When it comes to finding the one, it takes a lot of careful consideration to ensure you’re both compatible. And we’re not just talking about dating—the same could be said about finding the perfect nude lipstick for your skin tone, just ask any Sephora employee. There are so many varying shades to consider. Do you need a more brown nude or a pink nude? Is it a color with cool undertones best, or do warm undertones work better with your complexion? Will it pair well with your favorite lip gloss? You want your lipstick to mimic your lips and accentuate your lips—but the wrong shade can do the opposite, and even wash out your complexion. Much like finding the right foundation or concealer, it takes a little trial and error—but once you’ve found your perfect match, you’ll never look back.
About the Experts:
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“I love using a nude lip when I want something understated,” says celebrity makeup artist Rachel Pagan. “I think of a nude lip as chic and classy with a side of edgy and sexy.”
Keeping things in the understated family, Pagan typically pairs a nude lip with a natural lash. “The new LILLY LASHES Naked set from the brand’s Everyday Brown Blended collection gives the look a pop while still leaning into the no makeup-makeup aesthetic,” she explains. “In cases when I want to do a bold eye, nude lipstick really helps keep the focus on the upper part of the face instead of all over the place.”
Your natural skin tone is of key importance when it comes to what shade will suit you best. Makeup artist Steve Kassajikian notes to pay attention to undertones. “Blue-toned nudes complement warm skin tones and peachy-toned nudes complement cool skin tones,” says Kassajikian, who adds that if you have a neutral skin tone, you can wear all shades in between.
Once you’ve decided which shade to select, the next decision is choosing which formula is right for you. “Matte finish tends to wear longer but can be drying to the lips based on formula,” says Kassajikian, adding that glossy finishes tend to be more sheer, hydrating, and nourishing on the lips.”
Ready to find your new nude? Whether you have fair skin, dark skin, or a complexion that falls in between, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the best nude lipsticks for every skin tone and in every texture, to help you perfect your pout.
TikTok is absolutely right with this one. The iconic, pink nude shade is a must in our makeup bag. This subtle matte lip color works on a variety of skin types for a finish that looks just like our natural lips but better.
This long-wearing lipstick delivers vivid mauve-nude color that lasts without cracking or bleeding. Thanks to a moisturizing formula, it also leaves lips soft and conditioned. Aloe vera, jojoba, avocado, and baassu oil soothe and nourish lips, all while vitamin C and vitamin E deliver antioxidant protection against free radical damage from pollution.
We’re obsessed with coffee, so we’re naturally drawn to this shade, which was inspired by our favorite sip. The beautiful brown nude comes in a vibrant liquid formula that reminds us of a delicious latte (and smells like it, too!). But you won’t have to worry about this lippie wearing off on your coffee cup—the liquid lipstick stays put and won’t transfer for a whopping 24 hours. Caramel Crush is a flattering nude with warm undertones.
This full-coverage, long-wearing lip color provides us with beautiful coverage and a luxe satin finish. This is all thanks to mango butter, which helps smooth, moisturize, and protect your pout. We find that Nudey Pink is one of the prettiest light pink nudes for those with fair skin.
This creamy lipstick in a warm, coral-nude tone is perfect for olive complexions because it won’t read lighter than your skin tone or wash you out. Instead, it delivers vibrant color payoff in a nourishing formula that lasts.
This iconic product put the professional makeup brand on the map and has continued to dazzle ever since. We’ve been feeling nostalgic and wanted to relive all of our ‘90s makeup dreams. Reaching for this creamy matte in a mid-tone, cool mauve allowed us to do just that. Oh, and it looks especially good on deeper skin tones.
This rosy, mauve nude looks gorgeous all day and has a weightless longwear formula that glides on like a liquid before setting to a matte finish. It’s also so easy to apply, thanks to the precision wand applicator that makes it easier than ever to swipe and set your lip.
TikTok beauty influencers aside, makeup artist Mirna Jose totally vouches for this lip plumping nude developed by Kim Kardashian’s longtime MUA. It's a creamy formula that you can barely feel on the lips, thanks to its lightweight, water-based formula. Even so, it packs pigment and, most importantly, results in plump and supple lips.
Who said nude lips can’t make a major statement? While there’s a time and place for a matte moment, this Dior Rouge shade stands out because of the subtle shine in this stunning metallic formula. Not only does it glisten like we layered our favorite gloss over our lipstick, but it also serves up nourishing ingredients like pomegranate flower extract and shea butter to smooth fine lines and seriously moisturize your lips.
When we’re itching for an everyday nude, this is our pick—a little something to help our lips look alive, but without feeling too done-up. This sheer matte lipstick in a neutral cocoa brown that looks like just-blotted lipstick as soon as you swipe it on. The hint of taupe pigment adapts to your natural lip color and works well on all skin tones. Given the texture of this lipstick, you can easily swipe it on when you’re on-the-go—no mirror needed.
When we want to set it and forget it, we reach for this cult-favorite liquid lipstick in a neutral, beige nude that won’t budge or fade throughout the day. Available in 45 lipstick shades, (including five perfect nudes that range from pinky nudes to brown nudes and peach nudes), this liquid lippie will leave you with lasting glam that won’t budge.
Not comfortable swiping lipstick over your lips? Well, that’s because you haven’t tried Laura Mercier’s innovative lip crayons. The bullet application of this lipstick puts you in full control as you glide the pigment-rich color over your lips—no need for a lip liner. With an array of 24 shades and a variety of nude options, you can easily find the right hue to complement your complexion, whether you need a warm undertone or cool undertone. Ruthless (above) is a bluish nude.
This velvety, long-wearing formula in a dusty nude glides on before drying to a luxe velvet finish, thanks to a moisturizing combination of hyaluronic acid and high-performance pigments that leave you with major color payoff.
We love the versatility of this shade and how well it works with every skin tone. It’s creamy,
hydrating and such a beautiful warm nude. KOSAS is absolutely dominating TikTok with their foundations and concealers, but their lipsticks are not to go unnoticed. And Pagan agrees, calling this one of her favorites.
This is another shade that we (and Pagan, too!) admire for its ability to complement every skin tone. It’s a truly beautiful lipstick and one we have in regular rotation.
Hence the name, LYS Dreamer is so dreamy! Pagan has the honey-nude shade stashed in her bags year-’round. We especially love the way it easily glides right on. Also, if you’re a sucker for packaging, these bad boys are chef’s kiss.
This is Jose’s favorite shade because it accentuates and enhances the natural lip. It’s also infused with good-for-you ingredients including hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, Flaxseed oil, and Bidens Pilosa. If you’re looking to make a spendy statement while reaching into your handbag, this is your best bet.
Jose loves this pick in particular because it’s a muted mauve that pairs well with a variety of lip liners, outfits, and occasions. If you’re looking for a versatile shade that appeals to the masses, this is for you.
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