Reader question: How to find the perfect pink lipstick

Hi! I've read so much about finding the perfect red lipstick for your skin tone, and thanks to this blog I now have 3 :) Anyway, I wanted to ask how to find the perfect shade of pink for your lips. You see, I was never really a pink girl and I feel funny wearing pink, especially the baby-pink clothes that make me feel like a walking ball of cotton candy, BUT I like the way it looks on other people's lips. I like the understated pink that kind of brightens your face and makes you look fresh, but the last few tubes of pink lipstick that I've bought tend to make me look uh... anemic and I feel more awkward wearing fuchsia/ hot pink shades more than I do wearing red... So, uh, any tips? I would greatly appreciate it :D

My skin's fair, with warm undertones. :) and the red that looks best on me would be the tomato-red kind of shade, if that helps. Thanks! - April

Hi April! Thanks for the question! Now not to brag, but I have enough lipsticks to know that finding the perfect shade isn't about our skintones. It's not a rigid "baby pink is only good with beige skin" formula. More than anything, the right lipstick is about our personality, preferences - our style. Look at Nikki Minaj. Anyone would have told her that a pale neon pink won't work for her skintone, but now it's her signature color!

That said, I do have a few tips to make it easier for you to find your flattering pink shade. I will also include recommendations of some of my favorite pinks.

Fair but yellowish skin typically look good with peachy, cotton candy, and baby pinks. The warmer you are, the more brown your pink has, the better. Medium skin looks better with bright pink that has a brown base, plummy pink, or a straight up true pink, while darker morenas would benefit from reddish, purply, or deep pinks. Again, this isn't a strict guideline, but it can quickly narrow down your choices.

The Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick in M PK 335 is a very pale pink lipstick, verging on lavender already. This is a challenge to wear but if you're very fair, almost pale, then this is a great pink. Save version is the Revlon matte lipstick in Pink Pout. It's "anemic pink" haha but fun to wear with smoky eyes even if you have medium skin like mine.


The Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Pale Pink is another pretty pink. It's pastel, but has some warmth into it.

And this is MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Sunny Seoul. Such a gorgeous yellowed pink.

Pink brown colors are wearable across most skintones, so you can start off with that. They would be closer to becoming a "my lips but better" shade depending on how much brown they have! I recommend Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink in the Afternoon (more pink than brown), Avon Totally Kissable Lipstick in Lacy Mauve (plummy pink with a bit of brown), 

Pink in The Afternoon

Lacy Mauve

Coral and tangerine pinks are also great across most skintones. Again, it depends on how much pink and brown the lipstick has. Corals are more on the red side, whereas tangerines are more orange than red. Hope that makes sense! Here are a couple of recos:

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Coral Berry

Avon Totally Kissable Lipstick in Caressing Coral

And then there are super loud, fun pinks. They can be true pinks like the Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Pink, fuchsia like the Estee Lauder Pure Color Long-Lasting Lipstick in Fuchsia Fever (or Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Fuchsia), or a neon reddish pink like Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in Calypso. You can also try neon, bluish almost lavender pinks like MAC Pink Noveau but take note, it's a tricky shade to wear.

Bobbi Brown Pink

Estee Lauder Fuchsia Fever

Bobbi Brown Calypso

MAC Pink Noveau

So there you go. :) Parting advice: just try out all the shades you fancy and go with the one that makes you feel good. I know that sounds so nebulous but the thing is, lipstick is one way to express yourself. If it doesn't feel "you" then there's no point pushing it.

Have fun! Hope you find your perfect pink, April. Guys, share your fave shades too! Include your skintone and preferences so people can check out your suggestions.