Are you looking for a way to make your teeth look whiter without using whitening treatments? The color of your lipstick plays a surprisingly big role in how your teeth look. While some colors will make your teeth look dull or yellow, others will make them look whiter.

In this article, we answer the question of what color lipstick makes teeth look whiter. You will find information on teeth undertones and how to choose the right lipstick for your undertone. You will also find tips on other ways to make your teeth appear whiter so continue reading to get a brighter and whiter smile without dental whitening treatments.

The Importance of Picking the Right Lipstick

The Importance of Picking the Right Lipstick

For many people, lipstick is the finishing touch when it comes to doing your makeup. For others, it may be the only makeup they wear on a day-to-day basis. However, choosing the wrong shade of lipstick can make your teeth look more yellow than they are and leave you hiding your smile.

Which lipstick shade you should use for a whiter smile, depends on the undertone of your teeth. Matching the right lipstick color with your undertone will give you the appearance of whiter teeth instantly.

Traditionally, the advice has been to pick lipsticks with blue tones to make teeth appear whiter. The blue tones will counteract the yellow tones in your teeth. While blue-toned lipsticks will give most people whiter-looking teeth, understanding the undertone of your teeth will give you better-customized results and an even brighter smile.

What Are Teeth Undertones?

The color of our teeth is characterized by four different undertones, which are reddish-grey, reddish-yellow, reddish-brown, and shades of grey. It can be difficult to determine which undertone category your teeth belong to just by looking at them in the mirror.

You can get a better match using a shade-matching scale, which you can get from a dentist or with some at-home whitening kits. Comparing your teeth to the scale will give you a more accurate teeth tone and make it easier to pick the right lipstick to make your teeth look whiter.

While the shade scales may differ slightly, there are four main categories. In category A are teeth that range from white to reddish brown. In category B, the undertones range from white to reddish yellow. Category C has teeth from white to grey and D from white to reddish grey. In each category, the colors range from lighter to darker shades.

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Lipstick Undertones

Even though a lipstick color will appear, for example, red, pink, or orange, it will have certain undertones. For most people, lipsticks with blue undertones will work to counter yellowness in teeth. For example, a berry lipstick, with a purple-blue undertone will help balance staining on teeth and the dark color will help your smile shine.

However, lipsticks with green undertones will work better for some people because green helps to balance out the reddish undertones in the teeth. The same principle is used in concealers and primers that use green to hide redness in the skin.

Apart from one exception, you need to avoid lipsticks with warm tones because they can make your teeth appear more yellow. Most people should also avoid lipsticks with pearlescence because they can contain too much white undertone, making your teeth look dull in contrast.

Picking The Right Lipstick For Your Teeth

Picking The Right Lipstick For Your Teeth

Since both teeth and lipsticks come in different shades, there is no one strict rule that can be applied to everyone. When you have determined the shade of your teeth, use that to pick a lipstick color that matches your category.

Reddish-Yellow Undertone

If your teeth are in the category with a reddish-yellow undertone, the best lipsticks for you are those with berry colors and blue undertones. Lipsticks with deep violet, purple, and blue-toned burgundy work well with reddish-yellow undertones. If you would prefer a redder lipstick, think of blue-toned bright pinks and cool-toned mauves.

Reddish-Brown Undertone

Brown is an interesting color because it is a mix of all colors. For this reason, lipsticks with pearl and opal undertones may work for people with reddish-brown teeth. With these tones, adding shimmer to your lips may help to brighten the brown in the teeth. The blues and greens in opal lipsticks can also counter warm red tones in your teeth.

People with reddish-brown teeth can also try mauve lipsticks as they often have green in the mix, creating contrast with the red tone in the teeth. You can also pick from pinky nudes and cool beiges. If you have reddish-brown teeth, avoid brown nudes and warm peachy colors as they will highlight the red and brown undertones in the teeth.

Reddish-Grey Undertone

People who have reddish-grey teeth should avoid red-red colors and opt for blue-reds or purple-reds. Choosing lipsticks with green hues will work well too with teeth in this category.

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Avoid lipsticks that have grey tones as this will pull out the grey in the teeth even more. Keeping your lipstick bright works the best. You can also consider cool purples and hot pinks.

Grey Undertone

If your teeth have grey undertones, you can use lipsticks with warm shades. This is the only teeth category where warm tones will work to make teeth look whiter. Think orange-red lipsticks, which will warm up the grey tones in the teeth.

Avoid cool tones as they will make your teeth appear duller. The same principle applies if you have really white teeth. Warm and bright lipsticks will enhance the whiteness of your teeth.

How Do You Know if Lipstick is Cool or Warm?

When you are shopping for lipstick to match the undertone of your teeth, start by holding the lipstick next to the veins in your arm in natural light. Cool undertones will often make your veins look more purple or blue, while warm undertones will make them look greenish.

You can also test the colors by swiping them on a white tissue or on your arm. When you see shades side by side, it will be easier to tell the warmer tones from the cooler tones. If possible, you can also try the colors on your lips and see how they affect the appearance of your teeth.

If you are still uncertain, speak to a member of staff at a makeup counter. Most people who work at makeup counters in beauty or department stores are makeup professionals. They will be able to help you choose the right warm or cool-toned lipstick for you.

Other Ways to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

Other Ways to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter

While choosing the right lipstick color will make an instant difference in how your teeth look, you can further enhance the look by following the tips below.

Keep Your Lips Hydrated

Try to keep your lips well-hydrated at all times. Even when you are not wearing lipstick, moisturized lips can help your teeth look better, while dry lips can focus more attention on the plaque on your teeth. Glossier lipsticks and lip gloss are better on dry lips since matte lipsticks are likely to accentuate dryness.

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Use Lipgloss

If you would like to keep your look more natural, use lip gloss instead of lipstick. Choose a lip gloss with cool tones and silvery shimmer. When you add shine to your lips, this can still give you a brightening effect as the shine is reflected off your teeth.

Choose Cooler Blushers

If you use a blusher, choose colors with cool undertones that will compliment your lipstick and brighten your teeth. Avoid blushers with warm undertones because they can cast yellow tones on your teeth. Icier pinks work well with fair skin, while brighter pink shades are great for darker skin tones.

Highlight Your Eyes

While highlighting your eyes may not make your teeth appear whiter, it can focus the attention more on your eyes rather than your mouth. Stick to cooler shades and blue tones to create more contrast between your teeth and eyes. Navy and plum-toned eyeliners with black or navy mascara can make the whites in the eyes look brighter.

Wear Darker Colors

To finish off your look and the illusion of a brighter smile, wear darker colors. When you dress in darker clothes, it helps to create further contrast with the teeth. Wearing light colors can make your teeth look duller or more yellow.


Choosing the right lipstick can do wonders for your smile. The right shade will make your teeth appear whiter. While cooler blue tones will work for many people, warm tones can work well if your teeth are in the grey undertone category.

It is always a good idea to work out the color of your teeth using a shade chart as this will help you choose the best color match for you. Test the lipsticks on your arm or lips if at all possible, and ask for expert advice if you are not sure of the best color for you.

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