These nude lipsticks compliment, moisturise and look natural on all skin tones

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  • People often say nude lipstick is like the little black dress of beauty, but that’s not necessarily true.

    Sure,  nude lipstick is a classic beauty product that never goes out of style, and once you find your perfect nude you’ll be set for life. But actually, finding The One that doesn’t wash your skin out, make your teeth look yellow or  lips disappear into your face can be surprisingly tricky. In truth, nude lipstick is more like a pair of blue jeans – a supremely useful staple that, despite its relaxed appeal, demands a fair bit of slog if you want to find a perfect fit.

    It is worth persevering though. And now is a great moment to do so as nudes are booming with Google searches for nude lipstick rising steadily since March 2020, despite a general downward trend in search for all other makeup. This is probably down to the fact that many of us have swapped a full face of makeup for skincare, natural makeup looks and flattering home manicures. Nude lipstick is perfect for right now; a low-maintenance pick-me-up that looks polished but never overdone.

    Are you sold on nude lipstick yet? Here’s how to get it right.

    What is nude lipstick?

    Along with being ‘easy’ another myth about nude lipstick is that it only refers to those putty-pink shades that typically have the word nude or some allusion to nakedness in the name. That’s all very well if you have putty-pink lips. As for the billions of us who sit elsewhere in the skin tone spectrum, nude lipstick just means a couple of shades away from your natural lip colour. It can be a bit deeper, a touch brighter or even slightly paler (although this doesn’t work for everyone) but nude is not a one size fits all situation.

    What are nude lipstick shades?

    As I say, nude shades can vary hugely depending on your natural skin tone and lip colour. Natural lips can range from rosy pink to beige, deeper purple or brown. Really, the possibilities are endless. As with red lipstick there is truly a nude out there for everyone, you’ll know when you’ve found it as it will enhance what you’ve got without straying too far from it.

    How do I find the best nude lipstick for my skin tone?

    As with any family of lipstick, looking at both your skin tone and your undertone will give you a good steer on what types of shades might suit you. This isn’t an exact science, but it will certainly help you narrow down the possibilities.

    What is my skin’s undertone?

    As a general guide, if you have blue veins, suit silver jewellery and have a tendency to get a bit pink or flushed you have cool undertones. Warmer skin usually has green veins, suits gold and can run the risk of appearing slightly sallow. If you’re a mixture of the two, then you may be neutral which makes life easier as you’ll suit a wider variety of shades.

    How to test nude lipstick

    It’s useful to know the types of shades that are likely to suit you best, but the only way to guarantee a lipstick will look good is by trying it. Most counters have single use brushes to dip into testers, or bring a few cotton buds from home. If you don’t want to try a lipstick on your face, paint it on the end of your finger. This area is often pinker, therefore closer to your lip colour than the back of your hand.

    If you’re buying online so can’t try before you buy, run a Google image search for ‘swatches’ of the product name and shade. Often someone else will have tested it on their arm and photographed it as a guide.

    Who makes the best nude lipstick sets?

    Luckily, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the best nude lipstick sets. There are brilliant collections of nudes at every price range, but these two brands can be relied on to deliver:

    L’Oreal Paris: the best budget brand for nude lipstick

    L’Oreal Paris are at the top of their game when it comes to launching vast collections of nude lip colours, meaning there’s almost guaranteed to be a shade to suit you. As you’d expect from a beauty behemoth this brand offers every texture you could possibly hope for from creamy satin lippies to sheer balm-like ones. I particularly rate L’Oreal Paris Brilliant Signature, which apply as easily and feel as comfy as a gloss without the stickiness.

