The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Nude Lipstick For Your Skintone
Finding the perfect nude lipstick is harder than it sounds. Too dark, and you look like you're trying to make brown lipstick happen (and not in a cool '90s way). Too light, and you start to resemble the living dead. To help you avoid both of these beauty faux pas, we tapped into celebrity makeup artist Fiona Stiles’ well-versed mind and asked her to share her knowledge about finding the most flattering (read: not zombie-like) nude lipstick for your unique skin tone.
Click through the slideshow above to see what she said!
“If you have a fair and milky skintone like Christina Hendricks, try a soft, dusty baby pink,” says Stiles. “If you go too beige, you might start resembling a corpse!” She says to avoid super opaque, flat nudes and suggests using a sheerer formula instead like Clé de Peau’s Extra Rich Lipsticks ($40) in 101 or Bobbi Brown Lip Color ($25) in Beige.
If you are fair like Emma Stone, Stiles recommends looking for a rosy-beige nude lipstick, like Jouer’s Hydrating Lipstick ($22) in Meg. “When you look at nude lipsticks in fashion magazines, the skin matches the lips,” she said. “This doesn’t translate well into real life—you want a warmth and separation between the lips and the skin.”
For light-skinned ladies with slightly olive undertones like Kate Mara, Stiles says to try a warmer nude shade. “You can definitely go pink, and you can definitely go beige,” she says. “You want more pigment in your nude lipstick than someone who is alabaster or fair with pink undertones.” Try Tom Ford’s Lipstick ($49) in Blush Nude or Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. in Nude Kate.
Ladies with warmer olive skintones like Maria Menounos should look for a caramel-toned beige lipstick that’s darker than the shade of your skin, Stiles says. She recommends finding a glossier formula (we love Chanel’s Rouge Coco Shine ($35) in Satisfaction) to play up the warmth of your skin tone.
“With an olive skin tone like Lea Michele’s, you have a lot more versatility [when it comes to nude lipsticks]”, Stiles says. “You can go with a darker nude, or a lighter nude so your lips don’t disappear.” For a sheer, pink-tinted lip color like the one Michele is wearing, try Dior’s DiorAddict Lipstick ($32) in Urban 178 or Tulle 214.
If you have lighter hair and skin, Stiles recommends adding an “anchor” to your look with smokier, more defined eye makeup. For ladies with tan skin (real or faux), she suggests a glossy, shimmery nude to bring out the sun-kissed look of your skin. Try Urban Decay’s Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss ($20) for a sheer wash of color.
“If this nude lipstick was on Christina Hendricks, it would look way too intense,” Stiles says. On Naya Rivera, however, it’s the ideal balance between beige and caramel, and perfectly complements her skintone. Stiles says she loves the bronziness of the look, but would have added a little gloss and liner to make the lip stand out. For a caramel-hued nude like the one she’s wearing, try Hourglass’ Femme Nude Lip Stylo ($30) in Nude No 5 (it’s one of Stiles’ favorites!).
To get Lupita Nyon’o’s bronze, shimmery nude color, Stiles suggests using a sheer gloss like MAC’s Mineralize Glass ($22) in Ray of Sunshine. “For women of color, it’s all about playing with highlights and shadows to build definition,” Stiles says. She suggests picking a nude shade lighter than your actual skintone to brighten the face and sticking to a gloss formula for a more natural-looking effect.