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Lipstick Color and Dress Color Guide

by Helen K. |

Choosing the right lipstick colors can be a tough terrain to navigate; many find lipsticks to be intimidating and avoid them altogether. But what a mistake that is! Lipstick can not only tie a look together, but it can make a bold statement. If you don’t feel comfortable picking a shade for your dress, you can use this guide to get started.


Dress Color

Recommended Lipsticks 

Red

Nudes, Reds (slightly darker than the shade of your dress)

Orange

Nudes, Oranges, Peachy colors

Yellow

Nudes, Orange, Pink, Mauve, Reds (coral, oxblood, maroon, burgundy), Peachy colors

Green

Nudes, Coral, Pinks, Peachy colors, Deep Reds

Blue

Nudes, Pinks, Orange, Peachy colors

Purple

Nudes, Purples, Pinks

Pink

Nudes, Pinks, Soft Orange, Deep Reds

Gold

Nudes, Peachy colors, Pinks, Pale Orange, Deep Reds

Black, White, Grey

As all three are neutral colors, as long as the lipstick matches your undertone, it doesn’t matter. 

 

Remember, this is a guide and not rules etched in stone by the beauty gods. There are exceptions to every rule. It has been said that a striking red lipstick goes with anything, yet several sources have stated that red lipstick should not be worn with a yellow or purple dress. But try to tell Beyonce she doesn’t look stunning in a yellow gown with red lips!   

When in Doubt: Choose Nude

If this is not said now, it will have to be mentioned in every section.


You can’t go wrong with nude. 


You can, however, choose the wrong shade of nude. As with all colors, make sure you know if your complexion is warm, cool, or neutral; this will help you find the best nude lipstick shade for you. Nude is also one of the only colors where you should consider your skin tone as well as your undertone. If you choose a nude that is too light, you risk looking like a corpse.


Pro Tip: Nude does not mean skin-toned. Your lips should not be the same color as your skin. 

(Source: Byrdie; Teen Vogue)

Red Dresses

When matching your lipstick to a red dress, your best options will be:

  • Nude/Neutral 
  • Red lipsticks
  • A darker shade

Red Lipstick

If you’re going to wear red lipstick with a red dress, choose a shade of red lipstick that is slightly darker than that of your dress. Choosing an exact match can look cheesy. 


The consistency of the red lipstick and the red dress will draw attention to your entire look, while a nude lipstick would leave a little more room to use color elsewhere. Now, the true attention seeker will be the darker shades.

Darker Shades

If you’re feeling bold, darker lipstick will definitely draw some attention. If you’re still nervous, maybe try maroon or burgundy. These are both still in the red family. 


When you feel more comfortable with experimentation, you can experiment with:

  • Blacks
  • Purples
  • Greens
  • Blues

However, these colors are very bold choices, and they won’t work with every look. 

Best Colors to Avoid with Red Dresses

The general rule for red is to avoid pink lipstick, especially hot pink. It’s going to clash with just about every shade of red dress. Of course, there is an exception. Light pinks and peachy pinks can be worn as they fall under the nude tones for lighter skin.


(Source: Cosmopolitan; Allure; QC Makeup Academy; Fashionista Lifestyle; Style Cheer; Glam Corner)

Orange Dresses

Just like with red dresses, you can try an orange shade of lipstick with an orange dress. However, where you went slightly darker with the red, you’ll want to choose a shade a little less vibrant with the orange. Peachy lipsticks will usually look great as will reds. 


With an orange dress, it’s best to avoid pink and other colors that have pink undertones

(Source: All Day Chic; Beautiful Shoes)

Yellow Dresses

With a yellow dress, assuming you are going with a more simple cheek and eye look, a shade of red will be a good choice. 


Give these colors a try:

  • Red
  • Coral
  • Oxblood
  • Maroon
  • Burgundy

Outside of the red family, you might try pink, mauve, or orange.


Pro Tip: If you are going with a bolder, darker look with your eyes, use lighter nudes or peachy colors for your lips. 

(Source: Tips and Beauty)

Green Dresses

There is a misconception that certain colors should not be seen with each other; they are said to “clash.” For example, if you wear a red and a green with the same intensity, then it’s going to look a lot like Christmas.


The trick with these clashing colors is to use different intensities. Colors that will look good with a green dress include:

  • Corals
  • Shades of pink
  • Peachy colors
  • Deep reds
  • Strawberry Red

Blue Dresses

As blue and red are both primary colors, you might think red lipstick with a blue dress is a bad choice. Not necessarily. It depends on the tone and shade of the red. Remember, a cool red (which is red with blue undertones) should look great with anything. With blue dresses, especially navy blue, a deep red tone like burgundy will also look stunning.


Some other choices to consider when wearing a blue dress:

  • Shades of pink
  • Orange
  • Peachy colors

Purple Dresses

Purple dresses are said to be hard to pair with lipstick colors. The most recommended color is nude. Many sources say that red lipstick is a terrible choice.


But guess what? If you Google Image search “purple dress red lipstick,” you will see several examples of this look working very well. Just like with the green dresses, it’s all about changing up the intensities. The right shade and intensity of red or pink can both look lovely with a purple dress.


Pro Tip: If you want to be a little bolder, you might even try a shade of purple that is darker than your dress.  

Pink Dresses

The lipstick colors you wear with a pink dress will vary greatly depending on the shade of pink that the dress is. The same can be said for all color dresses, but it seems to matter even more for pink. 


For example, with hot pink, fuchsia, or candy floss pink dresses, the following lipstick choices are wise:

  • Peachy pinks
  • Other shades of pink
  • Soft orange
  • Deep reds

Pale pink dresses are best paired with similar pale pinks, peachy colors, or nude colors.

Multicolored Dresses

You might think that wearing a multicolored dress would make it harder to pick a lipstick shade, but this isn’t true. Choosing a vibrant lipstick color can highlight parts of the dress and make it pop more. 


(Source: Marie France Asia)

Gold Dresses

When it comes to gold dresses, the lipstick color you choose is more determined by the makeup choices you use for your entire face. As with every other look, you don’t want your face to be overwhelming. If you want a bolder eye look, let your lips be a little more subtle. 


For example, if you were to make your face glow with bronze eyeshadow, it would look amazing with a gold dress, but you want your lips to let the rest of your face shine. 


Good lipstick color choices for this would be:

  • Peach
  • Pink
  • Light pink
  • Pale orange
  • Nude shades

Pro Tip: If you aren’t going for the bronzed look, wear a deep red, like burgundy or marsala. 

(Source: Fashion Lady)

Black, White, or Grey Dresses

The little black dress is iconic. And it’s a neutral color, so you can wear just about anything you please with it. 


Some lipstick shades to pair with your black dress include:

  • Cool red
  • Warm red
  • Orange
  • Fuschia
  • Rose pink
  • Nudes
  • Deep plum
  • Black

White and grey dresses are also neutral colors. It will be hard to pick the wrong color as long as it fits your complexion. With white, it will be best to go with a bold color like a cool red. The blue undertones will bring out the color of the dress even more. 


For a grey dress, try these lipstick colors:

  • Warm reds 
  • Burgundy

In Conclusion

Makeup is an art form, and people are going to have opinions about it. Please don’t let that intimidate you. If you’re not ready to go bold with your colors, remember that you can’t go wrong with a good nude. 


If there is a color you want to try because you have an idea that it will look good with your dress, go for it. Find the shades of that color that match your undertones and experiment. Have fun


And don’t forget to exfoliate and moisturize your lips. If you don’t, you might be drawing attention to all the wrong things.

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