How to find your perfect lipstick

Find your perfect lippie and make it last.

find-your-perfect-lipstick

by Samantha Price |
Updated on

If you love to wear the best makeup as a mature woman, then you'll know how much of a difference lipstick can make to your look. When we're looking for the perfect lipstick for older skin, it's not just about finding a good quality lipstick that makes all the difference, but finding the right shade. That's why we've put together this guide on how to find your perfect lipstick.

We all know that the best foundation should match our skin tone, but we often underestimate matching our lipstick. While there are no rules to applying makeup, and you should wear whatever makes you feel confident, matching your lipstick to your skin tone can create an overall cohesive look when applying your makeup.

Best lipstick shortlist

• Best lip primer: MAC Prep and Prime Lip
• Best lip liner: Barry M Lip Liner
• Best nude lipstick: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté Shine Lipstick
• Best red lipstick: Rimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick

Your lips need a bit of love to protect them from daily life, whether that's in the form of a lip SPF or tinted lip balm. The weather, the food we eat and how much water we drink can all have an impact. As a result, this can make them chapped if we don't look after them properly. Much like the best primer for mature skin prepares our skin before applying makeup, priming your lips is an essential step before applying your lipstick.

Therefore, we've put together the best lip products to not only get your lipstick to last all day, but the best products that'll allow you to find your perfect lipstick shade. So, here are some of our favourite products, from lipliners to nude lipstick, red lipstick and more.

The best lip priming products

Best lip primer for condition

Before applying your lipstick, you want to make sure your lips are in the best condition possible. There's no use applying lipstick on chapped lips, as this will only make your lipstick flake. The Clarins repairing lip balm restores moisture to the lips, acting as an intense lip treatment to help repair your lips.

Customer review: "This is immediately going into my purse! Obsessed from first use. Lately, my lips have been so dry and this just envelops them in a protective layer of hydration. I would say it's more of like a lip mask consistency but I like that as I feel like I have a barrier I don't have to keep reapplying. I didn't notice a scent or a colour but I like that for everyday use. No more crusty lips here!"

Pros

  • A highly rated product
  • An intensive lip treatment
  • Moisturising effect

Cons

  • New formula isn't for everyone

Best lip primer overall

Made for the exact purpose to allow your lipstick to stay on for longer, the MAC Lip Primer applies like a balm and leaves your lips feeling soft. It's designed to enhance the appearance of lipstick, as well as reducing the chances of feathering, cracking or bleeding.

Customer review: "It works and leaves lips well moisturised, especially great on mature lips, makes every lipstick look better."

Pros

  • Lipstick stays on longer
  • Reduces lipstick feathering
  • Dermatologist tested

Cons

  • May have to apply delicately

Best lip liner overall

Outlining your lips can help them to appear fuller, and not only this, but if it's applied as a base to your lipstick it can help you to layer your lipstick which means it'll stay put for longer. The Barry M lip liner is suitable for vegans, and there are a variety of tones to choose from. Whether it's a pink tone or a brown tone, there's a nude shade for everyone.

Customer review: "Bought this on a whim, thinking it wouldn’t be the best shade match for my skin complexion however, I was wrong! Super buttery, highly pigmented and has minimal transfer. I can see this definitely becoming a staple in my collection of nude lip pencils and it’s super affordable too, would recommend."

Pros

  • Extensive variety of shades available
  • Best for all skin tones
  • Vegan friendly

Cons

  • Consistency is quite hard

Best long wear lip liner

find-your-perfect-lipstick

Rrp: $10.29

Price: $8.48
Alternative retailers
Walmart$8.48View offer
Target$8.49View offer

If you're looking for a lip liner that lasts, Revlon's lip liner is also a fantastic choice. While shade choice is slightly more limited here, this is a highly rated product that can be used to outline the lips or be worn as a base for your lipstick. It also reduces the chance of feathering or bleeding.

Customer review: "I love this lipliner and have never used another brand since I found it. It really does stay on far longer than any others I have tried and stops lipstick from bleeding, excellent."

Pros

  • A variety of shades available
  • Great lasting power
  • Reduces lipstick feathering

Cons

  • May have to apply delicately

The best nude lipsticks

Best nude lipstick overall

The most highly rated nude lipstick on our list, treat yourself to Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Volupté Shine. Not only does it come in a luxury case, it also has a high impact shine that looks and feel luxurious. There are a few shades to select from, but they're quickly selling out.

Customer review: "This is my favourite lipstick in the whole world. It feels so good to put on, so soft!!! And the colour is amazing and looks great with everything."

