Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
Even though you may fall in love with a lipstick shade, it doesn't mean it's right for you. Unless your teeth are ultra-white, you need to exercise extreme caution when picking out lip color. The wrong hue can make your slightly yellow teeth resemble kernels on a corn cob -- a major makeup faux pas. Thankfully, flattering lipstick colors do exist that can visually transform yellow-tinged teeth.
Flattering Lip Colors
Get in touch with the blues -- in lipstick hues that is. Blue-based colors will create a flattering illusion that your teeth are whiter than they actually happen to be. Raspberry, wine, plum, berry, violet, icy pink and other blue-based pinks and reds all can prove perfect choices for offsetting teeth that need a little brightening boost. Still, be aware that some cool-toned colors will look better than others on you. If you have darker skin, you can carry off darker shades of lip color. If you're skin is lighter, a darker color -- even though it gives a whitening boost to teeth -- may be overwhelming.
When you see that lovely shade of lipstick in the store and hear it calling your name, keep your wits about you. Instead of making an impulse buy, take the time to find a mirror, flash a smile and hold the lipstick next to your teeth. If your teeth look more yellow with the new lip hue, ditch it. If they look whiter, the lipstick is probably a keeper. Follow the same advice when applying lip color at home. You can also hold an open tube of lipstick next to a piece of white paper or swipe some lip color directly on the paper and gauge the contrast.
Colors to Avoid
When scoping out lipsticks, step away from any that have yellow or orange-based tones such as red-orange, coral, copper and brown hues. In other words, that delicious shade of apricot is not an option. All it will do is intensify the yellow shade on your teeth. If you want to wear warm-toned makeup and you think nothing other than one of these taboo lip shades will do, try an over-the-counter whitening kit to lift the color of your teeth.
Don't be afraid to consult with a makeup specialist if you have trouble picking out flattering lipstick hues, or enlist the help of a trusted pal. Make sure you check out colors in good lighting so you can get a good idea of what your teeth and the lipstick actually look like together. Keep in mind another consideration -- the most flattering shades of lip color are no more than two shades darker than your skin tone.