Drugstore Beauty : Lip Colors for Medium to Deep Desi Complexions

A common problem most girls with deeper complexions face is that they hardly find a lip color that actually suits them. Nudes end up washing you out, some pinks look too light on, mauves are too cool-toned to give the desired effect, one has to stick to older aunties muttering, “Browns might suit you better” Well guess what ? Heck no !

Break free from the boring browns of ages past and gift yourself the confidence of looking your best – happiness is just the right shade of lipstick away 😉

I’m going to list a range of lipsticks and lipliners from drugstore brands available in Pakistan and India so you guys can find them easily available.

Before we dive in, warmer toned colors often look better on medium to deeper complexions – you could look for red, yellow and brick undertones in your lipstick. Some blue-toned lipsticks look great on medium complexions as well (more on this later in the post)

Lakme 9 to 5 Red Coat (Rs. 400)


Part of Lakme’s office wear range, this lipstick is a nice, everyday wear color that has a very visible face- brightening effect overall, after application.

Lipsticks impart color to complexions and some colors in general just LIFT your complexion after application. This lipstick is one such shade.

Though many women shy away from reds as an everyday wear color, I think this shade is just about fine ! The price doesn’t pinch and it lasts a good four hours at least without wearing off.

Color Essence #11, Pristine Pink (Rs. 200)


Despite being a very affordable brand, Color Essence churns out some wearable, quality products that you wouldn’t mind trying. Pristine Pink is hardly pristine as such, it is more of a bold berry shade that makes your complexion pop and is perfect for the evenings or for date nights, it is almost matte and has lip-plumping qualities (my lips did look much fuller after application)

The colors wears off and leaves a pretty stain behind after a few hours. This color will look best on medium skin tones with a very yellow undertone , most desis have yellow-toned skin and this color is guaranteed to look very pretty on such skin types.

If you are deeper than NC 45 though, do give this a miss. NC 30 – Nc 43 will love this berry pink.

Lakme Satin Enrich Lipstick in #422 (Rs. 230)


This is a satin -finish lipstick (neither matte nor glossy ) but has a very high tendency to bleed ! I’m not a fan of the texture but the color is a saviour. This shade is very high-selling among NC 43 and higher and will look great on deeper complexions mostly.

It is a deep maroonish-brick red that is very flattering on tan tones.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Monte Carlo ( Rs. 900 )


An absolute matte red, this color looks good on almost all complexions and undertones. It is a universally flattering red and looks good whether you wear it as a stain or layer it on for full application – a perfect red for medium / deeper tones .

Maybelline ColorSensational Blushing Brunette


A peachy pink, this shade is great for you if you don’t do bold colors but still shy away from nudes. This my-lips-but-better shade works for most tones and is a great everyday wear lipstick.

I can most women opting for this shade; it isn’t something bold or attention – grabbing but a very neutral shade that can be doubled as a blush as well if you’re willing to experiment.

Stay tuned for more shades and brands in the next part of this post !

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Nilo Haq
Tagged as one of the five women to have shaped the beauty industry in the Middle East, Nilo is a pro makeup artist with stints at MAC Cosmetics, Toni&Guy, & Alexander Zouari Paris. Nilo Haq is the founder of iGlow Studios, Snobby Face lashes and creator of the first ever Online Makeup Course made for South Asian women. Nilo is now based in Toronto and is a sought-after bridal makeup artist who runs makeup workshops across three continents.

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