The first time I tried on a pair of "flesh toned" stockings from my local drugstore before church, I was sorely disappointed. Instead of matching my dark brown legs, I looked down to see my limbs covered in a wildly-unflattering beige material. That's my experience with "nudes" in a nutshell. For years, whenever I saw an exciting new line of nude lipsticks or glosses from my favorite brands, I'd keep browsing, not wanting to relive my nylon nightmare.
Of course, I'm not alone. "'Nude' is a tricky theory, especially when it comes to darker skin," makeup artist Nick Barose, who works with stars like Lupita Nyong'o and Zoë Kravitz, explains to R29. "People think of nude as something beige, so on darker skin it just looks unnatural and too light."
Thankfully, things are rapidly changing: Fashion and beauty brands are realizing that nudes aren't a one-size-fits-all concept, offering more options for more complexions. But for those who are still hesitant — especially those that fall on either side of the complexion spectrum —should rest easy, because picking out the right nude from modern options is as simple as looking in the mirror. "Your nude should look like it could be your own — just a bit rosier and warmer," Barose instructs. "On darker skin, I go a bit more bronze berry, so it looks fresh and healthy...not pale and flat. The right nude should make you look fresh, not dull."