The concept of nude lipstick is badly in need of an update. No longer do we want to shop for it like we shop for concealer, expecting the shade to match our skin tone. After all, who wants mannequin mouth? Let's move on from this silly notion that "nude" only means skin-colored (whatever your skin color is), and embrace the fact that it means different things to everybody.
According to Pamela Cochrane
, the makeup artist who has painted many an appealing shade of nude on the lovely Lana Del Rey, pulling off this look has less to do with your skin tone than with your lip
tone. She insists that the modern version of nude is not the concealer-lips look of the early 2000s (sorry, Kim K), but a your-lips-but-better shade. “Typically, a foundation-colored tone will wash you out," she says. "Look for something that allows the natural lips to shine through."
To prove her point, Cochrane helped us cast six beautiful models who represent different lip and skin tones, all wearing very different shades of lipstick. Ahead, she lays out a roadmap for finding your perfect buff shade. It probably doesn’t look like what you’d expect a nude to be...but, trust us — you’re going to love these stripped-down hues.
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Photographed by Tom Corbett; Makeup by Pamela Cochrane; Hair by Dominick Pucciarello; Manicure by Eri Handa; Styled by Sam Bates; Modeled by Georgie/Major Model Management; Modeled by Yulia/Women 360; Modeled by Frankie/Women 360; Modeled by Lary/Next Models; Modeled by Kate/Next Models; Modeled by Zaina/Women 360