You Asked, We Answered: How To Get The Perfect Nude Lip

The nude lip is a classic. It’s subtly sexy, allows you to go over the top with the rest of your makeup, and it’s far more than just a passing trend. It is not, however, the easiest look to pull off without looking sickly.
Natali S. asks, “How do you get the perfect nude lip for different skin tones? I always look like a mannequin, or worse — dead."
After much trial and error, I've discovered a few tricks to getting the perfect nude lip — and I promise that the end result looks very much alive.
Tip 1: Exfoliate. Use a scrub to slough off any flakes and make sure to polish ‘em up good, because nude shades are far less forgiving than brights and darks.
Tip 2: Fill in your lip with a lipliner that matches your natural tone. Makeup artists also love to apply foundation to the lip before the lipstick to take away any natural pink hues. It also helps give your lip color something to adhere to.
Bare Escentuals bareMinerals ‘Marvelous Moxie’ Lip Liner in Liberated, $15, available at Nordstrom; NARS Lip Liner Pencil, $22, available at NARS; e.l.f. Studio Lip Exfoliator, $3, available at e.l.f.
Tip 3: Choose your shade carefully — nude does not mean beige! The trick to a nude lip is warmth and dimension. Choosing a shade that’s too neutral can definitely make you look sick. Some tips for skin tones: If you’re fair, opt for something golden or peachy; for olive tones, a rose or pink hue will flatter you beautifully; dark-skinned gals should look for bronzes and caramels.
Tip 4: Opt for a glossy or a creamy texture. A matte nude looks chalky, so go with a satin finish or top off with a pretty gloss.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Dolce, $22, available at Sephora; NARS Sheer Lipstick in Cruising, $26, available at NARS; Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Trail Blazer, $18, available at bareMinerals.
Tip 5: Accentuate the rest of your features. The beauty of a nude lip is that you can play up a shocking pink cheek or a smoky eye, so make sure to add hints of color and definition elsewhere if you’re going nude in order to avoid the corpse effect.
Yves Saint Laurent Pure Chromatics in 01, $55, available at Sephora; Rimmel London Exaggerate Liquid Eyeliner, $8.98, available at ASOS; NYX Rouge Cream Blush, $6, available at NYX.
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