Nude makeup isn't a one-size-fits-all, and beauty brands are aware of this more than ever. Brands are now launching shade ranges and offerings for a variety of skin tones. Because nude can mean something for you, yet be completely different for your neighbor, this emphasis on creating a diverse range of nude shades is incredibly important.
Ahead, we chatted with celebrity makeup artist Lisa Aharon about diversity in the industry, along with some of her favorite products at the moment. We've put together an impressive list of beauty brands that are rethinking nude and taking inclusivity seriously—and succeeding.
Meet the Expert
Lisa Aharon is a New York-based celebrity makeup artist. Her clients have included Rachel Brosnahan, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
With 50 shades of foundation to choose from just in the Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation alone, Fenty Beauty has quickly surpassed its competitors to become one of the most inclusive beauty brands available today. There's no shortage of concealer and powder shade options, meaning anyone can find something that looks great with their skin tone from Fenty Beauty.
Lancôme has been around for decades and keeps getting better with each passing year. The Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation is available in 62 shades, while the L'Absolu Rouge Hydrating Lipstick offers plenty of nude options for all skin tones. From shadows to lipliners and more, Lancôme remains one of the top makeup brands with versatile options.
Beautiful makeup starts with Urban Decay's incredible Stay Naked Weightless Foundation, which is available in 50 shades. Follow up with one of the multiple shades of Vice Lipstick, and complete the look with any of the brand's gorgeous eyeshadow palettes. Across the board, Urban Decay's shade ranges are impressive.
IL Makiage's Woke Up Like This Flawless Base Foundation comes in 50 shades, and the brand's options in blush colors are just as exciting. The concealers come in a myriad of colors, and the staying power and color payoff of the products are worth investigating to the fullest.
What stands out to us the most when cruising Alima Pure's website is the incredible number of foundation shades. The clean beauty brand offers 45 shades of its award-winning Satin Matte Foundation, along with a diverse range of powder blushes and bronzers that do not disappoint.
A cult favorite among makeup artists and professionals in the beauty industry, Armani Beauty's Luminous Silk Perfect Glow Foundation is available in 33 shades, while the Lip Maestro Lipstick has some incredible nude offerings for all skin tones, giving long-lasting color and velvety matte texture that's elegant and sophisticated.
"I've never had such a great stash of foundations and concealers in my professional kit more than I do right now," says Aharon, who sings the praises of the Luminous Silk Foundation as a top favorite kit product.
Almost every beauty lover has experienced Nars at one point or another. The color offerings from eyeshadows to lipsticks and blushes are superb, while full-coverage concealers and staple foundations such as the Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation and Soft Matte Complete Foundation come in 34 shades. The Sheer Glow Foundation (another kit staple for Aharon) offers the most shade options, coming in at 40. There are incredible nude options to choose from in all categories from Nars.
"Brands are most definitely trying to make an effort in expanding shade range offerings," says Aharon. "As an artist, I live to mix shades, but it's nice when you can advise someone on their color and tell them one shade works perfectly for them. The average person shouldn’t have to mix three foundations to walk out the door in the morning."
Known for being a high-performance, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and vegan makeup brand, Milk Makeup offers 36 shades of its best-selling Flex Foundation Stick, along with gorgeous color options for lips and cheeks in its incredibly popular Lip + Cheek Multiuse Stick.
Known for being one of the most affordable drugstore makeup brands, Essence Makeup's Pretty Natural Hydrating Foundation comes in 31 shades with a budget-friendly price tag of only $7. The This is Nude Lipstick collection is extremely well-rounded, offering 13 variations of nude lipstick colors that are stunning.
A curated makeup brand that focuses on the important stuff, Jones Road Beauty leaves no skin tone—or undertone—behind. The Face Pencil is available in 25 shades with varying undertones, providing endless options to anyone looking for a concealer and foundation in one. The brand's Miracle Balm acts as a "miracle" product to help even out skin tone and bring out the very best in everyone.
When examining shades from various beauty brands, Aharon pays attention to the undertones. "I’d love brands to focus on neutral undertones more—it’s always been pink or yellow, red or orange, but most people have a balance of both," she says.
The popular and affordable brand e.l.f cosmetics offers excellent shade ranges in its best-selling Flawless Finish Foundation and viral TikTok product Camo CC Cream. Anyone can find their shade, and we still can't get over the fact that the brand's Srsly Satin Lipstick is only $3.
Pur Cosmetics is known as the complexion authority, and for good reason. The brand's Love Your Selfie Longwear Foundation and Concealer comes in—wait for it—100 shades. Yes, you read that right. This is one of the most diverse shade range offerings we've ever seen (and we've seen a lot).
Incredibly talented makeup artist Danessa Myricks has blessed us with some of the best complexion and face product offerings in her makeup line, Danessa Myricks Beauty. The coveted Color Fix 24-Hour Cream Nude Collection is everything and more, while the foundation-concealer hybrid, Vision Cream Cover, offers 29 fabulous shades.