How To Pick Out The Best Lipstick For You

In the age of bright blue lip kits and neon lip tattoos, picking out lipstick is more fun than ever. There are so many different options (literally, millions) to choose from: Not only are there different colors, but there are also different brands, textures, and finishes. As amazing as it is to have so many ways to express yourself via lip art, it can also be a little overwhelming. With all of the options out there, how do you pick out the best lipstick for you?

I spoke to MAC Senior Makeup Artist Ashley Rudder about her tips for picking out the perfect lipstick for you. While there are so many factors you want to keep in mind when shopping (it's not easy to leave the store with just one!), Rudder simplifies the process, ensuring you'll walk away with a new favorite color.

Oh, but there's more good news — Because just one lipstick is never really enough, Rudder thinks that everyone should have a wardrobe of lipsticks that are the perfect tone for them. "Start by finding the perfect nude, pink, red, and plum," she tells me. "Then you can choose based on your outfit, mood, runway trend, the season, celebrity trend, and so on."

Ready to shop for your perfect lipstick wardrobe? Here are five foolproof tips to get you the best shades.

1. Test The Color In The Right Spot On Your Arm

Creemsheen Lipstick in KoiCoral, $17, MAC Cosmetics

When testing lipsticks, you should use a part of your arm that is the closest to the color of the skin around your lips. According to Rudder, this could be the back of your hand, the top of your forearm which tends to be a bit lighter.

2. Then Test It On Your Lips

Lipstick in Retro, $17, MAC Cosmetics

While testing on your arm is a good place to start, one you've narrowed your choices down it's important to test the lipstick on your actual lips. "The color is only the first step of the process," says Rudder. "Then you’ll want to make sure that the coverage — sheer, medium, or full — and the texture — glossy, matte, satin — of the formula are comfortable"

3. Select Color Based On Skin Tone, Not Lip Tone

Lipstick/Zac Posen in "Sheer Madness", $18, MAC Cosmetics

Some makeup artists are adamant about finding the right lip color to complement the tone of your natural lip, but as it turns out it doesn't really matter that much. "Since most lipsticks have full coverage, and your natural lip color won’t show; generally you should choose color based on your skin tone," says Rudder. That said, if you want to celebrate your natural lip tone, choose a lipstick with sheer coverage (like the one above), or consider venturing into a balm/lipstick combo like MAC Cosmetics Patent Polish Lip Pencil.

4. Add A Lip Pencil

Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in "Oh Honey", $20, MAC Cosmetics

Even if you're not 100 percent sure about a shade, it's OK. According to Rudder, "adding a lip pencil can customize any lipstick, so that you can create the “perfect” color."

5. Remember — There Are No Real Rules To Wearing Lipstick

Viva Glam Ariana Grande, $17, MAC Cosmetics

When it comes to wearing lipstick, at the end of the day there really is no "right" or "wrong" color. Many opt for softer tones during the day when their faces are fully lit, and bright or bold choices at night when the lighting is darker and more moody. However, Rudder confirms there are no real rules now for when to wear a certain shade. "I see people wearing super dark lipsticks in matte textures in spring and summer, which I used to only see during the fall and winter months," she says. "But if the color looks fantastic on…why not wear it when you want to?"

The major takeaway? Use these helpful tips when picking out a lipstick shade, but at the end of the day, you should rock whatever lip color you want to, loud and proud.

Images: Care Of Brands