The Look: Leila In L'Oréal

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The concept of “nude lipstick' is a little oxymoronic when you think about it. First of all, if nude means wearing nothing at all, the most honest nude lip color would come from no product whatsoever. But perhaps more importantly: nude, as a color, doesn't exist. It's one shade that is completely conditional at all times. One person's nude is another person's really unflattering beige.

'I can't wear nude lipstick,” Belgian model Leila Nda declared when we presented her with a bag of five options to try on last week. It took a couple of tubes but she finally landed on L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Lipcolour in Liya’s Nude—Liya, as in Liya Kebede. The shade was exact. Not brown, not red, just...Leila. It was immediately christened as “perfect for castings when you want to look like you, but a little fresher,” Which just goes to show, some things are worth working for—especially when working really means trying on a bunch of lipstick.

Leila Nda (New York Models) wearing L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Lipcolour in Liya’s Nude . Photographed by Tom Newton.