Putting on your lipstick is, without a doubt, the simplest step in your makeup routine. Unlike applying foundation, blending eyeshadow, and filling in your eyebrows, you don’t have to complicate things and use multiple types of brushes to apply lipstick perfectly. Just fill the lips with your favorite color and voila! You’re good to go.

But if you’re looking to take your makeup skills up a notch, you need to do more than just that. Selecting the best shades (and the worst shades) for a particular complexion and undertone, lip shape and even teeth color can be tricky.

If you get yourself into a makeup academy, you’ll see there’s just an endless palette of lipsticks, stains, and glosses for everyone. And we’re not exaggerating by saying: it takes a thoughtful mix of art and science to find the perfect lip color for you.

If you’re planning to step up your lipstick game and choose the perfect shade like a pro, here are 5 factors to keep in mind.

  1. Select a shade that works for your skin’s undertone

Your skin’s undertone is everything when it comes to picking the perfect lipstick shade for you. Here are the basics: Everyone’s skin has undertones of either pink or yellow: Pinkish tones are cooler while yellowish tones are warmer.

One easy way to identify your undertone is by looking at the veins on your wrist. If they appear bluish and grayish, you’ve got pink (cooler) undertones. If they lean towards the green side, you’ve got yellow (warmer) undertones. If they seem to be both green and blue, consider yourself lucky: you have a neutral skin tone, which means any color would flatter you.

Now that it’s settled, it’ll be easier to pick the perfect shade for you:

  • For warmer undertones: Stick to warmer colors, something with orangey shades. Look for peachy nudes, coral, and copper or bronze shades.
  • For cooler undertones: Go for shades with purple or bluish tones in them, like rosy pink, mauve, cranberry shades, and deep-bluish reds like ruby and wine shades.
  1. When in doubt, choose based on the color of your skin

Ever wondered why the same red lipstick that worked perfectly for Beyoncé didn’t work for you? It’s probably due to your skin tone. There are 4 main types of skin complexion: fair or light, medium, tan, and deep/dark.

Best shades for fair skin tones:

Fair-skinned ladies can totally rock almost all shades, from nude to bold. However, avoid anything too light to avoid looking washed out.

  • Nude/Everyday colors: Light pink, coral, peach, nudes, beige, and soft mocha.
  • Bold colors: Vibrant shades, like cherry red, coral, vivid orange, or hot pink.

Best shades for medium skin tones:

Good news: Your skin tone is in the middle of the spectrum, which means everything flatters you.

  • Nude/ Everyday colors: rose, coral, berry, mauve
  • Bold colors: cherry red, tangerine

Best shades for tan skin tones:

Most shades look gorgeous on your beautifully bronzed skin. Just be careful with brown and purple shades. When in doubt, go for shades with orange undertones.

  • Nude/Everyday colors: Most nude colors look amazing
  • Bold colors: deep pink, tangerine, bright red colors

Best shades for deep/dark skin tones:

Deep shades look naturally flattering for women with darker tones.

  • Nude/Everyday colors: brown and purple shades
  • Bold colors: deep plum and berry shades, caramel, and blue-based reds like wine.
  1. Go for what’s flattering for your lip size

Do you want to make your lips look fuller or thinner with makeup? The right lipstick color does the trick.

For women with thinner lips, avoid colors that are too dark and flashy, which would only make your lips look thinner. Instead, use lighter lip colors to make it fuller. If you have lips that are too plump, steer clear of lipstick shades that are too glossy, light, and glittery.

  1. Think about your teeth color

If your pearly whites are, well, purely white, then you can wear whatever shade you like. But if your teeth are quite yellow, whether it’s due to genetics or poor lifestyle, you may want to avoid some shades that draw more attention to your teeth. Stick to light red, rose, and orange tones. Avoid browns, purples, and bright reds.

  1. Select a shade that fits your personality

These “rules” are just guidelines laid out by makeup experts. But you know what they say: Rules are meant to be broken anyway, especially when it comes to fashion. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what looks most flattering on yourself and what would make you feel happier and more confident.

So if you think a particular shade (which goes against everything we talked about) would look great on you, then go ahead and rock it! Go wear that vampy purple lipstick – no one’s stopping you!

Author Bio: Mina Natividad is a passionate writer for Napoleon Perdis Makeup Courses, a leading luxury makeup brand in Australia, which prides itself in delivering top of the line cosmetics and makeup courses. Sticking to the heart of the cosmetics brand, she aims to empower women with articles about style and beauty.