The Best Nude Lip Liners for Your Skin Tone

October 09, 2020
Sarah Ferguson
By: Sarah Ferguson | by L'Oréal

In general, lip liner serves several purposes: First, it can help make lips look fuller and more even. Second, it can prevent your lipstick from feathering and smudging throughout the day. Nude lip liner specifically has a third use, and that’s to help add definition to the lip line when wearing a neutral lip color. “A nude liner keeps a nude lip from falling flat and washing out in photos,” says Jonet Williamson, a professional makeup artist who created and modeled the look featured here. 

To select your perfect nude lip liner, Williamson recommends choosing a shade that’s one to two colors deeper than your complexion but matches your undertones (check out our guide for how to determine your undertone here
). For more tips and our picks for nude lip liners for light, medium and dark skin tones, keep reading.

Nude Lip Liner for Dark Skin Tones

“For deeper complexions, I always suggest a warm brown for added depth,” says Williamson. Try the The Lip Bar Straight Up Living Lip Liner. If you’re looking to add a “barely there line,” she suggests choosing a cool medium brown like the NYX Professional Makeup Slim Lip Pencil in Hot Cocoa (as seen on Williamson in the photos here). 
person wearing winged eyeliner and nude lipstick

Nude Lip Liners for Medium Skin Tones

According to Williamson, cool, mid-toned nudes can work well for medium skin tones. A deep beige with neutral undertones like the L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lip Liner in Nudes for Life is a solid choice.

person wearing winged eyeliner and nude lipstick

Nude Lip Liners for Light Skin Tones

“Lighter complexions should look for cool browns with pink undertones,” says Williamson. One such option is the Maybelline New York Color Sensational Shaping Lip Liner in Totally Toffee. You can also choose a rosy-toned neutral like the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil in Naked.

Photography and Art Direction: Jonet Williamson

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