At any given time “you’re either looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment”. I’m not one to ever disagree with Carrie Bradshaw’s infinite wisdom, but I would argue that the perfect nude lip color belongs on that list. Finding the right nude shade is harder than it sounds – too dark and you look like you’re heading to a 90’s themed party, too light and you look like you need to go to the emergency room. Once you find a nude lip color that’s just right though, it enhances your natural lip tint and becomes essential for achieving an effortless makeup look.
The tricky thing about nude lip products is that the shade inherently depends on the natural color of your lips, so what might work for you may not work for someone with a different skin tone. Which is why when putting this list together, I decided to invest in a little R&D by testing out the products on friends with different skin tones ranging from fair to dark. What I found to be the key to a universally flattering nude lip color was a build-able formula that wasn’t too opaque. So here’s a vetted list of products that delivered an effortless, beautifully natural, barely-there flush of color on everyone I tried it on.
Nars – Isola Bella
Dresses up lips in a subtle peach/beige pigment
Laura Mercier – Brown Sugar
Provides a sheer beige/champagne tint while hydrating dry lips
Tom Ford – Nubile 07
Delivers a veil of lustrous high-shine rosey color
Laura Mercier – Spiced Rose
A creamy rich formula in a rose/beige hue
Laura Mercier – Crushed Pecan
A creamy rich formula in a nude/brown hue
Pat Macgrath – Flesh 1
A nude/beige matte formula that isn’t aggressively opaque, perfect for subtly overlining to cheat fuller lips
Pat Macgrath – Flesh 2
A nude/mauve matte formula that isn’t aggressively opaque, perfect for layering underneath a complimentary gloss for a rich velvety flush of color
Kevin Aucoin – Vesuvian
A nourishing peachy gloss, perfect on its own or layered on top of the Laura Mercier Crushed Pecan lipstick
Laura Mercier – Bare Beige
A high-shine pigmented lip gloss in a neutral light brown shade the creates the appearance of fuller lips
So good it needs its own category
Surge Lutens – Compliment Beige
My secret weapon. Part lip balm, part lip stick. The peach/beige natural hue, precision applicator and cushiony formula makes it easy to create a perfectly defined lip contour that somehow looks like your natural lips but better.
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