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • High shine lipstick
  • A luxury product

Cons

  • May need to reapply frequently

Best budget nude lipstick

find-your-perfect-lipstick
Price: $19.38
Alternative retailers
Walmart$16.49View offer

At an affordable price point, the L'Oréal Colour Riche Satin Smooth Lipstick has an extensive variety of shades to select from, including pink toned and brown toned nudes. The enriched formula contains Omega 3 and Vitamin E that has a moisturising effect on the lips.

Customer review: "Beautiful lipstick. It's a lovely, subtle, natural colour. If you want to have a lipstick that brightens your lips a little and doesn't look like you're wearing a lot of lipstick when you put it on, this is the one for you! It's just right! It goes on really well and feels great."

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • A variety of shades available
  • Moisturising effect

Cons

  • Colour may not be exactly as pictured

Best nude lipstick with shimmer finish

A nude lipstick that can be worn for a special occasion or even every day. It has a subtle shimmer that brings another dimension to your lipstick look and comes in a variety of shades. Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick is both highly rated and affordable, so it's the perfect choice to pop in your handbag for your next occasion.

Customer review: "Such a lovely peachy-pink for cool-toned pale girls! I love the formula and it has buildable colour. In terms of longevity, it doesn't last any for more or less time than any other cream lipstick."

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • A variety of shades available
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Not too pigmented

Best nude lipstick with matte finish

If shimmer isn't your thing, and you're looking for a nude matte lipstick instead, L'Oréal has you covered with it's Ultra-Matte Lipstick. Despite it being a matte texture, reviews say it's not drying on the lips and has great staying power. Not to mention, it's also super affordable.

Customer review: "The best series of lipsticks I have ever used. I have all the colours. More expensive brands that I have used can't be compared. It is still hydrating and matte and is really flattering for the lips"

Pros

  • Great staying power
  • Not drying
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Colour may not be exactly as pictured

Best popular nude lipstick

One that's been a classic shade among makeup enthusiasts for the past few years is Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk. It's a highly rated, bestselling and award winning lipstick that's become an essential in every makeup bag. There a few shades of nude to select from, including pink toned and brown toned nudes which look great across all skin tones.

Customer review: "A beautiful pinky brown nude. Feels very comfortable, not drying and the packaging is so pretty. I was a bit sceptical about ordering this shade online instead of seeing it in store as the reviews say it doesn’t look like the photos but honestly I think It must depend on your skin tone as it looks exactly like the pictures on me. I was very pleased with this item, would definitely recommend."

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • A bestselling lipstick
  • A variety of shades available

Cons

  • Shades are selling out quickly

Best universal nude lipstick

MAC are renowned in the makeup world, and their Matte Lipsticks are one of their bestsellers. There are many shades to select from and we believe this shade would work with many undertones and skin tones. It has great staying power, smells wonderful and applies with a totally matte finish and it's a perfect colour for transitioning into autumn makeup.

Customer review: "My must have lipstick! Love the texture and colour!"

Pros

  • Great staying power
  • Extensive variety of shades available
  • Buildable coverage

Cons

  • May be drying for some

The best red lipsticks

Best red lipstick overall

find-your-perfect-lipstick
Price: $4.39

Rimmel's Moisture Renew Lipstick has two red shades to select from, Mayfair Red Lady and Diva Red. While you might not have worn a red lip since there was one in your 80s make up collection, we think it's such a flattering shade. As one of the most well-known retro make up brands in the UK, all shades of this lipstick are highly affordable, as well as being highly rated. These lipsticks have great staying power and are highly pigmented with a matte finish.
Customer review: "Saw this initially worn by a friend. It’s a lovely lipstick for the price and I’ve been amazed at its longevity. Remains on far longer than more expensive lipsticks I have. Flattering colour. It’s matte rather than gloss but a clear lip gloss over the top will solve that if you want a gloss finish."

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Affordable price point
  • Great staying power

Cons

  • Some shades are sold out

Best long wear red lipstick

Armani's lipsticks are highly rated and have a high colour pay off with fantastic staying power. There are a number of red shades to choose from which are bold in colour, from warm undertones to cool undertones. However, if you're looking for something more subtle with a good nude lipstick, there's plenty of choice here too.

Customer review: "I think this is the best longwear lipstick I've ever tried. The texture is light but lasts for long. It becomes my must have every day!"

Pros

  • A luxury product
  • Extensive variety of shades available
  • Bold colour

Cons

  • Colour may not be exactly as pictured

Best red lipsticks for all undertones

There's something for everyone with the bareMinerals lipstick range. Not only is the formula vegan friendly, but the list of shades available suits all skin tones and undertones. From nudes to reds, there are warm and cool red lipsticks to suit all. It applies evenly and smoothly with a creamy satin finish that feels lovely on your lips.

