Choosing the perfect shade of nude lipstick that works for you is not only difficult, but super important as well. If you find just the right shade of nude lipstick for your skin tone, then you’ll appreciate your facial features on a whole new level, because the difference on your lips will be totally noticeable and stunning. The trick is finding the color that’s neither too dark nor too light, because erring one way or the other could easily have you looking like a hot mess.
Choosing Nude Lipstick According to Your Skin Tone
When nude lipstick is figured out, it can be used in so many different ways – in casual situations and for formal events (and every other occasion in between). Nude lipstick is just all-around chic, and it makes a great alternative to bold colors like your essential red lipsticks and pinks. It’s best used for those times when you want to draw attention to your whole face, not just your lips.
Now, there are a lot of factors to take into account when you’re trying to find the right shade of nude lipstick for you. The problem with just offering a set formula for choosing a nude lipstick shade is that everyone has their own unique skin tone, so the proper shades will vary from person to person.
But, there are certain tips and tricks you can follow in order to ease your search in finding that perfect nude lip color that will bring so much more depth and diversity to your lip look. So, if you read through this, you can start on the right path; although, you might need to play around and tweak some of the best nude lipsticks suggested in order to suit your personal skin tone!
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Alabaster Skin
Alabaster skin is an especially fair tone. In order to play against the milky skin, you should try soft pink nude lipstick colors, but make sure to keep it dusty and in a more natural color in order to keep it in the “nude” category.
Also make sure not to err dark or beige, because then it’ll easily come off as a brown lipstick, which definitely isn’t what you’re going for with nude lipstick. The lovely pink notes will bring out the dainty and delicate features of your pale skin.
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Fair Skin
Fair skin is a bit darker than alabaster, with a creamier complexion and often with a bit more (but still not much) color. For this type of skin, you’ll want to stick with nude lipsticks with hints of pinks, but go a bit rosier.
A nice rose with beige characteristics will play well against the pale color of your skin, and will add lovely warmth to your look. Going too light won’t translate too well, so you’ll want to go a bit darker than your natural lip color to keep things fresh!
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Light Skin
Women with light skin tones are just a step between fair and olive. So, you’ll want to find a happy middle between the nude lipstick shades for those two skin tones – because of this, there’s a bit of room for playing around.
Women with light skin can try out pinker and beiger shades of nude lipstick depending on their personal preference, but be sure to pick tones that have a bit more body or pigment, since you have a bit more color to work with than those with fair or alabaster skin tones.
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Warm Olive Skin
Olive skin falls in two categories based on its color undertones. If your olive skin has warmer vibes, then you’ll want to opt for beige nude lipsticks with caramel tones, or at least make sure the shade of beige falls more on the pink side, rather than coming off as tan or yellow – it’ll look super warm!
Always be sure to go for a shade that’s darker than your natural skin tone so you don’t zombify yourself! Also you might try to find a nude lipstick with some gloss to it, because warm skin tones glow even more when you throw some gloss on.
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Cool Olive Skin
Olive skin tones can also have cool undertones. Lucky for you if you fall under this category, because this skin tone has arguably the most room for personal choice when it comes to wearing nude lipsticks the right way.
You can go a bit lighter or darker than others can without washing yourself out; although, be sure still not to go lighter than your actual skin tone, because you’ll risk looking like you simply spread some concealer on your lips and called it a day!
A nude lipstick that has a hint of peach at its base will look lovely, as long as the shade isn’t too light compared to your skin tone, and beige would be killer too; if you’re going for a more natural look, you might want to lean more toward the beige-heavy shades, though!
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Tan Skin
Those who have lighter colored hair and tan skin should opt for some shimmer with a glossier nude lipstick. That way whether your tan is natural or fake it will bring out the sun-kissed glow.
This will also make it easier to find nude lipsticks with more nourishing qualities, since it often goes hand in hand with the moisturizing gloss. You’ll want to stick to a color close to your natural lip color, only adding in the gloss for some subtly sexy shine!
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Medium Skin
If your skin is naturally a light to medium shade, you’ll want to use a nude lipstick with a bit of a pop to help your lips stand out from your skin. Try a nude lipstick with a pink tint, since it will help to bring out some of the natural pink hues of your skin.
Likewise, orange undertones might work just as well, depending on your skin’s natural colors. It will also work to bring attention to your lips without going wild on the color, so it’s a subtle way to direct the focal point of your face.
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Caramel Skin
Nude lipsticks that fall between caramel and beige are ideal if you have a caramel skin tone. Keeping the shade natural here will help make your skin’s natural glow the center of your look.