    SHOP NOW: L’Oreal Paris Brilliant Signature in Be Determined, £10.99, Lookfantastic.com

    Bobbi Brown: the best premium brand for nude lipstick:

    When Bobbi Brown launched her eponymous brand in 1991, it was with a collection of ten nude lipsticks – a revolutionary move at the time. So it’s no great surprise that Bobbi Brown is still the go-to brand for a brilliant selection of easygoing wearable shades. In fact, there are very few shades of the classic Lip Color £24.50, that wouldn’t look nude on the right face. The formulas are everything you want from a lipstick – creamy, sophisticated with medium lasting power. This means they’ll last a good few hours untouched, but won’t cling to your lips in bits after a drink as some matte lippies do. That’s a good thing.

    SHOP NOW: Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Neutral Rose, £28, Johnlewis.com

    What are the best MAC nude lipsticks?

    That really depends on what MAC nude lipstick will personally suit you. However just as Ruby Woo and Lady Danger are known as is MACs iconic reds, Velvet Teddy, Honey Love and Myth are reknowned as MACs big-hitting nude shades and have countless fans. Obviously, MAC is known for its enormous range of lipsticks so your perfect nude will not necessarily be bone of these three, but they would certainly be a useful starting point when looking for a flattering nude lipstick.

    SHOP NOW: Mini MAC Lipstick in Velvet Teddy, £10, Lookfantastic.com

    What are the best Charlotte Tilbury nude lipsticks?

    As beauty brands go Charlotte Tilbury is still a relatively new kid on the block, but British beauty mogul Charlotte has already created several iconic nude lipstick shades. The most highly-regarded Charlotte Tilbury nude lipsticks are Nude Kate, Penelope Pink and the brilliantly named Bitch Perfect. All three shades come in the K.I.S.S.I.N.G formula, making them supremely moisturising, which is a great combination with nude shades as it means they never look chalky.

    SHOP NOW: Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink, £25, Cultbeauty.com

    The best nude lipsticks in 2020

    The best nude lipstick for fair skin with cool undertones

    Rose nudes tend to suit naturally fair, cooler-toned skin (if you’re not sure about your undertone, see our guide at the top of this page) Look at your natural lip colour and aim to dial it up by two shades for a flattering look. The main thing to avoid is picking a shade with grey in it, which can emphasise paleness or blue in the skin.

    Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF30 in Perfect Nude, £8.99

    SHOP NOW: Lanolips Tinted Balm SPF30 in Perfect Nude, £8.99, Lookfantastic.com

    • Type of nude: Sheer light rose with glossy finish
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Light

    Guerlain Rouge G Sheer Shine Lipstick in 007 Sheer Shine, £23.40

    SHOP NOW: Guerlain Rouge G Sheer Shine Lipstick Refill, £23.40 Escentual.com

    • Type of nude: Creamy semi-opaque rose with satin finish
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Medium

    The best nude lipstick for fair skin with warm undertones

    Your natural golden colouring works beautifully with a deeper nude lipstick. Bolder pinks will look great on you and so will dusky shades as long as they are brighter than your natural lips. Avoid anything beige based it will wash you out.

    NYX Professional Shout Out Loud Satin Lipstick in Chic, £8

    SHOP NOW: NYX Professional Shout Out Loud Satin Lipstick in Chic, £8, Boots.com

    • Type of nude: Highly pigmented tea rose with brown undertones and a light sheen
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Heavy duty

    Burt’s Bees Glossy Lipstick in Peony Dew, £9.99, BEAUTY ED’S STAR BUY!

    SHOP NOW: Burt’s Bees Glossy Lipstick in Peony Dew, £9.99, Lookfantastic.com

    • Type of nude: Sheeny pink with mauve undertones and buildable pigment.
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Medium

    The best nude lipstick for olive skin with neutral undertones

    Olive skin is unique, with greenish undertones that have the potential to appear both warm and cool. A peach nude lippie will look lovely, and perk up any sallowness if that’s an issue. Be careful not to go too bright or you’ll veer into coral territory, which is lovely but definitely not nude!

