I love the look of nude lips. but it can be difficult to achieve without looking like a zombie. and I think that’s why most people (myself included) steer clear of nude lips while we’re pale in the colder months of the year. but now that the weather’s warming up, Summer colors are becoming more appropriate. and I say this is your chance for the perfect nude lip!
Bare Minerals – Sugar Cookie (lip gloss) – for the gloss-lover, this peachy-nude gloss is made for long-term wear. it goes on thicker than most glosses I’ve tried, but isn’t sticky or goopy. with a little bit of shimmer, it provides enough color coverage to blend with your own natural lip tone, but to also give you a noticeably more nude lip. and it smells great.
Maybelline NYC – 740 Sparkling Sand (sheer lip stick) – looking to try on a nude lip for the first time or maybe a nude lip look that’s great for daily wear/work? this light and shimmery lipstick is sheer enough that it can be used year-round. this also makes it great for multiple skin tones (though I suspect it might be too light for dark-skinned or African American skin as far as a nude lip look goes). most nude lip looks are achieved with a matte or glossy finish, but this lipstick relies more on the shimmer it contains for coloring the lips. this makes it less colorful that some of the other options described below, but great for first-timers because it is subtle, but can be layered on. and because it doesn’t dry out my lips, I like to carry this color in my purse or keep it in my desk drawer at work for any time of the year.
Maybelline NYC – 10 Bare to Be Bold (Color Whisper sheer lipstick) – with the hydrating benefits of the standard lipstick Maybelline produces, this line of lipsticks is a little glossier looking and feeling. and unlike Sparkling Sand, Bare to Be Bold has no shimmer at all (I don’t believe any of the Color Whisper colors do). this has got a little more nude color than Sparkling Sand, but is sheer enough to blend with the natural lip color. you can build this color up as well, which also makes it ideal for those looking to try a nude lip for the first time. I have several Color Whisper lipsticks because they work so well!
Make Up For Ever – 22 (Rouge Artist Intense; read: lipstick) – I will not lie to you: it takes awhile to find a matte nude lipstick that both matches your skin tone in the right way and is also a good product (the same goes for matte light pink, but we’ll go there another day). I can’t even begin to tell you how many I’ve tried on in Sephora and Ulta that just don’t work. but I’ve nailed down two that I love and 22 is one of them. because I have a light olive-based skin tone, this color is the right tone and, for me, also the right lightness. you’ll have to find the right shade and tone for yourself, of course, but I can tell you that this is a good product. it doesn’t dry out my lips, which is my biggest no-no with lipsticks. and it provides good color-coverage in one to two layers, which means it’s fairly pigmented. and it stays on quite well over time without feathering.
MAC – VIVA GLAM Gaga 2 (Amplified Lipstick) – about a year ago, I saw that this lipstick won an award in a fashion magazine (which one, I can’t recall now). it was considered one of the most “wearable” nude lipsticks. it’s almost the same color as 22 by Make Up For Ever, but a bit less red. this makes it my second favorite, but it might be a better choice for you because it’s considered to be well-suited for many people. MAC has many lipstick colors though, and as I said, you’ll want to go trying them before you commit to a $20 tube of lipstick. but I can confirm that this is a good line of lipsticks – doesn’t dry out my lips and has pigmented coverage (as most MAC products do). but this color also had part of its proceeds go to charity, so there’s also that to consider.