There’s something so intriguing about a nude lipstick when it’s just different enough to be noticeable, but natural enough to not draw an excess of attention. Adding in a gloss over the color would make the look stand out a bit more, so you can go glossy or matte depending on the occasion!
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Mocha Skin
Nude lipsticks can bring a really great level of definition to a mocha skin tone. Mauve enters the mix in a beautiful way, because it perfectly complements the medium-dark skin. It’s a shade that goes well when added in to deep beige hues and gloss, so your pout will be primed to perfection with the different mixtures and formulas you can find with shades like that.
Starting at the mocha skin tone and going darker, you can start looking at chocolate nude shades, and adding in berry tones will add that extra something to make the nude lipstick special.
Best Nude Lipstick Shades for Dark Skin
This goes for any skin tone darker than that medium-dark mocha. When it comes to finding the best nude lipstick for dark skin tones, it’s going to be less about color and more about adding definition because the natural lip color is oftentimes already at its best.
Start by selecting a nude lipstick in a shade lighter than your skin tone, because that will already bring some brightness to your face. Using a gloss will add some beautiful, natural-looking moisture to your lips as well!
Metallic browns help with volume, especially when you can find a formula mixed with gold flecks for that extra dimension.
How to Apply Nude Lipstick Right
Once you have picked the right shade of nude lipstick for your skin tone, you definitely want to master your makeup application skills and learn how to apply your nude lipstick flawlessly! These are the tips your should follow:
1. Choose Wisely
The first, and easily the most important step to applying nude lipstick correctly is to choose the right shade! If you apply it perfectly but aren’t using the right color, all of your work will be in vain – so make sure to think and buy the best nude lipstick carefully based on your unique skin tone!
2. Apply Your Other Makeup
You’ll want to apply your nude lipstick as the last step of your overall makeup routine, so you’ll want to start by applying the rest of your makeup – foundations and contour are crucial to the success of your nude lipstick! The same can be said about your use of blush.
Since many of the nude lipstick shades rely on the natural hues that come up from your skin, you’ll want to make sure to highlight your features, or at least account for the skin tone change when you’re deciding on what lipstick color to wear.
One of the best reasons to try out nude lipstick is that it gives you the perfect excuse to try out eye makeup styles that are made to pop. You’ll quickly see that a smoldering smokey eye becomes much more intense when you use nude lipsticks, since there’s no pop of color to take away some attraction.
Prep your lips for your nude lipstick. All lipsticks have chemicals in them, so if you want to keep your lips at their peak level of healthiness and suppleness, you’ll want to regularly treat them with things like rose water or other lip ointments.
Using substances like this twice a day will be enough to have your lips looking stunning all the time! This is great, because nude lipsticks will look even better on flawless lips, since the shades really just bring attention to them and draw from your natural beauty.
Using concealer is a common beauty practice already, and it’ll become your best friend if you’re trying to pull off a totally chic and subtle nude lipstick look. Find the perfect shade of concealer to match your skin tone and apply it to the area around your mouth as well as your lips themselves.
Substitute in a lip primer if you have it, or if you’d rather not use concealer directly on your lips. Using this will result in a smoother application with a more neutral color, since it’ll take away some of the natural redness of your lips and prevent the lipstick from becoming uneven due to your lips’ crevices.
4. (Optional) Prime with a Lip Liner
This next step isn’t totally necessary, but it’s certainly a smart and lovely choice when you’re attempting to try out nude lipsticks. After successfully priming your lips, creating a proper base for your nude lipstick can be super easy and smart in the long run of your day.
When choosing your perfect shade of nude lipstick, make sure to look for a lip pencil in the same shade as your natural skin color; get one with a creamy formula, and fill your lips to create a great base for your actual lipstick.
This step helps your nude lipstick to last for a longer period of time, while also adding in additional definition. With the subtle nude colors, definition will be one of the most striking features!
After applying the lip liner, you might want to pop on an additional foundation layer. That way, your nude lipstick will be able to cling to the creamy lip pencil base you created.
Plus, if there’s any additional lip color trying to peek its way through you can make sure to mute it; nude lipstick can be easily undermined if some of your naturally red- or pink-tinted lips are coming through!
5. Apply Your Nude Lipstick
Now you can finally get to that luxurious new nude lipstick you carefully selected for yourself! You can just apply it like normal, but, as a small tip, you might try using your finger – either for the initial application or for smoothing it out after!
You’ll find that your lips will be even smoother and suppler, and the nude lipstick might even last longer because of it. It’ll fit better into the tiny crevices of your lips, so it’ll look sleeker and be more ingrained for longevity.