    MAC Satin Lipstick in Peachstock, £17.50

    SHOP NOW: MAC Satin Lipstick in Peachstock, £17.50, Lookfantastic.com

    • Type of nude: Beige-toned pale peach with a richly pigmented look.
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Heavy Duty

    Flower Beauty Petal Pout Lip Colour in Peachy Nude, £8.99

    SHOP NOW: Flower Beauty Petal Pout Lip Colour in Peachy Nude, £8.99, Superdrug.com

    • Type of nude: Peach pink with a comfortable, moisturising feel.
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Medium

    The best nude lipstick for medium skin with cool undertones

    You’ll always appear more golden than fair-skinned friends thanks to higher melanin levels. That said, the wrong shade of lipstick can easily make medium complexions look ashy, so treat your tone as cool and use lipstick to warm it up, brown-nudes with a hint of orange or mauve will look great.

    BareMinerals Gen Nude Patent Lip Lacquer in Hype, £17, BEAUTY ED’S STAR BUY!

    SHOP NOW: BareMinerals Gen Nude Patent Lip Lacquer in Hype, £17, Boots.com

    • Type of nude: Brown-based peach in a high shine liquid formula
    • Vegan friendly: Yes
    • Lasting power: Heavy duty

     

    Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Very Victoria, £25, BEAUTY ED’S STAR BUY!

    SHOP NOW: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Very Victoria £25, Cultbeauty.com

    • Type of nude: Creamy, pigmented matte, brown-based with a hint of pink
    • Vegan friendly: Yes
    • Lasting power: Heavy duty

    The best nude lipstick for medium-deep skin with warm undertones

    Those luxurious-looking caramel-toned lipsticks that wash out most other skin tones should look great on you. You can also pull off something a little lighter than your natural lips as long as you avoid matte textures, which can appear chalky.

    Revlon Kiss Lip Plumping Crème in Nude Honey, £6.99

    SHOP NOW: Revlon Kiss Lip Plumping Crème in Nude Honey, £6.99, Lookfantastic.com

    • Type of nude: Glossy coffee-toned cream with a sweet scent.
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Light

    MAC Amplified Lipstick in Blankety, £17.50

    SHOP NOW: MAC Amplified Lipstick in Blankety, £17.50, Lookfantastic.com

    • Type of nude: Beige-toned light pink with a satin finish
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Heavy duty

    The best nude lipstick for deep skin with cool undertones

    Contrary to what some people think, dark skin doesn’t always have warm undertones. If you are unsure try taking a selfie in front of a plain white background, if your face has a reddish tinge you’re probably cool, and berry-toned and mahogany nudes will look great.

    Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Refillable Lipstick in You Make Me, £31

    SHOP NOW: Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Refillable Lipstick in You Make Me, £31, Johnlewis.com

    • Type of nude: Creamy, grown-up terracotta in a skinny precise bullet
    • Vegan friendly: Yes
    • Lasting power: Medium

    NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Rock With You, £22

    SHOP NOW: NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Rock With You, £22, lookfantastic.com

    • Type of nude: Cool-toned deep berry liquid lipstick with a matte finish
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Heavy duty

    The best nude lipstick for deep skin with warm undertones

    Your golden hues mean you can pull off a variety of shades. A rich iridescent brown will be ultra flattering, or go slightly paler than your natural lips but with beige undertones and lots of sheen. If you are going for a light nude avoid anything too matte or pink.

    BEAUTY ED’S STAR BUY: L’Oreal Paris Brilliant Signature Shine Wild Nudes in Be Free, £10.99

    SHOP NOW: L’Oreal Paris Brilliant Signature Shine Wild Nudes in Be Free, £10.99, Superdrug.com (from July 1st) 

    • Type of nude: Glossy unsticky liquid in deep brown with golden flecks.
    • Vegan friendly: No
    • Lasting power: Medium

    Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Futurist, £31

    SHOP NOW: Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Futurist, £31, Johnlewis.com

    Type of nude: A warm creamy taupe in a highly moisturising formula
    Vegan friendly: No
    Lasting power: Medium

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