How to Wear Flattering Lip Makeup for Filipino Women

by Lea WhiteFeather ; Updated September 28, 2017

Brownish mauve lipstick suits a golden Filipino complexion.

Leprechaun Art & Photography

While there are no hard and fast makeup rules written in stone, there are guidelines that help enhance your natural beauty instead of working against it. If you are of Filipino heritage, you may have noticed that the colors which flatter your natural-born platinum blond girlfriends do not work for you. It may be because you have been wearing shades that complement cooler skin tones, when in fact your own undertones are warm. With the Philippines' history of being conquered over a period of centuries by foreign countries, it is no surprise that many of its natives appear to be of ethnicities other than Filipino. However, even if you are only part Filipino, there is a chance you could benefit from the same makeup tips more traditional-looking Filipinos should try as well. You can begin making changes with your lipstick, since it is one of the most effortless cosmetics to apply.

Items you will need

  • Lip moisturizer
  • Foundation
  • Lip colors and textures with warm undertones
Step 1

Begin with clean lips. You don't want to layer color over a flaky mouth, so exfoliate dead skin prior to makeup application. Smooth on a lip moisturizer or balm to lock in hydration and allow to absorb before proceeding.

Step 2

Create a blank base for your lip color if you want the product to show up more vividly on your lips. You can do this by applying the foundation that matches your skin tone over lips. This gives the illusion that they have been erased. Filipino lips may be highly pigmented even without any makeup; applying a clear lip gloss or balm is sometimes the only enhancement you need for everyday if you prefer the natural look.

Step 3

Complement the undertones of your skin. You want to set off your coloring instead of contrasting it, which may create a disharmonious effect. Filipino undertones are often in the yellow and olive range, so look for warm-toned lipsticks such as caramel, coral and peach to enhance your appearance. This doesn't mean you can't wear pink lipsticks--you probably only have to mix a touch of light brown with the baby pink you love in order to make it more flattering.

Step 4

Know which hues best suit the intensity of your coloring. The lighter your complexion is, the larger the contrast created with each notch darker lipstick you choose to wear. To look polished without calling much attention to yourself, pick a lipstick with the same intensity as your skin tone. For example, if your skin tone is classified as medium, a mid tone lip color will blend seamlessly into the rest of your face, while either a considerably darker or lighter shade will stand out more. Although Filipinos generally have a reputation for being tan, the country has many lighter skinned natives as well.

Step 5

Wear a lip color and texture to match the occasion. Lighter colors--with warm undertones nevertheless--and sheer formulations are perfectly suitable for everyday. If you possess a high dose of the commonly admired Filipino trait of modesty (see Resources for more information), don't be afraid to bump the color intensity up a few notches for nighttime and formal events. You may have made the choice to wear makeup but it can only enhance your appearance as much as you allow it to.


  • Having lighter skin does not exclude you from having warm undertones. Even a fair-skinned beauty can have what appear to be gold--also known as warm--tones in her skin.

Photo Credits

  • Leprechaun Art & Photography

About the Author

Lea WhiteFeather writes to share her colorful experiences with all who can benefit. She enjoys traveling as well, and has worked and resided in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Philippines, where she received her undergraduate education in art history.