6. Choose Your Final Texture
After the nude lipstick is applied, the final step will be to decide what type of texture you want to stick with. Some nude lipsticks can look super chic when they’re matte, but if you add in some gloss it’ll be even more of a prevalent makeup statement and is a safer bet all-around, since it’s way less likely that your nude lipstick will come across as costumey or dated (no one wants to bring back that ‘90s brown lipstick!).
Best Nude Lipsticks to Try
Now that you have learnt how to choose the best nude lipstick for your skin tone and how to apply it right, it’s time to browse through the best nude lipsticks available on the market now to find your best match!
1. MAC Nude Lipstick – Cherish
This nude lipstick shade has a lovely semi-matte, satin finish. It promises an intense color as well as a conditioner to help moisturize your lips. That’s an ideal formulaic combo when it comes to the best nude lipsticks! This is a beige hue with hints of peachy rose – it’s available at Nordstrom.
2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Nude Lipstick – Pure Hollywood
Nude lipstick is just as easy to pull off in the liquid form! Try out this pale nude with mauve notes. The formula is super-intense with a matte finish, and is smear-resistant, too, so your nude lipstick look will last way longer.
You might need to try out nude lipstick in a liquid form before making the purchase, since there will be some great application differences; luckily, this will be easy, since you can find this product at Sephora!
3. Chanel Rouge Allure Nude Lipstick – Rouge Ingénue
This is another formula that will keep your lips supple with a smooth, satiny finish. The color pigmentation will be intense and bold, for a full-lip coverage, with a formula that promises to be long-wearing. You’ll find this nude lipstick in a luxurious black and gold tube from Saks Fifth Avenue.
4. Charlotte Tilbury ‘Hot Lips’ Nude Lipstick – Kim K.W.
This shade, named after the famed Kardashian herself, is one of many in a line of the best nude lipsticks named after influential women in media. The nude lipstick is full-bodied and has a lovely pink tint that will catch the light in special ways thanks to its specific pigmentation. This line of nude lipsticks also has a couple other shades to check out, and you can find them at Nordstrom!
5. Dior Nude Lipstick – Rose Montaigne
This nude lipstick is totally elegant, and is created with mango butter, which gives it revitalizing properties. It’s voluminous and full-bodied as well, so this satin-finished, semi-matte nude lipstick will be working on multiple levels for those seeking a darker beige with deep rose flecks.
The best part about this formula is that it’s described to last for 16-hours of comfortable wear. You can find it at Sephora.
6. Kat Von D Liquid Nude Lipstick – Bow N Arrow
Here is a liquid lipstick in a medium-dark nude color. The application promises to glide right on while offering a bold, true matte finish. Its formula is enriched with ingredients that promote health and comfort like natural oils, so you don’t have to compromise your comfort for intense color. You’ll find this fawn nude lipstick from Sephora.
7. NARS ‘Audacious’ Nude Lipstick – Anita
In a sleek black bottle, you’ll find this dramatic, satin-smooth nude lipstick. It’s easy to apply with minimal effort and promises to have a show-stopping impact that carries a great deal of depth. This shade is a deep beige with a lovely mauve tone that seeps through with rich pigmentation. You can pick up a tube from Nordstrom.
8. Bobbi Brown Luxe Nude Lipstick – Almost Bare
Rejuvenation, comfort, and vibrant luxury are key drawing points of this creamy nude lipstick. This shade is a medium hue with a rich purple coming through that has the perfect balance of shine and structure. The chic gold tube the product comes in only makes it that much better to tote around; you can pick one up from Saks Fifth Avenue.
9. Urban Decay Vice Nude Lipstick – Safe Word
Urban Decay is just one of those easy, go-to brands that are especially convenient when you have time to drop by a beauty retailer who carries the brand. One of the best nude lipsticks, this shade is a matte finish that promises comfort with an easy-gliding application in a neutral nude-pink color. This product (along with its collection, which features other nude lipsticks) is available from Sephora.
10. Tom Ford Nude Lipstick – Indian Rose
This is one of the higher-end, expensive nude lipsticks on this list, but luxury does come with a higher price tag! This Indian Rose shade is luscious, with a dark beige-brown hue; as the other colors in this collection, the formula is made up of exotic ingredients made to be ultra-creamy and comfortable with a smooth application. You can find this luxurious nude lipstick at Nordstrom.
11. Too Faced Liquid Nude Lipstick – Cool Girl
This is another one of those go-to brands, and this liquid, matte nude lipstick is easy to sink your teeth right into. There are a few nude tones in this lineup, but this is their “true nude” shade of the bunch.
