Whether you love glamorous reds or subtle nudes, there’s a lipstick for you. Women have sought perfectly defined lips since before the days of Cleopatra, experimenting with ingredients from berries to bug juice. Thankfully, we're now past the days of foraging for makeup products.

Our makeup counter will spoil you for choice with a spectrum of sophisticated lipsticks, glosses and balms. Our handy lipstick guide is here to help you find the right shade for any occasion.

Coral Estee Lauder lipstick

Explore the versatility of lipstick as we decode matte, satin and glossy types below:

Satin and sheer lipstick

Satin and sheer lipsticks will add a touch of shine to your smile, along with the high-pigment colour of your choice. They leave a subtle glow that isn't as lustrous as an actual gloss lipstick. This sheer shine will complement thinner lips, drawing the eye and making them appear slightly plumper. Satin is one of the best lipstick types for protecting nourished, moisturised lips.

Matte lipstick

Are you new to the matte lip trend? Smooth and modern, this long-lasting lipstick style has a velvet finish thanks to its rich pigment. With zero gloss, matte lipsticks say it all with colour. A pared-down dark purple or understated nude will work for a day's shopping and last all the way through to a night on the town.

Liquid lipstick and gloss

If you're looking for a quick fix to enhance your lips and add depth, liquid lipstick or gloss is the answer. Pop some in your handbag and apply a layer as needed throughout the day. Designed to give your lips ample texture and shine, gloss can be worn on its own or teamed with a matte lipstick.

Pink brown Bobbi Brown cream lipstick

Moisturising lipstick

For those of us addicted to prepping up with lip balm, a moisturising lipstick could save you time and money. They contain hydrating ingredients such as Vitamin E and aloe, which treat your lips as well as colour them.

Cream lipstick

These lipsticks contain more wax than other types. For this reason they have a unique texture and will give your lips a smooth finish. As a bonus, they're also long-lasting due to their high pigment content.

Long-wearing lipsticks

If you’re strapped for time and prefer not to re-apply lipstick throughout the day, a resilient long-wearing lipstick is the right choice. Not only do they contain moisturiser to balance the dryness of your lips, but their formula will help keep your smile looking perfect all day long.

Illustration of different skin undertones and complimentary lipstick shades

Your complexion is unique thanks to your skin's underlying tones. Matching your lipstick to your skin tone will pull your whole look together, so follow these simple guidelines:

Cool undertones

If the veins in your wrist look blue, your skin tone is probably cool. Lip colours with subtle blue or purple undertones will look fantastic on you – think deep plum shades, luscious berry tones, cool pinks and pale nudes.

Illustration of different skin undertones and complimentary lipstick shades

Warm undertones

Those with warm undertones tend to have a golden, olive hue to their skin. If the veins in your wrist look green, we suggest you opt for lip colours in warm hues like pillar box red, bold coral and sandy nudes.

Illustration of different skin undertones and complimentary lipstick shades

Neutral undertones

If your veins appear to be a combination of green and blue, it's likely that your skin has neutral undertones. The great news for you is that you suit most lipstick shades, so go ahead and indulge!

Peach coloured YSL lipstick

If you're still wondering, "What lipstick colour suits me?", you can complement your skin tone with a matching or contrasting shade for a signature look:

Lipstick for pale skin

Lighter skin with rosy or peach undertones suits shades such as apricot, bright red and coral. These summery tones will help to add warmth to your complexion, so you can enjoy a sun-kissed look. For a classic take on porcelain skin, try a warm shade in these M·A·C lipsticks.

Deep plum coloured Tom Ford lipstick

Lipstick for medium skin

If your skintone is somewhere in the middle of light and dark, you can indulge in a wide range of flattering shades. Consider your skin's undertone: warm complexions suit browns and peachy pinks, while cool customers prefer nudes and berry colours. Spend some time exploring samples with Tom Ford.


Lipstick for dark skin

For a pared-down daytime look, pick a matte lipstick to match your skintone, whether it's copper or espresso, dark brown or ebony. Create contrast with a deep plum or crimson red. Make a bold statement with Dior lipsticks, enriched with marine crista, which smooths and shapes lips for a slick finish.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades

Now you've got your skintone sorted, narrow down your perfect shade even further by matching your makeup to your outfit. Here are a few bright ideas:


Choosing makeup for a red dress can be tricky. Proceed with caution when it comes to red lip colours. If you can match the colours and undertones exactly you'll have an eye-catching ensemble that works in harmony. But if your lips are darker than your dress, it might clash. Play it safe by pairing your outfit with nude or pastel lipstick.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


Blue and coral is a classic combination. The contrast of deep navy or light teal teamed with this feminine shade will add polish to your outfit and enhance your facial features. As a general rule, the lighter the blue of your dress, the more you should favour pinks over purples.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


Yellow is chic and flattering when paired with fuchsia or other floral lip tones. For an unexpected pop of colour, team yellow with another primary colour such as red, which is equally bold. Colour block with accessories in blue or orange for a fun and elegant outfit.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades

Take a look at how versatile lipstick shades can be when paired with monochrome staples:


Nude garments allow for flexibility with your makeup. You can match with nude lipstick for a subtle look. You’re also welcome to go all-out with a bold red, perhaps with deep berry undertones, paired with smokey eyes.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


Little black dresses famously go with anything, so the choice is up to you. Maybe it's time to try that vibrant neon pink or metallic copper lipstick you've had waiting in your makeup bag for months. Be confident in making a statement with your lips, as your outfit will bring balance.

Illustration of different coloured dresses and complimentary lip shades


A red lipstick with blue undertones will help to bring out the colour of your dress and accentuate your facial features. Alternatively, go for the all-natural look with a subtle pink, or even just a simple layer of gloss.

Choosing the best lipstick for you is a fine art, but once you know what suits you it becomes easy to pick out the right shade and consistency. Explore the beauty selection at House of Fraser for that perfect matte red, lustrous purple or barely there nude.