Nude lips are always a good idea – they work with every season and they go with all eye looks. From subtle to smokey, or even just a simple foundation routine with a little liner, mascara and some blush. Finding your perfect nude can be a bit of a challenge, because you don’t want to have that washed out look.
Your nude lip color works with your complexion, i.e. it shouldn’t be too light, nor should it be too dark; similar to choosing a foundation. Based on my skin tone (L’Oreal True Match C7, Maybelline FitMe 340, MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC45 and Make Up For Ever HD in 173), the skin tones of my friends from different backgrounds, and family members, I’ve compiled a list that will help you narrow down to what may be your nude pick.
Fair to Light
Generally you fall between the lightest foundation shades, to the shade that comes right before those medium colored foundations (think Hayley Williams, Leighton Meester, Blake Lively or Bella Thorne).
- Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Neutral
- Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs – Truffle Tease, Blushing Beige or Nude Lust
- MAC’s Blankety, for which I hear L’Oreal’s Fairest Nude is an affordable alternative.
- Milani’s Color Statement Lipsticks in Dulce Caramelo, Naturally Chic, or Nude Creme
- For glosses/liner try: NYX Nude Beige lipliner, and Maybelline’s Color Elixir in Nude Illusion or Glistening Amber to give your lips a fuller effect. Do note however, that the Color Elixirs work well enough to be used alone.
Medium to Olive
Generally when shopping for a foundation the dark shades are too dark, and the light shades are a bit too light; you tend to have yellow undertones (your veins show up green) and it’s possible that you may tan a bit easily (think Eva Longoria, Adrienne Bailon, the Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez and Jordin Sparks).
- Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs – Nude Lust, Stormy Sahara or Sin-a-mon
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Honey Bare w/ Revlon lip glosses such as Supernatural or Peach Petal
- MAC’s Viva Glam II or Cherish, also by MAC Cosmetics
- Wet n Wild Bare It All 902C or 913C in Sand Storm
Deep to Dark
When shopping for a foundation, you can easily pick out which shades will be too light for your complexion; your shade is usually to the darker end of the spectrum (think Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Tika Sumpter, right up to Jennifer Hudson).
- Maybelline Color Sensational: The Buffs – Touchable Taupe or Maple Kiss
- Maybelline Color Elixir in Nude Illusion
- Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Honey Bare w/Revlon lipgloss in Supernatural
- MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in By Design, Velvet Teddy, or Modesty
- Milani Brilliant Shine in Nude Touch or Bare Secret
I use NYX’s lip liner in 857 Nude Beige with NYX gloss in 24 Cafe Latte, or in a pinch I dab MAC’s Pro Longwear concealer (what’s left on my ring finger) on my lips, and go over this with Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush gloss in Passionfruit Pop ( I think this may be discontinued – not entirely sure).
Bare It All Secrets
- If you find that your lip color is a bit dark, use a lip liner such as MAC’s Cork or Spice Lip Pencil to add some definition, then apply a dab of concealer on your lips to mute your natural lip color – this allows the lipstick/lipgloss shade to show it’s true color.
- Another tip that works for everyone: If your concealer matches you perfectly, or even if it’s a shade lighter than your foundation – again, just dab some on your lips, and apply a clear shimmery beige gloss on top and this will definitely be your perfect nude, because the concealer already matches your skin perfectly.
- To make your lips appear fuller, not only should you apply a lip liner that works with your natural lip color, but apply an illuminator/luminizer or an extra shimmery gloss right in the center of your lips; the shimmer will attract light, allowing you to have a plumped up effect.
- If you swatch the lipstick on the back of your hand and right away you can tell it looks too light, it’s not your nude. If you swatch it and it looks way too brown, as if it would actually make your lips look darker, it’s not your nude. Keep in mind, a little gloss over your lipstick can go a far way also! (I recommend Stila Chic Cobalt Lip Glaze Collection
Be sure to check out my post on the eye shadow shade that works with anything
Disclaimer: The pictures used in this post are not my own. They were simply used for reference purposes.