It’s lightweight, which makes it nice for daily wear, while still being full of color and gliding on super easy with a gloss-like application (it dries into an ultra-matte texture with a totally opaque finish). You can find this product at Sephora.
12. bareMinerals ‘Gen Nude’ Liquid Nude Lipstick – Icon
This is another product that glides on glossy and dries to a matte finish. This line of nude lipsticks was created for various skin tones to find their perfect nude shade, so this is an especially great place to start your search.
The Icon shade shown here is a good middle ground, falling on the mauve spectrum with a medium-dark tint. All you have to do is apply the product with one swipe and wait ten minutes for it to set. Buy a tube from Nordstrom!
13. Lancôme Color Design Nude Lipstick – Haute Nude
Lancôme’s Color Design lipsticks all have a promise of a natural-looking finish, so that’s especially promising for a nude lipstick in the line! The application is silky-soft with properties that keep the color true through your day. The medium shade will look lovely on and in your bag with its sleek black tube. Buy one from Nordstrom!
14. Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Rosa Nude Lipstick – Dolce Dolcezza
This is a lighter shade of a nude lipstick with a beautiful pink tint that makes it perfect for fairer skin. It comes in an elegant, pale gold and black tube that perfectly sums up the luscious color inside.
The color, although light, will be intense and full-bodied, with an opaque matte finish. Its unique formula will keep your lips hydrated all the while. Find this at Saks Fifth Avenue!
15. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Nude Lipstick – Beige Tribute
This dark nude lipstick is perfect for those with a medium skin tone. The lipstick has high pigmentation as well as a strong and luxurious satin finish, all with a one-stroke application, so you can have a luscious nude lipstick with just the right amount of shine. The gold case brings everything together for that luxury makeup experience as well, and it’s available at Sephora.
16. Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Nude Lipstick – Meringue
The black case of this luscious nude lipstick is actually quite edgy, which is perfect for the impactful pigmentation the formula promises. As a nude natural, edginess or intensity may not be the obvious goal, but when those aspects play in, it’s a whole new level of trendiness!
On top of being weightless and rejuvenating, this peachy nude lipstick is also citrus flavored, thanks to its formula make-up of edible oils! Find it at Sephora!
17. Laura Mercier ‘Velour lovers’ Nude Lipstick – Sensual
The formula for this matte nude lipstick is made to last through the day’s (or night’s) wear and tear, so you can glide it on and forget about it. One of the best nude lipsticks, it’s moisturizing and luxurious on top of that, so if you’re looking for a creamy beige nude lipstick to complement your skin tone, this will be a satiny-smooth treat for your lips! You can find this luscious lipstick from Nordstrom.
18. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Nude Lipstick – Caramello
This liquid nude lipstick is great for everyday wear, since it’s made to last all through the day (just look at its apt name!). It’s also weightless and provides hydration to your lips, so the matte finish won’t be draining to your lips’ health.
The mauve stain will mix well with the matte finish, and you’ll see just how lovely the color can be as it plays against the nude base of the lip color. You can find this product at Sephora.
19. Dior ‘Addict’ Hyrdra-Gel Mirror Shine Nude Lipstick – Urban
This nude lipstick is both boldly pigmented and super shiny. The name boasts its “mirror shine,” which will leave your lips looking intoxicating. Between the enriching oils, promised comfort, and beautiful pink-tinted nude color, you’re looking at a sensational nude lipstick.
And if the product’s description and color aren’t enough to sell you, just look at how cool the chrome tube is! Find it from Nordstrom!
20. Gucci Luxurious Nude Lipstick – Etheral
With deep mauve roots, this nude lipstick is full-bodied with great pigmentation. There’s a lot of moisture packed alongside the rich color in this opulent nude lipstick, and the formula’s oils work with the moisture to make for an easy glide across your lips.
The deep beige-purple shade is great for medium to dark skin tones, and the luxurious gold case just reflects the quality of lip product you’re getting! Find this from Saks Fifth Avenue!
21. Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte Nude Lip Paint – Namaste
Last, but certainly not least, is this luscious lip paint with a matte finish. The creamy, rosy-pink nude lipstick is made to be worn throughout long periods of time and to blend right in with fairer skin tones. The liquefied cream makes it easy to obtain a totally saturated look for a stunning color body that dries into an elegant matte.
The applicator is made for anyone to be able to get their color right where they want it, too, so you can style it just the right way! Buy it at Sephora!
Photos via @susannebarnekow, Sephora, Nordstrom