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Can't Find Your Perfect Lipstick Color? Create It Yourself!

Updated on July 9, 2011

Why is finding the perfect lipstick so difficult?

You are looking for that perfect lipstick color, the one that is going to set off the color of your skin, the color of your hair, the color of your favorite top. You search store after store, brand after brand. You buy what you think is "the one," only to be disappointed that it's a little too bright, too dark, too shiny, too matte, or just plain wrong.

Buying lipsticks is supposed to be exciting, but it can quickly turn into an exercise in frustration. The lipstick's name does not always give you an idea of its actual color; neither does the colored dot on the bottom of the tube, or indeed the actual color of the stick itself. Sometimes your own intentions may end up being your downfall. For example, I do not like bright lipsticks. However, every once in a while, usually fueled by an advertisement, I think that I might like them, and I'll buy one, only to discover what I knew all along: I do not like bright lipsticks. Even so, instead of returning it (if that's a possibility), I'll hang onto it, thinking that someday I'll wear it (which of course I never will).

Based on my experience, I'm going to bet that your lipstick collection goes something like this: there are a few that you use often, and there are a lot that you don't even touch. This is certainly true for me.

Consider turning that frustration into fun! Here are some easy steps to creating your own, unique lipstick colors.

My collection of wrong lipstick colors

Does your "wrong lipstick color" collection look like this?
Does your "wrong lipstick color" collection look like this?

Step One: Take Inventory. Think of lip color as paint and make a palette of all your lipsticks and lip glosses, including the ones you like. I usually do this on a white napkin, but any surface will do, as long as you can clearly see your colors. This will give you an idea of all the colors you have to play with.

I didn't realize I had so many different lipstick colors!
I didn't realize I had so many different lipstick colors!

Step Two: Narrow it down. Choose some lip colors that you would like to experiment with and put them on the back of your hand, because the back of your hand will give you the best idea of how that color will look on your lips.  

There is one lip color on my hand that I really don't like!
There is one lip color on my hand that I really don't like!

Step Three: Choose Two. Choose two colors that you would like to mix. You can always mix more than two, but if you are just starting out, try two at first. The first lipstick in the photo below is Sonia Kashuk's Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Rosey Nude. This is one of my "wrong" lipsticks, because on me it is a really bright pink, not rosey or nude. The second lipstick is MAC's Photo, a dark brown that I love.

From top to bottom:  Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Rosey Nude, and MAC Lipstick in Photo
From top to bottom: Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon in Rosey Nude, and MAC Lipstick in Photo

Step Four: Mix!  I decided to use the brown to mix into the bright pink. What I got was a lovely wine color that I will definitely wear!

Now THAT is a lip color I like!
Now THAT is a lip color I like!

Have some lipstick fun!

Once you've done it, you'll want to play! There are no rules, and hey, you weren't using a lot of those lipsticks anyway, so you're not wasting anything. Experiment with colors, textures, and finishes. Have a dark matte lipstick that is too Goth for your taste? Mix it with a lighter color until it's something you like. That coral color you bought just too....coral? Mix it with a color that you know you love and see what happens. Do you think that creamy pink color would look much better as a gloss? Make it so! Happy Mixing, and you just might find the color that sets off your favorite top after all!

Have you mixed your lipsticks and glosses before?

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    • Modern Lady profile image

      Modern Lady 

      6 years ago from Chicago, IL

      I love mixing lipsticks! I too have a large collection of lipsticks in the wrong color, and mixing them gives me some satisfaction that the purchase wasn't a total waste. You can get so many different shades mixing just a few different lipsticks.

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