a lot easier if you know your tone and undertone. The tone of your skin is its apparent strength of color and is usually described as light, tan, medium, and dark. However, when picking a lip color for tan skin, medium shades, deeper complexions, or fair surface tones, it’s important to pay close attention to the undertones. Your complexion undertone can be more difficult to identify. It is the subtle hue beneath the surface of your skin and is categorized as warm, neutral, or cool-toned. Below are descriptions of each undertone and how they are identified using the jewelry test and the inner wrist swatch check.

  • Warm undertones are yellowish or orangish, which can appear golden, peachy, honeyed, or sometimes yellow-green (olive). Not sure if you have warm or yellow undertones? If gold looks better on you than silver, then you likely have warm undertones. Also, women with warm undertones tend to have greener veins, as opposed to blue veins on the inside of their wrists.
  • Cool undertones include red, pink or blue. Silver usually looks better on people with cool undertones, and their veins at the wrist will look noticeably bluer. 
  • Neutral undertones are a combination of warm and cool undertones. Women with neutral undertones look equally good in gold or silver. They tend to have a combination of blue and green veins on their inner wrist.

The Big Secret: Choose Lipsticks with Warm Tones

The best lipstick colors for warm skin tones are those with a warm cast to them. This means looking for lipstick colors that have a lot of orange, yellow or brighter red tones could result in you discovering the perfect shade at the makeup counter. Spotting the underlying cast in a lip shade can be challenging for the untrained eye. To give you a better sense of the different hues in a shade of lipstick, it’s time to try the True Color Test. Are you ready to be enlightened? It's about to get color sensational.

True Red Color Test

This exercise will help you understand different tones in the same lipstick shade. You will start by selecting the truest shade of a certain color. We’ll use red matte lipstick in this example.

Swatch the true red shade on the inside of your forearm. Now swatch the next closest shade on your arm. Look at the two colors carefully. Does the second color appear more orange (warmer) or more purple (cooler)? Keep adding swatches of similar red shades to your arm analyzing the undertones. If you can, try and create a lipstick makeup palette that orders the colors from coolest to warmest on your arm. If you are warm-toned, you can select a red shade far down the warm end of the spectrum and it will look bright and vibrant, yet natural and complimentary, too. Conversely, colors on the cool-toned end of the spectrum will contrast your skin and compete with your skin tone. 

Choosing Nude Lipstick Shades

Ladies with warm skin tones will want to steer clear of any nude lip color that has too much pink or purple in its formula, as these pigments look best on cool skin tones. Instead, grab a nude shade leaning towards brown, like our Brand Nude if you want to wear a natural lip. A nude shade with creamy peach notes, like our Peach Please, also wears like a dream on warm skin.

Selecting Brown Lip Color Shades

Think brown shades with loads of yellow for a caramelly brown, or brown lipsticks with notes of orange and red, like our Foxy Brown. Certain cooler brown shades can also work, creating a dynamic counterbalance to warm undertone skin. Our Mented #5, a taupe color with brown and red-purple notes to it, is a favorite lipstick and winning color on warm-toned skin. 

Deciding on Berry Colors

Warm berry shades, like raspberry, are a better bet for warm skin, than purple berry shades, like blackberry. Our Nude LaLa has the right amount of orangish-red for a lady with warm undertones to wear as an all-star berry shade. Wearing a lip shade with berry color hues is a great way to show off your warm complexion and not to mention, highlight your natural beauty. 

Finding the Perfect Red

As we noted in the True Red Color Test, a woman with warm undertones will want to go with a red shade that has an orange or yellow cast, like cardinal or scarlet. Mented’s Red & Butter Matte Lipstick, for example, is a brighter red with yellow undertones that is made for warmer undertones. It is the ultimate go-to when wanting to achieve a classic red lips makeup look. Once you have found a complimentary red, the next step is learning how to apply red lipstick perfectly!

Which Are Your Favorite Lipstick Colors for Warm Skin Tones? 

By training your eye to see warm undertones in lipstick colors, you have won at least half the battle in choosing the best lipstick color for your warm-toned skin. With a little practice, you will get better and better at spotting the perfect shade for you. Mented is a makeup company created by and for women of color. All of our lipsticks are made to be perfectly pigmented for all skin tones - and many of our color-rich lipsticks are specifically designed for warm undertones. Find your favorite today!