Finding your perfect lip color is like finding your perfect pair of jeans.
You can dress it up or dress it down, what ever the occasion it will make you look fabulous.

But standing in front of the lipstick stands at the MAC store or Sephora can be overwhelming, with an endless array of shades, hues and textures to choose from, so here is a guide to choosing your perfect lip color, and building your lipstick wardrobe. 

Firstly some lipstick rules. 
*The darker the shade, the smaller your lips will look.
*Need the lip to look bigger and more luscious? Gloss it up
*Older/more mature skins should avoid deep, dull shades and matte finishes.

Now, building your lipstick wardrobe.

Start with a good neutral lip
Jennifer Lopez in a perfect neutral lip

Look for a shade that is a little brighter than your natural lip color. Some people look better in a pinky based neutral, others in a more peachy/brown based neutral. African American women look stunning in eggplant, I love coral based neutrals on Asian women.

*Avoid neutrals that are paler than your natural lip color. 

They may look stunning in magazine photo spreads and on the runway, but in real life it looks like you put concealer on your lips. It looks far too opaque. 
*A matte lip that is paler than your natural lip color will totally wash you out.

Try it right.
I like to test lip shades on the middle of the lower lip. Don't be fooled by the lighting in stores either - check out a color in natural light before you commit to it.

Mix It Up
Once you have a really great neutral, you can use it to modify almost any color that is happening in fashion, whether you apply it as a base and then add a coat of the fashion shade over top, or whether you apply the hot new trend in lips first, and then tap a little of your neutral into the center of the lip to tone it down. 

How To Choose Your Perfect Color

Pale Skins: 

If your complexion is pale, look for soft peachy nudes.
For a pop of color look at cool toned fuschias, and for some super-glam look at bold reds.

Avoid muddy chocolate tones and deep burgundies. The contrast will generally be unflattering, and those tones will suck the life and the light out of your skin.

Dark Skin

Almost everything looks gorgeous on dark skin! Make sure you work with your undertones though - if you have deeper blue/purple undertones some oranges may not work, if you have very olive undertones some of the blue based colors may not be ideal.
The big thing to avoid milky pale tones, or colors with a lot of white in them, as this can be too much contrast and not look so flattering.
Look for a texture with a nice sheen or a gloss.

Olive Skin

Penelope Cruz Red Lip

Again almost everything will look stunning on an olive complexion. Look at oranges and corals, and orange based reds, beautiful warm shades that don't wash you out.

Avoid browns - it can be too monochromatic and strip the life out of your skin. Also avoid purples. They will make the skin look yellow and sallow.

Yellow Undertones

If your complexion has a more yellow tone to it, look for bronzes, flesh tones and blue based reds. Cranberries and raspberries can be gorgeous on a yellow undertoned skin, but you may need to play with them a bit to find the perfect shade.
Avoid purples, as they will make you look jaundiced.

Pink Undertones

If you have a pink undertone to your complexion, look for lip shades with a pink or peachy undertone. The best reds for a pink undertoned skin tend to be coral or orange based reds.
Be careful with blue based shades as they can clash with your skin tone and make your lips and face look cold and lifeless.

Tip: The Best Way To Wear Red Lipstick

Every woman should own a powerhouse red lipstick.

The key to pulling it off is to let it be the star of the show, and pull all of the rest of your makeup back. 
I love a bold brow to offset a bold red lip, with pared down cheeks and eyes, but tons of mascara.

Red lips are fabulous with a power suit, an L.B.D, a black pencil skirt paired with a white blouse, as they are so commanding.

But don't forget about reds when you are dressing less formally.
A red lip with a white t-shirt and jeans = perfection!