Between the bright oranges, neon pinks and saturated reds, it’s easy to forget that nude is a lipstick option that can be just as captivating as your coral and berry colors. Lancôme national makeup artist Ricardo Costales agrees. “There is something magical about wearing a nude lipstick, but it has to be the right shade for the undertone of the woman.” Understanding your undertones is essential to finding a nude lipstick that won’t wash you out. A quick and easy way to figure it out is to look at the veins that show through the thin skin on the inside of your wrist: if they look blue, you have cool undertones and if they take on a slightly greenish hue, you’re warm. Not sure which way you go? You most likely have neutral undertones.
When choosing a nude lipstick, keep the color of your bare lips in mind. Even if you’ve found a shade that’s right for your undertones, straying too far from your natural color with a lipstick that’s two shades too light will not be flattering.
Costales finds it best for warm undertones to stay with warm colors—anything from peachy pink tints to rich coppers and bronzes. Try mark. Lipclick Full Color Lipstick in Bare Hug, Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Liar, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture in Golden Copper, and L’Oréal Colour Riche Lipcolour in Brazil Nut.
If you have cool undertones, Costales says look for a rosy pink nude. Stick with soft shades like Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in Nude Beige, bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Be Free, Lancôme L’Absolu Rouge in Coquette, and Jouer Hydrating Lipstick in Monique.
Those with neutral undertones can generally go either way (congrats you olive-skinned beauties, you look great in everything!). Costales recommends neutral beige shades like Tom Ford Lip Color in Sable Smoke, Hourglass Femme Nude Lip Stylo in No 4, Lancôme L’Absolu Nu in Beige Silk, and Maybelline Color Sensational Lipcolor in Barely Brown.
Still not sure you’ve nailed your hue? Just avoid shades with gray undertones, which will make anyone look pale and dull. And when in doubt, peach tints tend to be universally flattering.
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Photos: bareMinerals, Jouer, Urban Decay, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, L’Oréal, Maybelline, Tom Ford, Hourglass, mark.