wikiHow to Buy Lipstick

Three Parts:Deciding on Your ColorFinding the Right TextureChoosing the Right Brand

There are many makeup looks out there these days, and a beautifully colored lip is always part of them. It is tempting to buy the colors and styles that you see in magazines or Youtube tutorials, but remember to check what is best for you before buying. Your skin tone, skin type, and wardrobe are the most important factors in choosing your lip color. Remember to check how a lipstick works with all these factors before settling on a trendy look.

Part 1
Deciding on Your Color

  1. Image titled Choose your color Step 4
    Figure out your skin tone.[1] In natural light, hold a piece of white paper under your chin. Check the shadow on the paper and reflection that it makes on your skin. If it is blue, red or purple, you have a cool skin tone. If it is beige, yellow, or dull, you have a warm skin tone.
    • Keywords for people with warm skin tones are: Beige, brown, golden, honey, bronze, mocha, taupe, spice, peach, coral, orange, brownish red, warm red, tawny, copper, and apricot.
    • For cool skin tones, keywords are: Pink, rose, fuchsia, violet, lavender, grape, cherry, wine, mauve, berry, plum, burgundy, lilac, and cranberry.
  2. Image titled Hold the tube Step 1
    Hold the lipstick next to your skin, or put it on your wrist if possible.[2] Even if lipstick seems like a good idea, you never really know unless you can see it against your skin. Sometimes lipstick stores have tester tubes that you can use.
    • Ask a sales representative. Sometimes stores only have swatches. You can hold these up to your skin as well.
  3. Image titled Understand that complexion and your clothing colors Step 6
    Check the lipstick against your clothing. If you trend toward a certain color scheme, make sure you are wearing your favorite color when you test out lipstick colors. Bright colors may clash, and all-neutral colors can make you look washed out.

Part 2
Finding the Right Texture

  1. 1
    Determine your lips’ dryness. Different lipsticks suit different hydration needs.[3] If you have very dry lips, you will need to avoid many shimmery and long-wear lipsticks, as these will dry out your lips even faster.
  2. 2
    Choose cream lipsticks for casual looks and maximum hydration. [4] Cream lipsticks are intended for everyday wear. They often come in nude tones, and are used to make neutral looks look finished.
    • If you choose a nude shade, make sure it is a little bit darker than your skin tone.[5]
  3. 3
    Choose satin or gloss lipsticks for long wear and a shimmery finish. [6] Glossy lipsticks add shine to your lips, which gives them volume. Unlike matte or cream lipsticks, glossy lipsticks hide all the lines and wrinkles on your lips with light, giving your lips a full, round feel.
    • Glossy lipsticks are not casual. They may also dry out your lips, so do not use them if you have naturally dry lips. [7]
  4. 4
    Choose matte lipsticks for a velvet finish. [8] These are very popular right now, and they are often long-lasting. Be careful using matte lipsticks if you have dry lips.
    • Matte lipsticks accentuate every line and wrinkle on your lips, because they have no shine to gloss over details. If you use matte lipstick, make sure to hydrate your lips beforehand.
  5. 5
    Choose frosted lipsticks for a retro look. [9] These are very shimmery lipsticks that were popular in the 1980s and 1990s. They were often chosen a few shades lighter than the wearer’s skin tone. Some looks from the ‘90s like jelly shoes and crop tops have returned, and some celebrities are now wearing frosted lipstick.
    • Frosted lipstick is not for casual wear.

Part 3
Choosing the Right Brand

  1. Image titled Check the ingredients Step 2
    Check the pliability of the lipstick. A high quality lipstick should be somewhere between rigid and oily. [10] It should be stiff but not crumbly, slick but not greasy.
    • If the feeling of a lipstick makes you uncomfortable don’t buy it. It might be a high quality product, but you will not use something that is not enjoyable to apply.
  2. 2
    Look at the packaging. Packaging isn’t just about creating the world of the makeup brand. It also plays a key role in how long you will be able to keep your lipstick after buying it. [11] If the cap is very easy to move, it is likely that the bullet of your lipstick will get broken, or leak into your bag.
    • If the packaging is light and cheap with a metallic finish, it will likely begin to flake after a week of bouncing around in your bag. This can be an indication that the brand is not worth buying.
  3. Image titled Ask for samples Step 3
    Ask for samples or a return policy. If you're still not sure you like the color and texture, big makeup and department stores will have samples for you to take home. If at a drugstore, ask about their return policy. Most will let you return it if you don't like it.
    • Never be afraid to ask. If you don’t ask, you may miss an opportunity.


  • Be happy with your choice - if you don't like the color the sales assistant is insisting looks good on you, trust your own instincts first!
  • Lipstick lasts longer if stored in a cool, even refrigerated environment.
  • When applying lipstick, you can "prime" your lips like a painter primes a wall for painting by coloring them in first with a lip pencil of a color close to your lips and then add the lipstick. This behaves like a fixative for the lipstick to remain on your lips longer.
  • A natural look can be achieved using just lip pencil coloring-in of your lips and clear gloss over this.


  • Avoid trying lipstick samples directly to your mouth unless they are individual sachets - otherwise you risk transferring germs that could make you ill.
  • Try to avoid lipsticks containing parabens, as these have been linked with breast cancer and reproductive system diseases.

Article Info

Categories: Lip Makeup