How to find your signature shade of lipstick

How to find your signature shade of lipstick
Credit: Getty

It was during a conversation with a friend about an upcoming wedding that the topic of lipsticks came up. My friend, a smart solicitor with not much time on her hands, has one lipstick that she has bought on repeat for the past few years. It is Blush by Bobbi Brown, £23, a pretty, muted pink. It is called into action for anything she faintly regards as a special occasion: a family barbeque, the office Christmas party or any big client meetings. It would look dreadful on me but suits her freckled English-rose complexion beautifully.

In contrast, I have lipsticks varying from the plainest nude to deepest plum, the most shocking pink to the juiciest coral. Call it an occupational hazard; I have dozens. But, like my friend, I tend to use one or two on repeat. In a haystack of hundreds of shades, I have found my needle: my own trademark lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution in the creamy coral Sexy Sienna, £24. If I listen hard enough I can almost hear my skin ping when I apply it.

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Admittedly, I have a couple of lipsticks that I’d hold in equally high regard, but the point is this: it doesn’t matter if you’re a make-up fanatic, a cosmetics-phobe or somewhere in between, a trademark lipstick is a very useful, versatile tool. Whether your face needs a little pick-me-up or you want to project a strong image for an important event, the trademark lipstick should always be present in your make-up bag as a reassuring friend that quietly gets on with the job of making you feel that much better.

I live for the challenge of finding the most flattering lipsticks around, for any skin tone. Here are some of my favourites whether you like pink, nude, coral or a good old-fashioned red. You never know, one of these might just become your next signature shade.

The best nude lipstick

Tom Ford Lip Color Matte in Pussycat, £40

Worth the price tag – you’ll be reaching for this warm pinky-nude shade every single day.

Buy now

The best matte lipstick

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipstick in Flirtation, £8.99

Here’s another great coral. It’s fresh, bright and summery, with a creamy finish.

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The best red lipstick

Mac Lipstick in Relentlessly Red, £16.50

This pinky-red is flattering on so many skin tones, as its blue undertones brighten the complexion.

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The best long-lasting lipstick 

Rimmel Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in Kiss of Life, £5.49

If you’re looking for a long-lasting, true-red lipstick, this is it.

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The best liquid lipstick

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Perla, £16

This rosy-nude liquid lipstick is light in colour, and so great for fairer skin tones.