Which Lipstick Shades Make Teeth Look Whiter?

By: Dr. Rebecca Koenigsberg


A bright white smile makes you feel and look good, boosting your confidence to smile as wide as you’d like. Brushing and flossing are the foundation to a healthy beautiful smile. Dental procedures such as whitening can help undo tooth external tooth staining from culprits such as smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee. Did you know that certain lipstick shades will make your teeth appear whiter as well?

It’s amazing how different lipsticks and colors can impact how white your teeth appear to be. Certain shades can make your teeth look yellower or whiter than they actually are. It’s all about choosing the right shade and finish to create the proper contrast. Lipstick wearing works similarly to other types of color correcting. For instance, warm toned lipsticks cancel out cool tones in teeth and bring out the yellow, while cool toned lipsticks cancel out warm tones in teeth and make them appear whiter. Here’s the breakdown:

Red Lipstick

Red Lipstick options are usually a range of blue, pink and orange tones. Blue tones will provide the greatest whitening effect, pink tones are pretty neutral and orange tones will yield a yellowing effect. Makeup artists refer to blue toned red lipsticks as a whitening treatment in a tube. 

Pink Lipstick

Pink Lipstick can be tricky. The key to pink lipstick is looking for one with a blue underdone instead of yellow. Pink lipstick with a purplish shade gives teeth a whiter appearance more so than one that contains a yellow or orange tinge. 

Nude Lipstick

Nude lipsticks that make teeth appear whiter are one of the most challenging choices.  Their options usually range in the brown or peach category which, unfortunately, makes teeth appear more yellow. The best strategy is choosing a cool pinkish nude for the best results. But in general it’s best to avoid light colored lipsticks, since they don’t provide enough contrast against the colors of your teeth to help make them stand out.  

Dark Lipstick

As a general rule, darker shades make teeth appear yellower. Since dark purples range between pink and brown, a rule of thumb appears to be lipsticks with pink tones make teeth appear whiter more so then brown toned lipsticks. 

Berry and plum colored lipsticks are a great choice, since they help brighten your pearly whites by providing a contrast to the light color of your teeth. 

General Lip Tips

A layer of lip gloss on top of your cool toned lipstick will make teeth appear even whiter and brighten your whole look. Beware of lipsticks that are too icy or frosty, which can make your lips look too light and make your teeth look dingy.

Call 212.246.8700 to find out more information or click here to schedule an appointment with Gallery57Dental. Follow Gallery 57 Dental on Facebook here!

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