Pretty Easy

Find Your Most
Flattering Nude Lip

Some of the best makeup goes totally unnoticed. Case in point: the nude lip. The perfect meant-not-to-be-seen lip colour can make your lips look healthy, plump and subliminally alluring. But like watching a ballerina perform the most graceful grand jeté, finding the most flattering nude for your skin tone is easier said than done. The look often falls flat because a lot of women tend to use the wrong shade.

Not all nude lipsticks are created equal. And nude lipstick doesn’t mean brown lipstick. What works best is a nude shade that is slightly deeper then your natural skin tone and has undertones that’ll make your entire face glow. Nude lip shades that are too pale, grey or muddy can make you look more zombie than natural beauty. “To avoid resembling the undead, look for a nude that is similar to your skin tone with an injection of warmth, whether it be a light peach or toffee undertone,” advises Clinique Colour Pro Florrie White. “Your nude lipstick should enhance your lips, not make them disappear into your complexion.”

To simplify the search for the perfect nude lipstick for your skin tone, here are all the nude nuances to look for based on your foundation shade. If your daily foundation is a perfect fit, then all of these nude lip colours will be too. Pretty easy, right? And since one lipstick can't suit all moods and occasions, there’s a slew of different textures and finishes to consider, from a casual sheer wash of colour to a luxe liquid matte lipstick. 

If you wear a foundation that is considered: Very Fair

Then your most flattering nude lip colours are: “Shades with a flush of peach or coral to enhance your lips and make them subtly stand out from the rest of your features,” says Florrie. P.S. A little gold shimmer doesn’t hurt either.

Best nude lip colours to try: (clockwise from top) Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Beige Pop, Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour + Primer in Cake Pop, Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Heaping Hazelnut, Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Bare Pop.

If you wear a foundation that is considered: Moderately Fair

Then your most flattering nude lip colours are: “Nudes with rosy mauve and warm beige undertones will add fullness and shape to your lips,” says Florrie. “To really enhance your nude lip, bring your foundation slightly over the outer lines of your lips and then apply your nude lipstick to the centre of your mouth for dimension,” says Florrie.

Best nude lip colours to try: (from top to bottom) Clinique Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer in Nude Pop, Clinique Pop Matte Lip Colour + Primer in Blushing Pop, Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour + Primer in Cake Pop, Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Bountiful Blush.

If you wear a foundation that is considered: Medium

Then your most flattering nude lip colours are: “A shade slightly deeper than your natural lip colour with undertones of cinnamon, caramel and toasted taupe,” says Florrie.

Best nude lip colours to try: (from top to bottom) Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Whole Lotta Honey, Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Curviest Caramel, Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Nude Pop, Clinique Pop Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer in Cocoa Pop.

If you wear a foundation that is considered: Deep

Then your most flattering nude lip colours are: “Complementary tones of mocha, raisin and berry,” says Florrie. “If you have naturally pigmented lips or discolouration, blend your foundation over your lips first to neutralise them, then layer on your lip colour. The layer of foundation will also help your look last longer and the colour ring true.”

Best nude lip colours to try: (clockwise from top) Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer in Cola Pop, Clinique Pop Liquid Matte Lip Colour + Primer in Boom Pop, Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Chunkiest Chili, Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Richer Raisin.

Portraits: Christine Hahn | Still Life: Yasu + Junko | Words: Hilary Presley