The nude lip has been a classic beauty go-to for decades, the anti-red in its quiet sensuality. A swipe of the right barely-there shade is the lip’s equivalent of tousled bedhead: Yeah, I rolled out of bed looking like this. That, of course, is the perfect nude scenario. But we’ve all seen it go horribly wrong: a shade or texture that’s not quite right can read more Walking Dead than runway ready. Thankfully, there are two new formulas that not only offer a combined 22 shades of nude, but also deliver two creamy, soft textures that guarantee a gorgeous lip. Maybelline New York Color Sensational Inti-Matte Nudes is a collection of 10 gorgeous warm, golden matte lipsticks, while NYX Professional Makeup Lip Lingerie is a creamy liquid lipstick that delivers a hint of sheen (and moisturizing vitamin E) and comes in a dozen lush nude shades. We asked makeup artist Jenna Anton how to make this “effortless” beauty look perfectly natural on everyone. And if you love the look of a monochromatic nude look, look here for more ideas.
Skin tone: Fair
Look for: A pale pinky nude, which adds a pinch of color so that you don’t look washed out. Think of it as your lip’s equivalent of a rosy cheek: Just a hint of natural pink to liven things up. This skin tone should always avoid lipsticks that are flat and opaque, since it can appear pasty—even ghoulish--on pale skin.
Try a matte floral pink: Color Sensational Inti-Matte Nudes in Almond Rose
Try a liquid baby pink nude: Lip Lingerie in Silk Indulgent
Skin tone: Medium
Look for: Beige or pink with a medium amount of pigment (read: not too light or sheer). Your skin tone has the most versatility when choosing a nude lip, so feel free to play around, just steer clear of orange tones, as they can create a sallow look.
Try a matte soft sun-kissed brown: Color Sensational Inti-Matte Nudes in Toasted Truffle
Try a liquid warm, dark nude with a bit of sheen: Lip Lingerie in After Hours
Skin tone: Golden/tan
Look for: Golden beige or slightly coral shades to highlight your sun-kissed look (think shades slightly darker than your skin).
Try a matte muted nude with a hint of coral: Color Sensational Inti-Matte Nudes in Naked Coral
Try a liquid reddish-brown nude: Lip Lingerie in Seduction
Skin tone: Olive
Look for: A warm peach or beige, both of which warm up your complexion. Avoid brown and yellow tones or anything too light, as they can bring out the green undertones in olive skin.
Try a matte peach: Color Sensational Inti-Matte Nudes in Peach Buff
Try a liquid warm beige nude: Lip Lingerie in Dusk to Dawn
Skin tone: Medium dark
Look for: A creamy caramel nude that’s one shade darker than your skin tone. Lighter shades (or those beigey ones considered “nude” for lighter complexions) will look like you’ve applied concealer onto our lips.
Try a matte chocolate tone: Color Sensational Inti-Matte Nudes in Raw Chocolate
Try a liquid brownish taupe: Lip Lingerie in Scandalous
Skin tone: Dark
Look for: Hints of gold and bronze shimmer to create a nude effect on naturally dark lips. Because you have so much natural pigment, infusing light and shimmer ensures they won’t look too opaque or heavy and adds light to the face.
Try a matte warm brown with a hint of pink: Color Sensational Inti-Matte Nudes in Blush Brown
Try a liquid muted plum: Lip Lingerie in Confident
What’s your favorite nude lipstick? Tell us in the comments below!