The One Lipstick Trick You’ve Been Doing All Wrong
Antonello Trio

If you count yourself among the hundreds of women cramped around beauty counters at Sephora and MAC on a Saturday afternoon, then it’s likely that you’re swiping a kaleidoscope of lipsticks over the back of your hands to find your perfect shade. Ask me any day what the hardest thing to find in beauty is, and my answer is likely to be “the perfect shade of lipstick.” I’m also one of those women at the cosmetic counter on Saturday filling up my hands with a kaleidoscope of lipstick swatches, only to return home and discover that my “perfect find” was actually jut a pump fake–the shade always—and I do mean always—looks a little off once I try it on at home. And, according to makeup artist Rae Morris, it’s all because I’ve been swatching the wrong spot.

Various areas of your skin are exposed to sun at different rates; that’s why your torso, hands and legs are likely to be different shades at any given point during the year. Your hands are one part of the body that receive the most sun exposure, so swatching on the back of your hand to determine a lipstick match isn’t the best decision, because the skin on your hands is rarely–if ever—the same shade as your lips. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Rae Morris, recommended testing lipstick on your fingers instead. “Test [lipstick] on your fingertip, which has a blue-red undertone that’s closer to your lip. Do one swipe only and if you like the color, buy it. If it’s not enough, you’re better off getting the next shade stronger and using less.” 

Life’s hard enough; don’t make it harder by swatching in the wrong place. Happy hunting!