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Best nude lipstick: How to choose a nude lipstick for your skin tone

No makeup bag is complete without a staple nude lipstick, yet no one shade fits all. When picking your perfect nude shade, it all comes down to skin tone and undertone. The right shade will be guided by your natural lip colour, complementing your skin tone, whilst not appearing overpowering.

So, what are undertones, and how do you pick the perfect shade to suit your skin tone? Look no further! We’ve put together a quick guide to finding the best nude for you.

Step 1: How to find your undertone:

When selecting your perfect shade, it’s crucial to know both your skin tone and your undertone. Taking both into consideration whilst making your choice will ensure your lipstick does not shrink the appearance of your lips or leave you looking washed out.

Skin tone can be thought of as the surface colour of your skin, determined by the amount of melanin your skin has. You can determine your skin tone by the colour you first see when you look at your skin in the mirror (fair, light, medium, dark, deep, or somewhere in between), and although this can vary slightly throughout the year, most people will know roughly where they fit on this spectrum.

Your undertone is the subtle hue underneath the surface level of your skin (warm, cool or neutral). There are many ways that have developed over the years to determine your undertone, but on the whole, the ‘vein test’ seems to be pretty effective. Look at the veins on the underside of your wrist. If they appear to be blue or purple, you most likely have a cool undertone. If they seem to be green, your undertone is warmer, and if you aren’t sure, you likely have a neutral undertone.

So now you know both your skin tone and undertone. But what shade of nude should you be wearing to match this?

Step 2: Matching your skin tone

Best nude lipstick for dark skin

A good nude lipstick brings out the best in your skin, so it’s important to try a few shades to get to your perfect match. A nude lipstick with muted tones of deep beige or red looks unbelievable on darker skin, while golds and bronzes will give your skin that extra glow. 


Best nude lipstick for olive skin

Whilst people with olive skin can pull off either a pink or brown nude, the key thing to remember is to select a shade that is darker than your skin tone, as this will emphasise the warmth in your skin. If shopping pinks, look for an option with a peachy undertone, whereas if you’re shopping for browns, you may find your perfect match in a caramel or beige toned nude.

Best nude lipstick for fair skin

Fair skin is often best complemented by pink nudes, which can help add some warmth to fairer skint tones. Whilst beige undertones are important to provide the lips with volume, if you have a fairer skin tone, steer clear of very pale nudes. These can wash you out if the colour is too similar your skin tone

Step 3: Find the perfect finish: to matte, or not to matte?

Nude matte lipstick

For days when you want a look that’s more low-key, a nude matte lipstick is perfect for that no-makeup makeup effect. We recommend our best-selling Rouge Pur Couture Slim Matte lipstick or Rouge Pur Couture Slim Velvet Radical Lipstick

Long-lasting, high-pigment lipstick and available in a range of up to 58 shades, this makeup bag staple is the easy choice. If you’re looking for that special occasion touch, check out the Rouge Pur Couture Slim Glow Matte, which reimagines the formula with mallow flower extract. This caring lip formula works to create a beautiful radiant finish, with a subtle glow.

Nude shine lipstick

Of course, opting for nude lipstick doesn’t mean you can’t add a little shimmer. A shine finish strikes a great balance between casual and glam. Our Rouge Volupte Lipstick & Balm is ultra-hydrating with an oil-infused formula that acts as a lip balm, simultaneously soothing and moisturising your lips while adding the perfect pop of colour. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s mango scented! 

Nude satin lipstick

For days when you want something a little subtler than shine but a bit more glam than matte, try a satin lipstick. It’s smooth, sleek and sophisticated and can elevate a makeup look from everyday to iconic. We recommend our luscious Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick that provides medium to full coverage as well as SPF 15 protection

Pay attention to application

Applying lipstick

Once you’ve got the right lipstick in the bag, make sure you know what you’re doing with it! Order is everything, and we recommend you start with your lip pencil to perfect your pout before moving on to lipstick applied directly. If you’re going for a high shine, finish it off with your gloss.

Applying lip pencil

Mastering step one can take a bit of practice. It can be tempting to go straight for your cupid’s bow but starting at the outer corners and working your way in can make it easier to find your natural shape. A high-precision tip, like the one on our Dessin des Levres Lip Liner, can help keep your finish sharp and you can line just outside your natural lip line for fuller-looking lips.

The nude lipstick look is an essential, so it’s worth investing your time in finding the right one for you. Pick your favourite from our extensive lipstick range and don’t forget to give it a go with our Virtual Try-On tool and try up to 58 shades within minutes!


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