Nude lipsticks are an intimidating beauty feat. Pick a color that’s too light, and you’ll appear to have smeared your lips with concealer. Pick a color that matches your skin exactly and you’ll be confused with the walking dead. Pick a color that’s too dark and you may channel the ’90s (PSA: Not a good thing). Despite the gamble they require, nude lips are more popular than ever since the “no-makeup” makeup look is in. “Nude” is a word that needs some explaining, though. Since every skin color isn’t the same, there are countless shades of nude. We’re here to help you navigate the pink-hued, peachy-toned, cool-based, warm-leaning, plum-tinted, beige, brown, taupe, and everything in between of nude lipsticks. There are a few essential tips to remember when shopping for nude lipstick.
The color of your skin plays a role in the process, but you should pay more attention to the undertones of your skin and the color of your lips. When searching for a nude lipstick, the aim is not to match the color of your cheeks as you would a foundation. You first need to understand what undertones your skin carries. Whether you’re fair, medium, tan, dark, or deep, your skin has cool, neutral, or warm undertones. Inspect your bare face in the mirror or visit your favorite makeup counter to seek help determining your undertones. If you’ve dipped into the art of color correcting, you’re well versed in cancelling out red splotches with green and minimizing blue and purple under-eyes with yellow, peach, or orange-based makeup. This will help you pick out a nude lipstick that carries the same undertones as your skin.
Even more important than the undertones, though, is the actual color of your lips. Just as all makeup should, nude lipsticks are there to enhance your natural beauty. You should choose a shade that complements the color of your lips, rather than covering it up. If your lips have a natural pink tint, go with a nude lipstick that will bring the pink to the forefront. If your lips have deep plum undertones, you have no excuse not to rock a gorgeous nude that shows them off. When in doubt, though, go a shade darker than your natural lip color. A shade lighter will wash you out, and even though a shade darker might appear more-than-nude, it will still complement your coloring.
Although matte lipsticks are the most popular on the market, be careful with matte nudes. A matte nude lip gives you a lot better chance of looking chalky or ghostly. Before applying your nude lipstick, it’s a great idea to apply a sugar scrub or lip exfoliator for seamless application and a balm for moisture. If your lipstick has a creamy, satin, or shiny finish, you probably won’t need a gloss. But a word to the wise: If you choose a matte nude lipstick, please top it off with a little gloss to add some definition and shine. We don’t want your lips to fade away! On that note, be sure to dust some bronzer on the tops of your cheekbones and forehead, and don’t forget a swirl of blush (Mama would never let you anyway). Nude lipsticks don’t go well with a completely bare face, so offset them with a little flush and bold brows or an extra helping of mascara.
If you’re afraid to try nude lipstick, don’t be! Once you find the perfect shade, you’ll want to buy a lifetime supply of it. Nude lipstick makes a noticeable difference but isn’t too crazy for everyday wear, and it can look sultry with a smoky eye at nighttime. If you’re all set with our tips, here are some of our favorite nude lipsticks. Mama always approves of adding “a little color” to your makeup routine, but she might come around when she sees these gorgeous nude lipsticks.