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The Ultimate Prom Lipstick Guide

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Wearing lipstick for prom may come secondary on your prom to-do list – after all finding a nice dress comes first right?

Bear in mind though that lipstick, and makeup in general, contribute a lot to the perfect prom appearance.

If you want to choose the perfect lipstick for prom then read on.

Image: Flickr

Should my lipstick match my prom outfit?

A lot of girls wonder if their lipstick should match the prom dress they will be wearing. The answer is both yes and no.

Your lipstick doesn’t have to be the same shade of your dress but ideally, it should come in a shade that compliments your dress color.

Also it should blend nicely with the rest of your make-up.

For example:

  • If you will be wearing a cool toned and pastel colored dress in the shades of baby pink, mink, lavender, or light green, you should aim for a pastel colored lipstick in a nude, pink, or mauve shade as too dark lipsticks will clash with the color and will look vampy.
  • If you will be wearing a dress in dark solid colors like dark red, navy blue, black, or even white, going for nice shade of red is the most ideal and glamorous choice. Hollywood reds (think of Marilyn Monroe), cool reds with berry undertones, and brown reds are great for perking up your prom dress while still looking classy and elegant.
  • If you are wearing a dress in a multicolored pattern e.g. animal print and fuchsia layers, it’s best to tone down your lipstick as it will look too much otherwise. The more vivid the dress pattern is, the more neutral your lipstick shade and make-up should look, so things balance out. Look for: nude rose pinks, nude browns, medium browns, and mauves to match these kinds of dresses. Don’t worry, you can still play up with your eye make-up for more drama–as long as your lipstick remains in a neutral shade, you will look great and no clownish at all.

Matching your lipstick to your skintone

Another factor to consider when you choose the right shade of lipstick for prom is your skintone. This is actually just as if not more important than matching your lipstick to your prom dress as if you choose the wrong shade, you will look washed out and even clownish in extreme cases.

So here is a brief guide for each skin tone and their ideal lipstick shades:

Fair and cool-toned gals with pink undertones will look their best with almost any pink shade as well as some cool-toned reds, nudes, and light mauves. Avoid: lipsticks that have a dark orange or brown hue, dark mauves, berries, and vampy reds.

In Light to medium skin tones with yellow or golden undertones, shades of medium depth and neutral to warm undertones will look best e.g : true reds, burnt orange reds, dark nudes with a warm finish, and mauves with brown undertones will look flattering.

Avoid: pastel pinks, light mauves, pink-based nudes, light purples, magenta shades, and cool-toned browns as this will make your skin tone look washed out.

Lastly if you have a tanned or dark skin tone e.g latin or afroamerican, you should go for rich neutral or warm lipstick shades like dark reds, berry mauves, magentas, deep pinks, and warm-toned brows. Avoid: pastel colors like light pink, mauve or extra light nudes.

Matte vs Glossy vs Satin Finish lipsticks

Since lipsticks come in all sorts of finishes, some girls may wonder which finish and formula is the best for prom.

There is no right answer here, but ultimately, your lipstick should have a long-lasting formula that will not smear or fade off in less than 2 hours, if you don’t want to reapply your lipstick every hour or less.

Ideally, you want to look for waterproof and kiss proof formulas (many display so in their package) which will last on your lips for hours even after sweating, dancing, or even kissing.

Matte lipsticks in general tend to last longer, especially if you use them with a lipliner in a similar or slightly darker shade. However, some girls don’t like them because they make lips feel drier and exaggerate any lip lines and creases.

Therefore, if you are using a matte lipstick, make sure that you have exfoliated and moisturised your lips properly with a clear lip balm prior applying them.

If you prefer a neutral finish, satin lipsticks that look soft and smooth but neither matte nor glossy, are your best bet.

Lastly, if you are a fan of lip glosses, which usually tend to last shorter than previous formulas, a good trick to make them last longer is to use a lipliner and a liquid lipstick in a matching shade prior applying your lip gloss on top.

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