When it comes to lipstick trends, the brights and corals and ombrés may come and go, but there's one style that always remains en vogue: the au naturel nude. What does change, however, is its finish.
For the past several seasons, nude lips came in one variety: matte and cool-toned. Now that's being replaced with a creamier alternative with more natural finishes like cream, shimmer, or gloss. And the nudes of today have a healthy dose of pink or peach hues to mimic the healthy flush of your actual lips.
To see how a natural nude lip can make all the difference, we chatted with makeup artist and certified It girl Nikki DeRoest of Hello to Beauty. DeRoest originally moved to L.A. for her career, and it didn’t take long for her to pick up that signature California style, which she describes as all about the glow (a look she clearly embraces). Here's how to nail the glowy finish for your skin and lips now.
While this look isn't about the eyes, they do need a little definition to not look too washed out. For some contour, DeRoest used Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow ($28) in Taupe. "I like the tone of this eye shadow for the crease because it has a perfect warmth and blends really well," she tells us. Make sure to use a full brush that fits the contour of the eye for this step. If you don't have a double eyelid, apply the shadow to your upper lash line and blend up.
Next up: liner. Tap Tom Ford Eye Defining Liquid Liner ($59) in between your lashes, like DeRoest did here. "I added just a small flick of liner to the edge to give the eye a little length and lift, but wanted to keep it more natural so it wasn't too overpowering." Use a liquid-liner pen with an ultra-fine tip to get this "baby cat eye."
"The trick for getting a perfect cat eye is to get your liner along the lash line first. Then look straight into the mirror to draw the flick on the outer corner of your eye," advises DeRoest. "You want to be looking straight ahead because that's how others will see you and that will give you the best shape that works for your eye."
One last tip: "Don't overthink it! When seeking perfection, that's when you mess up, and I like a little asymmetry or imperfection when it comes to makeup. It's human, and it's more realistic."
Now, for that fresh, glowy L.A. complexion, think lightweight coverage, luminous finishes, and plenty of blending. "I used a soft, velvet finish foundation and then popped a highlight on my cheeks using MAC's Strobe Cream ($35)," DeRoest tells us.
"Next, I used a fan brush to create a soft, flushed look on my cheeks with the Laura Mercier Blush ($26) in Honey Mocha. I love this tone—just on the apples of the cheeks—for a nice, natural, healthy look."
DeRoest’s pick for a pinky, not-too-nude nude? MAC Lipstick ($19) in Angel. "I like that this nude still has a hint of pink to it. It's soft, fresh, and perfect for spring," she says. Like us, DeRoest welcomes this shift toward creamier, more realistic nudes. "I love that we are getting away from the matte-matte finish. A little bit of sheen and even gloss makes it so much more fresh and healthy, and it also makes the lips appear fuller."
Highlights, hints of definition, and full lips—the SoCal spring beauty uniform in a nutshell. "This complete look is effortless and chic," DeRoest says. "The skin looks fresh and healthy, the eyes look bright and open, and the lips look soft." After all, in L.A., "effortless" and "polished" go hand in hand.