These Are the Nude Lipsticks With the Biggest Shade Ranges
I'll be honest, the term "nude lipstick" makes me shudder. It’s a phrase bandied about by the beauty industry as often as peptides and contour kits, but what does it actually mean? Well, if you looked at the shelves of the world’s biggest beauty brands, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was just a synonym for caucasian.
There are over 7.4 billion people in this world, and no two of us have the exact same skin tone. So if nude means what the Oxford English Dictionary says it does ("wearing no clothes; naked," FYI), then nude is simply the colour of our bare skin, whatever shade that may be.
That’s exactly why I hate the term "nude" lipstick: Because so often it rules out anyone whose skin isn’t a slightly pink, slightly beige shade. And no one should have to miss out. When you find the perfect shade for you, a nude lipstick has the power to boost your complexion, make teeth look whiter and give any look that final bit of polish.
But with so many brands wrongly classifying nude, finding a nude lipstick that actually suits you is an absolute minefield. So, I'm here to help. First, ignore the shade name on the packaging, and second, keep scrolling and I’ll teach you exactly how to choose the nude lipstick that suits you.
So how do you find the best nude lipstick? The place to start is to work out your skin's undertones, which is a lot easier than you might think.
Whether you have super-fair or super-dark skin, the answer lies in your veins. “A good trick is to look at the most prominent vein colour. For example, blue veins mean you have a cooler skin tone, and green means your skin tone is warm,” explains Sarah-Jane Froom, BareMinerals international makeup artist.
If you have a mix of both vein colours then it means you're probably neutral. "Use your thumb to press down on the veins on your inner wrist," adds Hector Espinal, Fenty Beauty global artist. "When you take your thumb away, if the first colour to appear is a blue tone, you have cool undertones. If it's more yellow, you have warm undertones."
Once you've calculated your correct undertone, the simple rule of thumb is this: Look for yellow-based, peachy shades to balance the blue in cool-toned skin, or look for rosier or copper shades to flatter the yellow hue in warm-toned skin. Neutral? You're lucky enough to be able to pull off both.
You're then looking for a lipstick that falls in the same ballpark as your skin tone, but never choose one more than a shade lighter than your natural lip colour or you'll risk looking a little ghostly. It'll take a little bit of experimentation.
So now that you know how to find the best nude shade for you, don't waste your time ploughing through beauty counter after beauty counter. I've found the best lipstick ranges that have the widest selection of nude shades, so you're bound to find your ideal fit. Scroll through the gallery to discover the seven most impressive shade ranges.
By Terry Rouge Expert Click-Stick (£25)
# of nude shades: 11
If precision is your problem when applying lipstick, this very clever clickable stick should help. The tip of the teardrop-shaped nib is designed to perfectly hug the outer edge of the lip, while the wider base will fill in the colour.
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick (£17)
# of nude shades: 11
As so many have the propensity to make lips feel uncomfortably tight, liquid lipsticks are largely hit or miss. But Kat Von D's sit nicely on that tipping point where you get the perfect matte finish without any of the dryness. The 11 nude shades are particularly far-reaching.
What has always been your go-to nude lipstick? Let us know in the comments below. Up next, we've found the seven best red lipsticks to add to your collection.