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • Extensive variety of shades available
  • Vegan friendly

Cons

  • Shades selling out quickly

Best red lipstick for warm undertones

find-your-perfect-lipstick
Price: $15.95

Looking for something more suited to a warm undertone? This bold coral shade contains just the right amount of orange tone to add some warmth to your makeup look. There's another universal red shade to select from, but shades of red are limited in this range. However, the formula is hydrating and also enriched with vitamin E.

Customer review: "Lovely lipstick. Great shade. Excellent value for money. Would buy again."

Pros

  • Affordable price point
  • Moisturising effect
  • Enriched formula

Cons

  • Limited shades of red available

Best red lipstick for cool undertones

On the other hand, if you're looking for a red shade suited to cooler undertones, you'll want something with a slightly pink or purple tint, much like the shade Boldface in Estee Lauder's Pure Colour Envy lipstick range. This popular range is selling out quickly, with only one other red shade available at the moment.

Customer review: "I bought Boldface and Immortal lipstick for the first time recently and love the shades! I really love the creaminess of the Color Envy products and I have used these lipsticks for a number of years. I own many shades and they were a good choice!"

Pros

  • A luxury product
  • Highly rated
  • Creamy satin finish

Cons

  • Shades selling out quickly

Best every day red lipstick

Alternative retailers
Sephora$48.00View offer
Neiman Marcus$48.00View offer
Macy's$48.00View offer

Red lipstick can be intimidating at times, but if you're wanting something a little bit more subtle then this shade is a good choice. While the other red shades from the range are bold in colour, this red is slightly more muted making it the perfect every day red lip with brilliant staying power.

Customer review: "This is a beautiful lipstick. The color, Rouge Provocation, is the perfect red! It would look geat on any skin tone and could be worn with just a swipe of mascara during the day, or with a darker eye look at night. It has a beautiful shine and goes on effortlessly. It also has great staying power. This one is a keeper!"

Pros

  • A luxury product
  • Great staying power
  • High impact shine

Cons

  • May transfer slightly

Best bold red lipstick

Alternative retailers
Sephora$59.00View offer
Neiman Marcus$59.00View offer
Macy's$59.00View offer
Bloomingdale's$59.00View offer

On the other hand, if you're wanting something more vivid or bold, then Tom Ford's lipstick in Flame is sure to make an impact. There are plenty of highly pigmented shades to select from, including shades that are suited to warm undertones or cool undertones. With a moisturising effect, these lipsticks have great staying power that are known to last all night.

Customer review: "The second Tom Ford lipstick I have purchased. Good quality. Lovely range of colours. Easy to apply and long lasting"

Pros

  • A luxury product
  • Great staying power
  • Highly pigmented

Cons

  • May transfer

Best dark red lipstick

Alternative retailers
Macy's$42.00View offer

If you're going for a daring darker red, then the Laura Mercier Rouge Essential Silky Creme Lipstick has a few shades for you to try. There are a few other limited shades of red if you're looking for something bolder or more pigmented, as well. The long lasting formula applies smoothly and is infused with nourishing extracts of sea algae for restorative effects.

Customer review: "This is neither matte nor gloss but somewhere in between, so it's easy to wear day or night. Stays put with very little transfer."

Pros

  • Highly rated
  • A luxury product
  • Great staying power

Cons

  • Colour may not be exactly as pictured

How to find your perfect lipstick shade?

When it comes to choosing the right lipstick shade for you, there are a few simple tricks you can keep in mind when you're selecting your new everyday lipstick. Here's how to ensure you're finding the right lipstick shade for you, as well as helpful video tutorials from YouTube creators.

Pinching your fingertip

Surprisingly, if you pinch the tip of your finger for a moment and allow the blood to rush to your fingertips, the colour shown is supposed to be your ideal shade of lipstick. Who'd have known? This was a hack that went viral among makeup artists as a way to select the perfect shade of lipstick.

Finding your undertone

Although you may have heard of terms like 'cool toned' or 'warm toned', what does this actually mean? Well, everyone's skin has an undertone, and you generally tend to lean towards one or the other. 'Cool toned' is when your skin has shades of pink, blue or even purple. 'Warm toned' is when your skin has shades of peach, yellow or gold.

There are a few ways you can determine your skin's undertone. One way is to look at the veins in your wrists; if they're green then you're likely warm and if they're blue then you're likely cool. The second method is to hold up silver and gold jewellery next to your skin; if gold looks better on you then you're likely warm and if silver looks best on you then you're likely cool.

Finding your undertone can not only set your base when selecting the best foundation, the best BB cream or the best CC cream for you, but it can also act as a guide to contouring too. Above all, knowing your undertone can help you select the right shades throughout your makeup from your eyeshadow to your blusher.

Tips on how to choose the perfect lipstick for your skin

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