Blame Kylie and her Lip Kits, the resurgence of the '90s aesthetic, or Hollywood's obsession with monochromatic makeup, but the nude lip is having its moment in the spotlight. We'll pause here and let everyone who doesn't love a statement lip do a little celebration dance. Why? Because with this shift comes tons of new shades (albeit neutral ones) and formulas to choose from, elevating the non-statement lip from an afterthought to a full-blown look.
In fact, according to global market research company The NPD Group, 2015 marked a historic moment: Sales of nude and brown lip colors surpassed the pink or red category. What's more, lip color saw some of the highest growth across all color-cosmetic categories. The lips have it, sales would say. Of course, data aside, it's hard to ignore the uptick in beige, brown, and mauve on the red carpet and on social media — everyone's going nude, it seems.
But there's a downside. "Not all nude lipsticks are created equal," says celebrity makeup artist Kira Nasrat. In fact, finding a good neutral can be more difficult that finding a great red. Luckily, we've got all the tips and tricks you'll need to master a defined, beautiful, neutral lip — and it's all about getting the right undertone, then mixing and matching, Nasrat says. We're inclined to follow every bit of advice: Nasrat's name appears in the black books of stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Jamie Chung, Olivia Culpo, Lupita Nyong'o, and Bebe Rexha — and one of her specialties is crafting their perfect nude pouts.
Naturally, we enlisted Nasrat to help choose the right shade for every skin tone, ahead.