Finding the Right Lipstick Shade for Your Skin Tone Is Easier Than You Think

July 28, 2017 - Article reads in
Image collage of different PIXI by Petra lip products

Have you ever picked up a new lipstick color thinking, “maybe this will be my shade,” only to find out it couldn’t be more wrong? Reds are too red, pinks are too bright … and don’t even get us started on nudes. Enough is enough — we’re bringing in the expert.

In honor of National Lipstick Day (July 29!) we talked to PIXI by Petra founder and long-time makeup artist Petra Strand about picking out the perfect lipstick shade and applying it like a pro. Turns out, it’s not as hard as it seems and it all starts with knowing your skin tone.

Skin tone graphic

Pale skin/cool undertones: “I love a true pink or strawberry-red on pale skin. Also, any cool, blue-red (which also brightens your teeth, as an added bonus!) or nudes with a beige base.”

Medium skin/neutral undertones: “You’ll look amazing in rosy pinks, mauve plums and nudes with a pink undertone.”

Olive skin/neutral undertones: “Corals, peaches and warm, orange-reds look amazing on olive skin!”

Darker skin/warm undertones: “People with deeper skin tones look great in deep browns and plums.”

PIXI by Petra lip products collage

Now that you’ve found your perfect shade, it’s time to find your perfect product and learn how to apply it like a true makeup artist. Read on for Petra’s pro tips!

Step 1: “At night, sweep a cotton pad soaked in PIXI by Petra Glow Tonic over your lips, then sleep with our Nourishing Lip Polish to ensure smooth lips all day.”

Step 2: “Ask yourself what you are looking for: something natural for work? Or something bold for evening? A tinted lip balm or gloss is best for a natural fuss-free day look. Strong colors look great and our new MatteLast Liquid Lipstick will not budge throughout the day. It’s a great alternative if you like full color but in natural tones.”

Step 3: “Always make sure lips are clean and dry before applying product. Then, apply the PIXI by Petra Clear Lip Contour Liner just outside of your lip line to prevent any bleeding or feathering.”

Step 4: “If you find your lipstick often rubs off, consider using a stain or a very long-lasting liquid lipstick. If you do use a normal, cream lipstick, blot and reapply a few times for longer wear. Pro tip: Lick your lips before you take a drink — it works super well!”

And remember to follow your instinct: “If you’re drawn to a certain color, it’s usually because it looks good on you. Also, the best thing about makeup is that you can just wash it off and try something else if it doesn’t work!”

Shop PIXI by Petra products in Target stores or online at, at prices ranging from $6 to $24.

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