All About Nude Lipsticks & How to Wear Them

Who says that lipstick has to be bright every single time? Yes, we all love a good colorful lip. However, nude lips (using a nude lipstick shade) can be just as beautiful and attractive, of not more. This very popular makeup trend is a must-have in every woman’s makeup bag.  

Why do women love nude lipsticks? To put it simply, because they’re classy, sophisticated, timeless., and universally flattering. They go with everything and they look great on everyone and any skin tone. It is a great choice when going for an effortless look that will have you looking your absolute best.  

What Are Nude Lipsticks?  

What exactly is a nude lipstick, and what makes them different from the rest? Nude lipsticks are lipstick shades that are close to either one’s skin tone or a shade that resembles the lips’ natural color. They give the lips a more natural appearance, almost as if not wearing lipstick, unlike other lipstick colors that are colorful and bold.  

Nude lipstick shades can range anywhere from pale colors to darker and deeper colors: pinks and beige, light browns, rosy pink, peachy beige and pinky beige, medium tones of beige and browns, tan shades, deeper and darker shades of browns, and even berries.  

Fun Fact: It is believed that nude lips became popular back in the ’90s when blush made a huge comeback in women’s makeup routines, giving makeup an unmistakable look of femininity.  

Now, what is the point of wearing nude lipstick? Nude lipstick is meant to give the lips a finished look without doing too much or without adding much of a pop of color to them. It is a classy and sophisticated look that enhances the lips without drawing too much attention to them. Certain looks, like bold eye makeup, will look best with a nude lip as it will compliment it instead of competing for the focus.   

How Do I Choose the Right Nude Lipstick for Me?  

A nude lip is universally flattering, looking great on most skin complexions when the right nude lipstick shade is chosen. On the other hand, the wrong shade of nude lipstick can ruin a whole look. So, then, how can one know how to select the perfect nude lipstick shade? What makes some shades work while others don’t?  

There are so many nude lipstick options out there that it can seem impossible to find the perfect nude lipstick shade that is right for you. Do not worry because here at Red Apple Lipstick, we are here to help. To find your perfect nude lipstick, you will need to know and keep a couple of things in mind.  

Know Your Skin Tone  

The first thing to know is what is your skin tone. Your skin tone is your surface skin color. There are 3 main skin tone categories.  

Fair/Light Skin Tones  

These are the lightest skin tones, fair skin falling in the lightest end of the range. Fair skin tones tend to have a cool complexion while lighter skin tones usually have more of a warmer complexion. Light pinks and pinky nudes will look best on fair and light skin tones, just stay away from anything too light or pale as those could wash you out. RAL’s New York and Oh My Guava lipsticks are great examples.  

Medium Skin Tones  

Medium skin includes a broad range from medium-light, to tan, to olive skin. These particular skin tones look best in nude shades that are either slightly lighter or darker than their complexion. Naughty and Chai Love You lipsticks are just a couple of examples that are best for medium skin. 

Darker Skin Tones  

These are those with the darkest to deepest complexions, falling on the darkest end of the range. Both dark skin tones, as well as deeper skin tones, will look beautiful in darker and richer shades of nude. Some great RAL examples are Barcelona and Ooh La La lipsticks.  

Consider Your Skin Undertone  

Besides knowing your skin’s tone, you also need to know and keep in mind your skin’s undertones when choosing the best nude lipstick for you. Your skin’s undertone is the color that appears underneath your skin.   

Cool undertones will have a pink/blue tone to the skin and the veins on the inside of the wrist appear to be blue or purple. Warm undertones have a yellow/peach/golden tone to the skin, veins on the inside of the wrist appear to be green. Neutral undertones have a blend of both warm and cool tones, veins appearing to be both blue and green or you cannot tell if they are either blue or green. Olive undertones have both yellow and green/gray tones to the skin, and similar to neutral undertones, you cannot tell if your veins are blue or green or they match your skin color. Olive undertones are most common in medium to darker skin tones.  

Cool Undertones  

Fair skin will look best with soft, dusty nude pinks with cool undertones. Avoid nude shades that have yellow undertones, as these could wash the face out. Cool medium skins should look for shades that are cool-toned nudes, shades that have some red to them, or even a subtle blush pink that is just a bit darker than the natural lip color. Cool darker skins as well as deeper skins will want to look for berry nudes that are blue-based or cooler shades of browns.  

Warm Undertones  

Warm skin tones will want to go for nudes with warmer undertones, leaning towards brown. Choose brown shades with yellow undertones, like caramel browns and browns with orange and red undertones. Warm lighter skin will look best with pinky nudes with brown undertones that are not too dark. Medium skins will want to pick peachy nudes, golden beige nudes, caramel, and taupe shades. Dark skins will want to look for milk and dark chocolate nudes as well as deeper berry nudes. Deep skin tones will look great in darker nudes, brown and caramel shades with hints of red.  

Neutral Undertones  

Those with neutral undertones can pretty much wear any shade of nude that compliments their skin tone. The perfect shade of nude lipstick will be a shade of nude that is neither too warm nor too cool in undertone.

