It can be our body armour on bad days, but do you know the shade for you? Louise Ramsay gets the low-down on lippie and how to find your ideal lipstick shade.

Rouge, face paint, lippie, gloss — whatever you might call it, finding a lipstick that compliments your skin tone is no easy feat. One wrong swipe and you can look like a member of the circus rather than a Charlie’s Angel. Save the red face (or red nose) as Platinum has you covered, thanks to semi-permanent make-up artist Tracie Giles.

Let’s start with the basics and find out more about our undertones. Not in the know? Then don’t worry. Your undertone is either pink, neutral or yellow and discovering which is easy. Tracie advises, “The easiest way to identify your skin tone is using the veins on your wrist. If the veins on your wrist look blue then you have a cooler skin tone, whereas if they appear green you have a warmer skin tone.”

And if they look like a mix between the two? Then, you lucky thing, you have a neutral tone so you can wear any colour or shade. The beauty world is your ocean!

Next step is all about finding which shades work with your undertone. Focus on shades similar to your undertone and you can’t go wrong. Tracie says, “When hunting for the perfect lipstick, cooler skin tones should look for a lipstick with blue or purple undertones (not to be confused with an actual blue or purple lipstick). For a natural lipstick, cooler skin tones should opt for a rosy or pink colour to complement their fairer skin and enhance the natural blush of their lips.

“Warmer skin tones should choose a warmer lipstick shade with orange undertones. Lighter golden skin tones should go for a paler nude, whereas darker olive skins should look for something richer.”

But if this sounds like too much work at the beauty counter, a failsafe is going for lippie shades that compliment your skin tone. If you have an olive complexion, go neutral and you won’t make a make-up faux pas. Nude, pinks, oranges and reds get the green light. We advise to go with a bolder lip for your bolder looks.

For those with fair skin, it’s a case of go big or go home. Deep reds and scarlets look striking on you, but steer clear of anything too light or yellow as this can make you look washed out. And those with a darker complexion, it’s all about reds, plum and deep berry shades. Darker shades look more flattering, but this shouldn’t deter you from going for a statement bright lip. At the end of the day, the best lip looks are those worn with confidence so go with what brings out your strut and you can’t lose.