How 8 Lipstick Shades Look On 4 People With Different Lip Undertones — PHOTOS
Whether we realize it or not, our skin undertones can affect our beauty choices — lip undertones included, as was brought to our general attention by Kim Kardashian's makeup artist earlier this year. From finding a foundation match to choosing an ideal shade of red lipstick, undertones can determine if we jive best with makeup that leans a little warmer or cooler. But it's not just the skin around our lips that influences how a shade looks, it's also the lips themselves. Because, especially with a sheer formula, some amount of natural lip color and tone can show through, affecting the way the color appears.
To see how much of a difference lip tones really make on a lipstick color, I gathered three friends to swatch it out, purposely picking women who, at first glance, seemed like they had a similar lip color to mine. All of us tried on the same eight lipsticks to determine if they really looked that different on each of us. Just to be thorough, we tried a variety of shades and finishes. Some were sheer, some more opaque, and one even featured an adjusting color to reflect our natural lip tones. Finally, we tried layering a full-coverage concealer underneath a lipgloss to see if we could truly neutralize our lip tones. Spoiler alert: There were some surprising differences. Here's how the same colors looked on four different pairs of lips.
Meet The Girls
Clockwise from top left: Chelsea (cool undertones), Miki (neutral undertones), Lauren (warm undertones), Hannah (warm undertones)
For all following images, we are in the same order as pictured here. All photos were taken in natural daylight unless otherwise noted.
1. Natural Lip Color
Despite our skin undertones (listed above) leaning one way or another, our lip undertones did not necessarily match. While Chelsea's face leans more cool-toned, her lips are more neutral-toned. My lips, like my face, are neutral. Likewise, Lauren's lips, like her face, are warm-toned. However unlike Hannah's warm-toned skin, her lips lean almost cool-toned.
This sheer lip-tint, which appears to be a warm nude in the tube, appeared slightly more orange-toned on Chelsea and Lauren's lips than mine and Hannah's.
Described as a "sheer coral-pink," the bluer tones in Hannah's lips seem to bring out more of the pink in this lipstick, while the warmer, coral tones are slightly more apparent in Chelsea's, mine, and Lauren's lips.
More of a true coral, Lauren's warm-toned lips were able to most closely represent the color as it appeared in the tube. Because of the lower pigmentation levels in Chelsea's and my lips, the color does not appear as vibrant as it does on Hannah and Lauren.
This light-brown pink showed quite a difference between cool and warm-toned lips. Whereas the silver reflects stand out more on Hannah's lips, Lauren's warm tones really bring out the brown tones in the lipstick. As for Chelsea and myself, the color appears more true to the bullet.
This bright-coral shade behaved similarly to Riviera, where Lauren's warm-toned lips were best able to bring out the warm, orange tones of the lipstick. While the color is basically the same on Chelsea, Hannah, and myself, it does appear slightly more pink on Hannah.
Chelsea and Lauren are wearing Hello Sailor Lipstick; Miki and Hannah are wearing Hello Sailor Lip Gloss
This color-shifting shade proved one of the most different across the board as it is meant to bring out the natural pinks and purples in our lips. These results were some of the most surprising, as Chelsea's neutral-toned lips shifted the coolest, my neutral-toned lips shifted the warmest, and both Hannah's cool-toned lips and Lauren's warm-toned lips shifted relatively neutral.
In this picture and the one below, only Chelsea was photographed in artificial, white light.
Although this pink-red lip cream is opaque, it still leans slightly warmer on Lauren's and my lips and slightly cooler on Chelsea's and Hannah's lips.
Before applying the translucent, neutral-pink gloss, we all applied one coat of NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla on our lips to see if we could sort of even the playing field. Similarly to Hello Sailor, I was surprised with how this application turned out. While it's to be expected that the neutral-pink gloss would take on a milky consistency when paired with a concealer, the range of colors was still wider than I anticipated. Again, the color showed up warmest (and truest to the color in the tube) on Lauren. However, it showed up the brightest on Chelsea, and the least pigmented on myself.
How Much Do Undertones Really Matter?
While some colors looked similar on us, no color, sheer or opaque, looked exactly the same on any two of us. Of course lighting and application can always have some effect on how a lip color appears. But the vastly different results with some of these shades, especially Lipstick Queen's Hello Sailor and the concealer/Sephora lip gloss combo, just go to show how much of an impact lip undertones can make in how a color appears (and that not even concealer can really even the playing field). On one hand, it's kind of cool that we can have custom lip colors in a way, thanks to our different undertones. But on the other hand, I have to wonder how much we can trust bloggers' lip swatches when online shopping. While the majority of colors will probably appear close enough on others how they will appear on you or me, I suppose the only way to really know is to just try them all for ourselves. I don't know about you, but I'm up for that challenge.
Images: kaboompics/Pixabay; Miki Hayes