Remember to choose a nude shade that is neither too light nor too dark.  

Olive Undertones   

Olive skin will look great with peachy nude shades as these will help balance the green undertones in the skin.

Golden beige nudes also work great on olive complexions but should avoid nudes that are lighter than the complexion, they can end up looking like concealer on the lips.

The best nude lipsticks for olive tones are Chai Love YouNaughty, and Ooh La La.   

For more Red Apple Lipstick lipstick suggestions, make sure to head on over to the Best Nude Lipstick for Your Skin Tone article.  

How to Wear Nude Lipsticks  

What is the best way to rock a nude lipstick? What kind of looks are best with a nude lip color? Just like the color black, nude lipstick can go with just about any look and can be worn any time of the year.

There are, though, certain makeup looks that look best when paired with a nude lipstick.  

Colorful, Bold, and Darker Eye Makeup    

Makeup looks that focus on the eyes will look their best paired with a nude lip. Bold eyes such as a smokey look will look stunning when paired with the right nude color.

Brown smokey eyes, in particular, look great with a nude lip.

Warm complexions will look best using warmer richer browns and deep gold eyeshadow colors, while cool complexions will look best with more greyish brown eyeshadow shades for a brown smokey eye.

Neutral skin will look the best with medium-tone brown eyeshadow shades.   

A nude lipstick shade will also look great when pair with darker or rich colorful eyes such as with a darker grey/black smokey eye or plum color smokey eyes (these pair great with a pinkish nude lipstick).

Any type of eye makeup that is bold, dark, or uses very rich and colorful eyeshadows are meant to be the main focus of the look. Therefore, using colorful lipstick would not be ideal as it would be too much instead of complimenting the eyes.

That is why a nude lipstick is perfect for these looks, they enhance the lips more naturally without taking the focus away from the eyes.  

More Natural and Simple Looks  

While nude lipstick shades complement those more bold and darker looks, the opposite is also the case, a nude lipstick looks perfect with a simple and natural look.

Sometimes you just don’t want to pair a simple face makeup look with a bold lip, and that’s perfectly ok. A bit of a thicker, dark eyeliner (black, or dark brown, is perfect) and is all you need.

Pair this with just a touch of blush and/or bronzer, so you do not end up looking washed out and you are good to go.  

Some Great Tips to Help You Rock a Nude Lipstick  

These are some of the best tips that even a makeup artist will recommend for achieving the perfect nude lipstick application. Follow these steps for the best nude lipstick application possible. 

Tips: 

  1. Exfoliate the lips for a smooth base. Nude lipstick can sometimes accentuate dry skin on the lips, gently exfoliating the lips will prevent this. Try the Exfoliate Stick to do so!  
  2. Always prep the lips with a light layer of lip balm, like the Rallye Balm. You also want hydrated lips to have a smooth base for lipstick application.  
  3. Start with lip liner. Lining the lips will help define them, giving a more polished look. This is especially a must when using a lighter nude shade. Go for a more natural shade, either a neutral brown or a shade that closely matches your natural lip color. NaturalBarely Pink, and Toasted Pink are great shades for a nude lip.  
  4. Go for a lipstick with a creamy formula. Avoid anything too matte, a matte formula could have you end up with dry-looking lips. You do not want anything too shiny or glossy either, but you do want to look for a hydrating formula. 
  5. Do not over-apply. Too many coats of lipstick could end up looking thick and cakey. A couple of coats is just the right amount. 
  6. Pair a nude lip with a touch of color on the cheeks, especially when wearing lighter shades of nudes to not look washed out. Soft shades of neutral pinks and corals will pair great. If you want a very natural look and do not want to wear blush, a light layer of bronzer on the cheeks will do the trick.  
  7. Make sure to try out these tips and suggestions if you are having a hard time wearing a nude lip or finding the right shade, we are quite sure they will help! Or, if you have any additional tips that have helped you when it comes to nude lipsticks, we would love to hear them in the comments below.  

Frequently Asked Questions:  

What is nude lipstick for?  

Plain and simple, nude lipstick is meant to enhance the lips without them needing to be too dramatic.  

How can I wear nude lipstick without looking dead?  

Lip liner is key! Not only does it help define the lips, but it also helps prevent a nude shade (especially a lighter nude shade) from looking like concealer on the lips. Use a lip liner shade that is natural-looking but slightly darker than your lipstick shade. Applying some blush and/or bronzer will also help prevent from looking washed out.  

How do you wear nude lipstick with pigmented lips?  

For those who have very pigmented lips, makeup artists often suggest applying a light layer of your foundation or concealer on the lips to help mute the lips’ natural lip color. From there, line the lips and then apply nude lipstick.  

Which nude lipstick shade is best? 

The best nude lipstick shade will be one that compliments both your skin’s tone and undertone. You will want it to be no more than a couple shades darker or a couple of shades lighter than your complexion or the natural color of your lips. 

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