A nude lipstick can be a welcome addition to any woman’s beauty case, but choosing the perfect shade is often more complicated than finding a vibrant color. Beige, which is a wonderful neutral, can also be considered a drab color on its own. One woman’s neutral is another woman’s pink, orange, or brown.  Different shades flatter diverse mouths and skin tones, because it’s not a one size fits all.  So how do you pull off a nude lip without looking washed out, drab, or like you erroneously applied concealer to your mouth?

You may wish to choose a beigey/nude lip, in order to redirect most of the attention to your eyes. In this case, you need the ability and time to define your eyes and groom your brows to successfully create a beautiful arch that showcases them. If you’re a makeup minimalist and are just looking for a natural and neutral color that compliments your skin tone without drawing attention to your face, you will certainly need to find something flattering that does not wash you out. The color really needs to suit you and look natural, because you are relying mainly on the lipstick to add life to your face.

The first step is to pay attention to your skin’s undertone and determine whether your complexion is cool, warm, or neutral.  Then, notice the natural color of your lips. Are they naturally pink, peach, red, or more brown?  I can assure you they are certainly not beige! Despite the fact that beige lips may make a wonderful makeup fashion statement, it is not a natural lip color and I have yet to see a baby born with beige lips. That is why it’s important to find the right shade to pull off this look. Also, pay attention to the size of your lips and whether they are uniform in color, because all of these factors will help determine what works best.  The following tips can help you go from bland to beautiful. 

Your lips need to be well hydrated in order to wear a very light color.  If you have dry and cracked lips, exfoliate them first and apply some vitamin E stick or a good lip balm to moisturize them. 

To begin with, opt for a color that resembles your lips and doesn’t go more than one shade lighter than your skin tone. When you are looking to recreate a young fashion trend that showcases your eyes and minimizes your lips, you will need to define your eyes with dark liner and mascara.  You can use a bronzer and just add a bit more vibrant blush to the apple of your cheeks, so that your new lip color does not wash you out.  Choose a lipstick that has moisturizing and hydrating properties, because light mattes can make you look ghostly.  Another option is to choose a nude beige gloss, which is even easier to wear. Since gloss is sheer, it will usually allow your natural lip to come through, even if the color is too light. When a light color is too matte, it begins to give a pasty look, which is quite unflattering. In order for the color to look alive, it should have some pink, peach, or bronze undertones to add some oomph.

If you have light skin, choose nude colors with pink or peach undertones. These shades will look delicate on fair skin and will pop on a darker complexion. Coral nudes also look great on fair and light skin tones, especially those that have neutral undertones.  Pinky brown and other rosy beiges are quite suitable for medium skin with cool undertones. If you want to turn the pink of your lips down a notch, try a sheer taupe beige. Those with medium warm skin should opt for caramel colors with golden undertones. Peachy brown shades look lovely on medium to dark complexions and olive skin. Olive skin tones are also flattered by beigey browns or nudes with berry or mauve undertones.  If you have cool dark skin, try mocha hues spiked with some plummy undertones to give a surprise pop of color. Those with warm dark skin should choose from golden beiges and creamy caramels to rich cocoas.

The idea of this look is to tone down the color of your lips with a lighter version of your natural coloring. Try to avoid colors that turn grayish, as they will completely drain you.  Keep in mind that when you wear a very light lipstick, you will need to pair it with a natural liner to define your lips.  If you want to take the lipstick up a notch, choose a liner within the same color family as your lipstick’s undertone shade. This will add some life and give it a boost. To create a multidimensional nude lip, line the lips with a neutral pencil, use a pale beige lipstick and apply gloss in the center to brighten and give an ombre effect.  

Finding the right color is certainly challenging, because some lipsticks end up looking very ashy and all wrong against certain skin tones, while others appear too stark. The perfect nude can make you look young and fresh with a modern edge. Always avoid a color that’s too light, too opaque, or too beige.  By sticking with choices that compliment your skin tone, you will give off that effortlessly beautiful look. Experiment and try the color on first.  No matter how great it looks on someone else, realize that it will probably look completely different on you, because no two faces are exactly alike. 

Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.