Finding the right lipstick is, more often than not, way more difficult than it should be.
That's why we turned to Los Angeles-based celebrity makeup artist Kerrie Urban. With a clientele that has included Saoirse Ronan, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Keira Knightley, it's safe to say Urban knows a thing or two about applying lipstick (and applying the right shade of lipstick).
Look below for Urban's tips on navigating the wide world of lipstick options with ease, plus get some product recommendations along the way.
How to Match a Color
Your skin and its undertones will always be good guides to choosing the right lip hue—while color trends may change seasonally, shades that are complementary to your complexion will forever look great, no matter what.
For Lighter Skin Tones
"If you have cooler [that is, pink and blue] undertones, stick to blue-based shades," Urban says.
For Darker Skin Tones
Urban's take: "If you have a more golden complexion, warmer tones really bring your skin to life."
Urban also offers us her keen expertise in matching lipstick shades to your eyes and hair for bolder, more surprising pairings.
For Lighter Hair
For blondes and other light hair colors, Urban suggests trying out a cool pink lip shade for a sharp contrast.
For Darker Hair
Warm reds, according to Urban, pull together the tones in dark hair colors for a look that's high drama.
For Brown Eyes
Hey, brown eyes, it's your lucky day! "People with brown eyes can wear almost any shade," Urban says.
For Honey or Hazel Eyes
For honey-toned eyes, Urban suggests getting a little daring: "A blue-red really makes honey-toned eyes pop."
For Green Eyes
It's true, opposites attract! "If there are green flecks [in the eye color], I love a ruby red, since red and green are opposites on the color wheel," Urban says.
For Blue Eyes
Remember, if two colors are opposite on the color wheel, they make for the ultimate pairing. This is especially true for orange and blue. "Orange-reds really make blue eyes pop," says Urban.
How to Shop for a Color
Urban knows walking into Sephora or approaching a department store makeup counter can be intimidating. Remain cool and follow her two simple rules to streamline lipstick shopping.
1. Actually wear makeup: "When shopping for a new lip color, make sure to have the rest of your makeup done as you normally do. Then you will know what the completed look will be," Urban recommends
2. Let your hand be the color palette: "Before you try something on your lips, use the back of your hand to see how you like the color first," Urban says. "Lip colors can stain your lips easily, and if you're trying on multiple shades, you can end up layering the colors and not getting the true tone on your lips."
How to Fix the Wrong Color
Though Urban is of course a pro at selecting lipstick shades, she says even experts make mistakes. Just in case you buy the wrong shade (and in the unfortunate case can't return it), Urban suggests getting creative: "Mix and match! If you aren't in love with your new shade of lipstick, mix it with a different hue to make a custom color."
And for a quicker alternative, play with texture. "Layer a gloss on top to instantly change the color," she adds.