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What Color Lipstick Makes Teeth Look Whiter?

When you don’t have hours to sit in dental trays, use lipstick as a quick fix for whiter teeth.

August 18, 2023

There are few things worse than posing for a picture in your favorite makeup look, only to realize your teeth aren’t quite the pearly whites you wish they were. A stained smile can seriously put a damper on your beauty look. While stained teeth that appear slightly yellow are very normal, it’s likely not the look you want when getting ready for work or a night out. 


Whether you’re regularly loading up on coffee, black tea or red wine, maintaining perfectly white teeth is easier said than done. It doesn’t mean you should hide your beautiful smile from the world. Look instead to a makeup staple to create the ultimate illusion of whiter teeth in seconds. 


Lipstick is a quick fix when you’re in a pinch and can’t spend hours in whitening trays or in a dentist's chair — that’s right, makeup really is magic. However, it takes the right color of lipstick to make teeth look brighter because there are colors that can make teeth look more yellow. Read on to learn what color lipstick will make teeth look whiter to make your teeth dazzle.

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What Color Lipstick Will Make Teeth Look Whiter?

When your goal is a finished makeup look with a bright smile, skip warm-toned colors and opt for cool-toned lipstick shades that’ll bring out the white of your teeth. Think back to the color wheel from art class. If you’re dealing with stained teeth that look yellow (or even brown from too many cups of coffee), pick a color opposite to these shades — a.k.a purples and blues. You don’t have to eliminate pink or red colors from your collection, instead reach for cool-toned shades that’ll add a vibrancy to your lips that help make teeth appear whiter. 

And if you aren’t sure whether a shade is warm-toned or cool-toned, swatch a few lipsticks on your arm and compare the shades. Cool-toned shades will appear deeper and richer in hue than warm-toned shades that can appear bronzy, depending on the color. When in doubt, check the description of the color you’re about to buy, they sometimes note if it’s warm, neutral or cool-toned. 

Beyond the color of your lipstick, the finish can play a part in how your teeth look. Be wary of lipsticks with lots of shimmers, especially ones with silver reflects, as they can make your teeth look dull. On the other hand, one of our favorite finishes for a bright smile is a slight gloss that adds a wet sheen which creates an illusion of whiter teeth. You can top off any color you like with the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in Mirror to help teeth look whiter while wearing your current favorite lipstick color. 

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8 Lipstick Colors for a Brighter-Looking Smile

If you want a dedicated lip color that’ll help your teeth look white, try one of the below eight colors and the corresponding lipsticks from L’Oréal Paris.

1. Blue-Based Red

Red lipstick is the one shade that everyone should have in their makeup collection. It’s a universal color with many tone varieties that work for any season and on any skin tone. While there are few makeup products more iconic than red lipstick, there’s a fine line between red lipstick to make teeth look whiter and one that causes your teeth to resemble a not-so-bright hue. Reach for a blue-based red similar to the color of a shiny red apple and stay away from any orange-based shades. Colors like brick red and fiery scarlets have warm undertones that may bring out the yellow hues in stained teeth. 

Try L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick in Le Rouge Paris or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Rouge Avant-Garde to add a vibrancy of glam in a long-lasting matte formula. For those who prefer a glossy lip similar to a maraschino cherry, swipe on the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds Of Worth Satin Lipstick With Saturated Color in Lovely Red which nourishes lips with the added vitamin E and argan oil.
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2. Nude

There’s no denying the beauty of a nude lip color as it’s the perfect shade for just about any occasion. It’s truly a versatile color that you can sport day-to-day or pair with a smoky eye for a night out on the town. In order to boost the brightness of your pearly whites, steer clear of nude shades with warm undertones like caramels and peachy beiges that can cause your teeth to appear more yellow. Instead, try nudes with a tinge of pink, mauve or cool-toned beige like the L’Oréal Paris Les Nus by Colour Riche Intense Nude Lipstick in Nu Impertinent or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Nude Admirable. Both formulas offer bold pigment that pops on all skin tones and with a smudge-proof finish.

3. Fruit Punch

Somewhere between a cool-toned red and a deep pinkish hue is fruit punch lipstick. The shade mimics that natural stain you get on your lips when you overindulge in a sweet drink or eat a cherry-flavored ice pop. You can enjoy this summertime color any time of the year (and without staining any skin around your lips) by intentionally applying this shade that will give your chompers a brighter shine. 

We recommend L’Oreal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick in French Kiss which coats lips in  16 hours of long-lasting tropical punch color. For a shiny lip color similar to a juicy fruit punch try L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Reds Of Worth Satin Lipstick With Saturated Color in Successful Red or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in True Red, which packs on intense pigment in one swipe. 

4. Berry

If you’re a fan of dark, bold lipstick shades, don’t think you have to wait until winter to pull out those deep hues. Pick up berry colors similar to mashed blueberries or blackberries like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Carmin Courage or L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Les Nus by Colour Riche Intense Nude Lipstick Nu Exuberant

over warm-toned shades like the color of strawberries. The purple-blue base of these berry lip colors will balance out any staining on your pearly whites. 

Don’t forget to try cool-toned lip colors with a little shine to give the illusion of whiter teeth. For a subtle berry color that dazzles, try L’Oréal Paris Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick with Pomegranate Extract in Ecstatic Mulberry

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5. Violet

A cool-toned purple has the right undertones to make the yellow hues in your teeth appear muted, allowing your pearlies to shine bright. This shade differs from berry tones for its electric neon hue that makes a statement. Try out a bold lip color with L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lipstick in the shade Matte-Gic or L’Oréal Paris Brilliant Signature Shiny Lip Stain Lipstick in Be Rebellious. Before applying one of our recommended violet shades, perfectly line lips with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Matte Lip Liner in Strike a Matte-Ch

6. Cool-Toned Pink

There are endless pink lipstick colors to choose from, but the right shade will be necessary to neutralize yellow tones in your teeth. For those daytime makeup looks where you want something a little more popping than a pinky nude, or nights out when you aren’t feeling an extremely bold lip color, try a cool-toned pink lipstick. We love L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in Miss Magenta for a purple-based pink that brightens your smile, or L’Oréal Paris Infallible Matte Resistance Liquid Lipstick in Major Crush for an earth-toned pink.


7. Vampy Burgundy

Flashback to 2016 when the unofficial color of the year was a dark oxblood red that gave fall vibes year round. This color was a lasting color in cosmetics for a good reason and it has everything to do with its dark flirty hue. Swipe on this deep shade that’ll have you showing off your pearly teeth with a vampy grin. Embrace this never-ending lip trend by contouring your pout with the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Truly Burgundy before filling in your lips with L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Intense Volume Matte Lipstick in Le Plum Dominant.
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8. Blue

Once you start wearing bold lip colors you’ll never want to go back. Get adventurous with a trendy blue lip color that will help your teeth appear whiter and brighter. Not only is it a fun way to experiment with your makeup, but it’s also the perfect color to make your smile bright and showcase your pearly whites. Whether you choose to go for a brighter or deeper blue, top off your pout with L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro Gloss Plump in Mirror for an over-the-top shiny lip.

Next: The Best Long-Lasting Lipsticks to Shop for All Day Wear

Photographer: Stephanie Price, Photo Assistant: Thomas Miller, Digi Tech: Sergio Colon, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Content Director: Shalwah Evans, Visual Designer: Sarah Duvivier, Makeup Artist: Kelly Bellevue, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Rika Watanabe, Wardrobe Assistant: Fausti, Model: Anastasia Offutt

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