Writing about makeup can easily get repetitive, but there's a pretty simple formula to avoid that: Write about something specific (say, blue eyeshadow), then ditch the topic for six months—at least. Let it be known: Nude lipstick does not fit that formula. If it's been written once, it's been written a thousand times: Nude isn't actually color. That's why there are five shades of nude Louboutins (well, technically they're called Blushes). And that's why it's a topic that, no matter how many times it pops up on the site (occasion 1; occasion 2; occasion 3), people have something new to say.
Maybe it's not so surprising. There is one Ruby Woo to rule all matte red lipsticks. Nars' Carthage ends the conversation about bright pinks. Maybe you as an individual aren't crazy about how pinks or reds look on your skin tone. But no matter what you do or how tan you get, there will always be a nude for you—because nude is whatever you want it to be. It's pink, it's brown, it's mauve...it's whatever the hell you want because you're a grown-ass adult. Ain't that liberating?
To prove the point (and because it was just so gosh-darn convenient), Supreme sent us six girls who happened to be hanging around their offices just up the street. None of them were particularly enthusiastic about nude lipstick upon arrival—even when presented with a literal tub of the stuff. “No, I don't wear it,” Maria Borges said matter of factly,”That's so 2005,” Vasilisa Pavlova said, quickly followed by, “Which probably means it's so 2003 because my high school was pretty slow on trends,” Ray-of-hope Kremi Otashliyska was at least thankful that the shades were light, saying “Nude lipstick is definitely easier for me—it it were any darker, you'd have to call someone to help me put it on,”
Then there's the process of deciding what nude you're looking for—do you want to match your skin, do you want to match your lips, or do you want to match some idealized concept of nude that doesn't exist of your face (yet)?
Joline Braun goes for skin: “I'm mixed, so my skin tone is dark, but I have the natural lip color of a much lighter girl,” she explained. In the end, she went for something pinky, because why not?
Dylan Xue and Jing Wen—the two more experienced nude lipstick users—went for creamier, more enhanced versions of their own lip colors. It's a trick that, if deployed correctly, can enhance the shape of your lips and the color of your skin without looking like much at all. Certainly a pro-tip if ever there was one.
And like any good reality TV show, there were revelations by the end of this episode. Vasilisa said it best: “I always thought finding a good nude was hard, because unlike a red, it doesn't make you instantly gorgeous. But I'm finding that, for me, if I pick one that's not just my color, but something that's picked to enhance my skin tone, actually, it suits me much better than anything else,” And the power of a good nude lipstick strikes again. End scene.
See below for the whole breakdown:
Jing Wen wears...
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural in N3—a nude with just a hint of plum; good for cooler tones.
Vasilisa Pavlova wears...
Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick in Tempting Toffee, which is a misnomer—it's a little more pink than toffee with a touch of shine (although it is tempting, as it were).
Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink, a great lip-natural shade for those with paler tones (looks darker on the bullet than it does on your lips).
Joline Braun wears...
- Laura Mercier Créme Smooth Lip Colour in Biscotti. Also errs pink, but with a matte finish.
Dylan Xue wears...
Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in Skin—it's your lip color (the color payoff is pretty sheer), but shinier.
NARS Lipstick in Honolulu Honey, which is two hues deeper than 104 Skin.
Marc Jacobs New Nudes Sheer Lip Gel in Moody Margot, which is the frostiest your lips will get without applying lipgloss.
Maria Borges wears...
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Coffee Bean, which has a fair amount of red in it to suit deeper skin tones.
Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Nude, which is firmly planted in the "medium" section of the makeup range. Skews warm brown.
Burberry Kisses Hydrating Lip Colour in No. 21 Nude, a matte pink wash.
Kremi Otashliyska wears...
Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight, the lip balm of nude lipsticks.
Buxom True Nude Lip Foundation in Buff, which is easy to apply, and it's easy on the eyes, too.
See five models in all their bronzed glory right here.