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Back in the days, if you wanted to color your lips, you had to crush berries and flowers. Not only was it a tedious process, you also were at risk of being branded a witch. Thank goodness those dark times are behind us. Now when you shop for lipstick you are blasted with so many different choices that it’s sometimes hard to choose just one. Sometimes we are tempted to explore and try new shades, only to find out, after we’ve made the purchase that we chose an unflattering color. But did you know that there’s a foolproof way to check what shade works best for you?

Check your skin tone. Do you have light, medium, or dark-colored skin? If you’re not sure, check your face under natural lighting. Look at the skin around your jaw line. Light skin looks good with light pink, coral, peach and nude colors. If you have medium skin tone, mauve colors, rose, berry and cherry red will look good on you. If you have dark skin, lipstick with brown and purple shades like plum, caramel and wine will look gorgeous on you.

So, is that it? I can practically hear you asking. Well, there’s more. It’s not just your skin tone that you have to check, you also need to check your undertone. Check if you have warm, neutral, or cool skin tone. Look at your wrists. Do you have blue or purple veins? Or are they green? Blue or purple means you have a cool skin tone. Green means your skin tone is warm. If you can’t tell whether your veins are blue or green, this means that your skin tone is neutral, and you can choose any color from both sides of the spectrum.

So what colors look best if you have cool skin undertone? Cool undertones look good with mocha or nude shades for fair skin, cranberry shades for medium skin, and wine shades for dark skin. For skin with warm undertones, they look best with peachy nudes for fair skin. Dark skin with warm undertones look best with copper or bronze shades.

So what shade should you buy for daily use? Ideally, you should choose a shade one or two shades darker than your natural lip color. Using the same color or lighter than your natural color will make you look washed out. One or two shades darker will make your lips look vibrant without looking over the top.