If you're a lipstick lover who also happens to be a person of color, then I don't need to tell you that locating the perfect shade can be a hassle. Almost every brown and black woman has had the unfortunate experience of staring at the mirror in horror while applying a shade that looked amazing in the tube but turned out ashy or clownish on her skin. It's the worst.
Unlike shopping for skincare or even hair products, it takes a lot more than just reading a product description to know if a lip color will suit our skin. Now that brands have started offering more vast shade ranges that include colors that actually complement darker skin tones, the world of lipstick has expanded profoundly for gals of all backgrounds who just want to have a a little fun with their makeup. No more mixing four different shades to get the perfect one!
From one brown girl to another, I'm honored to gift you with this go-to guide to the lipsticks shades that will look so chic on your brown skin. We deserve. Ahead, check out 25 of the best choices on the market right now, for every budget.
If you want to spend $10 or less, try…
It's no secret that the shades accepted as universal nudes across the beauty industry just don't take black or brown women into consideration. Maybelline got it right with this range of nudes, and I'm an especially big fan of this one.
Have a little fun with your lip color with this fuchsia lip by Nyx. It's a soft, matte formula that dries down perfectly even across the pout. If the pink is a touch too bright for your taste, you can easily tone it down a bit with a light outline of chocolate brown or deep purple lip liner.
If you want to spend $20 or less, try…
If you found yourself researching how to mask dark under-eye circles and happened upon a video showing how to do it with red lipstick a few years ago, there's a good chance you learned about the hack from Live Tinted founder Deepica Mutyala. In fact, her viral video was the impetus for this line of buildable, demi-matte lip color and skin corrector sticks.
Lime Crime has been making vivid liquid lips that serve women of color just as well as our fair-skinned counterparts since before it was trendy to do so. It's not surprising that there are literally dozens of suitable shades available, but I'm especially into this one that a makeup artist friend recommended recently.
Another line known for its vast shade range, Anastasia Beverly Hills has loads of shades that perfectly complement black and brown skin tones. This dusty rose-colored liquid lip is one of them. If you find it sits a little too prominently on your lips, you can neutralize it by applying a lip liner that closely matches your skin, and blending it out for a smoother transition into the mauve color.
A deep berry is a tried-and-true colorway for us girls with deep skin tones. This one by Covergirl is stunning and affordable.
If you want to spend $30 or less, try…
The beauty of this deep berry shade extends far beyond the color itself. It's also a totally clean formula—a category in which shades for women of color are not often available. After you swipe this hydrating color across your lips, you can take the stick to your cheeks to add a natural flush there, too.
There's no shortage of shade-inclusive nudes on this list, but hey, it's only been a few years since women of color could easily access a shade that even remotely qualified as nude, so we won't be apologizing for our enthusiasm. This is another winner by Uoma.
Who What Wear's editor in chief has been a big fan of this Los Angeles–based clean beauty brand for some time now, and while I've only recently made its acquaintance, I am head over heels, too. Clean formulas that not only show up on brown skin but totally show out? Sold.
If you want to spend $40 or less, try…
If you want to spend $50 or less, try…
My love for this vinyl lip lacquer runs so deep. Not only is the color vibrant and eye-catching, but the high shine factor is truly out of this world. It's my power color, for sure. I wore this shade to my first job interview at Who What Wear, and—spoiler alert—I got the job.
Up next, these are the best red lipsticks for deep skin tones.
This article was published at an earlier date and has been updated.