Try out natural/nude shades of makeup

If you’re anything like me and you wear a lot of eye makeup, your collection of neutral lipsticks and glosses is probably as large as mine.

Nude lipstick doesn’t necessarily have to be the same color as your skin. The ones that you’ll find look best on you are most likely a variation of what makeup junkies refer to as YLBB — Your Lips, But Better. Generally, you will be looking for a rose-brown or caramel shade, depending on your skin color.

In terms of descriptions, words like beige, honey, nude, tan, cream and flesh appear over and over. For example, NARS Belle du Jour is “sheer nude beige”, while Honolulu Honey is “satin flesh tone beige”. As with all lipsticks, the effect you wish to achieve can be intensified by choosing a more pigmented formula in a matte or cream finish instead of a sheer or lustre finish.

Viva Glam

Mac's Viva Glam is a popular neutral lip color.

Below is a tiny selection of the natural lipstick shades available this summer from make-up companies, at every price point. I chose not to include lip glosses in this installment.

  • Benefit Silky Finish – Skinny Dip (cream nude rose), Sugar Rush (pearl bronze nude)
  • Clinique Long Last Soft Shine – Baby Kiss, Creamy Nude
  • Dior Addict High Shine - Nude Silhouette (sheer muted peach), Beige-a-Porter (sheer rose beige)
  • Givenchy Rougue Interdit – Voluptuous Nude (pale peach nude), Marron Glacé (warm nude)
  • Guerlain Kiss Kiss – Beige Strass (sheer beige shimmer), Beige Sensuel (natural beige)
  • Laura Mercier Stick Gloss - Patchouli (neutral earthen brown)
  • Lorac Cream – Soul Sista (nude satin beige)
  • MAC – Myth (pale muted peachy beige), Hug Me (fleshed pink)
  • Make Up For Ever – Pink Beige (cream-soft neutral pink), Copper Beige (pearly-champagne beige)
  • Maybelline Moisture Extreme – Desert Bloom, Sugar Plum Ice, Nude Blush
  • Revlon Super Lustrous – Almost Nude, Nude Velvet, Champagne on Ice
  • Stila Lip Color – Nicole (nude pink cream)
  • Vincent Longo Lipstain – Parlour Pink (brownish pink nude), Visuvio Sheen (deep nude sheen)


L’Oréal has a line called “Made for Me Naturals” featuring four different actresses with different skin tones and hair colors as product representatives. The seven shades in the product line are Taffeta, Nude, Cashmere, Silk, Dune, Sienna and Organza.

MAC’s Viva Glam V (described as neutral pink with pearl) has become the go-to neutral lip colour for women (and men) the world over since its introduction in March 2004. It is a warm rose-brown shade in lustre format that suits dozens of diverse skin tones; a look at the spokespeople for this particular lipstick alone bears that out — women as dark as Missy Elliott and Lil’ Kim to women as pale Christina Aguilera, Lisa Marie Presley and Dita von Teese.

When wearing a natural lip, it’s best to choose a lip liner that matches as close to your own lip colour as possible. Sephora’s house brand in the shade Nude 114 is what I wear with every lip color I own. Natural 100 and Neutral 115 will suit those of you with darker lip tones.

The nice thing about a nude lip is that the look can be changed in an instant by using a coloured lip gloss over it — or even a sheer metallic gloss like Urban Decay XXX Shine Lip Gloss in Baked or Heatherette.

A nude lip looks great with a smoky eye, but it really comes into its own during the hot summer months, when a strong lip color might clash with the lighter fashions and bare skin on display. Try — and buy — as many of these lovely shades as you dare and enjoy the warm weather!


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