Nude lipstick is a beauty classic. It is, after all, one of the most commonly used or referred to the product when it comes to cosmetics, and perhaps also the most enduring, with a history that extends back to over 5 millennia. Whether it involved the crushing of gemstones in order to embellish your lips in the desired manner or crushing bugs, as the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was known to do (eww!), lip colour trends have evolved considerably over time. And while the term lipstick was initially used to refer to a coloured stick made from wax, oils, pigments and emollients, it mostly just refers to the material itself these days.
And then there’s this multitude of lipsticks available in the market today as well, right from those nourishing lip balms to liquid lipsticks, glosses and liner pens. Be it a classic bold red, a shimmery metallic one, or a rather subdued nude lipstick, even the lip colour shades seem to have grown tremendously in terms of the variety that they offer to their wearer.
Lip colour trends have evolved quite a bit over the past century. The 1920s was a period when dark red lips dominated the scene, continuing through till the end of the 1950s, with fashion icons such as Marilyn Monroe donning and popularizing the shade. By the 1970s though, the trend had gotten a bit quirkier, with a number of different iridescent and sparkly shades like frosted lime green and silver sparkled navy blue being introduced. This was also the period when black lipstick gained popularity within Goth circles. The brownish shades came to be popularized in the 1990s, especially through American sitcoms like ‘Friends’, amongst many others.
It was only in the mid-2010s that nude lipsticks began to gain popularity, based on the minimalistic idea that ‘less is more’. Celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Giselle Loren Lazzarato (better known as Gigi Gorgeous) are said to have contributed majorly to the proliferation of this trend (although we’re not really sure if either of them could be termed a minimalist). Today, however, they’re quite the rage, with at least one nude lipstick shade being present in the beauty kit of just about every lipstick lover out there.
However, as lovely as these nude lipstick colours are, picking the right one to suit your skin tone can be quite a tricky job. Before you go shopping for nude lipsticks, the first thing you need to understand is that all skin types can be classified based on overtones and undertones. Overtones, based on a colour chart and your skin’s sensitivity to sunburn, are usually classified as fair, light, medium, tan and dark. On the other hand, based on certain tests such as the natural light test or a paper test, skin undertones can be grouped as warm (yellow or red), cool (blue or pink) and neutral (beige or brown).
With the plethora of nude lip colours available in the market today though, choosing the right shade of nude lipstick can get really confusing. So our team at BeBeautiful decided to put together a quick guide, based on your skin tone, to aid you in your quest of choosing the perfect nude lipstick shade that can blend in smoothly with the rest of your makeup as well.
For them porcelain beauties!
If you’ve got skin that is really fair (akin to the colour of porcelain) or light toned, it becomes all the more important that you choose the shade of your nude lipstick rather carefully. Since selecting the wrong shade of nude lipstick could lead to you appearing ghostly pale (maybe even vampire-like), paying close attention to the choice of lip colours at your disposal and understanding the suitability of each will only help you make the most out of your nude lipstick. Since lipsticks with warm undertones, especially yellow or orange, can make your skin look pasty and pallid, it is recommended that you go for the rosier ones. Nude lipsticks with pink undertones (those with a matte lipstick would look even better) are the best for those with porcelain-fair skin since a dash of colour can make your face appear much more cheerful and livelier. With rosy nude lipstick shades colouring the lips of all those fair maidens out there, it certainly seems to have given new meaning to the phrase ‘in the pink of health’ (hear, hear!).
Medium is marvellous, especially if it’s olive!
For the ladies with medium or olive skin tones, nude lips with peach or pink undertones can really help embellish your overall appearance (even better it’s got a bit of a shimmer to it). If you’ve got medium toned skin, choosing a shade lighter or darker than your natural lips tone always seems to be a good option. However, for those with olive skin, it is recommended that you move towards the darker end of the chart, although there’s quite a bit of variety for you to work with on that end as well. While a peach coloured nude lipstick can help balance green undertones, beige coloured ones can, in fact, enhance the olive in your complexion. However, apart from the usual peaches and beiges, even caramel and taupe shades of nude lipsticks tend to work brilliantly on those with an olive skin tone.
Skin, the colour of chocolate!
Chocolate is, perhaps, the best shade of nude lipstick for a woman with a dark shade complexion. The deeper the shade of your skin tone is, especially if it has blue or red undertones, the more pigmented the shade of your nude lipstick ought to be (don’t forget to try out the matte ones too!). Just the glossy ones, devoid of any coloured undertones, should work like magic on your lips too. In fact, we’d suggest that you experiment as much as you like when it comes to all those different nude lipstick shades out there. Just be sure to keep them grey toned lip colours aside and your lips will be smiling ear to ear as you assess your nude lipstick art in the mirror.