Nude lipsticks are having a renaissance period. Since they became popular in the late to mid-noughties they have continued to remain a must-have for every makeup bag.
Unfortunately, the makeup industry forgot that women at the darker end of the spectrum also like makeup and popular trends. So for a long time, the ubiquitous nude lipstick was nowhere near a useable shade for anyone darker than MAC NC 30.
Luckily things have changed and the industry has realized that the word nude means something different depending on the complexion. Although the nude lipstick trend looks good on everyone it can easily go wrong. You can end up looking casket ready and like you have no lips. Too dark and your skin looks washed out and too light, your lips blend in with the rest of your face.
To prevent this from happening here as some tips to take into account when choosing a nude lipstick.
Consider your skin tone
If you are on the fairer side of the spectrum, going for a lip lour that matches your skin is a big no-no, it will make you look dead. Choose a nude colour that has a hint of pink in it especially if you have peachy /warm undertones. For olive or medium brown complexion choose warm shades that are close to your skin tone with peach undertones are but 2-3 shades darker. Otherwise, you may end up looking like you have concealer on your lips. For dark skin tones dark chocolate, deep mauve or berry shades look great.
Take note of your natural lip colour
This is extremely important for those of us on the darker end of the spectrum because we tend to have quite a bit of pigment in our lips. The same way when you mix blue and yellow you get green your natural lip colour will certainly affect the colour pay off of any nude lipstick you choose. If you want to get a similar colour to your lips but better then pick a shade with a peachy or gold undertone.
Look at your nipples
Yeah, you heard me. Some people (not me) have suggested that the shade of your aureolas give you a hint to the right colour of nude lipsticks. This may work with younger women who have not children because their nipples have not changed colour due to darker during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, if you are lighter skinned it may help you choose the right shade.
Think about Texture
To prevent your lips from disappearing into the rest of your face the finish of your lipstick is important. If you like nude lipsticks that to match your skin tone, it needs to be visibly different from your face. So choose a creamier or glossier formula so that even with the same colour the sheen makes it different.
Use the tester
We have all had the horror of applying a nude lipstick that looked great in the tube look horrific on. Most nude lipsticks dry down darker than they look in the tube so doing a swatch is not optional. Don’t use the back of your hand to swatch because it is typically darker than your face and lips. Use the inside of your elbow instead , it is a much better way to choose the best shade.
Think of your whole look
Now you have your nude picked out, you need to think of how it works in harmony with the rest of your face. Having a nude lip means you can go heavier with your eye or cheek makeup to give it some balance. Having both nude lips and face will make you look boring and not what any red-blooded woman is going for. So if your lips are nude you have my permission to go HAM with the rest of your makeup.
If you are close to my skin tone MAC NC 50 here is a post that details the nude lipsticks that work for me. If you are darker than NC 50, here are two articles on lipstick shades for darker skin tones with pictures! The first article is from Allure and blogger Dafra Sanou and the second from the Oprah Magazine
What nude lipsticks are in your rotation? Let me know in the comments because I am always on the lookout to try new stuff. If this was helpful feel free to share and tag your friends that may need to read this.