Am I wearing the wrong makeup? That’s a question plenty of people have asked themselves at one point or another. It’s possible that you’ve chosen the wrong makeup for your skin type, or that you haven’t chosen the most flattering shades or application. Many of those concerns are less pressing when it comes to your lip color. (There are fewer ways to go wrong and more shades that are flattering for everybody.) But as we transition our makeup routines to fall formulas and colors, it’s easy to second-guess which of the season’s bold hues are going to look best on you.
As with any other season or area of your face, it helps to know your skin tone and undertones. Do you burn or tan in the sun? If you burn, your undertones are probably cool. If you tan, they’re likely warm. The copy on your foundation or concealer can likely confirm your undertone suspicions. And for the most part, you can probably choose a flattering lip color from there. People with cool undertones often look great in lipsticks with blue undertones. Those with warm undertones will find lip colors with peach and orange tones more flattering.
But choosing the right lip color still requires trial and error. That may be fine if you like frequenting your local makeup store to scout out and try on different colors. But even among true makeup junkies, some have more tolerance for trial and error than others. (After all, lipsticks and lip stains and lip pencils are pretty expensive.) So we’ve rounded up some great fall lip colors that makeup artists and beauty editors alike agree will look great on everyone. Read on to find your new favorite lip color.
1. Charlotte Tilbury Stoned Rose
Makeup artists Kirin Bhatty tells Birdie that Charlotte Tilbury’s K.I.S.S.I.N.G. lipstick in Stoned Rose is “the perfect nude-y rose and looks good on almost everyone!” Fall is the perfect time to transition away from the bright pinks and corals many of us favor in the summer, and reach for something deeper instead. This lip color may be the perfect product to achieve that goal.
2. Clinique Black Honey
Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey is a cult-favorite lip color that’s often described as a universally flattering shade. As Lexy Lesback reports for Byrdie, it’s a sheer, deep burgundy lip color (perfect for fall!) that’s somewhere between a lipstick and a gloss. You can layer multiple coats for a more intense color, or keep things light for a sheer wash of color that flatters every skin tone.
3. COVERGIRL Blossom Berry
Amanda Montell reports for Byrdie that the best-selling fall lip color in New York City, according to a team of data experts at Amazon, is a $9 CoverGirl shade. The brand’s Outlast All-Day Moisturizing Lip Color in Blossom Berry offers a “cool-girl mauve shade, long-wear formula, and moisturizing topcoat for hydration and a hint of shine.” Its popularity attests to its ability to flatter a wide variety of complexions.
4. MAC Ruby Woo
MAC’s famous Ruby Woo is a lipstick with a cult following, thanks in no small part to the way it flatters every skin tone and undertone. As Sam Escobar reports for Good Housekeeping, this true blue red works well on all complexions and lip shapes. The matte finish makes the color more intense and even more flattering. Need proof? You’re just a quick Google search from countless photos from the shade’s loyal fans.
5. NARS Dolce Vita
Taylor Ellsworth reports for XOVain that one of the (many) things she learned while working a retail beauty job was that NARS Dolce Vita is a shade that looks good on everyone. Regardless of the formula — there’s a lip pencil, gloss, and sheer lipstick available — this is the “perfect pinky-nude, your-lips-but-better shade.” According to Ellsworth, “everyone who wears makeup ever should own this shade in at least one formula.”
6. NARS Lana
If red is more your style than pink, the universally flattering NARS shade you should try is Lana. Julie Schott reports for Elle that NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana is makeup artist Robin Black’s pick for the “holy grail of fire-starting lip colors.” According to Black, the shade is beautiful on almost everyone. “The warmth makes it great on Asian and olive skin. It’s gorgeous with blue eyes, green eyes, brown eyes — it just brightens up the face.”
7. Tom Ford Black Dahlia
As makeup artist and photographer Robin Black reports for Elle, it’s not just neutrals and classic reds that work on everybody. Tom Ford’s Lip Color Matte in Black Dahlia is a bold hue that’s surprisingly flattering on a wide range of complexions. Black says that it’s a “balanced shade,” with both a slightly cool undertone and a hint of warmth. If you’re searching for a dark, bold color for fall, you can’t go wrong with Black Dahlia.