Though nude lipstick is a universally-flattering look, there isn't just one shade that can be considered the all-encompassing nude. While some shades look great against a deep complexion, they may veer too closely to the '90s brick end of the spectrum for paler skin. Alternately, light beige tones often appear chalky against medium or dark complexions.
We asked six of our editors to show us their favorite nudes, and explain why the color works so well. Scroll down to see what each staffer is wearing, and to find your own perfect nude.
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Asia Ware, Editorial Intern
"I love the NYX Butter Gloss in Praline—it's the perfect nude for my skin because it gives me a natural look that isn't basic, but not too over the top. Praline also never gives my lips an ashy look like some of my lighter nudes do. I can wear it with just about anything, and the finish adds the perfect amount of sass without a sticky feel."
Kim Duong, Digital Assistant Fashion Editor
"So, this one time, my cousin said, “You can always tell when Kim’s bored because all the color gets drained from her lips,” and I was deeply appalled because that’s wildly untrue—my lips naturally look like that 24/7. So you can imagine my personal distaste for blank lips—totally chic on, say, Kim Kardashian West, but totally jarring on, say, me. My version of nude lipstick is one that definitely leans more plum than beige, and I’ve found NARS’s ‘Dolce Vita’ lipstick to be the perfect match. PSA: I never glide my lipstick on. Instead, I dab it for a more natural, flushed finish."
Ingrid Frahm, Art Assistant
"I love Chanel's Rouge Allure Velvet in La Câline because I can wear it with any outfit or makeup look. The rosy hue amplifies and evens out my natural color, and the texture is super creamy. It’s perfect for every day, and subtle enough to just swipe on when I’m on my way to last minute plans."
LaShauna Williams, Assistant Market Editor
"This was my first time trying this combo but I knew that the creamy NARS Pencil in Lonely Heart ($27; nordstrom.com) and the Makeup Geek Creme Lip Stain in Waltz ($12; makeupgeek.com) would blend together nicely. I loved the combo and the way it looked on my skin tone. It wasn’t too ashy or too dark. It felt like my own personal nude."
Marianne Mychaskiw, Associate Beauty Editor
"I'm super particular about my nude lipsticks, and when I find a good one, I tend to hoard it in bulk. My skin veers more toward the medium-neutral end of the spectrum, so light beiges are out of the question, and colors with too much orange always end up looking weird on me. Same goes for nudes that are too pink—my lips are pretty pigmented as it is, so anything with overly rosy tones end up looking like straight bubblegum when I apply them. Mauve-toned beiges like Cle de Peau's Lipstick in #1 Bamboo neutralize the natural redness in my lips just enough, and stand out against my complexion."
Alena Payne, Beauty Intern
"I’ve tried for years to make a brown nude work on me and trust me, it just doesn’t. So I like to stick to lipsticks with blush tones for a softer neutral lip. With my fair skin, Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Sugar color is the perfect combination of nude and pink for that barely-there look, with a little pop of shine."