Nudes can be especially tricky because a nude to one person is not a nude to another. Be it preference or skin tone, finding that perfect nude shade is a very personal thing. Nudes can be anything from pink to peach to brown—it all depends on what you hope to get from your lipstick.
For me, it depends on my mood, my eye makeup or whether or not I want something I can just slap on with no mirror or liner. This guide looks at skin tones and shade undertones.
If you have a very fair skin tone, burn easily and maybe even have some freckles, the goal of a nude lipstick is to find something that doesn’t wash you out.
Peachy: MAC’s Freckletone is a luster finish that is described by MAC as a ‘neutral peach.’ The finish is glossy, therefore making it comfortable to wear. Although it is neutral, the peach undertone will make a great contrast to your skin.
Pinky: Maybelline’s Color Whisper Petal Rebel is the perfect purse lipstick. It is quite sheer, so you can easily grab for it without worrying about a messy application. It will give your lips a hint of pink and make them look nice and juicy because of it’s glossy finish.
True Nude: Kate Moss released a great collection of lipsticks with Rimmel, including a nude line. Number 40 is a true nude that is not for the faint of heart. This is a ‘nude nude,’ but if you are wearing a really bold eye, this is a great way to show it off even more.
If your skin is light but not fair,your goal is to find something that will look polished yet not chalky.
Peachy: MAC’s Peachstock is described as a warm-toned peach beige. If you have a warm skin tone, this is going to make you glow! It has a satin finish, so although it is light in color, it will not look dry on your lips.
Pinky: Okay, this is a pricey one, but Tom Ford’s Pink Dusk is the only lipstick you will need! The shade is perfect. Worth it? This line of lipsticks also has numerous oils and moisturizing ingredients.
True Nude: To offset the price of the above, this next one is affordable and amazing! Wet ‘n Wild’s Megalast Lipstick in Bare it All. This is my go-to lipstick line when friends ask me for drugstore suggestions. The color is nude enough to complement your skin, but not so much that it will blend in.
Having a medium/tan skin tone can make it hard to find something that doesn’t look to pale and ashy on your lips. When your skin tone leans to the deeper tones, a lot of nude shades can end up too pale.
Peachy: MAC’s Kinda Sexy is a good choice. Apparently MAC does peachy well because it is my top pick for all the peach categories so far! I’ve been searching for so long to find a nude-peach that I can wear without a lip liner and this is it. It also makes me feel like I have JLO glow with it’s warm peachy undertone.
Pinky: LA Girl’s Flat Matte Velvet Lipstick in Snuggle is a beautiful pinky nude that leans slightly mauve. The formula on this is fabulous; it has little to no shine, glides on and has great lasting power! I also love that the tube indicates the color inside—all beauty junkies can relate to that ease of use.
True Nude: Maybelline’s The Buffs Lipstick in Truffle Tease really impressed me. In fact, I was so impressed when this collection came out because it really covered nudes for all skin tones. This has just enough of a brown-beige hue without it looking like concealer on your lips.
When you have a very deep skin tone, you may need to think out of the box when it comes to nudes. Some lines do a great job covering all of their bases, but it is important to keep in mind that you will sometimes have to look through the whole line to find a nude for you, not just those first couple of light shades.
Peachy: L’Oreal’s Privee Collection in Eva’s Nude is a good starting point. Although Eva Longoria’s line does not have a deep skin tone, it has enough deepness and peach tones to be wearable. A lip liner may be required depending on the deepness of your skin.
Pinky: MAC’s Twig is a super and trendy rosy brown. Although it is on trend, I don’t think this shade will go out of style or become unwearable any time soon. Rosy browns have technically been around for ever, but a certain girl from a certain famous family just brought it into the spotlight.
True Nude: Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Molasses is a top choice. First of all, Bite Beauty uses all food grade ingredients. Described as a ‘rich toffee, it is exactly that with a great cream finish. With the brown undertones, I think this is a fun take on a classic nude.
The Power of the Lip Liner
Lip liner changed my nude lip game. This can be said for any skin tone, any undertone and any lips. Lip liners can make completely unwearable lip colors wearable and even more beautiful.
Choosing a lip liner that is two or three shades deeper than you lip color will add a definition to your lips that will help the nude lip liner not to look too pale or unnatural on your lips.
Draw around your lip line, and then also the inner corners of your lips moving inward. When applying the nude lip color, start from the middle and work out. It is seriously lip magic.
My last piece of advice is a little clichéd. There are no rules! If you are fair and want to wear a nude from the deep skin section go for it, and vice versa. I encourage it. This is just general guide to get you thinking about what you personally want to rock on your lips. Comment below with your favorite nude lip!