Mysteries of Life: Getting the Perfect Nude Lip

By | June 18 2009 | 18 Comments

nude lips

D’you ever look at a nude lipstick and think, “ah, isn’t that lovely? That’d be only gorgeous now with some smokey eyes and a wash of my lovely sheeny MAC Mineralize Skin Finish?”  So then you try it on thinking you’ll be the belle of the ball.

Instead, the result looking back at you in the mirror can only be described as cadaver-fresh. Ain’t nothing like a nude to make you look like the Crypt Keeper. A tired, wan Crypt Keeper, at that.

Forget red, nude lipstick is seriously one of the hardest shades to get right. Far too many of them contain a lot of grey pigment which sucks the life out of your skin and makes lips resemble chalky slugs. Unless you’re going for a very stylised look (like a Bardot or 60s thang), it’s actually much more flattering to mimic the natural shade of your own lips, and try to stay within one or two shades of that.

As a rule, head for nudes with pink or apricot tones as opposed to flat industrial-looking beiges, as they’ll be more lifelike, and therefore, far more flattering.

And for the love of god, avoid extremes: matte nudes are very flat and dull looking, and pearlised finishes should be shunned unless you want to look like a Golden Girl. Not a bad thing in itself, of course, but if you’re in your 20s, Blanche Devereaux should probably not be your style icon.

Look for a satin finish lipstick, is my advice. Queen of subtlety, Bobbi Brown, of course has a solution in the form of her Perfect Match service at counters, which aims to identify the natural shade of your pout and then provides you with a suite of shades that’ll suit. Smart – but is anyone else offering similar? Yep, beauty brand Prescriptives will be rolling out a suite of creamy nudes in the autumn for all skin colours, so they’re definitely worth looking out for.

If Bobbi Brown isn’t your cup of tea and you can’t wait for Prescriptives, Bourjois Effet 3d Les Nudes are terrific in the gloss scheme of tings; I am also partial to Shiseido’s new Perfect Rouge lipstick line which contains several really good options as well.

Lips, Tutorials

18 Replies to "Mysteries of Life: Getting the Perfect Nude Lip"

  • Polly says:

    I think it’s about time I headed to the Bobbi Brown counter – my lipstick collection is full of Clinque bonus time freebies that I fear don’t suit me but I wear anyway!

  • MontyC says:

    I think Bobbi Brown are one of the best for the natural/nude/not-wearing-make-up make up look.

  • Hannah says:

    Had the BB perfect match done recently and its really good – its so easy to pick the wrong shade cos it looks okay in the shop. Got the nicest nudey-pink lippy and a gorgeous gloss and already have her Pink Buff lippy and other pinky-beigey glosses…definitely the best for nudes.

  • cathyfly says:

    Bee-yooriful image there Kirstie :)

    Hmmm I usually go with a gloss if I want a nudey lip – I was scared off by a BB nude lipstick seeking consultation where they sold me one that is distinctly orangey and makes my pearly whites look yellow!

    I like the look of those Bourjois ones…

  • Atomic_Blonde says:

    Ive tried to pull of the nude lips look sooo many times. I just dont think blondes can pull it off at all.
    My friend who has black hair and slightly olive skin can so it brilliantly!

  • dublinista says:

    I love the Maybelline ‘Pinky Beige’ lipstick – it gives me a grand pout and doesn’t highlight the yellowness of my teeth!

  • Glitterkitty says:

    well, i’m blonde w green eyes and v pale skin
    i wear nude, pink based glosses all the time!

    nars turkish delight, illamasqua rouse – both are fab
    sheer glosses w a hint of pale pink, both have great textures that glide onto lips..

    great for when i really want to do up my eyes in a really bright block colour or v dark and smokey, goes w both!

  • MontyC says:

    Atomic – I’m blonde and it can be done!

    For the Nude Lip, I match my lippy as closely as I can to my natural lip colour. Easiest and niceset way to do it (well for me anyway).

    Also, don’t go matte. Awful. Go for creamy (if that makes sense).

  • Glamazon says:

    Mmmmm I think a lot of people think Nude means pale concealer type colour when in fact its almost the same shade as your lips. Agree with Glitter that it definitely makes your eyes stand out more.

  • Atomic_Blonde says:

    Hmmm maybe its just my skin type so cause i just cant pull it off at all. I use the Loreal nude collection lipsticks, but they have a hint of colour to them…there not bad actually.

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